For students, the news headlines say it all: College costs too much. This has been the way of the academic world for decades. But a college education has been held up to be their future hope for job and success. What are they to do now? The current Covid-19 pandemic has forced educational institutions at all levels to change their classroom protocols from casual face-to-face to virtual instruction and to think outside the educational box. Choosing between debt and no education is not the only option in today’s ever changing world.
This is good news for post-secondary students who have limited time and resources to pursue their educational dreams. Some students must juggle classes around a job and family or have limited transportation, technology, or funding for classes. Some are haunted by memories of classroom failures and are looking for caring teachers and tutors. Northfield Community College Collaborative has partnered with Riverland Community College to provide online and in-person classes to help students earn a two-year associates degree toward a four-year degree or training in a career or technical program.
A host of other community organizations have joined this collaborative to provide support in a variety of ways. Retired professors and graduates from Carleton College and St. Olaf College volunteer educational tutoring, guidance, and friendship. Women in Northfield Giving Support (WINGS), Rice County Area United Way, St. John’s Lutheran Church of Northfield, Healthy Community Initiative, and Northfield Promise are among other groups that partner through grants, mentoring, and other programs. NCCC also provides study space, printing services, and career and financial guidance to help students move toward their next step in their educational pursuits.
Opened in 2018, NCCC began with 45 students and supported 73 students during the 2020-2021 school year. They partnered with 13 colleges and universities and graduated ten students from the NCCC with a certification or an Associate’s degree and look forward to helping many more in the coming years. For more information, go to the NCCC website.
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