Looking to a Brighter Future: Celebrating Graduates and our Entering Class

April 17, 2020

What a semester spring 2020 has turned out to be for students and faculty in higher education and K-12 alike! For parents and administrators, the challenges of transitioning to remote working and learning have not been trivial. For higher education, as a sector, we learned that we can be more malleable than we perhaps thought possible. At GCC, we continue to reflect on our learnings from COVID-19.

Our small size, as a college, has always been a strength. It allows us to personalize learning and student supports. Because of the pandemic, we are enhancing our practices around being a student-ready college in a world that is uncertain and increasingly complex. We are changing the traditional paradigm that puts the onus on students be college-ready because the world different today. In supporting all students
to succeed, we are applying the principles of Universal Design more intentionally for students with special needs and for those without. This pandemic forces us to remove the barriers to provide services like tutoring and counseling remotely. We care about the whole student!

From millennials to Gen Z to Gen Alpha, our young people have seen their fair share of disruptions since the turn of the century. Their resilience and ingenuity are inspiring. Their experiences are influencing the type of environmentally sustainable, socially just, and culturally rich communities they aspire to live in. Their idealism coupled with the pragmatism and experience of our older students, along with caring faculty, make for the rich classroom environment that defines teaching and learning at GCC. Our
academic programs are designed with all of our learners in mind.

In the midst of all that is uncertain, we look forward to celebrating our graduating students—the Class of 2020. We are excited to acknowledge the accomplishments of those transferring in the fall to complete their undergraduate journey at their college/university of choice. Sure, no one ever asks where a graduate went for the first two years of their Bachelor’s degree, but we hope that the students leaving us this year will remember the idyllic campus that they called home and our shared experiences.

We await our entering Freshman Class and the high school students looking to get a head start on college with open arms. There has never been a better time to consider starting at GCC! Our admissions, registration, advising, and financial aid processes have all been adapted to the new normal of the stay-at-home order. Whether your decision to start at GCC is a financially savvy one or is driven by a desire to stay close to home, we are committed to your success.

By Yves Salomon-Fernández, Ph.D.

President of Greenfield Community College

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