Education and Behavioral Sciences Student Open Forum
Cheryl Sparks (00:00:00):
Hello and welcome to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences college forum. My name is Cheryl Sparks. I serve as the educator preparation specialist for the college. My grandmother always said that I talk as fast as a New York cab driver drives. So I will do my best to park the cab during the forum but please be patient if I start talking to fast.
We are here today to answer your questions about returning to UNC this fall. During the program, you can ask questions using the Q and A button. Feel free to start submitting questions now. We will attempt to have all questions answered either in Q and A, live VR panelist, or through a followup email once the program concludes.
I would like to begin with a special address from our provost, Dr. Mark Anderson. Dr. Anderson joined UNC as a provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in the spring of 2019. As provost, Dr. Andersen oversees everything from enrollment management to advising. Thank you for being here, provost.
Mark Anderson (00:01:09):
Thank you for having me. Thank you for the kind introduction, Cheryl. I very much appreciate it. I want to welcome all of our participants and thank you for coming. This is really an opportunity for you to ask questions about the fall semester and what it's going to look like. We have been working diligently, the faculty and staff, since the end of the spring semester to develop what the fall semester's going to look like and how we can deliver our courses to meet the learning objectives to keep you on track for progress towards your degree and do it in a way that is mindful of the health and safety of our campus community. We've been working really closely with the governor's office, the Colorado department of public health and environment and the Colorado department of higher education on guidance for how we can open the campus and deliver our courses and doing it in a way that is safe for all students, faculty and staff.
It's been a very fluid situation. As you know, last week, the governor issued a mandatory mask requirement. So, one of the things we will be asking all of our students and all of the community to do is to wear a mask in public environments and we can address specific questions about masks wearing.
One of the things that we also are doing is assuring that we have appropriate social distancing and that required us to look at our classroom capacity and change the capacity so that people are spaced by at least six feet of separation. Just to give you a sense of what that entailed, that took our seating capacity for our instructional spaces from just about 11,000 seats to just over 3,000 seats. So we're about 30% capacity of what we were prior to Covid and our faculty have been really working hard to assure that we can deliver our courses to meet the learning objectives and to do it in a way that is safe for our students. That means some of your classes might be face to face. Some of the classes will be a hybrid where you meet face to face sometimes and online sometimes and other classes will be fully online.
That is all encoded into the Ursa system right now. The situation is fluid. Cases of Covid-19 in the state of Colorado are increasing. Not to the extent that they are in other parts of the country but we're keeping a close eye on that. We've also been working with our partner institutions and I believe some of the faculty will talk about that a little bit to assure that we are meeting the best practices for our professional communities as we are delivering our courses. I would encourage you to ask any and all questions. We will try to answer them, either in this forum or in a follow up conversation. If during the course of the forum a question comes up that is not answered, don't hesitate to reach out to any of us. I will now turn the forum over to interim dean for the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Trent Lalonde. Trent.
Trent Lalonde (00:04:22):
Great, thank you. I appreciate the kind introduction. Welcome everybody to the forum. My name is Trent Lalonde and, as the provost said, I'm serving as the interim dean for your college. Joining me on the call today to help address and answer your questions are a number of other people from our college. Dr. Corey Pierce, the director of the school of special education, and also has served as an associate dean of the college is joining us, Dr. Jingzi Huang, the director of school of teacher education and the other associate dean of the college is joining us, Dr. Carl Granrud, the director of psychological sciences is available to answer questions and I believe I say Lynette Kerrigan on the call as well. Lynette is extremely knowledgeable about teacher placements.
Cheryl Sparks (00:05:25):
Okay, thank you dean. I'm grateful to have these panelists with us today and to be joined by all of you. We have over 80 participants, current and future bears joining us. We will now start to answer your questions. As we mentioned, some questions will be answered live and others will be answered via the Q and A.
So, we'll start a couple of questions first, hopefully that provost Anderson might be able to answer. First one is will the same protocols be in place for fall 2020 be in place for spring of 2021?
Mark Anderson (00:06:01):
That's a great question. It's almost changes daily what the protocols will be and so, I see, also in the chat, a question about whether we will revert to an all virtual environment and I think these are really related. We're monitoring the health situation of our local community but also the state of Colorado and it's really difficult to predict what the spring will look like. We are, right at the moment, anticipating a completely "normal", whatever normal looks like in the future, semester for the spring but very much like the fall, we are paying attention to what's going on and the decision isn't entirely ours. We are collaborating with the governor's office and the Colorado department of higher education and they're helping to make decisions, not just for individual institutions like the University of Northern Colorado but for the entirety of the state. So, we're paying very close attention. There is the possibility that we will have to revert to an all virtual environment like we did in the spring and that really depends upon the rate of transmission of Coronavirus and the number of cases in the state but also locally. That will impact our plans for the spring as well. We don't know what the springs going to look like and so right at the moment we're planning for a fully face to face environment for the spring but that's liable to change.
