Our partner colleges are working hard to accommodate and support current and future students affected by the coronavirus. All colleges extended enrollment deadlines, facilitate virtual academic advising, and share coronavirus resources. In part two of this blog series, we will examine the different measures implemented by partner colleges in Illinois and Kansas to guide and assist students while they are at home.
Most university employees and offices are open virtually in response to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Students are advised to review the updated schedule for university administrative office hours: https://www.lewisu.edu/covid-19/businesshours.htm. Students and staff on campus for essential business must display a student, faculty, or staff ID to the Lewis University Police Department at the front entrance.
Lewis University is committed to supporting students as they transition to online classes and online learning. As a result, peer-to-peer tutoring is available online, and students can access Brainfuse, a service of real tutors in a wide range of subjects, including English, Math, and Science. The University also set up general email inboxes for questions, concerns, and accommodations. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. More details on academic support and resources for students can be found at www.lewisu.edu/academicsupport.
For COVID-19 information, students can visit this website: https://lewisu.edu/covid-19/index.htm.
Blackburn College’s Biology department has donated 1,200 medical examination gloves and 10 high-grade respirators to Illinois hospitals in efforts to assist with the health crisis.
The faculty and staff are supporting students over email and phone and giving them tailor-made individual advice for how to continue forward. Refund and emergency relief checks for unused housing and food charges will be coming to many students. Also, students will receive full credit for their Work Program tuition credit despite not working in the last eight weeks. This is a $1250 benefit to each student in the Work Program.
A staff member opened her home to a student with nowhere to return to when the campus closed. The student will stay with the staff member throughout the summer. Virtual counseling is also available by scheduling an appointment with Counseling Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Students are grateful for the college’s hands-on approach to this unprecedented challenge. A current Blackburn student expressed the following appreciation to her professor:
“I just wanted to reach out to express how extremely grateful I am for your understanding, and just for you really care about your students. Going through what we all are right now, I have learned a lot about people, my professors especially, and I just want you to know that I really do appreciate how you’re doing this class … thank you for being nice and knowing that we’re all struggling in our own ways right now.”
For COVID-19 information, students can visit this website: https://blackburn.edu/coronavirus/
Wichita State University
Wichita State University has allocated half of its CARE act awarded funds – approximately $4.4 million – to emergency financial aid grants for eligible students. The Wichita State Foundation also set up a fund for COVID-19 related expenses for students. See more information here: https://www.wichita.edu/about/wsunews/news/2020/03-march/shockers_up_wichita_state_5.php.
Undergraduate students struggling with the academic transition can adjust course grades from the assigned letter grade to a credit/non-credit option, and an unsatisfactory/unsatisfactory option is available for graduate students. Frequently asked questions are answered on this resource page: https://www.wichita.edu/about/public_information/wsu_topics/topicscovid-19/index.php.
Pittsburg State University
The Pittsburg State University Student Success team is offering student success workshops twice a week. Topics include stress management and tips on learning in an online environment, and program updates can be found here: https://twitter.com/PSUSuccess.
The University also provided laptops for students that needed them to continue with online classes at home. Frequently asked questions are answered on this resource page: https://www.pittstate.edu/office/health-services/coronavirus/index.html#undefined16.
Baker University set up its Outreach Network Student Concern form. Faculty, staff, and students can request assistance for themselves or others based on concerns with both academic and personal issues due to online learning here: https://bakeruniversity.formstack.com/forms/cas_faculty_outreach.
Students at the College of Arts and Sciences also had the opportunity to request that courses for the spring 2020 term be graded Pass/NC. Peer tutoring and the writing center are available online. Information on how to access tutors and the writing center are detailed on this resource page: https://www.bakeru.edu/coronavirus/coronavirus-faq/.
Kansas State University
Recognizing the financial challenges many students experience due to the COVID-19 crisis, Kansas State University is significantly reducing online fees for summer school undergraduate and graduate courses this year. For more information, visit the Division of Financial Services, https://www.k-state.edu/finsvcs/cashiers/costs/summer-2020/.
The University also developed resource pages and videos to assist students with the transition to online learning:
Kansas State University enacted a K State Today Student Edition for current and potential students to find all virtual events, local news, and publications in one place. This update releases Monday-Friday and can be accessed here: https://www.k-state.edu/today/students/.
For KSU COVID-19 resources and updates, students can visit: https://www.k-state.edu/covid-19/index.html.
We here at Give Something Back are proud to call all these outstanding colleges our partners!