Hennepin Tech Students Return To Campus
Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order last month to allow certain students to return to campus. Those students are in programs including, but not limited to, health care, law enforcement, as well as transportation and machinery.
Students at Hennepin Technical College began their return to campus June 1.
Alec Owens, a first-year student at Hennepin Tech, said he’s glad to be back but the pause on his education due to COVID-19 was a challenge.
“Because when you stop, you start to lose all that momentum and it’s hard to get back into the groove of things,” said Owens.
Owens wants to pursue a career in CNC machining. His instructor, Craig Barringer, said it makes sense for students to return to campus for hands-on classes.
“Because companies don’t want them to come in having a virtual understanding of machining,” Barringer said. “They got to know what to do with a machine.”
The instructor added that not being able to finish classes before fall would affect other classes.
“These are just to get the students ready to go to the second-year side, otherwise the second-year instructor would have no students,” he said.
Under the governor’s order, colleges need to have a safety plan in place before students can return to campus.
For Barringer’s class, only nine students at time are allowed. Machines are sprayed with disinfectants and small tools are sterilized in an autoclave.
Despite the extra safety precautions, Owens said it’s a relief to be back because it means getting closer to the finish line.
“Feels refreshing to get back and keep going with everything,” Owens said.