Media Mentions for March 30, 2020

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu. If possible, please include a link to the piece and information about where and when it was used.

Please note access to some stories may be limited by paywalls set up by the media outlet. This includes the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which limits free clicks to five per month. You may also read Record-Eagle articles in the print edition at the Osterlin Library.

NMC postpones commencement ceremony, changes plans for exams
UpNorthLive, March 25 (more…)

Important Message to Staff, Student and Supplemental Employees Regarding Your Pay (1 of 2)

To all staff employees, supplemental employees, and student employees,

Through April 13, the college will continue to pay you for your regular or scheduled hours, whether or not you are working.

Last week President Nissley informed you the college would be “closed for all but essential functions” through the end of March. Since then, Governor Whitmer has issued an executive order requiring that all but essential employees “Stay Home, Stay Safe” until April 13 to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As President Nissley shared with you recently, the college is working to be resourceful, flexible, creative, and compassionate during this time of great challenge. This includes choosing to extend the period you will be paid during this initial pandemic response and seeking additional resources. 

IMPORTANT:  Please watch for an upcoming message today with directions on HOW to record your time during this period.

We will be back in touch with you soon about plans starting April 14.

Please check our information hub for regular updates and FAQs: NMC.EDU/CORONAVIRUS

Please continue to watch your email for further notifications. Your questions are welcomed and should be addressed either to your direct supervisor or to the HR team.

Thank you,
Mark

Mark Liebling
AVP of Human Resources
1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 995-1342

Important Message to Staff, Student and Supplemental Employees Regarding Your Pay (2 of 2)

To all staff employees, student employees and supplemental employees,

This is a follow-up message to help you understand how to record your time from April 1- April 13.

Effective April 1, all staff (including salaried), student and supplemental employees will be asked to record their scheduled, non-working time in ADP using the ‘COVID-19’ leave code (hourly employees were first asked to do this on March 18).

This is important because;

  • this COVID-19 designated time will count toward the provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that provides all employees with two weeks additional leave for COVID-19 related absences, and 
  • also through the FFCRA, there may be important tax credits available to the college for costs associated with employee pay during this period. While this will not impact the employee’s pay, it may help the college receive reimbursement for pandemic-related costs.

All Hourly Employees

  • Please continue to use the COVID-19 Pay Code to categorize scheduled time you were unable to work due to the closure on your timecard. This might include sick time, reduced availability due to school or daycare closures, home technology constraints, lack of work that can be performed remotely, etc. All such hours will be paid as scheduled.
  • Please code time actually worked (including telecommute) as normal.

All Salaried Staff Employees 

  • Beginning April 1, please follow the usual time off request process but use the “COVID-19” leave designation for any time unable to work due to the closure. This might include sick time, reduced availability due to school or daycare closures, home technology constraints, lack of work that can be performed remotely, etc. (A step-by-step visual guide of the ADP time off request process is attached for reference.)
    • For example, if during your work day you reply to work emails for two hours, attend two hours of zoom meetings and spend 4 hours caring for your children who are home because of closed school, please use the COVID-19 code in ADP to record those 4 childcare hours. 
    • Another example, if your job at the college is primarily done in person, e.g. answering calls, and you cannot do that work from home, please use the COVID-19 code in ADP to record your scheduled hours. 
  • Employees who continue to work full schedules from home without limitation do not need to take any action.
  • Using the COVID-19 code for time off will not affect your pay or reduce your vacation or sick balances.

Supervisors can perform the functions above on behalf of their employees, if needed. If you have any questions or problems please contact payroll@nmc.edu.

Thank you and have a safe and quiet weekend,

Mark

Mark Liebling
AVP of Human Resources
1701 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 995-1342

Requesting Time Off in ADP

Virtual Online Visits through Priority Health – Please Review

Please read the following information regarding access to free screening for COVID-19, and virtual visit followup.

Priority Health recommends beginning your health screening with a free virtual screening through a phone call to (616) 391-2380 (Spectrum Health).  Once you have discussed your symptoms and situation, it will be determined if you should be referred to a Virtual Visit Online.

