Update for Employees

Good Afternoon, Northwest Family,
In these last weeks, as all of us have struggled to deal with the national emergency caused by the coronavirus, we here at Northwest have been focused on two important commitments – to provide our students with the quality education that we promised them, and to do so in as safe and healthy a manner as possible for students and employees.
These last weeks have been a major challenge for all of us.  In a very short period of time, we have all had to adapt to a new reality.  Our faculty have transformed all of their academic classes, and so many of our career and technical classes, into a completely online method of instruction.  This has been a monumental undertaking, and I want to thank all of you for your efforts. We have adapted our services to support this new instructional plan.  I want to thank all of our employees who have labored long and hard to keep our essential operations ongoing and adapt our instruction and support services to meet the challenge of this international health crisis.
Two weeks ago, the federal government issued its “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidance which our College has observed in transforming our operations.  On Sunday, President Trump announced that the government was extending that guidance until April 30.  Additionally, during this time, we have been working with our accreditors and other agencies to gain as much flexibility as possible in safely meeting our educational commitments.  
To that end, I want to announce some changes we are making this week in response to this ever-changing situation:
1.        Face to face academic classes will not resume this spring.  All course content will continue to be delivered online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Courses will follow the already published calendar for the spring semester.
2.        For Associate Degree Nursing students, all course content will also be delivered online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.  However, their semester will be extended by one week to make sure that all course material is covered. 
3.       For career and technical students, if a program has been moved totally online, it will continue online.  For those programs that needed students to return to a campus for lab experiences, such as welding, collision repair, aviation maintenance and some health science programs, campus labs are suspended until May 4.   With the cooperation of our accreditors and state partners, we have developed a plan to resume labs in May and teach throughout the month of May to complete those programs.  Important information about individual programs and new program schedules will be forthcoming to faculty and students soon.
4.       The residence halls will close for the remainder of the semester. Campus residents will receive an email message from the housing staff explaining when and how residents will be allowed to safely return to retrieve personal belongings. All residence halls and rooms will remain locked until then. 
5.       The College remains committed to serving all of our students and communities throughout this crisis.   We are equally committed to safeguarding the safety and health of our employees.  In the month of April, we remain available to help our current students to complete their studies.  Staff will remain in touch with prospective students and the general public on a daily basis through e-mail and by phone, and if needed, by appointment.   However, for safety reasons, we will be reducing the number of staff members working on a daily basis on our campuses.  Some buildings that are being utilized will remain secured during working hours.  Many of our staff will be working from home. 
The College’s leadership team will continue to stay in close touch with our state and federal partners and to monitor changing conditions around the state.  We will continue to adjust our plans as necessary and communicate with you. 
As all of us fulfill these plans to bring this unprecedented semester to a conclusion, I want to assure you that our work to get ready for the upcoming summer sessions and Fall Semester 2020 is ramping up.  Students are now registering online for summer and fall.  New communication plans and virtual tours are being developed.  We are adapting our marketing and recruiting plans to meet the challenges of an economic situation far different from what we anticipated just a month ago.  I know we all look forward to getting back to normal in the next few months!
Thank you again for your hard work, your patience, and most of all your concern for our students.
Dr. Michael J. Heindl
Telephone 662-562-3227 | mheindl@northwestms.edu
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