Cheryl Sparks (00:07:31):
Thank you. Are there quarantine requirements for students when they move to campus? And, kind of along those lines, they're also asking what the residence halls will look like with Covid-19 concerns?
Mark Anderson (00:07:45):
So, I'll address the quarantine and then ask Dr. Jenna Finley to address the second part of the question. We are not quarantining people when they arrive to campus. We are not requiring a test when people arrive to campus. We are asking that people use common sense and if they are feeling sick that they tell us and get the appropriate medical attention. But, no, we are not requiring a quarantine on arrival nor are we requiring a test on arrival.
Jenna Finley (00:08:18):
Hi, the residence halls and dining services will be operating very similarly to what they normally would be. Students will have roommates. There will be some guidance in place in terms of not having guests in your room this academic year. You'll need to wear a mask in public spaces. Not gather in large groups. A lot of our public spaces will have capacity limits posted on the doors and will expect you to abide by that. For students who want singles, we opened up a building that was held off [inaudible 00:08:55] this year to be able to request a single and you just need to contact our office to do that.
Dining will also operate fairly normally. There will be limited capacity in the dining rooms. So there will be some dine in but they will also be able to take meals to go. You will not be able to serve yourself. We will have to serve food to you and that is just another change in this environment.
Cheryl Sparks (00:09:21):
Okay. What steps have been taken to ensure my students safety?
Mark Anderson (00:09:32):
We are following all the guidance from the Colorado department of higher education. Every course will have students... Every course that meets face to face will have students spaced at at least six feet. We're requiring that everybody wear masks. Some courses, there will be some compensation that will allow people to take off masks while they're doing different activities. So, for example, the American Sign Language program requires that people see another person's face, so during that portion of the course, masks can be taken off. We also will allow for face shields in those environments. In the event of somebody becoming ill, they will be quarantined and we will be doing contact tracing for everybody that the individual came in touch with. We have the capacity to conduct Covid-19 tests in our student health services. Because of the reduced capacity for our teaching, we anticipate that academic buildings will have much lower numbers of people in them but we are having a regular flow of in buildings to ensure that there's not a lot of interaction that you might see in a crowd. We are also requiring masks and having people wear masks in all public circumstances. So we're following all the guidance from the Colorado department of public health and environment to assure that our community is safe.
The other piece which is critically important is that we are asking each member of our community to be responsible to the community. So we're asking people to wear masks. We're asking people to maintain social distancing. We're asking people to self report if they're ill so that they can quarantine. That's really critically important that people have responsibility to the community. Finally, we'll be doing a lot of education about viral transmission of disease and what we can do to safeguard our community. I think that's the really critical piece to everything is that we want to educate our students, our faculty and our staff about best practices and really assure that everybody's doing what they can in responsibility to each other.
Cheryl Sparks (00:12:12):
Thank you. If a student must be quarantined, how do they continue their in person classes?
Mark Anderson (00:12:23):
So, I'll take that and maybe defer to Trent and Dr. Finley a little bit. We are treating those very much like we would treat a student who gets sick in any semester. Every semester with campus of 12,000 students, you have a number of students who get ill and can't attend their classes. Typically, you'll work with your faculty person to make sure that you're getting the material that you missed because you weren't able to attend and that you have opportunity to continue to engage with the class in some fashion and to complete the assignments. So we don't see this as any different in terms of the educational mission. Dr. Finley maybe can talk a little bit about the quarantine for our on campus students.
Jenna Finley (00:13:16):
Yes, we have rooms set aside in the residence halls for students who either need to be in self quarantine or self isolation that are singles with their own bathroom and meals are delivered. I think it's important to understand that self quarantine is what happens if you've been in contact with someone who is positive and you're identified through that contact tracing process or if you're awaiting test results and so the length of time varies and self isolation is if you're actually had positively tested for Covid and we are prepared to handle both and there are very limited times that students would be allowed to leave their space if they are in self isolation or quarantine. A common question for me is can we enforce that quarantine or isolation? The answer to that question is yes and it's a fairly significant consequence handled through the dean of students office if you break that quarantine because, again, the consequences to our community are pretty significant.
Mark Anderson (00:14:24):
[crosstalk 00:14:24] Please, Trent.
Trent Lalonde (00:14:25):
To jump in from the academic side, it sounded like the question had underneath it some concerns about keeping up. So, the recommendation from us is if you are quarantined or if you do get sick, as a student, keep the communication open. Keep communicating with your faculty members, the directors and chairs of your department. Let all of your professors and instructors know that you're being quarantined and we've been instructed to be very, very flexible and work with students to try to help them keep up academically.