  • Who should call? Any one can call the screening hotline at (616) 391-2380 completely free.
  • When should you call?  Priority Health says- Fever-Cough-Breathing Difficulty.
  • Who is covered for a Virtual Visit Online? Those employees who have NMC’s Priority Health coverage.
  • What will the cost be for the Virtual Visit Online?  The Virtual Visit Online will be covered at 100% for both the Core and High Deductible plans.  You will have no out of pocket costs for this service during the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Why should I use this process to access primary care visits?  The CDC, along with the health care system, are asking those who may need care due to possible coronavirus issues to follow these steps so you are not risking yourself or others to covid-19 exposure.
  • How do I access the Virtual Online Visits? https://employees.nmc.edu/depts/human-resources/total-compensation/priority-virutal-visits.pdf

Please direct any questions to Hollie DeWalt at (231) 995-1350 or hdewalt@nmc.edu.

A message of thanks to our NMC family (Video)

Good afternoon NMC family,

As NMC prepares to head into Spring Break following several challenging weeks, I wanted to connect, reflect and look forward with you “in person.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for all of us and we are all working together to build new solutions to keep our students, employees and community safe, while minimizing the disruptions to student learning as best as we can. I hope Spring Break gives you an opportunity to rest and relax (while following CDC guidelines) so you can finish the semester strong.

As a reminder, you can continue to find the latest information on NMC’s response to the pandemic and resources to help you at nmc.edu/coronavirus. There you will also find a feedback form if you have any questions or need help; our response team will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thank you,
Nick

Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College | 231.995.1010

New NMC site makes it easier to find program and course information

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwestern Michigan College has launched a new academic catalog website at catalog.nmc.edu that offers more comprehensive and coordinated program and course information and requirements in an easy-to-navigate format.

The new catalog site will serve as a single source for NMC students to find detailed program requirements, course descriptions and course sequence guides, while providing a common location for NMC employees to update information and submit new programs and courses and acting as the college’s official catalog of record going forward.

Over the coming weeks, much of the specific program and course information on the public website at nmc.edu will be redirected to the new site at catalog.nmc.edu, with links to specific program requirements and course sequence guides on the new site from each main program page on nmc.edu. In the meantime, look to the new site first for the most current catalog and curriculum information.

Release date: MARCH 26, 2020

For more information:

Brian Heffner
Director of Academic Affairs
bheffner@nmc.edu
(231) 995-1014

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

Finals to be held remotely, Commencement postponed

TRAVERSE CITY — As Michigan continues to try and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern Michigan College today announced it will not return to face-to-face classes for exams this semester and  will postpone its 2020 Commencement ceremony.

On March 13, NMC canceled face-to-face classes through April 27, the last week of the semester, when final exams are scheduled. Students will now not return to campus for exams. Instructors will make arrangements between now and then and communicate directly with students.

The 2020 Commencement ceremony, originally set for May 2, will either be delayed until August or a double ceremony held in May 2021.

In compliance and support of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay home, stay safe order, all NMC’s campuses are closed through April 13. This includes the Dennos Museum and the Hagerty Center. All events are canceled through mid-May, including the NMC Barbecue originally scheduled for May 17. See a complete list of cancellations here.

Release date:

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

COVID-19 important updates: Commencement & Spring Semester

Good afternoon NMC community,

Throughout the last few weeks the college has had to make a lot of important decisions quickly in an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these decisions have been difficult, but the goal remains to keep you safe while limiting the impact on learning as much as possible.

Today we have two new important updates to share with you:

  1. NMC will not return to face-to-face learning this semester and will continue online learning. On March 13, NMC canceled face-to-face classes through April 27, the week final exams were scheduled. Now, students will not return to campus for exams. Instructors will determine details for final exams and communicate directly with students as soon as possible.
  2. Commencement will be postponed. The May 2, 2020, commencement ceremony will either be delayed until August 2020, or a double ceremony will be held in May 2021. We will continue to communicate with you as the situation evolves.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for all of us. Thank you for your patience, as we continue to work together toward solutions to these new challenges. You can continue to find the latest information on NMC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resources to help you at nmc.edu/coronavirus. There you will also find a feedback form. If you have any questions, or need help, we will get back to you within 24 hours.

NMC Public Relations

COVID-19 update for all employees: “stay at home” order

Dear employees:

As our state continues to try and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, today Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay home, stay safe order. 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 for two additional weeks, through at least April 13.

College employees are already categorized into essential and non-reporting/on call classifications. HR will contact all essential employees with more detailed information today about this “stay at home” order. 

