ARC’s spring schedule leaves welding students stranded once again

All ARC classes will be online in the spring, except for first responder training courses, which will leave welding students stranded for yet another semester


Students at ARC are preparing for another year online, but welding students will have to wait another semester to see if classes will be offered for them. Only first responder training courses will be offered on campus during the Spring 2021 semester. (Photo courtesy of

American River College verified that the 2021 spring semester will be online—just as the fall 2020 semester has been. This will affect every student differently, but some will be left with very few options. Though first responder courses will continue to be in-person, the campus hasn’t added any other hands-on courses for the upcoming semester.

Though the majority of students will be able to adjust to online classes, students in more hands-on classes such as those in the welding department are going to be stranded for yet another semester.

This is obviously in response to the raging pandemic we are all still currently facing, so even if we moved certain classes back to an in-person platform, students would be required to wear masks and socially distance as much as possible.

But even with these requirements it would be extremely beneficial for students to advance further in their academic careers rather than get straight into the welding industry. Though welders don’t necessarily need a college degree to get a related job, most who make it their careers would be smart to get one. Welding students need to be given the opportunity, just the same as all students, to advance their academic careers and graduate in their respective field.

The only classes that will be offered in person at ARC next semester are going to be classes that train first responders or those that would have a significant amount of health impact to the community.

So why is it important for the college to get students the hands-on training they need to be proficient in welding? The main industry that hires and employs welders is the manufacturing field, according to Florida Technical College. Without the proper training of these welders, students wouldn’t be able to make the proper welds for cars, machines, and other useful everyday items.

But some professions that focus on welding can be much more dangerous to the public if done wrong. If a construction worker’s weld were to break and the building were to collapse, the company and the employee would face massive repercussions.

Along with the importance of getting hands-on training back on track for these students, it would also allow students to have an additional benchmark as to what to expect for when students are allowed back to class. It would give us the ability to assess whether we would be ready or if more time was necessary.

There are a lot of things that are still up in the air as to how COVID-19 will impact us when the weather begins to get colder. Though it is important that we begin to get things back to normal and benchmarking could be beneficial, I am not condoning a disregard for the information.

There would need to be major measures taken to protect students, along with a swift and harsh move online if cases begin to build up within the school. We would need to be prepared for anything, but with enough attention to detail it could work.

COVID-19 has left every single one of us with some sort of short term stress. Whether it be your parents or it be financial, we all have had to find a way through the dark tunnel. The only difference is, if we don’t act fast, some of these students will have to deal with changing their entire careers.