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Spring 2021 Course Schedule and Modality Guidelines as of July 1, 2020

Spring 2021 Course Schedule and Modality Guidelines

677 sections | 314 online (46%) |  276 live online (41%) | 3 in-person (<1%) | 23 hybrid (3%) | 39 misc (5%) | 30 hybrid virtual (4%)


The purpose of this communication is to inform the college community as to our strategic approach to the spring 2021 course schedule at South Mountain Community College (SMCC).  We will publish an updated version of this document if pandemic indicators require us to reconsider our current course offerings. We aspire to deliver extraordinary student learning opportunities while prioritizing the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.


  • Offer a range of instructional delivery methods that are responsive to the needs of our students.
  • Retain the ability to offer in-person instruction where possible, with student safety as a priority.
  • Allow for courses to shift modalities in response to external forces (pandemic-related or otherwise) while retaining the highest quality of instruction and providing clear expectations to student

Guiding Principles

  • Equity - A student-centered, learning-focused approach in which student learning needs and personalization of learning come first.
  • Flexibility - SMCC will offer and schedule required courses in a suitable learning environment so that all students can create a schedule that allows them to balance their academic work with their personal life and needs. Schedules will reflect the nature of the degree program and be offered in a variety of modalities and in a variety of scheduling timeframes.
  • Fairness - An inclusive, open, transparent process that incorporates input from all faculty, staff and students.

Instructional Delivery Methods

South Mountain Community College will offer a range of instructional delivery methods for the spring semester. Currently less than 1% of our Spring 2021 courses are scheduled as in-person/on-campus, 3% are scheduled as hybrid, 46% are scheduled as online, 41% are scheduled as live online, 4% are scheduled as hybrid virtual, and 5% are scheduled miscellaneous offerings. These percentages may shift in response to changing circumstances. If a class modality changes after students are enrolled, those students will be notified of this change in a timely fashion to allow students ample time to plan for the shift.

SMCC will offer the following instructional delivery methods for the spring 2021 semester (click on live links to watch a video explanation of each modality):

  • Live Online: Classes will meet synchronously at the time listed in the class schedule on a virtual platform. This new modality was created to meet the changing needs of our community, providing the best of "in-person" instruction in an online environment.
    (ex: Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet)
  • In-person: Class meeting days and times will be listed in the schedule and will be held on campus. With health and safety in mind, in-person classes will be capped at 12 students per class.  
  • Hybrid:Part of the class will be held online without a set time to attend. The other part will occur in an in-person format on campus on the days and times listed in the class schedule.
  • Hybrid/Virtual:Part of the class will be held online without a set time to attend. The other part will occur at the time listed in the class schedule in a virtual format using a virtual platform.
  • Online: The entire class will be held online without set meeting days or times to attend. 

Our strategic approach to scheduling will continue to evolve and adapt in response to local, state, and federal guidelines, in addition to recommendations provided by MCCCD and other reputable authorities. An example of this evolution includes the possible migration of willing students and faculty back to campus if (and only if) pandemic indicators suggest this measure would be safe. To facilitate an increased presence on campus, while maintaining superior distance learning, we built three mediated classrooms (see photo below). These classrooms allow for simultaneous in-person and online instruction utilizing remote connections such as Zoom, WebEx or google meet. 

Mediated Classrooms

SMCC's new mediated classrooms offer exceptional in-person and online instruction. Live Online students can see shared content as well as various viewpoints of the physical classroom.

Although the future remains uncertain, South Mountain Community College continues to operate with strength of purpose and with great faith in brighter days ahead.

Clyne G. H. Namuo, Ph.D.
Vice President of Learning
South Mountain Community College

Modality infographic

Learn Safe

A short two-minute video explaining the differences in course types/modes.