BCC To Offer majority Of Courses As Virtual Or Online

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Community College (BCC) will host the majority of its courses this spring 2021 in either hybrid or online options for its students.
 
The majority of BCC's courses will remain online or in a hybrid education model as the school continues to provide a safe learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. BCC’s spring semester begins on Jan. 25, 2021.
 
93 percent of all classes, except for nursing and physical therapy assistant classes, will be taught by faculty in an online or hybrid model.
 
"BCC made this decision by engaging every faculty member who is teaching and asked them to be a part of the decision making for their classes and their students," Adam Klepetar, interim Provost said. "The process for deciding how to teach classes in the spring is collaborative and is intended to meet pedagogical, access, and equity issues. Our primary goal is to ensure the safest environment possible."
 
 Nursing, physical therapy assistant, STEM, and a few other classes and labs have been in-person this fall, with strict social distancing and face-covering guidelines, as well as deep cleaning by BCC’s Facilities team between every class.
 
In a joint statement issued by the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges, Ellen Kennedy, President of BCC, joined with the other community colleges across the Commonwealth to say:
 
"As Presidents of the fifteen Massachusetts Community Colleges, monitoring public health conditions, ensuring safety for our campus community, and maintaining high-quality academic instruction are top priorities during this pandemic. Therefore, the fifteen community colleges will continue to offer primarily remote, online, and hybrid learning, with limited in-person courses, in the Spring 2021 semester. Each college will continue to provide students with the services and support they need to succeed while tracking local public health conditions. We are hopeful that making this decision early will give our students, faculty, and staff, who are already balancing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession, the necessary time to prepare for the Spring semester. We look forward to serving all who rely on Massachusetts Community Colleges for an affordable, safe, and flexible higher education experience."
 
Spring registration for current students begins on Nov. 2, known as the Priority Registration period. Applicants and new students can register beginning Nov. 16 – and the class schedule is available at www.berkshirecc.edu/spring.
 
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Pittsfield Seeks Solutions to Daytime Warming Shelters for Homeless

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Linda Tyer this week said the city of Pittsfield is feeling discouraged from the lack of community organizations willing to host a warming shelter that will house homeless individuals during the hours that the St. Joseph's temporary winter shelter on Maplewood Avenue is closed.

"We're concerned too, and we're feeling quite discouraged that a number of our community partners have declined our request to help with a daytime warming center but we're not going to give up," she said at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Maffuccio addressed the mayor with two petitions in regard to the homeless population.

Maffuccio requested that the mayor, or other departments or organizations, provide an update on the plans for a warming station for the homeless and that the mayor develops a task force for the purpose of developing a permanent housing solution for chronically homeless residents.

These petitions were both referred to Tyer by the council.

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