Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are students required to attend every class session?
Yes, attendance is strongly encouraged. Our classes are about 2-3x a week for a month because our mission is to foster a safe space for students to bond and make friends, which requires consistent time. If you are unable to make this commitment, we invite you to participate in other ways, such as our program-wide activities!
Can students sign up for multiple classes?
Yes! This depends on the overall demand and popularity of the class(es) you wish to take. On our sign-up form, you can note how many classes you would like to enroll in. At Connect-In-Place, we try our best to place students in classes based on their preferences and what we can offer.
Do lessons build on themselves each week?
Yes! Our instructors work to form stronger relationships with your students each week. A basic understanding of each course will be established in the first week of class. Then, students' understanding will be expanded upon each class session thereafter.
My student struggles to stay focused online.
What is Connect-in-Place doing about this?
All Connect-in-Place instructors will be encouraging students to talk and participate in class. Instructors will also be using active learning methods like icebreakers, breakout rooms, polls, and games! Our priority is for classes to be fun and engaging for students. If students have feedback on how instructors can improve their classes, they can reach out directly to their instructors, or leave feedback on an anonymous form released near the end of each session.
How do you screen your instructors?
Every instructor at Connect-in-Place has been thoroughly vetted and has undergone an extensive application, interview, and training process. In fact, each instructor was asked to teach something in their interview! The instructors at Connect-in-Place were hand-picked based on the following criteria: demonstrated expertise in their area, passion for supporting students, technological expertise, and situational awareness.
All Connect-In-Place instructors are college students or recent graduates of UC Berkeley or other accredited universities. We recruited through reputable clubs within these universities, as well as thorough word-of-mouth with personal connections. No instructor is a stranger. All instructors have prior experience mentoring and/or educating students.
What measures have you implemented to
prevent "Zoom Bombing"?
Instructors implement the Waiting Room security feature on Zoom. When students click on a Zoom link, they will be notified that they are in the Waiting Room. Instructors will then manually add attendees to join the meeting, no one is automatically admitted. Instructors have rosters and will only admit those who are on their list of students.
How much does each class cost?
Classes are free, with a suggested donation of $10 per week. 100% of donations go towards buying laptops and internet connections for students in need. If you are interested in donating, you can do so below:
If you work for a company that would like to get involved in this effort by donating/sponsoring, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What sort of program-wide activities are you planning?
We are planning on game nights, movie nights, career panels, guest speakers, a talent show, contests, and more! See our events tab for past events and make sure to follow our social media and join our email list to be notified of upcoming events.
I am super excited about this effort! How can I help out?
Outreach: We want to expand our program to reach as many students affected by COVID-19 as possible. Please continue sharing our information and flyer with parents, students, and schools. Also, please post us on your local facebook groups and school newsletters!
Professionals: If you have any experience working in the fields of accounting, business, law, or are skilled in scaling nonprofits, please contact us!
Be a Guest Speaker: We would also love to have some professionals as guest speakers for our career panel, so please reach out if you’re interested!
Corporate Sponsorship: If your organization is interested in sponsoring Connect-in-place or supporting us in other ways, please reach out to us!
Donate: We are raising money to provide laptops, hotspots, or other digital infrastructure to low-income students, to increase accessibility of online learning. 100% of donations will go towards this cause!
Are classes separated by age group?
Yes. We will have separate classes offered to middle schoolers and high schoolers. This will be reflected in the class schedule.
What days and times will classes be offered?
Classes are offered every week day and on weekends. During the week, most of our classes are offered after school hours in Pacific Standard Time (PST), however some are offered at other times, as we have instructors and students from all over the world.
How did Connect-In-Place Start?
Danielle and Saumya are close friends who met on the first day of Berkeley-Haas Orientation (Haas is the business school at UC Berkeley). They are both deeply committed to supporting social causes, and are passionate about supporting educational ventures. Both Danielle and Saumya have experience in education, startups, and social enterprise. When UC Berkeley closed its campus and classes moved online as a result of COVID-19, they recognized how socially isolating this pandemic is for students, and how it would disproportionately affect underserved communities. They were motivated to find solutions, and so, in May 2020 Connect-In-Place was born! Although the world is now recovering from the pandemic, the educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic remain, and CIP remains committed to helping to solve them.