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COVID-19 Response from COYNE COLLEGE - Chicago, il: Season 2, Episode 1

MORE FROM OUR EPISODE ON Coyne college's Response to COVID-19

Where Is The Coyne College Campus Located?



1 N. State Street 

Chicago, IL 60602

Contact Lincoln

Phone: 888.308.2144

Their Hours

MON-FRI: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

SAT: 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM


Joining us on this episode is Russell Freeman, president and CEO of Coyne College in Chicago, Illinois.

Coyne College has been educating tomorrow’s workforce since 1899. Coyne College trains its students to enter the workforce in the HVAC, electrical, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and pharmacy technician career fields. They are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

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Don't have time to listen? Read the transcript!

Bob Martin: Joining us today on this edition of Imagine America Radio is Russell Freeman, campus president, Coyne College in Chicago, Illinois. Coyne College has been educating tomorrow’s workforce since its creation in 1899 and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Coyne College trains its students to enter the workforce in electrical, medical billing and coding, medical assistant, heating and HVAC, and pharmacy tech careers.

Today’s topic is the coronavirus and, more importantly, the coronavirus epidemic and how Coyne College in Chicago has responded to the current national crisis and is continuing to provide services to their employees and current students. Russell, thank you for joining us.

Russell Freeman: It’s a pleasure, Bob. Thank you for having me.

Bob: Hey, may we call you—we know you so well, may we call you Wicker for purposes of this interview?

Russell: Sure.

Bob: Great, Thanks, Wicker. It just seems more comfortable that way for me. And could you just very briefly outline what you’ve had to do to accommodate this massive epidemic of coronavirus across the country and, in particular, in Chicago and in Illinois?

Russell: Here at Coyne College in Chicago, we’ve had to take our programs, which were all residential and in-house, and change them and adapt them so that we can put them online to serve our students. It involves quite a bit of work and training of our instructors, and our director of education has done a great job with this. We first closed Coyne on March 16th as Illinois is under a stay-at-home order, and originally was under a stay-at-home order from March 16th through March 30th. And now it’s been extended to May 30th, and so that can change and it can actually open up earlier, possibly, depending on what our governor thinks. And it took us a couple of weeks’ time to train our people and to get them ready, and we went online with our classes on April 13th and we had about 70% of our students go online.

Lee Doubleday: I see. Now, Mr. Freeman—This is Lee and I’m talking to Russell Freeman, campus president of Coyne College in Chicago, Illinois. Now, tell me something. I know you said you’re teaching completely online right now, but are the campuses still open for tours? I’m assuming not. And so is there any way that a student could get a hold of your admissions team or maybe even take a virtual tour, or is there a website? Or how would somebody go about contacting you guys about admissions?

Russell: Yes. Our staff is working remotely, all of them, and we have virtual tours on our website: www.coynecollege.edu. Our admissions staff is also taking calls and doing interviews over the phone, and we’re enrolling our prospects who want to become students electronically. And we’ve also taken our whole operation and changed it so that things can be done virtually—from online enrollment to classes—right now. And then it also involves financial aid and other services that the school offers.

Lee: I gotcha. And so I think what I hear you saying is that, if I’m a student, a prospective student, or somebody interested in one of the programs that you guys offer, I can still enroll for a future class. Am I right?

Russell: Yes. Our next class starts on May the 11th, our daytime class, and our next evening class on May 26th. And those classes, as the long as the stay order continues, will start online. When the stay order is lifted, we will return to our campus at 1 N State Street and our students will return there also.

Lee: Okay. Yeah. You took the question right out of my mouth, but one last question before I turn it over to Bob. So what I’m hearing you say is that if campus is still closed because of the virus, we’ll start online and then go back into the campus whenever the stay-at-home order is lifted. But are your current student services—admissions or financial aid or career services, etc.—are those all still available to students?

Russell: Yes. In all of those areas, all of our employees are working remotely, so they are in contact with our current students, our graduates, and our future students.

Bob: And we’re talking to Russell Freeman, campus president, Coyne College in Chicago, Illinois. And this is Bob again, Wicker. Real quick, since most of our listeners are going to be limiting, or are now forced or limited to, researching education opportunities or options from the home (or maybe an office, but probably not; it’s probably from the home), how would you recommend that we—meaning you and I, Wicker—help these students learn more about your school. Would it be websites, emails, campus phone numbers, that kind of thing?

Russell: I’d certainly go on the website, www.coynecollege.edu, and then go ahead and call in our number. It’ll go to the admissions department and they will help you out. And then if you need help with financial aid, they’ll transfer you to financial aid, which you can do. Financial aid will tell you, you can get all the information emailed to you and start doing it electronically and do it from your computer at home.

Bob: Wicker, here’s my takeaway from my conversation with you today. First, I hear that Coyne College is open for business and is assisting all existing students and is ready, willing, and able to talk to new or potential students.

Second thing I hear: Coyne College is enrolling new students and hence starts coming up in the middle of May, I think I heard, and potential students can go to the Coyne College website to get updated information.

And finally, I’d like to ask you, Wicker, to answer any questions for interested parties. Our listeners, they may listen to this and they may say, “Ah, geez, I’ve got a question here and I’d like to contact somebody.” So I’m going to give you one more opportunity, if you would, to give our listeners your contact information. And I would suggest, if you don’t mind, your email to let them contact you, or Coyne, for any information.

Russell: Sure, they can contact me and I would be glad to pass it on. And my email is rpf@coynecollege.edu. Also, if they go on our website, they can contact any department and the staff is listed.

Bob: Perfect. Thank you. Thanks, Wicker. We want to thank today’s guest, Russell Freeman, Coyne College in Chicago, Illinois. And we also want to thank our listeners for taking time out of their very busy and hectic schedules to listen to this episode of Imagine America Radio.

On behalf of my colleague, Lee Doubleday, and myself, please be safe and we’ll talk to you all again very soon.

Thank you and goodbye.

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