Free community COVID-19 testing this weekend

Good afternoon NMC community,

The Grand Traverse Community Health Department, Michigan National Guard and Michigan State Police are coordinating to offer free COVID-19 testing for any Michigan resident interested in being tested. The testing will take place Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Turtle Creek Stadium, home of the Traverse City Pit Spitters, located six miles south of Traverse City off of U.S. 31. Test results are expected within 3-4 days.

Thank you,
NMC Public Relations

Tugboat to expand GLMA’s sea time options and credentials

The tugboat Mississippi in ClevelandThe GLMA tugboat Mississippi crew in Cleveland about to get underway. From left to right: Ryan Anderson (Engine), Zach Drenth (Deck), Dan Zassick (Mate), Cary Godwin (Captain). (download a high-resolution version here)TRAVERSE CITY — A new vessel, the tugboat Mississippi, will join the Great Lakes Maritime Academy’s fleet on a leased basis next week, increasing cadet options for completing sea time requirements as well as the credentials they receive at graduation.

Captained by Cary Godwin, a GLMA crew of four departed from Cleveland today aboard the tugboat and are expected to arrive Sunday or Monday at NMC’s Great Lakes campus harbor.

Adding the Mississippi to the Academy’s fleet will offer greater assurance to Maritime cadets that they will be able to complete their required 360 days of sea time before graduation. Cadets complete their sea time requirements during three sea projects, the first of which is completed aboard the T/S State of Michigan, GLMA’s flagship vessel since 2002.

Many cadets accrue the remaining sea time aboard commercial vessels. However, berths on commercial vessels are increasingly difficult to obtain, said GLMA superintendent Jerry Achenbach. This is due to GLMA being at full enrollment, with at least 21 students on a waiting list for admission this fall.

The Mississippi will provide another option for cadets to earn sea time. It will also allow Maritime deck cadets to earn an additional endorsement enabling them to serve as a licensed officer on a tow vessel. This will substantially increase their post-graduation employment options.

“It would be great to come out of the Academy with pilotage and a towing endorsement. That’s going to be amazing in terms of job opportunities,” said Margaret Handel, a 2020 Maritime graduate who needs to complete just 35 days of sea time.

She had hoped to do so aboard a commercial vessel, but said the tugboat would be a great substitute, especially since the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more difficult to get sea time.

Cadet Zachary Ferguson agreed. He is set to graduate in 2021 and needs 96 more days of sea time.

“There’s lots of days we’re behind (due to the pandemic.) The tug is really going to help to try and make up those days. Every day counts,” he said.

In March, NMC trustees unanimously approved leasing the Mississippi for six months at a cost of $73,800. Including fuel ($100,000), insurance and instructor salaries, it will cost an estimated $188,000 to operate the tugboat this year.

As the state maritime academy of Michigan, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Northwestern Michigan College educates and trains deck and engineering officers for the U.S. Merchant Marine. Graduates earn a bachelor’s degree, and an unlimited tonnage/ horsepower merchant marine license. Read more about the Academy at nmc.edu/maritime.

Editors: If you would like to cover the arrival of the tugboat in Traverse City, text (231) 392-1800 to receive a more specific arrival time when it is known.

Release date: May 29, 2020

For more information:

RADM Jerry Achenbach
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Superintendent
(231) 995-1203
gachenbach@nmc.edu

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Financial Aid and COVID-19 FAQ

Here are some answers from NMC’s Financial Services department to frequently asked questions about financial aid during the coronavirus crisis.

Q: If I drop a class, will I have to pay financial aid back?
A: If you attended the class at least once, and then dropped it after the 100% Refund Date, we do not need to adjust aid for the semester — as long as you were still in at least one other class to the end of the semester.

Q: If I drop all of my classes, will I have to pay aid back?
A: If you withdrew from all classes, and had attended through at least 60% of the semester (example:  March 15 was 60% for spring 2020), aid for the semester does not need to be adjusted.  If you dropped or stopped attending prior to 60%, we may need to return aid.