Cheryl Sparks (00:14:59):
Okay, kind of along the same lines is are there online accessible options for classes that are still being held in person? If there are not online options, why not?
Mark Anderson (00:15:20):
That's a great question and really the answer to that question is capacity. As we're preparing the fall semester, we looked at enrollment trends in the past. We talked with the faculty. We talked with the professional organizations about what's the best way to deliver the content so that students can meet the learning objectives of the course and combined with our capacity and the capacities not just the seating capacity of rooms, it's the capacity of faculty to teach the courses and so we developed a fall schedule that tried to address the educational needs of the majority of the students, recognizing, of course, that we couldn't offer classes in every possible teaching modality for every possible student. Certainly, we'll work with students, particularly those who are close to graduation to see if we can find alternatives and/or course substitutions but it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for us to offer every class in every possible modality this fall.
Cheryl Sparks (00:16:35):
Thank you. For students who are going to be taking in person classes, are they expected to wipe down their spaces?
Mark Anderson (00:16:46):
So, I'm going to start referring to other people here because it feels like I'm just talking and talking and talking but part of the community responsibility is to assure that the space that you have is clean. So, we are asking and will have cleaning supplies for the faculty to wipe down the teaching stations but also for students to wipe down their desk space and their learning space. We would hope that people would wipe it down when they arrive for self protection but also wipe it down as their leaving to protect the community that's coming in after them. Again, this is a little bit new but it is part of the safety protocol that's part of the CDPHE recommendations for cleanliness and to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
Trent Lalonde (00:17:51):
To follow up on that, when you return to campus, you'll see slight changes as you wonder around the key. You'll see that there's already a hand sanitizer installed in the entryways. There are a number of signs in the doorways and in the hallways encouraging social distancing and, in addition, as provost Anderson mentioned, there will be cleaning supplies in the main offices. So, in the dean's office, there will be cleaning supplies and in the classroom. There will be wipes available. I think, again, to the point of sort of being responsible as a community, it's up to the faculty and up to the students to be diligent and keep things as clean as possible.
Cheryl Sparks (00:18:39):
I think we're going to move to some more college related questions. Thank you very much for the responses for those. What research opportunities will be available this fall?
Trent Lalonde (00:19:00):
Well, I'll jump in here again but, for the rest of the people on the panel, please jump in and speak over me if you have other ideas. My understanding is that research is going to continue this fall the way it traditionally has. I believe our students are going to continue to meet with advisors, with faculty. I think the meetings just may look a little bit different. A lot of the research meetings may happen over Zoom, like this for example. I believe we have the expectation of maintaining the same research pace that we've had before, maintaining progress towards graduation for all of our students. Now, if you're speaking specifically about new research opportunities about the virus and the pandemic, I honestly don't know. I don't know that we've laid out a plan for how to study the current atmosphere and the pandemic.
Cheryl Sparks (00:19:56):
Okay, I'm going to direct this one vocally at one of our program coordinators who's on the panel. Is there online classes... Will any of them have live sessions through Zoom?
Carl Granrud (00:20:19):
I could jump in there on that one. For classes in psychology, we have two kinds of online classes. We have remote asynchronous classes where there won't be any live video sessions. You'll probably be doing some things by video such as watching video taped lectures but in the asynchronous classes, there won't be any live interaction. We also have online classes that we call remote synchronous. In those classes, there will be video conferencing by Zoom or Microsoft Teams where you will interact with the instructor and other students in the class. For the classes that have a synchronous component, they are listed in the Ursa class schedule. So you can look at the class schedule on Ursa and see whether they're synchronous sessions and you can also see exactly when those synchronous sessions would be.
Cheryl Sparks (00:21:33):
Thank you very much. This question is going to be for Ms. Kerrigan. Are there options to conduct our practicum or student teaching in an online setting, for those of us who are not willing to risk our safety?
Lynette Kerrigan (00:21:49):
That is actually going to be up to the partner schools. There are many of them who are still making decisions whether or not they will go online or hybrid or completely face to face. You'll have to first wait and see what your specific placement has decided to do. If then there is a reason that you have for not wanting to be in a face to face classroom, you will need to talk to your program coordinator and your advisor. We need to keep in mind that we are guests in the schools and we can't dictate to them how they will make the placements, who they will make the placements with. We need to try to work within their parameters. So, first wait and find out what your school is going to do and then after that contact me or your program coordinator or advisor.
Cheryl Sparks (00:22:39):
[inaudible 00:22:39] Kerrigan. Next one is going to be can I do my practicum with a teacher in my home district to help reduce unnecessary risks?
