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Sunday, September 27, 2020

COVID-19 response teams discuss protection and student engagement

The COVID-19 response teams discussed student accessibility toward student services and how to keep students informed through an online Zoom meeting on April 15.

Director of the Student Health Center Beth Benne discussed Team A’s update by stating that they received 2,000 masks, but the masks were not the ones that Benne expected to receive.

 Benne also said she is concerned about the growing number of students receiving help for their mental health because they are worried about their privacy.

“They have family members who don’t know they’re in counseling,” Benne said. “They’re having trouble finding a private place or going on a walk.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Sheri Berger from Team C explained that Pierce classes should follow distance education guidelines, rather those of correspondence education. 

“The fact is that we don’t have correspondence education and that we need to maintain regular effective and substantive contact,” Berger said. “It needs to be instructor initiated and we need to have student to student interactions.”

Faculty must launch their Zoom classes from within Canvas, rather than sending links to the meetings, according to Berger. 

“If you’re going out to some other publisher-based site, it has to be done from Canvas,” Berger said. “There has to be some way that we can document these things that are required by the U.S. Department of Education, in terms of our accredited status.”

Berger also said faculty will receive an email on how they can report students that have been unresponsive or not participating on Canvas.

 “We have a process to set up an email that will go to student services,” Berger said. “Some peer mentors will be reaching out to some of those students, as much as they would if they were on campus face-to-face to help direct them to the appropriate resource on campus.”  

The Enrollment Management Committee recommended Team D on how to communicate engaging and supportive information to students, according to Juan Carlos Astorga, Dean of Student Engagement. 

The recommendations include creating concise messaging, developing information that has a date and ensuring that the information is important to students.

Public Relations Manager Doreen Clay said while monitoring social media, she has noticed that many students are anxious about the future.

According to Clay, students want to know about things such as when commencement is going to take place or when the summer session schedule is going to come out. 

Vice President of Administrative Services Rolf Schleicher concluded the meeting by advising team leaders to list essential tasks and adjust them throughout the week. 

“I’m hopeful that we get some of the questions we had last week and maybe look through those,” Schleicher said. “We can have the teams maybe answer out and some of those questions that probably are things we’re already covering now.”

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