Q: Can I be refunded my tuition and fees if I had to drop spring 2020 classes due to COVID-19 complications?
A: The refund date for the semester has already passed, but you can make a refund exception request using this form. We have streamlined the process and will not require additional documentation for COVID-19 related issues. Where possible, NMC will give retake credit for a future semester.

Q: Will I lose my future financial aid if I did poorly in spring 2020 or had to withdraw due to COVID-19 complications?
A: To continue financial aid, students need to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Read NMC’s SAP policy.  If you were suspended for aid, you can appeal for reinstatement for COVID-19 related complications.  If you are suspended from aid, you can then appeal:  Here’s how to submit an SAP Appeal.

Q: My 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was based on 2018 income.  Can my aid (Expected Family Contribution) be recalculated if I currently make less than 2018?
A:  If your loss of income has been going on for at least 10 weeks, you can complete an appeal form and provide documentation: Instructions for appeals.  Keep in mind that we need to count unemployment payments as income.

Q: How can I get help with expenses related to COVID-19 disruption?
A: Apply for emergency aid here: NMC Emergency Aid Application.

Q: How can I get help with tuition and fees for summer and fall semester?
A: Apply now for summer and fall scholarships: NMC General Scholarship Application.

  • Completing a FAFSA at StudentAid.gov will help you maximize your aid options. 

Questions? Contact us at sfs@nmc.edu.

Campus Closure Extended

Dear NMC Community,

As our state continues efforts to mitigate the health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order through June 12. To support this effort, and comply with the order, Northwestern Michigan College will extend the closure of all five of its campuses in Traverse City through June 12.

The Governor allowed some retail businesses and restaurants in northern Michigan to open May 22 as the state continues its phased approach to re-opening following a decline in new COVID-19 cases. This phased reopening also allows office work that cannot be done remotely to resume. If you have work that must be completed on campus please contact your supervisor and coordinate with Human Resources to ensure all safety protocols are followed. All work that can be done remotely, should be. Schools remain closed and there is no guidance for institutions of higher education.

NMC’s campuses will remain closed until further notice while the College continues to develop plans to return to campus work and face-to-face learning safely. Two committees are meeting regularly to assist with this effort. The College is also continuing to collaborate with the Grand Traverse County Joint Operations Center on a coordinated regional approach to managing the impact of COVID-19.

If you must come to campus, please wear a face mask, as specified in the Governor’s order. For more information and resources for working while campuses are closed, including instructions on campus mail pickup and delivery, please visit the “keep working” section of nmc.edu/coronavirus.

Following the Governor’s guidance, the college will begin taking a slow and deliberate approach to phased re-starting of some functions on campus. For the safety of our students, employees and community, it is essential that these guidelines are followed.

Summer semester is being delivered virtually with no course/lab work permitted on campus except for the police academy and dental assisting classes, which are allowed under the Governor’s order. You can see a list of canceled events here. The College is currently planning several possible scenarios for fall delivery of instruction including face-to-face, hybrid and virtual options. The goal is to communicate the finalized plans with you in early June.

This is an unprecedented and rapidly-evolving situation. We will continue to communicate with you to keep you safe and limit the disruption to learning as much as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your supervisor.

As we get updates and changes, we post them first on nmc.edu/coronavirus. Please continue to check here for the latest information.

 

Release date: May 26, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
dfairbanks@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1019

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Success Story: College’s compassion shines during pandemic

Lisa Blackford and Sarah Frankham photoSuccess Story: College’s compassion shines during pandemic

May 20, 2020

It’s often said that college opens doors for students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, two NMC students have had actual doors opened for them, as faculty and staff have shared their homes to students stranded by circumstance.

NMC instructor Lisa Blackford (right) and international student Sarah Frankham’s story began in mid-March, when Frankham (far right), from Bath, England, got sick just as Michigan began locking down. It wasn’t COVID-19, but a pretty bad flu. At the time, she was living with a local family with children. Wanting to limit the exposure to others, Blackford invited Frankham, a student in her social work class, to move into her home.

