Lincoln Tech has 22 campuses located throughout the United States, and they have been educating tomorrow’s workforce since 1946. Lincoln Tech trains its students to enter the workforce in the automotive, skilled trades, health sciences, culinary, spa and cosmetology, and information technology career fields. They are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
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Bob Martin: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Imagine America Radio. Joining us today is Michelle McCarthy, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Lincoln Tech has 22 campuses located throughout the United States. These campuses have been educating tomorrow’s workforce since 1946 and are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Lincoln Tech trains its students to enter the workforce in automotive, skills trades, health sciences, culinary, spa and cosmetology, and information technology career fields.
Michelle, we want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to join us.
Michelle McCarthy: You’re welcome.
Bob: Well, Michelle, let’s just start right out. Let’s jump right in. Today’s episode is going to focus on—first of all, it’s going to focus on the coronavirus. So we would be really interested in hearing how Somerville campus of Lincoln Tech has adapted itself to the new epidemic that we’re facing across the country.
Michelle: Sure. Well, with our medical assistant program (along with most of our programs), our students did receive laptops as part of their programs anyway. Actually, our students had that technology, and many of the programs that they did in class were online as well. So they had that experience, which was really good.
On March 18th, our school launched 100% online classes. One of our programs, our medical assistant program in our evening shift, was a blended class anyway. So the students in the evening went three nights a week on ground, and then they had their fourth night, they did in a blended format. So, the good news was our medical assisting faculty already knew how to do that. And so they worked diligently to convert 100% of the class information into an online format utilizing some of our software programs that we already used and working with our corporate education team on—and working around the clock the very first week. And we’ve had a pretty successful launch.
We’ve worked with students who have met a variety of internet systems and options. And we’ve had some times during the day where the internet systems are overloaded and we’re working with students in those situations. Our faculty has incorporated videos, conferences, group discussions. They’ve been making it very interactive so that the students can still see them by video, which is important. We also have given them the opportunity to go on video themselves within the classes. And so far, so good, I think the students really appreciate that they’re able to continue their education and their interruption has been extremely minimal.
Lee Doubleday: That’s great. So I think what I’m hearing is that your physical campuses may be closed for now, but you’re doing all of your teaching and all of your instruction online. So are you still open for any campus tours, or is that something that maybe is also done virtually?
Michelle: We are not open for campus tours. We actually are doing virtual slideshows and tours with our admissions folks. And that involves having a potential student be able to see pictures of what a classroom looks like, what our students look like in those classrooms, and really being able to glimpse into a day in the life. And so far, our potential students have been able to experience that. And we’ve had some really good feedback so far.
Lee: That’s great. And this is Lee again, with Michelle McCarthy, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Somerville, Massachusetts.
So, Michelle, if I’m a student and I’m interested in maybe coming to your school, can I enroll for a future class? And when does your next class start?
Michelle: Absolutely. Our classes start during the day, approximately every four weeks, but it does depend on the program. And our evening starts happen approximately every six weeks. But once again, it does depend on the program because of prerequisites and so forth. Not every program offers a start every month.
However, our next start is May 4th during the day, and May 11th in the evening. And how you would be able to access information to that, the best way I can recommend would be to go to our website, which is www.lincolntech.edu. There’s tons of information about our school, the Somerville campus location, and our programs. And you can also request information there online. You can also call our campus directly and it will get transferred directly to one of our admission staff members, at (617) 776-3500.
Lee: Okay, that’s great. If the campuses are still closed by the time that your next start comes around—again, we’re talking to Michelle McCarthy, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Somerville, Massachusetts.
If the campuses are still closed because of the virus, what will happen? Will the class still start, but maybe starting virtually or online?
Michelle: Yes. We actually have already had two class starts that way. They start online in that format. What happens is we prearrange a pickup time at the campus, where students are given a time. They drive up to the campus and pick—they pick up their supplies, staying outside of the campus. We have everything bundled for them. Their laptop is already preprogrammed with their information by our IT person. So, they really just have to go home and log into their own internet system. And then they attend an orientation online as well, in which it starts with our medical staff—I mean our admission staff. And then they are handed over to their instructor, who helps get them into the systems that they need to get into for their first class. And then they’ll be ready for their first class. And so far, it’s worked really well.
Bob: Michelle, this is Bob. Bob Martin again. We’re talking to Michelle McCarthy with the Lincoln Tech – Somerville, Massachusetts. Lincoln Tech has been a die-hard supporter of the Imagine America Foundation and one of our leading providers of scholarship support for our students. But a number of our [high] schools throughout the country are shut down. And many of the high school students that might be looking at Lincoln Tech – Somerville, haven’t seen their counselor and might not even ever see their counselor again before they graduate. Or they won’t be able to use the assets of the career center or whatever it might be in their particular high school.
You got some insights of what advice we could give those individuals from the standpoint of the guidance counselor, how they might help them? And then secondly, the student itself?
Michelle: I would say for guidance counselors, to direct the students as best they can. The one thing that the students have, even if they’re in high schools right now and taking classes, they still have time. And our students, they have better sense of technology than most people in my generation. That’s for sure!
So directing them to school websites, definitely ours—once again, www.lincolntech.edu—just as they would if they were exploring campuses. Before high school students start to explore campuses on ground, they usually would be directed by their guidance counselors to look online and then make an appointment with an admissions rep. Those are things that still can happen, especially at Lincoln. I would encourage them to encourage those students to continue to do that. And then once our admissions rep has a conversation with them, they can arrange for a career planning session and still explore 100% the way that they would have if we weren’t in a COVID situation.
Bob: That’s great, Michelle. I really appreciate you addressing that because a large proportion of our students come out the high school market.
So, in summary, here are my takeaways from our conversation today with Michelle McCarthy, president of Lincoln Tech in Somerville. One, Lincoln Tech in Somerville, Massachusetts, is open for business and is ready, willing, and able to assist any and all existing and potential new students. Number two, Lincoln Tech in Somerville, Massachusetts, is enrolling new students and potential new students as we speak, and you should go to the website for updated information. But if I remember right, you’ve got a star coming up in the first week in May.
Finally, any interested students that want more information, they want to talk to a person—they are encouraged to contact Michelle directly by email. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to thank today’s audience for taking time out of their busy schedule to listen to today’s episode of Imagine America Radio. We also want to thank Michelle McCarthy, our guest with Lincoln Tech. We had a great conversation with her on coronavirus and what they’ve done. They’ve done some exciting things to totally accommodate the students to allow them to continue to get their education, finish it up, and to be able to get that job that they’re waiting for.
On behalf of my colleague, Lee Doubleday and myself, please be safe and we’ll talk to you all very, very soon. Thank you.