Lynette Kerrigan (00:22:50):
That would be like any other placement that we make. Placements are not necessarily our choice. We make requests to schools and districts and it is up to them to decide whether they have capacity to be able to provide the types of placements that we need. At this point in time, changes to placements are not being made simply because other placements don't exist currently. Schools have stopped taking placements and making changes unless they themselves have to make a change. So, for the time being, your placement will be what your placement has been assigned to you. Any student, obviously, for any reason can choose to delay a field experience if they need to and, again, you would need to talk to your program coordinator or advisor about that.
Cheryl Sparks (00:23:36):
Thank you. These next couple I believe are probably going to be for you, Dr. Pierce. How will UNC support me if the school I'm doing my practicum or student teaching in is not following CDC's best practices?
Corey Pierce (00:23:55):
As Lynette said, it's important to note that if you don't feel safe going into a placement for any reason, we definitely encourage you to reach out to us so we can work with you individually to consider all the variables and then look at what options are available. Otherwise, we do expect the candidates to work alongside their mentor teacher to follow the guidelines and policies that are laid out by the school. So they're functioning as if they were a professional teacher in that school.
Lynette Kerrigan (00:24:32):
I'll add a little bit to that as well. I'm not aware of any school or district in the state that is not following CDC guidance because they are also governed by the state and the state is mandating that they do certain things. If you are aware of a school or district that for some reason is not following any of the protocols, then you do need to let us know where that is so we can deal with that.
Cheryl Sparks (00:24:59):
This is probably also for you, Dr. Pierce. What's the protocol for a student in practicum, if a child or adult in their classroom contracts Covid-19?
Corey Pierce (00:25:11):
Good question and, again, it's important that as soon as you begin your practicum setting, you communicate with your mentor teacher and learn about the policies and procedures mandated by the school. As soon as you enter as a practicum student, again, you're held to the same guidelines, professional standards as a teacher, so you will follow the school and district guidelines for your placement site. So, these are important questions as many have alluded to a lot of this is new for many of us and schools are making policy decisions now. So, as soon as you know who your mentor teacher is, begin reaching out politely and finding out how you can get information about their Covid policy and for how they will deal with situations like if a student or a colleague is found to be infected with Covid-19 and how you should respond.
Cheryl Sparks (00:26:11):
Okay, I think we're going to go back to Ms. Kerrigan now. Is there any information that you can share with students about how the practicum may look?
Lynette Kerrigan (00:26:22):
Yes and no. Basically the practicum will look however your host school decides that they're going to do teaching. So, if you're assigned to a school and a teacher that are teaching face to face with social distancing guidelines, that's what you'll do. If you're assigned to a school that's doing a hybrid model where some of the teaching will be virtual and some will be face to face, depending on the days of the week that you're assigned, you'll be doing whatever they're doing on that particular day and likewise if it's completely online, you'll be required to do that as well. The schools will provide you with access to whatever technology they are going to use, so you'll have that same access. Your requirements will be the same. You'll still be planning lessons. You'll still be teaching lessons and all of the lessons that you teach, whether they are virtual or face to face, that's still teaching. That counts towards the program requirements. So you will meet all of your requirements that way.
Corey Pierce (00:27:23):
I would add two things on to what Lynette said. First of all, if you are not in a fully face to face placement, if there is a deviation from that, work with the university supervisor as well. Your university supervisor knows all of the requirements that you need to meet for that practicum course. So, if there is anything that needs to be adjusted for online environments, something delivered in a hybrid way, please work with them as well. So the two of you can plan on how those observations will be conducted. Then the other piece is many of our practicum courses have a research component and it's important when you're planning for that research component to consider all of these variables including if your program, if your placement does move to online or some kind of hybrid, will you still be able to conduct that research or project. So right now we're working with everyone to plan projects that can be completed regardless of the delivery mode for your school placement.
Cheryl Sparks (00:28:36):
Okay, we're going to give them a break and we'll move on to a couple of other more general questions. Anyone who feels they might have an answer, feel free to jump in. How will the university regulate students wearing masks and implication of the masks regulation?
Mark Anderson (00:28:52):
So, that is a relatively simple question to answer. The governor has issued a requirement to wear a mask and, in our student code of conduct, it says that students will follow the guidance of the university and adhere to the laws of the state of Colorado and so it is part of our student code of conduct that students will follow the requirements of the university and one of the requirements of the university will be mask wearing in public environments, in classroom setting, etc. So, that's how we will assure that that is happening. If students or individuals choose not to follow that guidance, then there is a process in the student conduct that allows us to adjudicate and handle those students through the student judicial process.
Cheryl Sparks (00:30:01):
Thank you. As a follow up to that, do we have to provide our own masks to wear in class at UNC? What about when if we're in class at the school we are student teaching?
