by Chad Dull, vice president, MSC - SE
Like everyone in our communities, Minnesota State College Southeast is adjusting to the ever-changing “new normal.” I get asked regularly “Are you open?” and “Can I take classes on campus this fall?” The answer to the first question is, yes, we’ve been open all along. Our campus works a little differently, and we have had to offer services and classes in new formats, but we are open for students because we know college can make the difference in someone’s life. As for this fall on campus, let me tell you how we are working to make that answer “yes” as well.
There are students taking classes on campus at MSC Southeast right now, today. When we were allowed to plan for students to return to campus, we knew we had students who needed hands-on time to graduate and start their careers. We also knew it had to be as safe as possible. Following Minnesota Department of Health and CDC guidelines, we have been working program-by-program to make hands-on experiences possible for students who need them.
This summer, we are training truck drivers, radiographers, automotive technicians, welders, and students in other great career opportunities. It looks a little different sometimes, like an instructor using a CB radio to communicate with a truck-driving student on our driving range, or new handwashing stations, or six-foot spacing in labs, but we are finding ways to keep our promise!
These summer courses help us plan for fall. MSC Southeast has been a leader in online and distance education for many years, and we will still have classes offered via distance technology. But we know many of our programs require the learning that makes a technical college unique, so we are working on plans for on-campus instruction as well. When you come to campus you will see hand sanitizer stations in the hallways and some students in masks. You will see floor markings to indicate safe distances and larger classrooms that make it possible for students to physically distance. And we are sharing information about self-screening for students and staff so we can all monitor our health, keeping each other safe.
In short, you will see a college committed to the safety and well-being of its students and staff, as well as committed to creating opportunities to change lives.
So yes, we are offering classes at MSC Southeast this summer and fall. Yes, we are committed to making it safe for students to attend face-to-face classes when they need hands-on learning. Yes, we are ready to change and adapt as needed so we can help you achieve your educational goals. The MSC Southeast philosophy and culture is based on an idea we call #MSCSoutheastCares. Our culture of caring means we cannot wait to have you back on campus, and yes, we are doing everything we can to make that a reality. See you soon!