Bob Martin: Joining us today is Laurie Pringle, president of Lincoln Tech in Paramus, New Jersey. The topic of today’s podcast is the current coronavirus epidemic. We’re very interested in hearing about what this particular campus has done, and is doing, to not only protect the health and safety of the students, but also the employees.
So, Laurie, thank you for joining us, if you wouldn’t mind giving us an update on what you currently have done.
Laurie Pringle: Thanks, it’s good to be here. Yes, in order to protect all of the students and the staff, we’ve moved to a distance education model. We’re using a tool called Canvas, and all of our students have laptops as part of their program with the appropriate software already loaded—so they have the tools they needed to transition during this time. Now we’ve discovered that, even though we’re known as a hands-on training institution, there’s a lot of learning that can go on at a distance. Our faculty is meeting live with their classes and they’re able to leverage lectures and discussion groups and YouTube videos and simulations, and a lot of other creative techniques to keep the students’ education on track.
When we come back to the campus, we’ll, of course, provide our students with the time to practice the hands-on skills in the labs, and make up hours in clinical and on extern and internship sites that were impacted. But in the meantime, we’re able to keep them moving forward. And the employees are also working remotely providing all the student services that we provide on ground.
Lee Doubleday: Wow, Laurie. This is Lee, I’m talking to Laurie Pringle, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Paramus, New Jersey. Now, what I think I hear you saying is that your schools are no longer teaching at the physical campus and that everything is virtual. But my question for you is, are your campuses still open for tours? Or is that something that is maybe done virtually as well?
Laurie: We’re open for virtual tours! So our admissions team is meeting virtually with all the interested students. We’re giving them a virtual tour in videos so that prospective students can get a good look at our classrooms and our campus space. Our admissions representatives are able to share their screens so that prospective students can view PowerPoints and documents that help explain our program and courses and curriculum. But also get a chance to see those videos that give them an idea of what it’s like to be in the facility itself.
Lee: Wow, that’s really cool. I’m glad that you guys are able to put something like that together and have that available in just such a short period of time. Now, if I’m a student, and I’m interested in enrolling into a future class, or I’ve thought about it at least, then when does your next class start? Are you still enrolling new students?
Laurie: We are. As a matter of fact, our next class is actually starting in a few weeks, at the end of April. And those students are going to begin with us in the distance education format, and then they’ll transition back to campus with us as soon as we’re allowed back. Our classes for students who are graduating high school this year are still scheduled to start in July, August, and September, depending on the program the student has chosen. So we are accepting students to continue forward.
Lee: That kind of leads into my next question. And this is Lee again; we’re interviewing Laurie Pringle, campus president of Lincoln Tech in Paramus, New Jersey. If campuses are still closed because of the virus at the time of the next start, will classes actually start online, or how will that work?
Laurie: They will. We’ve already transitioned to distance education. So our new students who are beginning will get equipment that they need. They’ll get the laptop and the software that’s required to engage with our faculty remotely. And they’ll get an orientation online, teaching them how to use all of that equipment. And then they’ll be just logging into those classes online from the very start.
We’ve also got every department out there to support our students. So, the admissions department, financial aid, student services is working remotely with all of those students in the meantime, as they’re getting ready to come to school. In fact, even our career services department is still helping them prepare for jobs: They’re scheduling interviews. They’re helping even place our graduates during this time. You know, the Paramus campus trains people in healthcare and IT. And those are jobs that are in pretty high demand in the face of this crisis. So we want to keep the education going so that our graduates can get out there and serve on the front lines of the field.
Bob: Hey Laurie, this is Bob Martin with Imagine America Radio. Very quickly, Lincoln has always had a very robust high school recruitment program. And, as you know, schools are closed down. Very likely probability that most of the schools either aren’t going to be opening this year or going to be opening up way late in the school year—probably not opening up. What advice would you have, since these students are not going to be seeing the guidance counselors. Chances are they’re not going to be going to career centers; they’re not going to be talking to their counselors, getting their materials. What would you recommend them to contact you or to contact Lincoln if you have interested students or counselors that want to make sure that they get their students into your information/admissions pipeline?
Laurie: Absolutely. We would encourage those counselors to reach out directly to us. We can schedule Zoom meetings and tours with groups of students who might have an interest for an information session. But better yet, if they let us know who the student is that has an interest and provide the introduction, we’ll arrange for that student to meet with someone in our admissions department. And go through a career planning session so that student can determine if our program is something that they would like to pursue. So reaching out to the school is the best thing to do.
Bob: Great, great. I really appreciate that. You have a nice, steady voice.
Here are my takeaways for our audience. My first takeaway is Lincoln Tech in Paramus is open for business and is currently assisting existing students in making serious accommodations for those students and potential new students. Both in delivery of instruction, and a way that they can get information and proceed through the enrollment admissions process. That’s my first takeaway.
My second takeaway is that Lincoln Tech in Paramus is, indeed, enrolling new students. And potential students, all they need is to go to the Lincoln Tech website if they’re interested in getting information and getting—more importantly—a list of upcoming starts relative to Paramus, New Jersey.
And finally, I think you won’t mind, that if you want to contact someone directly at the Lincoln Tech Paramus campus, you can contact Laurie Pringle. And her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurie: Terrific. Thank you.
Bob: Oh, thank you. we want to thank our audience for taking time out of their schedules too, to listen to this episode on Lincoln Tech and the Paramus, New Jersey, campus and how they’re accommodating and how they’re moving forward. Thank you very much, Laurie.
Laurie: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.