TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — First-year students at Pima Community College are ready to start a new journey.
"It's very close to home, but it's also far enough away that I can feel a little more independent," said Pima Community College Student, Stephanie Whipple.
Around 16,000 students signed up for Fall classes at Pima. President of Campuses, Dr. David Dore, said enrollment has taken hit since the pandemic.
"We're down about 20% from pre-pandemic. We're hoping that more students will come back now that we are offering a lot more face-to-face courses," said Dore.
Pima will offer in-person, online and hybrid style classes across their five campuses.
"What we are trying to do is really provide multiple options for students. If students aren't comfortable coming back to a face-to-face environment, then we have varied options for those students," said Dore.
Many of the of the classes that require students to meet in-person involve hands-on training. Students are required to wear a mask in indoor areas where social distancing isn't possible. Staff are also strongly encouraging students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
"We've also installed a high tech air filtration system in every classroom. These are designed to kill viruses. We've also installed plexiglass in high traffic areas," said Dore.
Dore said the safety of students and staff is Pima's number one priority.
"This is a perfect time to come back and complete, or start, a degree and achieve your goals," said Dore.