Preparing for International Students

Grossmont affected by COVID-19 and faced with admission of international students.

Abdali Khan, Staff Writer

Disruptions from COVID-19 have been the norm for almost two years in the U.S. Higher education institutions have faced pandemic-related challenges across the nation, including Grossmont College’s lack of international student enrollment. Now the college is trying to recruit and bring them back.

Denise Whisenhunt, president of Grossmont College, addressed the concern and said that Grossmont has been impacted by the reduction of enrollment due to COVID-19, but departments such as Academic Affairs, Administrative Services and Student Services are actively engaged with campus marketing and outreach.

“Because of this, we are noting an increase in late-start enrollment,” Whisenhunt said, adding that the college will offer an increase of in-person classes in the spring semester to persuade international students to enroll.

Dr. Marsha Gable, vice president of Student Services, said Grossmont College experienced hardship during the pandemic and the number of international students has decreased. She said the situation is returning to normal, and applications from international students are also increasing. She added that there were only 93 applications last spring, but applications almost doubled to 181 this fall.

“We continue to be as flexible as possible to accommodate potential,” Gable said. “International students’ needs have yet to meet federal regulations.”

Federal regulation for international students during the pandemic includes navigation travel bans, according to the Department of State.

Gable said the staff assisted international students by having flexible orientation dates and responding to all inquiries in a timely manner to reach the student requirements. She said Grossmont staff try hard to prepare all facilities and a safe environment for international students. 

“We work with local language schools to assist with any transfers,” Gable added.

COVID-19 is still a big concern, and each government of the world has special rules and protocols to prevent the spreading of the virus. Gable said “international students are required to meet the COVID-19 protocols of the campus.”