Westmont College announced on Thursday plans to switch to remote instruction starting Monday, becoming the latest of several local colleges and universities to take steps related to coronavirus concerns. 

Santa Barbara City College, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and California State University Channel Islands also announced changes.

Earlier this week, UCSB became the first in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties to take proactive measures aimed at creating social distancing to help slow the spread of the virus. 

The college announced plans to switch to remote learning and on Thursday postponed the All Gaucho Reunion, planned for the last week in April.

“Out of an abundance of caution for our alumni and our campus residents, we are canceling all of the scheduled AGR events,” said George Thurlow, assistant vice chancellor of alumni affairs. “We have hopes that these events can be rescheduled later in the year when the current public health situation has improved.”

Westmont College 

Citing the health and safety of students, faculty and staff as the highest priority, Westmont officials revealed plans to move to remote instruction beginning Monday and continuing through April 13. 

“With this shift in academic delivery, we’ll also restrict access to communal and residential living spaces and cancel all college events through April 13,” the Westmont statement said. 

Students will receive directions from Westmont Student Life officials about how they can retrieve their belongings or request permission to reside in campus housing for international students or those making special arrangements with supervisors for jobs on campus. 

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has canceled all winter national championship events.

All offices will remain open, and staff should report to work as scheduled. The college also is taking additional measures to clean and sanitize all public spaces and areas.

The temporary shift to remote instruction will not change the academic calendar. Final exams, the start and end dates for semesters, and commencement will remain the same.

The Westmont website will contain general, campus-wide updates, and posts will occur daily at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., available by clicking here.

Santa Barbara City College

On Thursday, SBCC announced that classes that are already state-approved to be offered online would begin transitioning to that format effective immediately.

“Students will receive further information from their instructor,” according to a statement.

Additionally, effective immediately, all nonessential public gatherings and events are canceled through April 15 with plans to extend the timeline if warranted.

For SBCC updates related to the coronavirus, click here

Allan Hancock College

Leaders at Allan Hancock College’s campuses in Santa Maria and Lompoc have started preparing contingency plans in the event that they need to switch to remote learning. 

The spring recess begins Monday and continues through March 20. 

Multiple college events planned through the end of March have been canceled, according to Hancock representatives. 

A full list of canceled events can be found by clicking here with a coronavirus update available here.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo 

Winter quarter will wrap up as planned this week with in-person finals next week, but Cal Poly students, faculty and staff can expect other changes after that, President Jeffrey Armstrong announced Thursday.

The university has extended spring break for a week and canceled several events, including the annual open house and rodeo in April.

Spring-quarter classes will begin April 6 with plans to offer classes virtually “if circumstances warrant.”

“This will allow faculty and staff the full week starting March 30 to prepare for virtual offering of courses and services,” Cal Poly officials said of the extended spring break.

Students will be alerted by March 25 whether Cal Poly plans to switch to remote learning classes.

“I want to reassure students and parents: We do not currently foresee any scenario under which Cal Poly would simply close and offer no spring courses. Unless things change very dramatically, spring classes will go forward and seniors will graduate,” Armstrong said in a video message.

The Poly Cultural Weekend scheduled for April 3-5 along with the annual Open House scheduled for April 16-18 and its rodeo and tractor pull have been canceled.

The university also will halt campus tours for prospective students through the end of spring quarter.

All Cal Poly athletic events will be fanless for at least the first half, and likely all, of spring quarter, officials said.

Campus upates can be found by clicking here.

CSU Channel Islands

CSU Channel Islands will begin to transition to virtual instruction after its spring break. 

University officials notified the campus community of the switch, saying it was “out of an abundance of caution” and after consulting health, education and student leaders.

Spring break will run March 23-29 with classes suspended March 30 and April 1-3 so faculty can adjust and prepare for virtual instruction.

The campus, like other state colleges and universities, will be closed March 31 for the Cesar Chavez holiday.

Mandatory virtual instruction will begin Monday, April 6 and continue through May 1, at which time CSUCI will reassess whether virtual instruction will continue for the remainder of the spring semester.

Information is available and will also be regularly updated on the university’s website available by clicking here

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at jscully@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.