Liz Biehl photoMeanwhile, Library Services Director Kerrey Woughter invited student Liz Biehl (left) and her two children, ages 6 and 7, into her Traverse City home in March. Biehl had been living in Cadillac, working in Lake City and attending classes at NMC. Woughter got to know her as adviser to a student parent group Biehl started, and wanted to help her establish a better arrangement.

As the lockdowns continued, so did the living arrangements. Now it looks like Christmas before Frankham, who’s studying social work, can get home to England. In the meantime, the housemates by happenstance couldn’t be happier at how it’s worked out.

“She’s made this quarantine livable for me,” Blackford said.

Union Jack cake photoWhen Frankham celebrated her 37th birthday April 8, Blackford procured her requested ice cream cake, and even decorated it like the Union Jack flag. She’s also introduced Frankham to up north customs like grilling out and morel hunting. Frankham, meanwhile, cooked shepherd’s pie for Blackford and her husband, provided tech tips to Blackford as both finished the semester online, and has endeared herself to the couple’s three dogs.

“It’s really turned my time in the States around,” said Frankham, who found the adjustment to life abroad difficult when she first moved last fall. Beyond Blackford’s hosting, NMC loaned Frankham a laptop when hers broke. The NMC Health Services office helped her renew prescriptions when the pandemic forced her to extend her stay.

“NMC was brilliant with it all,” Frankham said.

Blackford said having a student around to discuss class material helped ease the sudden transition to remote learning for her.

“I felt like I was back in the classroom a couple times, so that made me excited,” she said.

At the Woughter home, Biehl and her daughters all stayed for about a month before Biehl found her own home in Traverse City as well as a new job at a Traverse City assisted living facility. Because Biehl works overnight shifts, her daughters stay at Woughter’s four nights a week, an arrangement they expects to continue through the summer due to the lack of daycare options in the area. Woughter agreed the situation has presented a silver lining to the pandemic.

“We fell in love with the girls,” said Woughter. And Biehl has already been asked to apply for management at her new job.

“There’s some really good momentum in her life,” said Woughter.

There’s one final bit of sparkle to the silver linings: Both Biehl and Frankham finished the spring semester on the dean’s list.

Campus Closure Continues

Dear NMC Community,

This afternoon Governor Whitmer announced some businesses in northern Michigan will be allowed to re-open Friday as the state continues its phased approach to opening the state following a decline in new COVID-19 cases.

This order is primarily aimed at retail and restaurant businesses and offices where work cannot be done remotely. Work that can be done remotely, should be. Schools remain closed and there is no guidance for institutions of higher education. NMC’s campuses will remain closed until further notice while the College continues to develop plans to return to campus work and face-to-face learning safely. Two committees are meeting regularly to assist with this effort. The College is also continuing to collaborate with the Grand Traverse County Joint Operations Center on a coordinated regional approach to managing the impact of COVID-19.

If you must come to campus, please wear a face mask, as specified in the Governor’s order. For more information and resources for working while campuses are closed, including instructions on campus mail pickup and delivery for NMC employees and information for NMC students, please visit the “keep teaching”, “keep learning” and “keep working”sections of nmc.edu/coronavirus.

Following the Governor’s guidance, the College will begin taking a slow and deliberate approach to phased re-starting of some functions on campus. For the safety of our students, employees and community it is essential that these guidelines are followed.

Summer semester will be delivered virtually, as announced on April 8. You can see a list of canceled events here. The College is currently planning several possible scenarios for fall delivery of instruction including face-to-face, hybrid and virtual options. The goal is to communicate the finalized plans with you in early June.

This is an unprecedented and rapidly-evolving situation. We will continue to communicate with you to keep you safe and limit the disruption to learning as much as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your supervisor.

