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Community Colleges Partially Reopen

Published Friday Jun 12, 2020

Author Jordyn Haime, Granite State News Collaborative

GSNCThe Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) gained state approval to allow some students back on campus this summer to finish lab work they were unable to complete in the spring semester, according to a press release from CCSNH.

The partial re-opening will affect students in hands-on learning programs like health care, HVAC, welding, automotive technology and advanced manufacturing.

“Re-opening the labs on this limited basis is essential to help students complete their necessary training and advance these students into their chosen professions,” said Susan Huard, interim chancellor at CCSNH.

Lab work and reopening dates will vary by campus and program, according to Shannon Reid, director of government affairs and communications at CCSNH. While some campuses, like Lakes Region Community College in Laconia and Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, are already welcoming students back to classrooms, others, like Manchester Community College, will begin next week.

“It’s about the safety and health and wellness for not only our students, but our faculty and our staff, but also to go about it in a way where we don’t compromise academic integrity,” said Brian Bicknell, president of Manchester Community College, where students will resume HVAC, welding and line worker programs.

Students and instructors will follow safety protocols in labs and classrooms like pre-arrival health screenings and the use of designated exits and entrances. Other protocols include flow control, regular sanitizing and cleaning of spaces and social distancing within classrooms.

The partial re-opening will only affect a handful of students, and the seven community colleges statewide will remain generally closed with a majority of classes taught online as plans to further reopen in the fall are developed.

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