May 20, 2020
I want to take a moment to thank all of our faculty, staff, and students for their efforts this spring to bring the semester to a close through virtual instruction. I know this was a significant departure from the hands-on courses upon which Northwest Tech was founded, but they made an effort to adapt and overcome. The diligence and determination shown over the past three months were admirable, and a reflection of the work-ethic we seek to develop. 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.
Resumption of In-Person Classes
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.
Date: March 18, 2020
Time: 9:00am (MT)
RE: Northwest Tech Transition to Online – COVID-19 Response #3
In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a directive closing public primary and secondary schools throughout the state of Kansas. As the situation continues to develop across the state, the time has arisen for the college to take the next preventative steps for those in our immediate vicinity. Effective today, Northwest Tech will move all classes online starting March 30, 2020, and for the duration of the semester.
While this was a difficult decision to reach, sometimes it helps to understand some of the considerations and background that brought us to this point:
Date: March 14, 2020
RE: Northwest Tech COVID-19 Response #2
Over the last 72 hours, Northwest Tech administration conducted a survey of students, faculty and staff to analyze travel patterns and destinations over spring break. This was done to make an informed decision regarding the potential local impact of COVID-19 on and around our campus. After evaluating survey information, over a third of respondents (100+) are traveling to or through some of the most highly impacted areas of the country. Knowing this, the data fully supports the need for additional protective measures for the campus and community.
Date: March 12, 2020
RE: Northwest Tech COVID-19 Response
As the situation surrounding the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop across the country, we are monitoring the situation closely, and implementing appropriate strategies for our campus. Our highest priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, employees, and our community.
Goodland Regional Medical Center and Northwest Tech are pleased to announce the launch of free on-campus counseling services that will be available to Northwest Tech students.
In the new partnership, the hospital will provide counseling services via certified counselors Hal McNerney, LMSW, LMAC, who will be the primary counselor, and Laci Leichliter, LSCSW. The counseling office has been established on campus in the Murray Center and will provide counseling resources, initially, for two afternoons each week.
“We are excited about being able to partner with the hospital to utilize local resources to solve an important campus need for our students,” said Northwest Tech President Ben Schears. “We have students who will benefit from ongoing counseling as well as for those who have life events that crop up and simply need someone to talk to.”
Dr. Ron Robinson, CEO at Goodland Regional Medical Center commented, “GRMC’s partnership with NWKTC to deliver affordable counseling services to students in need is an excellent example of what we can achieve when we align our efforts between community organizations.”
The counseling office is a resource that provides a professional, safe, confidential atmosphere where students can discuss academic and personal issues. This service will be available to assist students with a variety of concerns including but not limited to, homesickness, relationship issues, substance use, and depression.
“During the five years I have worked at Goodland Regional Medical Center, we have noticed an increasing number of referrals from students at NWKTC for behavioral health services. However, many of these students are unable to obtain the services as they lack the financial resources and sometimes transportation to get to and from appointments,” commented Laci Leichliter, LSCSW. “This partnership allows us to better meet the needs of students and, in turn, assist in preparing them for life after graduation.”
Numerous industry studies show that depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns are on the rise on college campuses across the nation. The new partnership provides an outlet for students to cope with the situations they are encountering, while also making good use of a fee-for-service partnership between the two organizations. “We are both rural organizations and we face many of the same challenges,” said Schears. “It just makes good sense to see where we can work together to benefit the organizations and students.”
“I am truly excited to have this opportunity to help develop this role to provide additional supports to the students at NWKTC. It comes about from the common mission to support the needs of the area including the students through healthy collaboration among organizations,” commented Hal McNerney, LMSW, LMAC.
The counseling office is located in the Murray Center. Students can make an appointment by stopping in, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (785) 890-1534. This service is provided to students at no cost.
Students are top priority at Northwest Tech, and these services will help to ensure their health and safety.
In the event that a concern is urgent, or you are feeling suicidal, you are encouraged to walk in and see the next available counselor. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 800-273-8255 or go to the Emergency Room.