As we get updates and changes, we post them first on nmc.edu/coronavirus. Please continue to check here for the latest information.

 

Release date: May 18, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
dfairbanks@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1019

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Police Academy, dental assisting classes resume under rigorous health and safety guidelines

Monte WhitePolice Academy recruit Monte White takes a defensive driving course at Camp Grayling May 18 (download a high-resolution version here)TRAVERSE CITY — Following strict health and safety protocols, police academy and dental assisting students resumed face-to-face training at Northwestern Michigan College this week in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s latest executive order, which amends the scope of previous orders to allow training for first responders and healthcare workers.

This instructional delivery began today and will allow 13 police academy recruits to complete their training in time for a state licensing exam on June 9, after which they will be eligible to go to work, increasing the ranks of first responders in communities across Michigan.

“I’m thrilled that we’re reopening,” said Police Academy Director Gail Kurowski “Most of these recruits have jobs waiting. A lot of area law enforcement agencies are hurting for new hires.”

Dental assisting students, meanwhile, began to make up 30 hours of chairside lab time lost when NMC shifted classes from face-to-face to online formats in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Divided into two five-hour shifts, the 13 students will complete their lab time by May 26. They will then have one clinical class remaining in June, in addition to summer internships, before taking board exams, now set for August.

“There are lots of safety protocols before they even come in the door,” said Health Occupations Academic Chair and Dental Assisting Instructor Beckie Wooters, who plans to work at least 12-hour days in order to compress the lab training into one week.

Dental students will use an app to check their symptoms at home. On campus, their temperatures will be taken and documented. They will be given masks, gloves, safety glasses and shields. Students would normally practice some procedures on each other, but not this year.

“We are only working on mannequins,” Wooters said. She said it’s important for students to make up the lab time now in order to be prepared for internships required this summer. Some students already are working at offices on the emergency procedures now allowed by the state. Wooters expects more to begin once elective dental procedures resume.

Police Academy recruits resumed their training at Camp Grayling, and will complete a four-day defensive driving class by Thursday. As with dental assisting, safety protocols include basic symptom screening for each recruit and instructor, and temperature readings using a no-touch digital infrared thermometer. In driving courses, recruits must also wear masks and gloves.

“I followed both OSHA and CDC guidelines and recommendations in forming my COVID-19 preparedness plan,” said Kurowski.

On May 26 recruits will return to NMC’s main campus for two more weeks of training in three areas: speed measurement, defensive tactics and criminal investigation. Some class days will stretch as long as 11 or 12 hours in order to complete the training as efficiently as possible.

For Defensive Tactics, where keeping a six-foot social distance is not possible, an N-95 mask will be required, as well as gloves and goggles. Except for that course and when in a vehicle, recruits and instructors must remain six feet apart during all training, including at meals and during breaks. They will occupy the same seats every day and work with the same partners to further minimize the opportunity for spread. Instructors will stagger break times to ensure the hallway and restrooms are not overcrowded.

“We are fortunate that the Governor’s order allowed these two programs to resume their activities,” said Stephen Siciliano, NMC Vice President for Educational Services. “Our Law Enforcement and Dental Assisting program students will be able to safely complete their course work, stay on track to complete their certificates and degrees, and fill needed professional positions in our communities.”

For more information on NMC’s Police Academy, visit nmc.edu/police.

For more information on NMC’s Dental Assisting program, visit nmc.edu/dental.

Release date: may 18, 2020

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
dfairbanks@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1019

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

NMC to host virtual Barbecue May 15-30

TRAVERSE CITY — For 64 years, community members, alumni and employees have gathered on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College every spring to celebrate and support the college at the NMC Barbecue.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NMC will hold the 2020 event as a “Virtual Barbecue” with a full slate of activities and programs usually offered at the on-campus event available online at nmc.edu/virtual-bbq.

Virtual visitors will find numerous activities, including:

  • Puzzles and activities to download
  • The Dennos Museum’s first-ever virtual gallery show
  • Performances from NMC music ensembles
  • Special barbecue recipes
  • Opportunities to show NMC pride via social media and email.

