WYE MILLS — It’s an uncommon time to be a student, but students returning or looking to enroll at Chesapeake College have a multitude of options at their disposal. There are a range of different ways that students can participate around their own schedules and an increased number of opportunities for financial support, a sort of silver-lining of COVID-19, said the college’s president, Dr. Clifford Coppersmith.
“For the fall, students can join us on campus (about 40% of offerings) or remotely (about 60% of offerings). Online classes are real-time with direct instructor and student interaction or anytime — allowing students to log-in when convenient — so we can meet the full range of student needs,” said Vice President for Workforce and Academic Programs David A. Harper Jr.
Wrap-around services and supports for students, such as advising, tutoring, and financial aid consultation, are available face-to-face and online, Harper added.
Chesapeake will not be requiring vaccination for in-person classes, but they are encouraging it.
Coppersmith said the college is following state guidelines and has carefully monitored the situation. Since last summer students have been allowed back on campus, with limits, and this spring athletes were able to return for practice and training. Plans are also underway for two commencement services to be held outdoors this graduation.
During the pandemic, 90% of credit courses continued to be offered, shared Harper, and this past fall face-to-face classes especially for labs and clinical skills were able to be held, although at a reduced capacity.
As restrictions begin to ease, it is evident there is still a place, a high value for in-person instruction, Coppersmith said.
Chesapeake College continues to offer courses in education and child development, along with commercial driving, marine service, HVAC and real estate, among others. In the fall, the college, alongside Queen Anne’s County Public Schools’ Adam Tolley will be rolling out a pilot culinary instruction program. Dual enrollment has long been an offering to Mid-Shore high school students.
And additional funding makes it easier than ever to register as a high school graduate or for adults looking to enhance or grow new career skills. “The Upper Shore Scholarship Office now has over 21 funding streams. Last year we had five. Therefore, we pretty much can help anyone with programs that may or may not typically qualify for funding,” Joanne Gannon, of the Workforce Investment Board said. “The best thing for anyone to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with them individually to determine where we can assist with funding.”
“I’d like to emphasize that in many ways this is an opportune time to be pursuing a degree or certification,” said Coppersmith. “While many industries and people in our region have experienced some level of economic hardship, there are also uncommon opportunities for funding available.”