Lessons We Have Learned Since March 2020
Mar, 2 2021
In March of 2020, Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order announcing a state of emergency in Arizona. Schools and businesses across the state were ordered to close, causing drastic change throughout our communities. However, the Maricopa Community Colleges have evolved in several unique ways since the beginning of the pandemic. From donating medical supplies and equipment to volunteering on the front lines, MCCCD students, faculty, and staff proudly continue to support our community during COVID-19.
The eventful year was filled with experiences that taught us valuable lessons. Here are the top four lessons we have learned since last March:
We are resourceful.
The pandemic changed the learning environment for students across the world. Our faculty and staff developed new ways to create the best learning experiences for our students. Leveraging resources from across our system, our colleges loaned thousands of laptops and hotspot devices to those in need, helping 96 percent of Spring 2020 classes successfully transition to remote learning. The MaricopaNursing program found innovative ways to deliver clinical experiences by using state-of-the-art technology. Today, Nursing students continue to rise to the occasion by administering COVID-19 testing and vaccines. It is amazing what humans can do when change is required to succeed.
People are important.
The pandemic's financial impact raised concerns about affordable tuition and the ability to continue one's education. Mission-driven, our colleges work to provide high-quality, accessible education, empowering our community to succeed. To do just that, Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board approved two new tuition discounts for Maricopa County residents and Out-of-State residents residing in Arizona.
We need community.
One of the most important lessons learned was in times of uncertainty, communities prevail. It was important to let our community know they are not alone. When healthcare providers and first responders across Arizona needed resources and support, we found a way to help. The entire MCCCD community came together to manufacture and donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the frontline healthcare workers. Together, we donated over $31,000 worth of PPE, lent $260,000 worth of medical equipment, and donated 3,000 ear guards and face shields.
When campuses closed, it created hardship for thousands of our students, who no longer had access to food pantries. In partnership with Fry's Food Stores, a division of the Kroger Family of Companies, $50,000 was donated to address students' urgent basic needs and their families. The generous donation allowed us to fund an additional 20,000 meals through the college’s pantry sites and distribute grocery store gift cards to those in need.
We are charged with deep gratitude.
All of MCCCD demonstrated togetherness and strength to help the community around us get through the pandemic. Word's would never be enough. We are beyond thankful for the lessons learned and the people who came together to help. Your commitment to caring got us through.