Jenna Finley (00:30:14):
We recommend that you bring a wardrobe of masks to school. You are responsible for your own. We will have, if you forget, there will be limited supplies of temporary mask. It is recommended that you wear a fabric mask that can be laundered. Keep in mind that since we'll be wearing them all day long that sometimes you might need to change it throughout the day and evaluate whether or not you're able to, how frequently you'll want to wash those determines how many masks you might need. If you're willing to wash one or two every night, that may be all you need but just evaluate that. We will not be providing a fabric mask but we will have some temporarily available. Along with that, you may want to think about other supplies you wouldn't typically bring to college. It may not be on your checklist but think about bringing a thermometer to monitor your symptoms daily. Make sure you don't have a fever and expose your community that way. Bring cleaning supplies and a supply of wipes that you can find is a great idea as well. Tylenol and medicines are also something great to have on hand.
Cheryl Sparks (00:31:27):
Thank you. So, this is again kind of general. What is the attendance policy if someone feels sick? Some professors are very strict with attendance.
Trent Lalonde (00:31:44):
I can jump in here but, again, any others feel free to speak over me. So, attendance is expected in classes. However, during the pandemic, we're actually requiring students to give doctor's notes if they don't feel well. The policy for this upcoming academic year is that if a student feels sick, you can simply notify your professor that you feel sick and they'll start helping make remote accommodations. Along the lines of what we talked about if somebody has to quarantine. So, your faculty, your instructors, the chairs and directors of your departments will work with you to help you keep up academically. But again, if you do feel sick, we want to make it an easy decision for the student. Simply reach out through email, even, and let all of your instructors know that you are sick and they will work to find a remote way to make up possibly for graded activities during class.
Cheryl Sparks (00:32:45):
Thank you. I'm just going to do a quick follow up on the last masks question. Another part of it asked if there would be anything for masks to be provided in the classes in the schools where there going to class for student teaching?
Lynette Kerrigan (00:33:03):
I'll jump in on that one. A lot of the schools are providing masks for their teachers and if they provide them for their teachers, they've indicated that they will provide them for student teachers. I will recommend though that you still be prepared to have your own as well just in case and also check with your mentor teacher to find out if that's something that you'll be given access to on your first day in the classroom.
Cheryl Sparks (00:33:26):
Thank you. This is probably going to go back to you, Dr. Pierce. If we go back to virtual learning, how will things change for students in block needing to have a certain amount of hours?
Corey Pierce (00:33:44):
We've been working with Colorado department of higher education and the Colorado department of education to follow their guidance on practicum hours and they've given us a fair amount of flexibility to be able to monitor the types of experiences you're getting and the number of hours that you're getting. So, if something significant would happen, you get sick, you miss a significant amount of practicum time, if you have additional practicum or student teaching opportunities coming up in future semesters, we could potentially shift some of those hours to those semester. Not ideal but again it's an option for us. And then the types of teaching activities that you're doing, as others have said before, if you're teaching online, the planning, whether it's synchronous or asynchronous type of delivery, you can count those hours towards your practicum hour requirement. So, again, continuing to work with us, continuing to work with your university supervisor to make sure you are getting credit for all the work that you're doing and the hours that you're putting into that work.
Cheryl Sparks (00:34:58):
Thank you. I'm not sure if you want to stay on or if someone else should answer this but will our supervisors from UNC be able to observe us in person?
Corey Pierce (00:35:11):
I'll provide an answer and then Lynette you can jump in and fill in the gaps. Yes. The school's have reassured us that if they are face to face that they will allow our university supervisors in to conduct face to face lessons. Now, the procedures and the ways that they get into the school, things that they have to do to insure that they're being safe, they may ask to try to limit the amount of time that they're in the building so followup meetings and those things may end up taking place virtually or outside of the school building but in terms of coming in and conducting the face to face observations, yes. If the school is there. We do have some technology through our live tech system and other systems where you may be able to conduct live observations using other technology and recorded lessons and posting them and having the observation done, not live but get feedback on a lesson as if it were live. Lynette?
Lynette Kerrigan (00:36:17):
There actually is an update to that as of today. I do have some districts that are reaching out now and saying they will not allow supervisors into their buildings to do live observations because of the state limits on the number of people they can have in a classroom at a time or the introduction of a new person to a classroom who's not part of a cohort. I suspect that based on the two districts that I've heard from already moving to that model, I suspect that's what's going to happen with most of the other districts in Colorado. So, it's looking as if your supervision will be done remotely, whether that be live video, or viewing video later and then using teams and Zoom to have conferences and meetings with your supervisor.
Cheryl Sparks (00:37:07):
Let's see. What resources are available specifically for students in this college?
