May 1, 2020 – UPDATE
We have almost made it! You have worked hard, your faculty have given you their greatest efforts during this challenging time, and finals are upon us! Good luck the week of May 4-8 as you complete this semester. You did it! But my goodness, we have certainly missed you on campus, and we know you have missed one another. Some updates and information as we move forward from spring to summer.
Commencement and Nurses Pinning
We will conduct a virtual commencement on Saturday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. and livestream it to you. We will send you a link and several reminders. We will read every graduate’s name and lead you in singing our beautiful alma mater. Two very special awards are given at commencement as well. The ceremony should be brief, but we hope our graduates and their families can watch it live on the 16th. Your diplomas, caps and gowns, and a program for commencement will be mailed to you after June 30. One of the effects of the pandemic was a delay nationwide in printing diplomas. We will not have a baccalaureate service this year. Honors Convocation was cancelled of course, but we will post recipients of those awards on the college website soon. The graduating nursing class will decide with their faculty how they can celebrate their pinning ceremony at some point this summer.
Graduates, we know this is not how you wanted to celebrate your accomplishments and it is certainly not what we wanted for you. Commencement is a time of bittersweet feelings as we send you out to your next chapter in life, whether that is transferring to a four year school or entering the professional world of nursing. We are including a free registration for Homecoming 2020 in the diploma package, and we will make it up to you at Homecoming if you come back as an alum in October!
Please do not forget to pay your account balance. Graduates cannot obtain their transcripts and returning students need to have their balances paid before returning in the fall. As you know, the federal government has allocated money to be used as emergency grants for students. We have not yet received those funds which we will issue to you in the form of a mailed check made out to you. The government has also not determined whether you will have to pay tax on those emergency grants. As soon as we have those funds, and know whether they are taxable, we will process and send the checks to you. There will be another allotment of federal funds coming to the college. Those funds will help the college provide residential students an adjustment of their fees for the portion of the semester spent at home. If you have paid your balance in full, we will issue you another check. If you have not paid your balance off, we will deduct that adjustment from your balance.
Residence Hall Checkout
We are asking that you make an appointment using email@example.com to come check out of your room if you have not already done so. Please do this by June 1. Over the summer the dorms will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and they must be cleared out for that to happen.
Summer school will begin as scheduled on May 26.
Andrew College is planning to fully reopen in the fall. We will operate in complete cooperation with local and regional health officials as we have throughout this pandemic, and some modification of the fall start date may occur. Again, we fully intend to fully reopen in the fall and are planning accordingly. We will continue to update you and your family throughout the summer.
Be safe, stay well, and take care of yourself and your family!
Linda R. Buchanan, Ph.D.
April 1, 2020 UPDATE
Tiger Family –
I am grateful to you, to our faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and friends of Andrew College, for your flexibility, patience, and support over these past few weeks. This continues to be an extraordinary time. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so do our plans for the end of the school year. Our Cabinet has been meeting regularly to keep abreast of the situation, both locally and throughout the country and wanted to announce our latest decisions. Please take every precaution to take care of yourselves, your friends, and your family.
Online Learning and Final Exams
As we closely monitor the conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to extend the online delivery of coursework through the remainder of the semester, including final exams. I was holding out hope that perhaps we could bring everyone back on campus for finals, but unless something drastically positive happens in the next four weeks across the United States, that does not seem probable. Assume that we will complete the semester, including final exams, online.
Commencement and Events
As for Commencement and Nursing Pinning – while May 9 looks improbable, we can adapt as conditions allow to properly celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates. We will continue to monitor regional and local conditions and provide plenty of advance notice to you about how we will conduct Commencement and the pinning ceremony. It most likely will be later than May 9. Or we may Livestream an abbreviated commencement and read all graduates’ names. We want to properly celebrate with you and we will figure it out with your input.
Honors Convocation Ceremony, originally scheduled for April 23, has been canceled. Awards will be mailed to recipients, and we will create a location on the web to list those names.
Residence Halls & Dining Services
We know that some of you have questions related to possible room and board refunds. Some students have chosen to remain on campus and our dining service is providing meals. We continue to follow the requirements and guidance of federal, state, and local authorities. An allocation of emergency federal funds has been approved by Congress and the President, and those funds will be incorporated into our refund policy. We have not received those funds and do not know when they will be disbursed. Any refunds, current term credits, or credits for future terms will not be made until the completion of this semester.
