Nicolet College Begins Academic Year with Steady Enrollment with Mix of In-Person, Hybrid, & Online
Students are back on campus this fall as Nicolet Area Technical College begins its new term.
Last year, classes went virtual as much a possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only exception was some of the hands-on course like auto, welding, and some nursing programs.
College President Kate Ferrel says the transition wasn’t too hard since Nicolet had been doing more online courses in recent years.
This year it was a matter of figuring out what could stay virtual, what needed to a be hybrid and which should stay in-person.
“We took the summer and really refined a lot of that knowledge to create a really high-quality experience for students coming back this fall and an experience that’s really rooted in a lot of flexibility so that students can learn basically whenever, however and wherever they’re located at that time,” said Ferrel.
Ferrel attributes the college’s experience with online courses as the reason enrollment has remained steady throughout the pandemic.
Nicolet College was the only one of 16 schools in the Wisconsin Technical College System to see enrollment actually increase last year.
“It’s really just a moment of pride for a lot of us,” said Ferrel.
For those back on campus this fall, there are COVID safety protocols in place.
Small class sizes allow for social distancing.
The college is also keeping up with its intense sanitizing and cleaning protocols.
Masks are required for everyone while indoors on campus.
Ferrel says the school will evaluate the policy again in a few weeks and stay in line with federal and local health guidelines.
There are also some improvement projects happening across campus.
The Birchwood Center is being remodeled.
It will become the college’s manufacturing hub.
“Which will house state of the art welding, metal fabrication, a brand-new program for us, and also our industrial mechanical, and electrical mechanical technology program. They’ll all be co-located in the Birchwood Center,” said Ferrel.
The public safety programs are getting a new home as well. That building will be near the Fieldside Center.
Nicolet College has a rolling start date for its fall term. Meaning most classes started September 1st, but there are additional start dates later into the semester.