By John Willis, MIAT Houston Campus President
The year 2020 certainly will be memorable because of the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19. As a career college administrator for over 20 years, I have been especially concerned about the 2020 high school grads and how they are faring in this era of uncertainty about their health, safety, higher education options, and employment outlook. This crisis has hit many 2020 high school seniors especially hard — not only in the greater Houston area, but across the nation. For the 2020 high school graduates, they will likely remember this year as one of “missed opportunities and memories.” Most were not able to complete their last few critical months of their “traditional” high school experience that often help shape their next steps. Critical interactions with teachers and counselors were unable to take place. On top of that, recent high school grads have missed out on the “rights of passages” from their high school days to the next phase of their life – such as attending senior prom, walking the stage in a cap and gown at their commencement ceremony to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” being guests of honor at celebratory parties with large numbers of family and friends, or taking senior trips.
At MIAT, we understand that for young people in the 16 to 20 age range, making decisions about which college or career and technical education program to attend or whether to work part-time or full-time straight out of high is especially stressful any year – but even more so this year. For the past several months, our Admissions Department, which is led by Chad Rogers, has been having numerous conversations with recent high school grads, their parents and mentors to help them discern the best path forward. To that end, I am pleased to welcome 20 recent high school grads to our Houston campus programs with an estimated 80 to 100 more recent high school grads expected to enroll in our Houston campus programs in our Fall class session. During their transition to college, we are here to provide them and all our students exceptional guidance and support in the form of orientation to our online learning platform, tutoring, financial assistance, housing assistance and other services that they may need from us now or in the future.
Health and Safety Protocols
Effective May 11, all MIAT Houston students are participating in a hybrid learning model. Students complete all classroom-based instruction online and are only on campus for designated labs in groups of 10 or less. Also, since we re-opened our campus for lab instruction on May 11 with strict health and safety measures in place based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the Texas Department of Health Services, we have limited our capacity to 25%. Under “normal” conditions, we can accommodate up to 480 per shift.
In addition, everyone who enters our Houston campus building must agree to wear a face covering and agree to a temperature and wellness check. Class groups are color-coded for contact tracing. Chairs and tables have been eliminated from the student lunchrooms, and protective plexiglass protective barriers have been erected to limit contact in administrative spaces. No classrooms are used, and all instruction occurs in our lab area, which covers roughly 40,000 square feet.
We are doing everything possible to ensure that our lab spaces, lab furnishings, countertops, tools, equipment, machinery, computers, floors, doors, door handles, and restrooms are as clean and safe as possible. Our facilities maintenance teams are working diligently to sanitize every surface on every hour and again overnight between midnight and 6 a.m. each day, Mondays through Thursdays.
Getting Started at MIAT
Any prospective MIAT student can choose between a virtual or on-site campus tour and a virtual or on-site interview to determine if MIAT is a match for them and their long-term goals. Students can opt to pursue a certificate or associate degree program in welding, aviation maintenance, non-destructive testing, HVACR (heating ventilation air conditioning and refrigeration), energy technology and wind energy technology. MIAT programs can be completed in 9 to 24 months. Classes will be offered beginning August 24th and September 24th.
For those who have never visited our Houston campus, please join Chad Rogers, MIAT Houston campus director of admissions, for a virtual tour that you can access below.
I encourage parents, high school teachers and career counselors, high school students and recent high school graduates, military veterans and anyone interested in any of the programs that MIAT offers to schedule a telephone or video meeting to learn more. Please visit www.miat.edu for details.
Thank you for your support of MIAT College of Technology. Please feel free to share this blog with others who might be interested in what we have to offer and follow up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
As always, I invite your comments and suggestions. Please email me any time at Jwillis@miat.edu
From all our faculty and staff to you and yours, we wish you the very best — now and always!