The NMC Barbecue, started in 1956 by Gerald Oleson and his wife Frances, the founders of Oleson’s Food Stores, has played an important role in the life of Northwestern Michigan College. It has raised more than $1.5 million s over the years, supporting nearly every program at the college and generations of students. 

Proceeds from each year’s event go to support college programs. Virtual visitors will have the opportunity to make an online donation. Funds raised will support student needs, which have increased due to the pandemic and subsequent economic fallout.

The 2020 NMC Virtual Barbecue will run through May 30 at nmc.edu/virtual-bbq.

Release date: May 15, 2020

For more information:

Rebecca Teahen
Executive Director, NMC Foundation
rteahen@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1855

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

GRASP Reading and Math K-8 Summer Program

Register now through June 4

GRASP is a popular at-home program that helps students (grades K-8) stay on top of math and language skills over the summer. Students complete one lesson a week for 9 weeks, June 20-Aug. 22 (about 5-6 pages per lesson) and mail it to the teachers who review, score, and mail them back to your child with encouraging guidance.

At a virtual Parent Start-Up Session, you’ll get an orientation and meet the teachers. All materials are mailed to your home at the start of the summer. Cost is $89 for either Reading or Math or $139 for a child taking both subjects. Registration details at nmc.edu/resources/extended-education/find-a-class/college-for-kids/grasp-details.html

New Podcast: #NMC Driveways

Driveways podcast logoHave you listened to the new podcast from NMC Extended Education? Two cars. Two mics. One driveway… Stories of the Northwestern Michigan College community.

Recent interviews include Dan Zassick of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, Lindsey Dickinson, Director of Advising, and Craig Hadley, Executive Director of the Dennos Museum Center.

Check it out at anchor.fm/nmcdriveways

NMC Foundation seeks $1M to meet emergency needs of students, college

TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwestern Michigan College Foundation will seek to raise $1 million to meet the emergency needs of both students and the college in response to challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds will come from donor support and enable student success by meeting immediate needs in three categories:

  • Student support, including scholarships, food pantry access and flexible funding for emergency needs;
  • Academic support, increasing capacity of key areas including the Writing & Reading Center and Educational Media Technology;
  • Program stabilization, including flexible funds to ensure programs will be able to continue to operate for the benefit of students and the greater community.

Since mid-March, when COVID-19 closed campuses and shifted spring semester classes from face-to-face to online, NMC has received more than 350 requests for emergency support from students. NMC has increased critical academic support and programs that benefit students — from lending computers and Wi-Fi hotspots to stocking the NMC Food Pantry.

“I have seen the incredible fortitude of our NMC community. The faculty and staff have stepped up to provide support to our students in new and unprecedented ways. Yet the need is still great,” said NMC President Nick Nissley. “Emergency funding will ensure the continuity of education for students facing tremendous adversity during these challenging times.”

Northwestern Michigan College has received some emergency funding that will be distributed to students through the federal CARES Act. However, this funding is significantly restricted. For example, CARES Act funding cannot cover tuition expenses.

“NMC has a longstanding history of being supported by the community. This college exists because the community decided that education is important to the well-being of the region,” said Rebecca Teahen, Executive Director of the NMC Foundation. “I am hopeful that our community will once again step up to ensure that an NMC education will remain accessible for all.”

All gifts to this effort will be included as part of the $35 million Be What’s Possible campaign launched publicly by the NMC Foundation in October 2019. To date, over $29 million has been raised.

The NMC Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Northwestern Michigan College. To help meet the immediate, emergency needs of NMC students and the college, make a gift at nmc.edu/give.

