PARAMUS, N.J. — Beginning this September, Bergen Community College (BCC) will offer remote online learning for all students (except for some practice-based classes, which will be offered in person), the college announced in a press release Wednesday.

The move to transition the majority of its fall schedule to remote learning was predicated upon the current Covid-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, health officials saw a record-breaking spike in coronavirus cases in the U.S. following the reopening of some states. On July 7, 58,000 new cases were reported — the highest number of reported cases in a single day.

“The College’s transition to online courses for the fall semester reflects the difficult reality of COVID-19,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “An ever-changing situation, the uncertainty of COVID-19 demands proactive responses. This decision is one that places the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community members at the forefront. It is the right thing to do, and I am confident that the College will continue to provide an exceptional, affordable education in this temporary virtual setting."

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Currently, the school's population is about 15,000 students, faculty and staff, which includes visitors on the main campus every day. The interest of health and safety coupled with frozen tuition rates were cited as the reasons for the transition to remote learning, which will begin on the first day of school on Wednesday, September 2. Earlier this month, the College also announced that it enhanced its online presence amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and revamped its official website.

Bergen Interim President Tony Ross said a task force comprising two dozen faculty, staff and students reviewed the most recent guidelines from public health agencies, along with state and county leaders, before finalizing their plans for instruction, and that the decision will continue to enable the college to provide students the same quality education as it would from a traditional campus environment.

While most of its classes will be conducted online, BCC will offer a limited number of practice-based classes, including those in health professions, in person. Paramedic science program practicals will take place at the BCC campus at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. No classes will be held at the Philip Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack. The college will deploy safety protocols to protect the health of those students meeting in-person for classes. These include reduced class sizes, spaced seating and enhanced cleaning measures.

For nonimmigrant students wishing to remain in the country in the event that their classes take place online despite the federal government’s recent announcement regarding changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program barring such activity, the College’s Administration has begun talks on how to support these students to provide “hybrid-model,” or in-person classes for them. More information will be released when it becomes available, education officials said.

BCC also plans to provide an operational guide to the fall 2020 semester containing literature about procedures, services and protocols, which will also be made available for students, faculty and staff.

To register for classes or to see a full list of available offerings, go to Bergen.edu/register or email registration@bergen.edu for assistance.