Trent Lalonde (00:37:23):
I guess I'll jump in and attempt an answer but I think some of the resources that Corey and Lynette have been talking about in terms of helping you negotiate either a practicum or teacher placements and the potential uncertainty of whether, if you are a student teacher, whether you will be teaching face to face or remotely, I think the resources that you've heard about is flexibility. That these faculty and staff are going to work with you to try to keep you on time for graduation, hitting your practicum hours, hitting your student teaching and allowing things to count that maybe we haven't considered in the past. In terms of tangible resources, as we've discussed in the building, there's a lot of cleaner, hand sanitizer. There will be some masks available and I guess, in general, the faculty, the chairs, the directors of your academic departments have been thinking about this all summer, actually since the spring even and are making themselves available to answer specific questions. If you get sick, they will work with you. If you suspect you're sick, they will work with you. If you are uncomfortable being on campus with a lot of people around, they will work with you at the program level, again, to keep you on pace. Anybody else care to join in?
Corey Pierce (00:38:53):
I'll just add that the resources for student advising and support in the college have now been gathered into the CBS advising center. Those advisors are being very innovative and scheduling and designing ways to offer you a variety of advising sessions. So, if these questions come up about which courses to take, again, if you're making a last minute decision about online versus face to face, please work with your advisor and college advising center so that we can make sure and keep you on track, get you a full load of courses in a modality that you're comfortable with, so again, so we can get you to graduation on time.
Mark Anderson (00:39:41):
Now I think a critical piece for me is that this semester is going to be different but just because it's different doesn't mean it's lesser. Our faculty have been working like crazy focusing on the learning objectives of individual courses and how given the restrictions that we are facing can we meet the learning objectives of the course. An online course can be just as effective as a face to face course but it's going to be different. A hybrid course where you're meeting face to face some of the times and virtually some of the times is going to be different but it's still meeting the learning objectives of the course and ultimately of the program and our faculty are very, very good at understanding how to leverage the situation that they're in. Whether it's face to face, virtual or hyrbid to make sure that you're getting a great and robust learning experience and I think that's the key. It's going to be different, there's no question about that but different isn't worse. In fact, in many respects from what I'm hearing, faculty have come up with a lot of very clever ideas to enhance the class and make it a better experience than it might otherwise have been.
Cheryl Sparks (00:41:07):
Thank you. We've had a few student support questions coming in now. What resources are available for a students physical and mental health?
Mark Anderson (00:41:24):
That is a great question. I guess I saw Jenna jump in here. I'll give a very short answer and defer to her. We have a counseling center and we recognize that there's a lot of different pressures going on and we want to ensure the health and safety of our entire campus and that includes the mental health of our campus. So, we do have a lot of resources that are available to that. We have disability resource center to provide an avenue for students to seek accommodation and we are building in a lot of supports. We have a lot of tutoring to support the academic side and the tutoring is going to be both face to face and virtual. We have a lot of student services that will be available that are looking at how they can provide those services in the environment that we currently exist. So that includes face to face as well as virtual. So, Dr. Finley?
Jenna Finley (00:42:29):
We are concerned for everyone's wholistic well being so keeping in mind that there are resources like the recreation center, indoor and outdoor activities as well. If you're a new student, the community you started with in orientation will be continued and facilitated by a resident assistant and residence hall vets. If you're an on campus first year student or an off campus first year student and we'll facilitate ways for you to get to know people in small groups that are safe, as well as a virtual community because we know community and relationship in this environment. It's a big part of college and doing that safely and having a network of support, reducing a sense of isolation are critical to your success. So we've spent a lot of time talking about how do we do that in different way and different environment and still help you get to know people and just contact with both teachers and faculty.
Cheryl Sparks (00:43:31):
A couple of [inaudible 00:43:33]. How will students be able to socialize this fall and how can they get involved with clubs and organizations?
Jenna Finley (00:43:45):
A lot of clubs and organizations will likely be encouraged to do meetings virtually. Small meetings and socializing in spaces outdoors that we'll encourage I think. A lot of it is going to be dependent on how things are in any given time which depends on how much we are doing in small social settings and how big we might be able to get in terms of activities that are allowed. I know our students on campus are exploring things like can we do drive in movies and some things that are just very different from what we have normally done to still provide that sense of fun and then clubs and organizations is a way to gain a critical experiences like leadership experience, communication skills, things that round out your college experience. So all of that will still happen. It just will happen in a mix methods similar to the way that classes are being covered.