Faculty are essential employees and will continue teaching their classes virtually, with no course/lab work permitted on campus. 

Virtual instruction of classes are scheduled to continue through April 27. You can also see a complete list of canceled events here. The college will announce a decision on commencement and the remainder of the semester’s activities this week. 

For those who do not need to report to campus at this time please follow these stay at home safety guidelines:

  • Don’t leave the house unless you absolutely have to. 
  • Don’t socialize with people outside your family.  
  • You are allowed to go outside for essentials like groceries or prescriptions, but you should limit those trips to no more than once a week if possible. 
  • You can visit someone if you are their caregiver. 
  • You can walk the dog or exercise outside (for brief periods) as long as you keep a six-foot distance from others. 
  • Avoid face to face contact, especially in close up and confined spaces.
  • Who should do this? Everyone who lives in an area with a mandatory shelter-in-place order.

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 check here for the latest information.

Team Excellence and Staff Excellence Awards deadline extension

To allow time continued time to acknowledge the great work of our colleagues, the deadline for Staff Excellence and Team Excellence Awards has been extended through April 24, 2020. Please continue to submit your nominations by clicking on the award above. Thank you!

Deadline extended – NMC required compliance training

To reduce stress for instructors and those supporting the shift to online classes, NMC required compliance training is now due on April 30, 2020. Please complete these trainings as soon as you have capacity in your workload.

Click here to access your training modules (MyNMC > Talent Portal > Learning tile)
*Note: Use the Google Chrome or Firefox browser.

For assistance, please create a HelpDesk ticket by going to helpdesk.nmc.edu or calling 995-3020.

Thank you for keeping NMC legally compliant, for keeping our campus safe, and for making NMC a great community!

Media Mentions for March 23, 2020

The following college events and stories have appeared in the media in the past week. We want to share your media involvement too. Please send information about your NMC-related interview or appearance to publicrelations@nmc.edu. If possible, please include a link to the piece and information about where and when it was used.

Please note access to some stories may be limited by paywalls set up by the media outlet. This includes the Traverse City Record-Eagle, which limits free clicks to five per month. You may also read Record-Eagle articles in the print edition at the Osterlin Library.

NMC cancels barbecue, closes all campuses
Record-Eagle, March 17
UpNorthLive
9&10 News (more…)

COVID-19 update for NMC employees

Dear faculty and staff — Thank you for your flexibility and patience this week as we transition face-to-face classes to online, shift most college operations to remote work, and help make sure our essential functions can continue as we all try to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19.) As you know, NMC has closed all campuses through March. We are monitoring the pandemic and meeting daily with the Grand Traverse County Joint Operations Center. We will continue to update you on the public health situation as it evolves.

NMC’s values are our guiding principles and they are on full display at this time, especially trust, agility and valuing all people. NMC’s goal is to keep students, faculty and staff healthy and safe while minimizing the disruption to learning.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES

During this planned closure through the end of March, the college committed to making sure all employees will be paid. Thank you to supervisors for communicating the details from Human Resources with your employees about their specific circumstances.

To help keep our employees and students safe while all campuses are closed:

  • NMC Facilities personnel continue to clean classrooms, offices and common areas in accordance with protocols from health officials
  • Security continues to monitor campus for safety
  • Screening criteria for essential employees to enter buildings to retrieve equipment or supplies is posted at building entrances
  • Students are not allowed in any buildings and can call security if they need something from inside 

We recognize that this is an anxious and stressful time and want to remind you that we have free, confidential counseling available through our Employee Assistance Program. Cheryl Rogers at our partner agency, Catholic Human Services, can be contacted at (231) 947-8387.

FOR INSTRUCTORS

Thank you for committing to communicate with your students by the end of today as to how they will deliver their coursework through the end of the semester. We recognize this is a major undertaking in an extremely tight timeframe. Many students — and perhaps faculty too — are nervous about their ability to succeed in an online environment. If you need help, submitting a help desk ticket to the EMT team is the most efficient way to get assistance.

