MDC Announces Three-Phase Plan To Reopen; Small Number Of Students To Take Classes On Campus This Summer

Miami Dade College Interim President Rolando Montoya revealed a plan during this week’s Board of Trustees meeting that allows a small number of students to take in-person classes this summer for courses that can’t be replicated virtually. 

The measure coincides with a tentative three phase plan to reopen the College. On June 1, College officials said essential employees will be allowed back on campus.

No specific dates have been set for phase two or three. Phase two will include limited services such as the bookstore, student services and learning resources.  

Phase three will be implemented when MDC fully reopens. Montoya said the College is “seriously considering” reopening this fall, depending on guidance from state officials. 

The in-person classes this summer include some courses in the Tesla START program, aviation, School of Justice, firearm training, funeral service, clinical and science lab realm—and account for less than 5% of total enrollment, Montoya said.  

“They really don’t lend themselves to distance education,” Montoya said during the meeting, adding the exception was authorized by the Department of Education.

Under the strict safeguards, no more than ten people will be allowed in a class at once, which includes professors and students. The classes will be offered on a rotating schedule, meaning students will alternate between in-person and online classes to minimize contact with peers. 

Students and professors will be required to wear face masks at all times. There will be a single entry point at each campus and anyone entering the campus will have their temperature checked. Anyone entering campus will be provided a wristband that allows access on campus for that particular day. 

Anyone that registers a high temperature will not be allowed on campus until they are cleared by a physician.

It’s unclear if students will be required to leave after class is over, but MDC spokesperson Juan C. Mendieta said large gatherings will not be allowed on campus.   

Raimundo Socorro, dean of the School of Justice, Public Safety and Law Studies at North Campus, said professors in his area will be notified next week if their class will be in-person, while students will be contacted through phone and email before classes start. 

Not all of the in-person classes will be held at the College. Some aviation students complete assigned flight hours at Miami Executive Airport and Miami International Airport in conjunction with Homestead Campus.