Release date: May 13, 2020

For more information:

Rebecca Teahen
Executive Director, NMC Foundation
rteahen@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1855

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Tutoring Options for Early Summer Semester 2020

Tutoring Services available to help you in your online learning.  We are offering a couple of options:

  • NetTutor Online Tutoring: Tutoring is available 24/7 in most subject areas. Visit this NetTutor link to access the subject list. Access NetTutor through Moodle:  Go to the online tutoring tab at the top of Moodle then choose the NetTutor link provided for log in access. This is a free service to NMC students.
  • ZOOM Tutoring meetings with NMC tutors: Drop in tutoring available during scheduled hours. We will offer assistance in MTH 131 and Chem 101-151 for May 11–June 12.

ZOOM Drop in hours for May 11–June 12:

  • Mondays: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 2–4 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 2–4 p.m. and 5–6 p.m.
  • Thursdays: 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Fridays: Noon-1 p.m.

Join Tutoring ZOOM Meetings at this link: nmc.ZOOM.us/j/2558122576 during the designated times above.

  • 1*1 Virtual scheduled meetings – Meet virtually with a tutor one-on-one during a scheduled time. To arrange this option, please email the Tutoring office at tutoring@nmc.edu. Please provide your name, the NMC class you need help with, and when you are available to meet. Please allow 24–48 hours for appointment to be arranged.
  • For additional help, check out the many other resources located on the Tutoring Resource page on Moodle under the Online Tutoring tab.

NMC’s rapid response relieves students’ financial pinch

TRAVERSE CITY — Moving rapidly to support students harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern Michigan College in three weeks distributed $142,800 in federal emergency relief funding and supplemented it with $43,000 in scholarship funds.

In late April, NMC received $1 million in federal funds designated for emergency student relief through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which must be spent by May 2021. NMC supplemented the federal money with $250,000 in scholarship dollars. Through May 8, 305 students had received an average of $608 each in combined federal and community-supported scholarship dollars.

Emergency relief funding has been awarded to 97 percent of applicants. Disbursements were made April 24, May 1 and May 8. Some students commented it was the first income they had received since mid-March, when Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order forced many businesses to close.

“The emergency aid from NMC came just in time,” said visual communications student Randi Upton, 33. Both she and her partner were laid off from their jobs in mid-March. Despite applying immediately, delays in unemployment benefits left their household of three, including Upton’s six-year-old son, without income for several weeks.

They have also taken advantage of other NMC services.

“I appreciate the help from the NMC food pantry and their efforts to give us food that is tasty and fun, like baked goods and fresh fruit. I am happy to be part of a college community that takes care of us,” said Upton, who also has received scholarships for student veterans.

“Seeing NMC reach out and do all they can to help has amazed me and has made me all that much more grateful to be a student here,” agreed student Kathryn Hockin, 21.

A 2019 culinary graduate, Hockin is now working towards her baking certificate and bachelor’s degree in business and lives with her husband and fellow student in an NMC apartment. She lost her job March 16 and her husband’s employer shut down before the month was out. Even though both worked, they were initially denied unemployment since they were full-time students. They have not received stimulus checks, either, and were draining their savings to cover monthly bills.

“I would like to reach out and give a huge ‘thank you’ to all that took part in deciding on this aid for me and my family. It’s such a huge help right now,” said psychology student Brandee Sasser-Drone, 35.

A mother of two, Sasser-Drone said she has been pursuing her degree for 10 years. This semester she and her wife have the added challenges of homeschooling and unsteady employment.

“I’ve fought my way here, and I never stopped trying. I’ve not had one semester that wasn’t a challenge for me due to something happening in my personal life,” she said. “This opportunity came at such a critical time for us and we’re so very grateful.”

Funds are available for food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care, while scholarship dollars can be used to cover tuition. Aid amounts are based on type of emergency financial need, prior known financial need, enrollment level, and availability of funds. Students can learn more here and apply for emergency funds online here.

 

RELEASE DATE: MAY 11, 2020

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
dfairbanks@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1019

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

Food assistance for students in career or technical education

Low-income college students in Michigan enrolled in career or technical education programs are eligible to receive food assistance benefits through a new State of Michigan initiative announced in early May. College students will now be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) if they meet income and other program requirements and are enrolled at least half-time in an occupational program that leads to employment under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the Twenty-First Century Act of 2018 known as Perkins V.

