ASOC shares remote academic programs for first years ahead of college announcement

Thorne Hall at Occidental College. Sarah Hofmann/The Occidental

This fall Occidental College will offer first-year students access to Oxy Immersive, a completely remote 8–14 unit program combining coursework and community-based internships, according to a campus-wide email from Associated Students of Occidental College (ASOC) vice president of academic affairs Oli Vorster (junior). 

Vorster’s email comes a day before Occidental will provide a comprehensive update on its plans for the fall. According to the program description, the courses will rely solely on remote instruction. Vorster wrote that the college should provide further information in their coming announcement July 15. 

First-year students will be able to choose from four programs: Arts in Los Angeles, Computing IRL, California Environment & Conservation Corps and PPE Portrait Project. Each semester-long program will fulfill two to three core requirements, according to the program descriptions. Students enrolled in Oxy Immersive programs may also choose to enroll in additional Occidental courses, up to 18 total units.     

According to the Oxy Immersive program page, all first-year students will be able to enroll in one of the four program offerings with preference given to students who are unable to reside on or near campus. First-year students have until July 28 at 4 p.m. (PST) to indicate their interest and ranked program preference. After the initial deadline, admission will be on a rolling basis until the program is filled. 

Arts in Los Angeles is a 12–14 unit program featuring courses taught by professor of art and art history Amy Lyford, professor of theater Sarah Kozinn and professor of art and art history Kenturah Davis, with the option to add a 2-unit internship at OxyArts to help with the “In Plain Sight” project.

Computing IRL ranges between 8–12 units, including an internship placement with a LA-based non-profit organization, taking courses in the computer science department and an optional Cultural Studies Program (CSP) course.

California Environment & Conservation is 12 units of coursework that includes an internship with a Southern California environmental organization in addition to coursework in the biology department and a CSP course. 

PPE Portrait Project 12-units course offerings will further the 2014 project created by professor Mary Beth Heffernan to engage the project in their hometowns or a current location in addition to a CSP course, according to the program website.        

Tuition for enrollees in the Oxy Immersive program will be based on the college’s normal rates. Full-time students taking 12 units or more will be eligible for full financial aid and part-time students taking less than 12 units will be eligible for partial financial aid. 

As of today the college still plans to begin the academic year August 24 offering a hybrid model of instruction with both in-person and online coursework and a reduced on-campus capacity. President Harry J. Elam Jr. is expected to provide his update to the community via email.