LACONIA – Lakes Region Community College has announced plans to reopen its campus in a phased approach over the summer. According to Dr. Larissa Baia, President of the college, as of Monday, June 1st, a select, small number of students returned to campus to complete specific lab classes that were interrupted with the emergency closure due to the COVID-19 crisis. These selected classes include automotive, electrical and emergency medical technology (EMT) programs. “We are excited to see students and faculty back on our campus,” said Dr. Baia. “We know there were students who were unable to finish their Spring term classes through no fault of their own. We have a commitment to those individuals, families and to the economic sectors they will be joining in the future.”
Baia stressed a strong focus on safety. “Since we closed our campus to the public and moved to remote operations, we have been working diligently on plans to bring back students and our employees safely. Plans involved ensuring we have personal protective equipment for everyone to wear while on campus, enacting new policies and practices for sanitation, social distancing, redirecting traffic flows outside and inside of our buildings, and training staff, faculty, and students.”
Baia also went on to say that months of planning resulted in a phased re-opening plan that was approved by the NH Department of Health and Human Services. It was that approval that enabled the college to reopen this week for Spring course completion. The Phase I reopening will allow the college to evaluate and refine practices with a small number of students and faculty on campus, something that will prove invaluable as plans continue for opening the campus for the Fall 2020 term.
While some students and faculty have been allowed to return to campus to complete their Spring semester courses, the college is still operating remotely and the campus remains closed to the public. “We are still fine-tuning each phase and will announce the next step as soon as we are able to,” said Baia. The College’s goal is to return to in-person learning in the fall, but it acknowledges that some level of remote instruction is likely. As Lakes Region Community College makes final decisions about the Fall semester, it will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the CDC and local and state public health partners while prioritizing the health and safety of its students and employees. Whether classes are offered face-to-face, remotely, or online, Baia also emphasized that Lakes Region Community College is still taking applications for the Fall 2020 term, and that generous scholarships have been made to new students to help them during this difficult time.
Lakes Region Community College offers many associate degree and certificate programs, including Business, Accounting, Culinary Arts, Hotel and Restaurant Operations, Electrical, Automotive, Nursing, Graphic Design, Advanced Manufacturing, and Fire Science, just to name a few. In addition, LRCC provides a strong background in Liberal Arts for students who choose to do their first two years at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college or university for a baccalaureate degree. Business and industry training programs are also available.
Lakes Region Community College is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and serves over 1,200 students annually. LRCC is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire. For more information, contact LRCC at 366-5210.