Students interested in applying for food assistance can go to michigan.gov/MIBridges. Verification of enrollment in a Perkins program must be provided by the student or may be requested from the postsecondary institution. Learn more about the Perkins Postsecondary CTE Program at michigan.gov/LEO-Perkins.

Success Story: Comprehensive college response

May 7, 2020

Just 50 days ago, Northwestern Michigan College closed its campuses to all but essential employees and shifted the last six weeks of spring semester classes from face-to-face to online. Here’s a look at the diverse and comprehensive response NMC has made to the pandemic, measured in people, dollars and time.

PEOPLE

2 Percent increase in summer enrollment vs. 2019, as of today. Summer classes begin next week and registration continues.

Callie Leaman2 Alumni traveled to work as nurses in New York City, the U.S. epidemic’s epicenter, including Callie Leaman (right)

15 Student families helped per week by the NMC Food Pantry

50 North Hall residents chose to quarantine there

61 Musicians played and sang in the NMC Virtual Choir’s production of Amazing Grace

79 Faculty and staff enrolled in NMC Teaching Solutions course to improve their skills in online instruction

115 Attendees at the International Affairs Forum virtual April lecture by Frank Langfitt of NPR

210 Students attended a virtual orientation for summer semester

227 Student requests for emergency aid (as of May 1)

291 People — alumni, friends, faculty and staff — donated to the NMC Foundation to help students with emergency needs like tuition, housing and groceries

600 Graduates in the Class of 2020

962 Current headcount for summer 2020 session, which will also be held online

3,000 Postcards sent to students to inform them of resources available remotely

DOLLARS

$634 Average amount awarded to students from both NMC scholarship funds and federal CARES Act dollars

$100,000+ Amount raised for culinary scholarships despite cancellation of A Taste of Success fundraiser in April

TIME

7 Days for faculty to shift face-to-face classes to virtual learning

30 Hours per week Educational Media Technologies (EMT) team spent on Zoom videoconference calls

40 Minutes average completion time for EMT to resolve a help request

TECHNOLOGY/OTHER

20 Wifi hotspots loaned to students to access online instruction

51 New online course sections added in the summer semester to offset the loss of the same number of face-to-face classes

70 Laptop computers loaned to students to access online instruction

400+ Technology Help Desk calls answered

Culinary Institute No. 8 in new, national earnings-to-debt rankings

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute has been ranked the No. 8 culinary program in the nation by GradReports in a first-of-its kind ranking based on median early career salary data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“We’ve always known GLCI offered a fantastic value proposition to our students,” said Culinary Institute director Les Eckert. “It’s gratifying to see that validated by these national rankings.”

GLCI was one of only two culinary programs in Michigan to make the top 25. GradReports rankings are the first to incorporate the Department of Education’s recently-released College Scorecard data on median alumni salary and median alumni debt by college major. This allows students to make a cost-to-benefit analysis before choosing a school and major.

GLCI offers both degrees and certificate programs, including its newest baking certificate. Kathryn Hockin is a 2019 culinary associate degree recipient who is now pursuing the baking certificate and a bachelor’s degree in business. She said that NMC scholarships have helped make her education even more affordable.

“NMC scholarships have played a tremendous role in allowing me to chase after my dreams without accumulating an overwhelming amount of debt. They have given me the courage and opportunity to take my education further than I could have ever hoped,” Hockin said.

Previously, in 2016, GLCI was named the No. 11 culinary school in the country by BestChoiceSchools.

GLCI is designed to provide rigorous and concentrated areas of study for students planning careers in the hospitality and food-service industry. Many of the Institute’s programs are accredited by the American Culinary Federation, one of fewer than 200 U.S. colleges to receive that distinction. Students are eligible to become ACF Certified Culinarians upon graduation. In 2004 GLCI moved to its current location on NMC’s Great Lakes campus, where facilities include Lobdell’s Teaching Restaurant. Find out more at nmc.edu/culinary.

