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Rolando García is president of North Hennepin Community College.

On behalf of North Hennepin Community College, I’m excited to welcome our employees, students, and community to fall semester and our new brand!

First, a thank you to the NHCC community and beyond for continuing to look out for one another while we all navigate the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delta variant. While we all have hoped to enter a post-pandemic transition, increasing case numbers remind us that this pandemic is not over.

Safety remains our top priority as we partially return to campus with several mitigation strategies in place, including an indoor face-covering requirement, three to six feet social distancing, personal protection equipment at all service windows, and signage across campus.

NHCC will also comply with the State of Minnesota employee vaccination policy beginning September 8 requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or testing at least weekly. At this time, the state policy does not apply to students. However we will continue to encourage students to be vaccinated.

Finally, starting August 23, the first day of the semester, approximately 65 percent of our courses will be delivered fully online, and 85 percent mostly online. Math faculty member Sara Van Asten said, “I am super excited to be back in a physical classroom this fall. Though everyone – faculty, staff, and students – stepped up in a huge way when we transitioned online, the reality is many of our students learn better in an in-person setting and I am so happy to be able to get back into the classroom and work with our students in the environment that works best for them.”

Similar to last year, we will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health and adjust as needed to provide a safe, accessible, and high-quality educational experience for our students.

I’m also excited to share our new brand with you. As we plan for the future of North Hennepin Community College, we are inspired by our students, our colleagues, the community, and the culture around us. Leveraging our existing mission statement (Engaging Students, Changing Lives) and the college’s overall strategic plan as a foundation, we have developed a new brand strategy that is authentic to what NHCC is, our culture, what we stand for, and what we aspire to be.

While I won’t get into the details, please know that a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to seek input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, community partners, and more, to ensure the new branding reflects, not reinvents, who we are, what we do, and what we offer.

For example, we are caring and welcoming, and open to all perspectives. We do what is right with integrity, and celebrate one another’s perspectives. We offer enriching academics through a variety of experiences, and we’re supportive. The new NHCC logo is designed to communicate that infinite possibilities exist, and a vibrant new color palette infuses the new look.

At NHCC, our mission is to create opportunity for students to reach their academic goals, succeed in their chosen professions, and make a difference in the world. By helping us communicate effectively, the dynamic new NHCC brand will help us succeed in this mission. Visit blog.nhcc.edu to learn more about the new branding.

Rolando García is president of North Hennepin Community College.

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