Drive-In education: Wi-Fi access at CCC

Story by Laura Canida

For students this term, nothing has been business as usual.  The entirety of spring term has been online, with the exception of a handful of health sciences classes. This is in response to state-mandated efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To help students access classes online, especially for those that may not have access to Wi-Fi at home, the college has a few possible solutions. They have provided maps for the Wilsonville and Oregon City campus where Wi-Fi can be accessed while practicing safe social distancing guidelines. If you were unaware of these options for spring term, they will also be available for summer. Unfortunately, the Harmony campus does not have outdoor Wi-Fi.

You can find links to the maps on  www.clackamas.edu/coronavirus page under the “I don’t have internet access or a computer; what are my options?” section. 

According to the CCC website, the college is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and they plan to continue following the guidance of the Oregon Health Authority, Clackamas County Public Health Department, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the guidelines of the governor.

On April 8, Governor Brown extended school closures through the end of the current academic term and school year. In an email to Clackamas Community College staff on April 13, CCC President Tim Cook said “In light of this news and the likelihood of another extension, we have decided to continue our online learning through summer term.” This means all courses where possible will be held online, similar to spring term. 

“We are to teach online through June 13 and limit the number of people on campus through June 13. This means our buildings will remain closed to the public and everyone except critical employees will remain working from home through spring term” Tim Cook said in a message to students on April 14.

“Students may come to campus to use the Wi-Fi, but we request that they stay in their vehicles and practice safe social distancing. Technically our campus is not closed, but we encourage everyone to follow the governor’s mandate of staying home,” wrote Lori Hall, Executive Director of College Relations and Marketing, in an email.

If going to the Oregon City or Wilsonville campus for Wi-Fi is not an option for you, the college has provided a few other free or low-cost options for internet access for students.  

  • everyoneon.org  Site has an easy-to-search tool that connects people with local internet service providers (ISPs) who offer low-cost internet service programs.
  • Comcast’s Internet Essentials – Free for 60 days for qualified low-income families. Call 1-855-846-8376 for English or 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
  • Comcast is offering Xfinity Wi-Fi free for everyone, with hotspots available to all, including non-Xfinity subscribers. To access the service, look for the “xfinitywifi” network name in a list of hotspots. For more information, go to www.xfinity.com/Wi-Fi.
  • Spectrum Broadband – Free for 60 days to households with a K-12 student or college student who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households as well. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.

Tom Sonoff, Director of College Safety said in an email that they are encouraging students not to come to campus for any other reason, unless special arrangements have been made.

College Safety is on campus and working normal hours, so if you happen to be on campus, sitting in your car and a situation arises, contact a College Safety officer at 503-594-6650. If there is an emergency or you witness a crime in progress, please call 911.

The college will continue to update the www.clackamas.edu/coronavirus page with new resources and information.