 

RELEASE DATE: MAY 6, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Les Eckert, MBA, CEPC, CCE, AAC
Director, Great Lakes Culinary Institute at
Northwestern Michigan College
231-995-1197
leckert@nmc.edu

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

NMC earns gold-level distinction for service to veterans

Veteran friendly school logoTRAVERSE CITY — For the third year in a row, Northwestern Michigan College has been named a gold-level Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.

The designation was awarded for the 2019–2020 academic year.

“Your commitment to helping student veterans succeed was evident in your application,” said Sarah M. Mellon of the Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. “We commend your institution on its hard work and dedication to student veterans and dependents.”

To earn the gold designation, an institution must meet at least six of seven criteria. NMC met all seven:

  • Established process for identification of current student veterans
  • Veteran-specific website
  • Active student veteran organization or club
  • Veteran-specific career services, resources, advising, and/or outcome monitoring
  • On-campus veterans’ coordinator and/or designated staff point of contact
  • System to evaluate and award academic credit based on prior military training and experience
  • Monitoring and evaluation of student veteran academic retention, progress, and graduation rates

Scott Herzberg, POC, Military & Veteran Services, credited the broader NMC campus community for the distinction.

“This standard of excellence is a reflection of their endless contributions that reach far beyond my efforts,” Herzberg said.

About 5 percent of NMC’s student body are veterans or active duty military. Serving those who have served the nation has long been a priority for NMC, which established the office of Military & Veterans Services in 2012. For the last two years, Military Times has ranked NMC second in the nation among community colleges for its service to veterans.

 

RELEASE DATE: MAY 4, 2020

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Scott Herzberg
POC, Military & Veteran Services/Advisor
(231) 995-2526
sherzberg@nmc.edu

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY NOTICE

Northwestern Michigan College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, height, weight, marital status or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. nmc.edu/non-discrimination

White Pine Press wins 10 awards from Michigan Community College Press Association

Please join in applauding the inspiring and award-winning work of our White Pine Press staff, a talented and committed group that received 10 awards from the Michigan Community College Press Association this year. As Faculty Advisor Jacob Wheeler says, “This is a pretty good haul.”

  • Micah Mabey: Serious Column – FIRST PLACE – “The Unfortunate Truth of Anti-Semitism” (Jan. 24, 2020)
  • Winter Swamp: Original Cartoon – SECOND PLACE – “Different Names, Different Horrors” (Sept. 20, 2019)
  • Nick Moug: Critical Review – SECOND PLACE – “Reading Dante in Chaotic Times” (Dec. 6, 2019)
  • Ann Hosler: Critical Review – THIRD PLACE – “Shady Lady Book Review: Beyond the Limit” (Oct. 4, 2019)
  • Hannah Krohn: Original Comic, Entertainment – SECOND PLACE – “The Spooky Tale of the Directionally Dead” (Oct. 18, 2019)
  • Ann Hosler: Headline Writing – SECOND PLACE – “This Path is Paved in Words” (Nov. 15, 2019)
  • Ann Hosler: Photo Essay – HONORABLE MENTION – “Sushi Train” (March 22, 2019)
  • Stephanie Jones: Sports News Story – HONORABLE MENTION – “NMC Students Conquer Winter Baja Track” (Feb. 21, 2020)
  • General Excellence, Division 2 – SECOND PLACE – “Can I Kiss You?” (March 22, 2019)
  • Front Page Design – SECOND PLACE – “Can I Kiss You?” (March 22, 2019)

More information is located here:
The WPP Facebook page: facebook.com/thewhitepinepress/photos/a.289211801197141/2990463527738608
WPP Archive: whitepinepresstc.com/archive
Awards website: mccpa2020.wixsite.com/conference/categories