Northern Michigan University Completes Entire Semester with In-Person, Face-to-Face Classes

MARQUETTE, MI - Northern Michigan University made a commitment to its students that it would have face-to-face in person instruction during the Fall 2020 Semester and the school succeeded in doing that all the way to the last five days of classes when the state's temporary three week pause on in person classes took effect.  With the proper planning and testing, other colleges and universities should be able to do the same. 

Now, NMU is preparing to provide the same face-to-face instruction during the Winter Semester starting in mid-January.  NMU has also created new $1,000 Transfer UP Scholarships for students who want to start at NMU or transfer to NMU for Winter Semester.   

“We are proud that we did it.  NMU students had the real college experience.  In addition to living in dorms, apartments, or their own homes, they had in person face-to-face instruction in a safe campus environment with social distancing, masks, and lots of Plexiglass to protect professors and students.  We will provide that same real college experience during our Winter Semester starting in mid-January, and we are providing new $1,000 Transfer UP Scholarships for transfer students,” Fritz Erickson, NMU president said.    

“NMU completed the entire semester providing in person classes because we had a fully engaged Board of Trustees and we had outstanding leadership from President Fritz Erickson and his team.  They created a comprehensive COVID-19 plan and then implemented it flawlessly.  We tested all NMU students and employees for COVID-19 at the start of the year and continued with surveillance testing all semester, which really helped us control the problem.  But we could not have succeeded without our tremendous faculty that did incredible work, and a student body that followed the rules, wore masks, and avoided large gatherings.  In short because everyone did their best,” Steve Mitchell, Chairman of the NMU Board of Trustees said. 

“Testing, tracing, masks, and social distancing were important safety protocols required of all students, faculty, staff and administrators at NMU in Marquette for the entire school year, from August 17th when classes started, all the way to the end of the semester at Thanksgiving.  All students and employees were given shallow nasal swab tests before school started and we continued with surveillance testing throughout the semester,” Erickson said. 

“This was part of a comprehensive plan developed by NMU to do the best job possible to protect everyone on campus and in the greater Marquette area from COVID-19.  Now, we look forward to providing in person face-to-face classes again during our Winter Semester starting January 18, 2021,” Erickson said.     

The one-time Transfer UP-Winter Awards Scholarship apply to Michigan residents in three categories of students who begin at Northern in January. First-year students who qualified for NMU scholarships for Fall 2020, but did not enroll, will receive either the previously approved amount or the Transfer UP award of $1,000, which is higher. Michigan transfer students who enroll for the first time at NMU this winter will receive a $1,000 bonus. Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society community college students will receive the $1,000 Transfer UP Award, in addition to NMU's standard PTK award of $500 per semester, for a total of $1,500 for Winter 2021.


Interview clips with Dr. Fritz Erickson, President of Northern Michigan University


Audio/Video File available at:

Question: What kind of experience did students have at Northern this fall semester?     0:00

Question: Why was Northern successful this past semester?                                0:54

Question: How is Northern preparing for the return of students in January?          1:30

Question: Why should a student consider transferring to Northern?                       2:06

B-Roll                                                                                                                      2:32

Prepared By

Derek Hall
Chief Marketing Officer

Categories: Around NMU