Mark Anderson (00:44:56):
I know Dr. Finley has to leave for another meeting, so I wanted to thank her for being here and answering many questions, so thank you. I'll try to handle the student activity questions from now on to the best of my ability. Much, much inferior to what Dr. Finley's able to do but very much like the classroom experience, the co curricular experience is going to be a little bit different. Students clubs and organizations will be active but they'll probably be active in a little bit of a different way. We're going to take advantage of the wonderful weather here in Greeley, Colorado and do a lot of activities outside. We're actually going to have some dining activities outside as the weather permits and so we've anticipate the campus will be vibrate, full of both education and co-curricular activities. They're just going to be different from what has happened in the past but they're going to be unique as Dr. Finley said, student organizations have been looking into sort of drive up movies type of things and other outside activities where social interaction can happen but maintaining a distance.
Cheryl Sparks (00:46:24):
Thank you. There's a question that I'd like to do a follow up with provost Anderson. He kind of touched on it a little bit. They're asking about additional support services such as tutoring for classes that were on campus but have been moved online. This is an individual who finds online classes much more challenging and is concerned about the extra load.
Mark Anderson (00:46:43):
We will have a full complement of tutoring and the tutoring will be both online, as well as face to face. I think that every student will hopefully find a mechanism to get the academic support as well as the student support that they need to thrive in this environment. I know the writing center, the math tutoring, etc... are really planning for a very robust fall semester that will meet all students, regardless of how their individual classes are being instructed. Also our advising will be in person and online. So students will have access to academic advising. Again, it's going to be a little bit different. I think there will be a period of time where we're trying to understand individually what works for us. I think dean Lalonde said earlier the key element is communicate with your faculty, communicate with your advisor, communicate with the tutors to find the sweet spot that works for you and it's a two way street. We need to understand what works for you so that we can help identify the supports that you need to be successful.
Jingzi Huang (00:48:17):
May I add something to what Dr. Anderson has just said? If you are taking online courses and you feel challenged, it is really a good idea to remember that for every single course you are taking, there is a professor, a real person, who is actually delivering the course. So please don't forget to also contact your professor. Share your difficulties and challenges with your professor and your professor quite often is very willing to help but if you don't talk to them, they don't know what you need. They don't know what kind of issues they have and they cannot help you but if you reach out to the professors, they are very happy to help you. They just have to know. At the same time, I would like you to know that all our professors will put aside office hours for you. You can attend their office hours. If the office hours don't work for you, contact your professor to make an appointment to meet with your professor and they are here to work with you on an individual basis if you have a difficult time following the online instructure. So, in addition to using other available services and support on campus, don't forget, there is a real person behind the online course who is willing to help you.
Cheryl Sparks (00:49:36):
Thank you, Dr. Huang. This also includes... there is a question about that as well and holding office hours will also include any professor who is teaching online, correct?
Jingzi Huang (00:49:45):
Cheryl Sparks (00:49:47):
Thank you. There's a couple of related questions for academic advising. First one is how to connect with their academic advisor.
Jingzi Huang (00:50:04):
Corey, you want to respond to that question for us?
Corey Pierce (00:50:07):
Yeah, I think the best way to contact them is via email. If you have a specific major and you can go to the website, you will be able to identify who the advisor is in that specific program or you can contact myself or Dr. Huang and we will be able to direct you to the correct advisor. The nice thing about the CBS advising center now is that the advisors are cross trained and so they'll be able to answer some general questions about most of the majors so if you can get a hold of one of our CBS advisors, they'll be able to answer your questions. We're working on our CBS advising center webpage. Hopefully we'll see that on the CBS homepage, a link to that, so you can get that information as well very soon.
Cheryl Sparks (00:51:04):
So, in regards to that, if somebody was interested in exploring a major without actually changing their major, would an advisor for that major be their best resource?
Corey Pierce (00:51:14):
Yeah, I think the first step is to always go to your current advisor. It's not to have them convince you to stay in a major, especially if you're in a CBS major already. They'll direct you to exactly who to talk to. They can compare that program with the current program. They can have those discussions with you about your career goals. The population of students that you want to work with, the environment that you want to work in and make suggestions about following through and getting more information about a new major that you would be exploring. So, absolutely, anytime a student is interested in learning about a different major on campus, I think that's important because we want to get you in the right career, one that you're really passionate about and so you can stay in your current major but it is important if you are thinking about changing your current major have those conversations earlier because the further you get into your program, the harder it is to change without losing some credits or at least having those credits turn into some elective credits. Definitely work with your advisor and then they'll connect you with the individual to talk to to learn more about that new major.
Cheryl Sparks (00:52:26):
Thank you. I have a question for psychology. Will psychology courses look different than they have in the past? Do you feel confident that the classes will still be of the same quality?
