Posted: August 17, 2020
MCC Offers Tuition Aid to COVID-Impacted Students; College Teams Up with National Tech Firm to Enhance Virtual Learning; Flexible Schedules for Students
When Manchester Community College launches its fall semester on August 31st, there will be a number of enhancements available to students to help them navigate through the challenges of the pandemic. From free tuition to hybrid course offerings to exciting new technology, this semester promises flexibility and wide-ranging options for those pursuing associate degrees or enrollment in certificate programs or individual classes.
There is new help available for students trying to figure out how to pay for community college during these difficult times. As part of the CARES Act, federal funds have now been made available to families who, because of COVID-19, are facing new challenges in trying to pay for college. This money is for tuition support for the fall of 2020 – for both current and new students, and can be used in all of MCC’s programs, including Workforce Development Center classes. Many programs offer short-term certificate options which are building blocks to associate degrees or can be stand-alone professional credentials that can assist in employment. As of August 10th, more than $200,000 has been awarded to MCC students.
“MCC has struck a balance between minimizing risk and maximizing educational opportunities,” explains MCC President Brian Bicknell. “Many of our “lab” classes, which require hands-on learning, will move forward as planned on campus. Students in HVAC, Welding, Automotive and some Advanced Manufacturing labs will return to physically distanced classrooms, with required masks for everyone’s safety. We will also offer hybrid programs that combine the best of in-person and online learning. And we will offer numerous classes that are 100% remote/online options. Our goal is to cater to the needs and challenges of all of our students in a way that empowers them to decide the best pathway.”
MCC’s popular student clubs and organizations will resume this fall, meeting remotely. In addition, faculty and staff are available online to answer questions and concerns and to solve problems as they arise. Recognizing these are uniquely difficult and stressful times, MCC will also offer telehealth options for students facing unique needs or crisis.
To enhance the learning opportunities, the college has partnered with a national firm, EON Reality, to offer remote augmented reality (AR) virtual reality (VR) to its Computer Science program. By enabling students to use remote VR and AR solutions through their cell phones, tablets and computers, MCC’s educators will offer sophisticated and realistic “hands-on” lab work without needing students to physically learn in classrooms.
“We believe this additional delivery method will make labs, lessons and demonstrations come alive and become more interactive and engaging for students,” says Peter La Monica, Computer Science Department Chair. “We believe this technology will transform online classes into a uniquely fun and engaging class experience.”