Resumption of Classes
As our admissions team spends time talking with prospective students, one question continues to rise to the top: “Is Northwest Tech planning to be open for in-person classes in August?” It is my feeling that the time has arrived to address the question head-on, provide some context for our decision, and continue preparations to get back to the business of educating our students. The simple answer is; yes. We are planning to safely resume classes starting August 10th, 2020.
Safely Moving Forward
I am pleased to announce that we are moving ahead with our plans to teach in-person classes for the Fall 2020 semester on our campus in Goodland and our location in Gove County. We are planning to resume instruction on our previously scheduled date of August 10, 2020. The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff are the foremost concern for all of us, and we will be taking steps to return to campus in as safe a manner as possible in the fall.
We have built a Task Force of college employees, community members, and healthcare professionals to begin planning for the resumption of classes in August. The work of this task force has been to create as safe an environment as we can to provide the hands-on technical education that our students have come to expect.
Our decision to resume classes in the fall semester is a practical reality for our institution, students, and Northwest Kansas communities. Our students choose Northwest Tech because they desire a hands-on experience to learn essential trades that continue to be in-demand across our great state and nation. Every year, we train, graduate, and send students into business and industry across the region, many of which were already facing employee shortages before the pandemic. Failure to offer on-campus classes would have a ripple effect on students, employers, and the economy throughout our area that would be felt for years.
For many of our students, who come from Kansas, surrounding states, and beyond, our campus is among the safer locations they can choose to be during this school year. No community is immune from the impact of the pandemic, but we are fortunate to live in rural Kansas communities where the rate of transmission has been significantly lower than most areas of the country. While that can't guarantee the virus will never reach campus, as it likely can impact anywhere, it does provide some comfort in the fact that as a small school, we are more nimble than many other institutions can be. A smaller campus makes contact tracing, containment, and the relationship with local health care systems more readily accessible.
One size does not fit all in Kansas higher education. One of the advantages of being a small technical college with programs split between buildings across campus is our ability to adapt to the changing environment created by the pandemic. Many of our classrooms, shops, and facilities already allow us to be able to maintain appropriate social-distancing recommendations. When combined with other strategies we are implementing, we will work to provide the safest educational environment we can.
We will move forward and continue our mission of training the next generation of technical professionals. Our students, employees, businesses, employers, and the regional economy can afford nothing less. Thank you again for your determination and dedication to Northwest Tech! We have learned many great lessons over the past several months, and I would contend that we have grown stronger as an institution in many ways. Together we will press on and work towards a brighter future!
Ben Schears, President
Student Resources & FAQ
Please check back here often for the most up-to-date answers to frequently asked questions or concerns.
Don't see an answer to your question? Submit your own at the bottom of this page.
Is the college still operating?
Yes! In fact, we never stopped operating. We simply went into a remote working situation for a few months. Fortunately, we're back in the office and working steadily to prepare for classes this fall semester. We are on target for classes to resume, in-person, on August 10th, 2020.
Masks and PPE
Will I be required to wear a mask?
No. At this point, we are not requiring that masks be worn on campus, although they remain highly encouraged. We do reserve the right, however, to require them if the situation changes on campus to warrant masks. While we will be avoiding conducting large gatherings like those held in past years, there may be high-traffic areas on campus or smaller events where masks may be necessary.
We have taken the step to purchase 1,000 reusable NT masks for those who wish to take the extra precaution to wear them. They will be provided to all students and employees at the start of the year, with extra on hand to be used as needed.
Will we be required to practice social-distancing?
Yes. One of the great aspects of being a hands-on technical college is our ability to spread out across campus in the shops and classrooms. We will be positioning classroom tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. We also ask students and employees to practice social-distancing when you are in areas where others are present.
What other sanitary practices are being taken?
We are installing hand sanitizing stations for every building on campus, and in multiple locations within each building. Additionally, we are utilizing surface cleaners recommended by the CDC to keep the campus as clean and safe as we can.
Will the college have classes in the fall?
Yes! We are doing all of our preparation now for classes to be back in session and students on campus in August! We are excited to see students back in the classrooms and labs next semester.
How can I tour campus during the pandemic?
You can request a campus tour by visiting our campus tour website here. You have a couple of options available to you: take a campus tour on-campus and see the programs, or request a virtual tour and visit with an admissions representative. And you can always contact our admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by giving us a call at 785.890.3641.
How can I enroll in classes for August?
For new and returning students, we're have developed a simple step-by-step process to help you sign up for classes. Visit our enrollment website at https://www.nwktc.edu/maverick-online-enrollment
How can I arrange books or visit with the bookstore staff?
The bookstore is ready to roll and accept your book requests. You can request your books online on our enrollment page at https://www.nwktc.edu/maverick-online-enrollment.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Bookstore Manager, Tia Brannick at email@example.com or give a call to 785.890.1550 for assistance.
I'm needing some help with financial aid questions. Who can I contact?
We have two wonderful staff members available for you to work with. You can contact either one via the information below:
Penny Nemechek, Financial Aid Coordinator
Alaina Smith, Student Account Specialist
Should I start filling out my FAFSA for next year?
Absolutely! Perhaps you have parents, grandparents or guardians who are trapped at home with you during the pandemic. There is no better time than now to grab their attention and spend some quality bonding time on https://studentaid.gov/ filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If I need help with the FAFSA, can I email the Financial Aid office for assistance?
Yep. The two incredible staff members above are great resources to help if you find yourself in a jam completing the forms.
I need to send a college transcript to another institution. How did I send one out?
You can request an official transcript online by visiting our transcript page.
Hint: Did you know you can grab an unofficial copy of the courses you’ve taken at Northwest Tech from within your Empower account?
How do I request a dorm room?
You can request a housing contract and view dormitory options by visiting our website at https://www.nwktc.edu/students/student-housing
CARES Act Emergency Grant
Northwest Kansas Technical College disbursed emergency financial aid grants to students under the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. At least half of the funds received had to be provided to students to help cover expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
The CARES Act grant program was created to assist students in covering expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.
The college received $479,285, of that amount $239,643 was allocated to 245 students who met the requirements (see below) and were impacted by the interruption of campus operations and the transition from on-campus to online instruction.
To be eligible to receive CARES Act funds, NWKTC students had to be enrolled in at least one on-campus class at the time of the college’s transition to all-online instruction. NWKTC students also needed to be eligible to receive Title IV aid.
Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Enrolled on/after March 13, 2020 attending course(s)
- A degree-seeking student
- Experienced expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.
- Eligible for Title IV aid.
Eligibility for Title IV aid, students must:
- demonstrate financial need (except for certain loans).
- have provided to NWKTC documentation of academic credentials such as a final high school graduation transcript, General Education Development (GED) certificate, college degree earned, etc.
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate.
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
- have a valid social security number.
- register with the Selective Service, if required.
- maintain satisfactory academic progress during every academic term in which they are enrolled.
- certify that they will use federal financial aid only for educational purposes.
- certify that they are not in default on a federal student loan and/or owe money on an overpayment on a federal student grant.
- not have reached their annual or lifetime Pell Eligibility Use. Students may still be eligible for other types of federal student aid.
- not have had their eligibility suspended or terminated due to a drug-related conviction.
- not have reached their annual or lifetime Federal Family Education Loan Program or Federal Direct Loan Program aggregate limit.
- be enrolled at least half-time for student loans.