For more faculty information, click “Keep Teaching” on nmc.edu/coronavirus. This includes resources like:

  • Hosting virtual classes or office hours through Zoom or Google Meet (formerly Hangouts)
  • Online Library Services
  • Proctored Exam Alternatives

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER

This public health crisis is an unprecedented situation for all of us and there will likely be more changes ahead. We will continue to communicate with you along the way. As we get updates and changes, we post them first on nmc.edu/coronavirus. Please check here for the latest information.

coronavirus page

Thank you for your commitment to NMC. We remain committed to you. We hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

COVID-19 Update from the President

Dear NMC Family,

This week we saw the COVID-19 virus continue to spread and the health consequences reach heightened levels. With the shelter-in-place order in the San Francisco Bay Area and the closing of the US-Canada border, the world surely seems a little darker. But, we’ve also seen numerous executive orders designed to keep us safe, and a federal stimulus package that’s designed to fuel an economic recovery. It is also the end of our first week of transitioning from face-to-face to online learning. While everyone might expect that to be an incredible hurdle, our faculty and staff have boldly accepted the challenge. Departments like our Educational Media Technologies have been there to aid our faculty, and Student Success Coaches have continued to support student success by shifting to virtual coaching. Of course it’s not perfect. And, truth be told, we will experience challenges and conflict as we move ahead. But, that’s the good news. That’s a sign that we care deeply and want to get it right for our students.

When the founders of NMC created our college, it was to meet a need. They didn’t have a set of directions, but had to customize our college to serve our community. We share that same entrepreneurial spirit in our DNA today. The characteristic that defines the NMC family, which I am seeing so clearly during this time of unprecedented stress, is our resourcefulness and our possibilitarian nature. We believe that together, we can achieve more than was originally imagined. That has been the role of community colleges in our society – to serve as epicenters of hope. I’d like to share with you how the NMC Family is doing that. Some examples that I’ve seen this past week, that make me so proud.

  • After we closed the campus Tuesday, Library and Learning Services staff set up a system for students to pick up laptops, internet hot spots and lab course materials outside, so that students can have the tools they need to continue their classes. The staff have creatively figured out how to adhere to social distancing recommendations while minimizing disruption to student learning.
  • Similarly, our Student Life staff have found innovative solutions, to ensure that even though campus is closed, our most vulnerable, food insecure students, can have access to our Food Pantry. Student Life staff have bagged up groceries and personal care items for curbside pickup for students in need.
  • Our Residence Life staff are listening to heartbreaking situations, of students living in the campus apartments who have lost jobs and are now unable to pay rent. Staff are responding compassionately and suspending policies to ensure that our students can remain in campus apartments, even when rent goes unpaid, during this crisis.
  • As some students have chosen to leave our dorms, to go home to be with family, I watched our Residence Life staff help these students carry heavy loads to waiting cars. Heavy lifting is being done literally and figuratively by so many in our college community!
  • We are also keeping the business of the college working at this time with increased efforts from our custodial, maintenance and business office staff to ensure our college is safe and our operations continue.
  • Many of our employees and students work outside of the college as first responders – from nurses in the hospital ER to health care workers in locked-down nursing homes. While employees continue to serve our students, they are also serving the health care needs of our community, keeping others safe.
  • Not only are we taking action, we are also listening. An ombudsman virtual office has been established by Student Services, to ensure that student concerns are understood and addressed individually and systemically. This is a great example of seeking ways for the student voice to be heard directly during this crisis.

Yes, it’s easy to see the darkness that surrounds us this week. But, I’d counter, it’s also easy to see the truly ‘above and beyond’ efforts of our NMC family. Our faculty/staff/students are proving that the possibilitarian spirit is alive and well at NMC. Our campus community is being resourceful, flexible, creative, and compassionate as they seek to serve our students and community during this time of great challenge.

I am a believer of the leadership maxim, begin with the end in mind. A staff member reminded me this week, as she looks ahead, asking herself what might come of this, she suggested, “I really think that this time has bigger gifts that will emerge for us all in how we care for each other.” I also believe that we will grow stronger and closer through this experience. So, let’s keep pulling together.

We will overcome.

Nick

Nick Nissley, Ed.D. | President | Northwestern Michigan College | 231.995.1010

Priority Health – Accessing Online Visits and COVID-19 Preparations

Accessing Online (virtual) Visits

 Log into your Priority Health Account > Go To My Health Care on the top ribbon > Video Visit with a doctor

COVID-19 Preparations

If you need to prepare for extra medication (beyond a 30 day refill) please contact Priority Health to see how they can assist- 800-956-1954.

See Priority Health’s COVID-19 public information page HERE.