I am writing to provide an update to you on the planning work that is occurring during our current suspension. All instruction at Metropolitan State University is suspended until March 30, 2020. When classes resume, all instruction will occur remotely for the rest of the semester.
Planning for Classes to Resume
The faculty are using this suspension to modify their courses in two ways: 1) to resume using remote instruction, and 2) to accommodate a shorter semester and complete as planned on May 4, 2020. I’ve asked faculty to provide you with a list of technology tools that you will need to be able to use to successfully complete each of your classes. Training materials and sessions will be available next week for the different technology tools. Information will be provided to you by Friday, March 20.
Student support areas are also engaged in planning activities this week. We are working to have academic advising, tutoring, counseling, other student support services, and accessibility meetings available remotely by the end of the week. Each of the four main campus locations (Saint Paul, LECJEC, MEC, and Midway) will be open for students to access computer and internet, until we are told to do otherwise. The Food for Thought Food Shelf will remain open and we are looking at remote distribution options. We are also gathering information about community-based resources that will support our students. More information will be provided by email and on the COVID-19 page (https://www.metrostate.edu/notices/covid-19) once planning is completed.
As you know from reading your email and through the news, this is very quickly evolving situation. We will continue to update you as more information is available. Our goal with these communications is to help alleviate your concerns about being able to successfully complete your semester. Please know that all the faculty and staff are working very hard, on your behalf, to ensure a high-quality learning experience, even if it is very different from the experience we all originally planned. I also want to assure you that this does not represent a long-term change towards an online university. We are adapting at this time to the on-going pandemic.
Please also take good care of yourselves in this very stressful time. Below are a number of mental health resources that you might find helpful.
MetroCares is a 24/7 phone support offered by Counseling Services.
When you call the support line:
- a licensed counselor will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days, a week, 365 days a year
- you will be offered confidential support, information, resources, and practical solutions for coping
- all services are free and confidential
Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis. Text HOME to 741741 in the United States to communicate with a trained Crisis Counselor https://www.crisistextline.org/
Managing Anxiety and Stress
This includes information for yourself, others, parents, responders, and those released from quarantine.
Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf
Amy Strohmeier Gort, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs