Bob Martin: Our guest on today’s episode of Imagine America Radio is Karen Clark. Karen is the campus president of Lincoln Tech in Melrose Park, Illinois, which is just outside Chicago. Today’s topic of Imagine America Radio is the coronavirus epidemic. What we want to find out from our guest today is what has she done, or what are they doing at Lincoln Tech – Melrose Park, Illinois, to respond to the current coronavirus epidemic. So, if you could address that starting right out, that would be great, Karen.
Karen Clark: Sure. Our goal at Lincoln remains clear. We need to fulfill our mission of educating our students, while limiting the risk of spreading the COVID virus. Our campus remains open, and we are delivering classes through a distant learning platform. We at Lincoln always put the safety and well-being of our students first. Therefore, we will continue to provide our students with the temporary delivery of distant learning through our format until the governor rescinds the order. We have all intentions of providing our students with the hands-on portion of our programs when they return to campus. And we’re continuing to provide all services to our students during this time period, when it comes to student services, financial aid support, career services, conducting webinars, virtual employment interviews, and working with our graduates to find employment—specifically for essential positions that are available now. And we’re working hard in trying to help our community with using our graduates to match those needs.
Lee Doubleday: Wow. That’s great. And this is Lee. Hi, Karen.
We’re talking to Karen Clark, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Melrose Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. So I think what I heard you say is that your campus is currently teaching all the classes online. But are you still open for tours, or is that something maybe I could do virtually as well?
Karen: No. We’re not open for tours right now because we want to keep everything safe within the community. But we’re conducting online interviews with our students, using our online application process with virtual tours and videos.
Lee: Okay. And this is sort of piggybacking off of my previous question, cut can I still enroll for a future class? And do you have some upcoming starts that are coming up? And is there a website maybe I could go to or admissions that I could talk to about an upcoming start date?
Karen: Absolutely. We have classes and opportunities starting in April and May. We want to give our potential students the opportunity to begin working towards their career paths as soon as possible. They need to get ready as soon as possible so they can join the workforce. We need to be ready when the economy gets back to normal so we can fill the employment needs that we are going to face in the near future.
Well, the student is able to go out on our website, and you’ll see all of our program offerings, as well as scholarship opportunities, and financial aid will be available for those who qualify. Information can also be requested on our website—through our online chat—or they can fill out a form, which will give them access to speak to one of our admissions representatives about our programs.
Lee: Great. So I think you had mentioned earlier that at some point, classes will be taught back in the classroom for hands-on learning. But let’s just say, hypothetically, that by the time your next start comes around, the campus is still closed because of the virus. What will happen? Will I be able to start my learning online?
Karen: Yes, absolutely. Our instructors are well prepared in teaching the programs in a distance platform, where we are online with our students and teaching our programs. And we’re managing our programs where the online portion can be done when we return to campus.
Bob: We’re talking to Karen Clark, campus president of Lincoln Tech – Melrose Park, Illinois, just outside Chicago. One more question, Karen, if you don’t mind. I know that Lincoln Tech has a very robust high school program. And I know that now that’s an issue because schools are closed. Guidance counselors are home. Career centers are closed down. So if you were a guidance counselor, and you’re not going to see these students for the rest of the year, how would you recommend that he or she help their students learn more about your school or this particular career?
Karen: I would suggest that that guidance counselor visit our website, and our program offerings are all there with information on scholarship opportunities and the financial aid that’s available for those who qualify. They could also look at our social media, or Google us and YouTube videos that are out there on different things that are happening within our campus community.
Bob: That’s great. We really appreciate all that you’re doing. We’re talking to Karen Clark, campus president of Lincoln Tech – Melrose Park, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Today’s topic is how has Karen’s campus responded to the current coronavirus epidemic. I’m taking away from this conversation the following.
I’m taking away from this conversation that although the campus is closed, Melrose Park is still open, meaning that you’re there to service the existing students, and you’re there to look after the current employees of Lincoln Tech at Melrose Park, Illinois.
Second thing I’m hearing from you, and you’ve made specific reference to the website, which I’ll call out to our listeners to take advantage of. You said that you are enrolling students and that any student that is interested in going to your campus in Melrose Park, Illinois, they should go to the Lincoln Tech website and scroll down. You’ll be able to see all the program offerings, all the start dates that are coming up, and any virtual tour.
Also what I think I heard you say is you wouldn’t mind fielding any questions through email of any of our listeners. So you can be reached at Kclark@lincolntech.edu. Again, that’s Kclark@lincolntech.edu.
We’ve been talking to Karen Clark, campus president of Melrose Park campus of Lincoln Tech. And the topic of today’s conversation: the coronavirus epidemic. We want to thank Karen for taking time out of her very busy schedule—her chaotic schedule, I’m sure—and devoting some time for us to create this episode of Imagine America Radio. We’d also like to thank our audience, who is tuning in to Imagine America Radio and taking precious time out of their day to do that. On behalf of my colleague, Lee Doubleday, we want to thank each and every one of you for joining us today on this edition of Imagine America, and we want to urge you to be safe. Thank you very much.