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: Joining us today on this edition of Imagine America Radio is Mr. Jim Kuntz, campus president at Lincoln Tech in both the South Plainfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, campuses. Today’s topic on Imagine America Radio is the current coronavirus epidemic and how these two campuses of Lincoln Tech have adapted to the current national crisis in trying to continue to provide services to current employees and look at how to help enroll these students.
Jim, thank you for joining us. Could you please kindly outline what you have had to do to accommodate this national epidemic in both South Plainfield, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia campuses?
Jim Kuntz: Okay, sure. Well, the first priority that we had as a company and as a school is the safety and well-being of our students. So when this all happened, we shifted to distance learning. Right now, we’re covering all the theory for each one of our courses through online learning; so the students are at home, the instructors are at home, and, quite frankly, the education is going on just as if we were still in the building. The instructors have set up their rooms just as if they were in the shop. Most of them, if not all of them, are doing webcam presentations and every course that we have has a certain amount of theory that comes with it, along with the hands-on, and right now we’re teaching all the theory online.
Lee Doubleday: Hey Jim, this is Lee. I’m talking to Jim Kuntz, campus president of both Lincoln Tech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and South Plainfield, New Jersey. So I have a question for you. I know you said that you are currently teaching completely online or with distance education, but are you still open for tours—or is that something maybe potential students could do online or via a virtual tour? How does that work?
Jim: That’s a very good question. Actually, the entire school—both schools—are functioning as if we were at the building, each department. So, the quick answer is yes. Admissions department is still open; we are still receiving inquiries, people are asking for information. We’re reaching out to them and we’re conducting the tours virtually while they’re at home, and we’re giving our applicants everything that they’re asking for.
Lee: Okay, and so that sort of leads into my next question, which is: If I’m interested in attending your school, can I still enroll for a future class? Will this pandemic affect future class starts?
Jim: It will affect future class starts, clearly, but we know that this is temporary, and we know this isn’t going to last forever. The very first class that our students go to is the introduction to automotive technology. That is exactly what it says: It’s an introduction to what they’re about to go through for the next 12 or 13 months. And that course is almost all theory.
So the answer to your question is yes, we are still starting classes and, as a matter of fact, you can enroll for the May and June classes right now. And we’re going to start off teaching the intro course online to make sure that our students stay safe.
Lee: I got you. Yeah, I think I understand what you’re saying, and that actually kind of leads into my next question, which is: If the campuses are still closed because of the virus, what will happen? It sounds like you’re saying that they’re going to be starting their classes with the distance education. Is that correct?
Jim: That is correct, yes.
Lee: Okay. Now my final question for you, and then I’ll turn it back over to Bob, is are your current student services—i.e. admissions, financial aid, career services, etc.—are those still available to current and maybe even potential new students?
Jim: Absolutely. All of our departments are still functioning. I mentioned earlier: The admissions department is conducting everything virtually through their computer and on the phone. Financial aid, we’re still packaging people. People are applying for financial aid. We’re doing everything through the computer and by phone. Career services, they are still sending out students for interviews. And, as a matter of fact, we just recently had a student do a virtual interview with a dealership and get hired from that virtual interview.
So business as usual, with the exception we’re just not in a brick-and-mortar building.
Bob: We’re talking to Jim Kuntz, campus president Lincoln Tech at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and South Plainfield, New Jersey, campuses. We really appreciate you spending some time with us to really help our audience understand what’s going on. Topic today is how has Jim been able to navigate these two campuses through the current coronavirus.
So here’s my question, the final one before we’ll close today’s episode: If I’m a guidance counselor who has not seen students up until now, and probably won’t see them for the balance of this year, how would you recommend we, as in you and I and Imagine America Radio and Lincoln Tech, help them learn more about your school—websites, campus phone numbers, emails, that sort of thing?
Jim: A very good question, because we have public relations representatives that normally go out to the high schools and, clearly, that’s not happening now. So if I were a high school guidance counselor, or if I knew of a high school guidance counselor that was looking for information so they could help their students, the first thing I would do is refer them to our website. Clearly, if they wanted to call the campus, they would have somebody pick up the phone. The Philadelphia school actually rings directly to my cell phone, and we would give them the information that they requested. But the first stop would be certainly the website.
Bob: We really appreciate that. That’s great. Now, in summary, this is—we’re talking to Jim Kuntz, campus president in Lincoln Tech at both South Plainfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, campuses. So here’s my takeaways, Jim, and then I’m going to ask you to give us a little bit more information on the third point.
My first takeaway is Lincoln Tech campuses, both in Southfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, are open for business and serving existing students right now. You’ve got the staff in place, you’ve had to make major accommodations, but you’ve made those accommodations and you are continuing to make more as you go forward.
The second thing I hear is that Lincoln Tech in both South Plainfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—you are enrolling new students, and any potential student has a lot of options if they want to find out more about Lincoln Tech’s websites, telephone numbers, etc.
Finally, I want to give you an opportunity to restate for anybody that may have a question about your campuses, in particular how you’ve reacted or any questions they may have on this. I want you to give the opportunity to be the contact for them. So if they got questions, how do they contact Jim Kuntz at Lincoln Tech, relative to South Plainfield, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, campuses?
Jim: The easiest way to reach me would be to send me an email: email@example.com.
Bob: All right, that’s great. Our guest today has been Jim Kuntz, campus president at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and South Plainfield, New Jersey.
We want to thank our audience today for taking time out of their very busy and often 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 be talking to you all very soon.