Carl Granrud (00:52:41):
That's a very good question. Some of the classes will look different but, as Dr. Anderson said, different doesn't necessarily mean worse. We've been working hard to make sure we're going to offer high quality classes. So some of the difference, we had some classes that were scheduled to be face to face that we've moved to a mixed format where parts of the class will be face to face and other parts will be online. Then we have some other classes that were originally scheduled to be face to face that have moved to be fully online, either asynchronous or synchronous. The main point is that the professors of all these classes have been working hard to make sure that the courses are going to meet their learning objectives and that we offer high quality educational experience in all of our classes.
Cheryl Sparks (00:53:44):
Are there specific spots on campus for students to study and is group study allowed?
Jen Mayer (00:53:53):
Hi, I'm Jen Mayer. I'm head of library research services and Michener library and Skinner music library will both be open for students and faculty and staff and the public this fall. There will be plenty of spaces to study in both libraries. We will have the furniture and the desktop computers spaced at appropriate distances from each other. Our study rooms will be available for students to use. We will disinfecting surfaces and we do have some library guidelines in place that relate to keeping individuals the appropriate distance apart. So, I think our study rooms will have some limits to the number of people who can gather in them but they will certainly be open and please come see us. We're really excited to see the students again in the libraries.
Cheryl Sparks (00:54:57):
Thank you. Looks like I've got a couple more question. Are campus jobs still being offered to new students or are students who already have on campus jobs being hired?
Mark Anderson (00:55:14):
Great question. There will be on campus jobs. I think every office that has student employment has their own process. Some of the jobs require some amount of training and so obviously an incumbent would have a bit of an advantage but there will be on campus employment and I think ultimately how individual units are hire people is variable depending upon the unit so I would recommend for students who are interested in on campus employment that when they get here they pursue and investigate what's available to them and very much like what's sort of the essential theme, talk to the people, see what the requirements are and see if you're qualified and interested in what the job might be. But it's going to be variable, so I don't think there's any restriction on the type of students that might be employed. I think it depends upon the actual job responsibility.
Cheryl Sparks (00:56:30):
Thank you. Will all professors be ready to go online at any moment?
Mark Anderson (00:56:40):
One of our central themes in preparing for the fall is to be prepared to go online. We are not anticipating that we will have to but we also recognize that the public health situation is changing day to day and that ultimately its not our decision because we're following the governors guidance as well as the Colorado department of public health and environment but part of the guidance to all of our faculty is to be prepared to teach in a way that the current environment allows but also to teach in a way that students can have a robust experience and meet the learning objectives of the course at the end of the semester.
Cheryl Sparks (00:57:24):
We have one final question. This is probably going to be for Dr. Pierce as well as Ms. Kerrigan. When will students receive their block/practicum placements?
Corey Pierce (00:57:39):
Go ahead, Lynette.
Lynette Kerrigan (00:57:40):
Could you repeat that, Cheryl?
Cheryl Sparks (00:57:43):
It's asking when students will receive their block/practicum placements? That might be special education related but I wanted to make sure you both spoke.
Lynette Kerrigan (00:57:54):
Pretty much for school and teacher education, all practicum and student teaching placements have been confirmed. There were a few who were confirmed with a TBA for the mentor teacher and the grade level. We have to wait until the principals get back in their buildings to give us the specific assignments before we can send those out but as far as STE is concerned, everybody has been placed and you should have already received a confirmation even if it was a TBA. So, if you didn't, let me know and I'll make sure to resend it to you.
Corey Pierce (00:58:27):
The school of special education is in a very similar situation where most of the placements have been made. There are few individual ones where we are just waiting for some conformation for some of the placements. So everybody should be getting their student teaching practicum placement. If you don't have it, you should be getting it very soon. The block practicum course placements are generally provided to students in about the second week of the semester. So, as the semester begins, if you're in block one or block two in special education, about the second week of the semester you will get your practicum placement information.
Cheryl Sparks (00:59:07):
Okay, thank you. Thank you all for joining us and asking such great questions. Just a reminder...
Jingzi Huang (00:59:20):
[crosstalk 00:59:20] Before you completed, I just want to say some thing because most of you actually get to see me when you get... especially if you are in teacher education program. You get to see me. I would just like you to know that we are all ready for you to come back.
Cheryl Sparks (00:59:35):
All right. Thank you, Dr. Huang. Just a reminder, each college has a forum this week or next. Obviously, you just attended ours. You can find details at UNCO.EDU/VISIT. We're happy to welcome you to or welcome back to our community. We can't wait to see you in the fall.
Trent Lalonde (01:00:00):
As we close up, we provided contact information for all of the college of ed and behavioral scientist panelists. Of course feel free to reach out to any of us. Any questions you have, you can email me and I'll try to direct you to the right person. I want to finish just by saying thanks for participating. We're really anxious to have you back on campus and do what we normally do during the semester. So thanks again for all the great questions and again, if something comes to mind after this is over, don't hesitate to reach out. Any of us will try to help you answer your questions.