Protocols in NIC labs make you feel really safe: student says

Second year science student Merissa Grohmann prepares for a lab at NIC’s Comox Valley campus. COVID protocols and safety plans are in place to allow students to access lab equipment for science courses.

Second year-university students are benefiting from NIC’s on-campus science labs.

NIC has COVID-19 safety protocols in place, which allowed students to still access full science labs on campus this fall.

Merissa Grohmann took her first year at NIC and was planning to transfer to university for second year.

“For one of the courses I wanted to take, they weren’t running labs, so I’d have to take the lab portion later,” said Grohmann. “When I learned NIC was able to offer the labs, I decided to stay for my second year.”

Grohmann is pursuing a career in microbiology, a passion she discovered while at NIC.

“I originally came to NIC to take nursing and started with some upgrading and first year science courses to meet the admission requirements,” she said. “I found I was really enjoying the hands-on science. I remember we were doing a lab looking at cultures of bacteria colonies and thinking: this is what I want to do.”

Grohmann began working toward a science major in biology.

“All my science instructors were so supportive – they recommended courses and gave me advice. You can tell they really care about you and want to help you get where you want to go.”

While COVID changed Grohmann’s original plans to transfer, she was grateful to spend another year with her instructors.

“I really liked the small class sizes, the access you have to your instructors and the support you get at NIC.”

“The precautions they’re taking for COVID make you feel really safe,” she added. “There’s physical barriers in place, you have your own space, there’s screening protocols, the instructions are very clear. It’s really nice to be able to get your hands on the equipment and use it and to feel safe while doing it.”

Grohmann will finish her second year at NIC and then is hoping to transfer to finish her degree.

She would recommend NIC to high school students, especially those interested in sciences or who aren’t sure yet what they want to do.

“Being at NIC really helped me figure out what I wanted to do and not be stressed while I was figuring it out. You have so much flexibility and you can pick what you want to explore and have the space to do it.”

Registration is open for courses for both winter and spring 2021, including dual credit options for students still in high school.

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