NORTHERN Marianas College welcomed close to 1,300 students to its Fall 2021 semester, which began Monday, Aug. 16. Despite the ongoing pandemic, the college said its enrollment is the highest it has been in recent years.
This year’s enrollment numbers are higher compared to the Fall of 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic started, NMC added.
“The increase in enrollment demonstrates that despite an ongoing pandemic, students are still eager to learn and are looking to NMC for their professional growth and development,” NMC President Galvin S. Deleon Guerrero said.
“The entire NMC team has been working hard over the last few months to ensure our students have a safe return to our campuses,” Deleon Guerrero said.
Last fall, the college offered 95% of its classes remotely. This fall, the college is offering 59% of its classes remotely, while 41% of its classes are offered with a face-to-face component.
On July 9 of this year, NMC announced that students who are taking classes in a face-to-face setting will be required to have the Covid-19 vaccine.
Students who wish to opt out of this Covid-19 preventative measure can still enroll at the college, however, they will only be allowed to take classes remotely (online, virtual, or virtual hybrid).
“The safety of our students has always been our number one priority here at NMC,” Deleon Guerrero said. “Ensuring that our students and employees are vaccinated allows us to uphold that.”
Currently, NMC said 71% of the college’s enrollees are taking classes with a face-to-face component, while 29% are taking classes exclusively remotely.
Students will also be able to enjoy a variety of welcome-week events hosted by the college’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership, NMC added.
Safety upgrades for NMC facilities
In addition to updating the college’s vaccination requirements, NMC has been working closely with the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force to ensure a safe and healthy return for its students.
Classrooms have been retrofitted with safety barricades and hospital grade air purification systems.
Since the pandemic started in 2020, the college has made multiple safety upgrades to its facilities. Upgrades include the installation of Plexiglas sanitation barriers at each office, the retrofitting of service counters at the admissions, financial aid, and finance offices, and the installation of touchless faucets, touchless flush kits, and touchless soap and towel dispensers.
In addition, the classrooms at NMC have been reorganized to maximize social distancing. For the fall semester, only 21 students and an instructor will be allowed in a classroom at a given time.
The college also plans to install more outdoor working areas for students.
The college also reminds its students and employees daily via email to self-screen for symptoms of Covid-19 or the flu.
All students, employees, and visitors must wear a mask at all times while on campus.
For more information about the college’s Fall 2021 semester, individuals can visit www.marianas.edu or call 237-6769.