Residential students may come to campus to retrieve their belongings and check out between now and June 1. You must make an appointment with Student Life to do so, as we want to control the number of people in the dorms at any given time to ensure social distance is achieved. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment at your convenience.
There will be no refunds on tuition. Faculty across the nation, including ours, are working tremendously hard to deliver content to students, and course credits have not changed. Some institutions actually charge more for online education but of course, we will not do that during this exceptional time.
Looking to the Future
Out of a sixteen-week semester, after this week you have four weeks of classes left. You can do it! I know our faculty are working very hard to deliver content to you and cover the material in each and every syllabus you received at the beginning of the semester. There certainly are challenges on both ends of the teaching and learning, challenges that every college and university are experiencing at this time. The difference here is that you can reach out for help at any time and we will do our best to foster your success.
Four more weeks and then finals – YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!
Linda R. Buchanan, Ph.D.
March 20, 2020 UPDATE
Andrew College Community:
We have almost made it through Week One. We have successfully transitioned all coursework to online, faculty have been outstanding, students have all (but a few) engaged in this new reality, and we are moving forward. You may hear that other college and universities’ transition to online teaching has not gone well. We should all be proud of an Andrew faculty and IT infrastructure that has adapted very smoothly. There are a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of unknown reality about the next few weeks. What we do know is that social distancing, hand washing, and taking care of ourselves is part of taking care of others.
Dean Pittman has just notified faculty that we know that we will continue to deliver your coursework online through April 10. No need to build suspense for that; we will make decisions as far in advance as we can so that you have that information as soon as we do. April 10 is Good Friday and an official college holiday as well. Perhaps after Easter we will be back to normal but most likely that will be too soon to hope for.
Again, we will be in an online delivery mode for coursework at least through April 10.
Residential Students: if you need to come to campus to gather some belongings, you are welcome to do so. Call the Office of Student Affairs number at 229 310-0266 or email email@example.com to arrange a time. We are not asking you to completely clean out your room for the semester, but you may need some course materials or personal belongings. Let us know how we can assist you. For the two dozen residential students here on campus, Dean McCoy is hand delivering a letter to you today. Essentially we are asking you to stay here for the duration of the social distancing phase, and not go back and forth to other locations. Feel free to share this communication with your parents.
Commuter students: we are here for you. You are in close contact with all your faculty, we know that. If you need any other kind of assistance please let us know. We wish we could help you with the demands of childcare as they are now all out of school. Please take care of yourselves, budget your time the best you can, and take advantage of the academic support that we have in place for you.
Faculty and staff: You are a remarkable and resilient community and I am so proud of and for you. We will continue the work of the college and our primary mission of delivering quality education to our students. If you need a web camera, a more comfortable chair, or moral support, we are able to deliver all or any of that, albeit there is slight delay with those web cameras due to demand. Many of us are on campus every day. Others are working from home, switching off with colleagues, definitely maintaining social distance.
We continue to be in communication with local public health and other authorities. Be well, be prayerful, and please take care of yourselves. We will get through this.
Linda R. Buchanan, Ph.D.
March 17, 2020 UPDATE
Dear Students and Families of Andrew College:
I write to assure you that this semester moves forward with continuity and as much seamlessness as possible under the circumstances. As you already know, effective Monday, March 16 the campus reopened for operations. ALL CLASSES FROM MARCH 16 THROUGH MARCH 27 ARE TO BE CONDUCTED ONLINE. For those residential students wanting to stay on campus, they were able to check in to their residence halls on Sunday, March 15. Food service continues to be available with some modifications. SAGE has developed a protocol within their national office to ensure the highest level of food safety.
Please continue to monitor this site for updates as they become available when conditions and parameters change. Our faculty have stepped up and altered all instruction to online delivery. Students, wherever your syllabi paused prior to Spring Break, by now you know that the semester marches on but with changed delivery and means of your participation. Most of our faculty have experience with online education; those that do not are being assisted by their colleagues and staff. You can expect to cover the same material on your syllabi as it is written.
Email becomes a very important means of communication. Students, please check it regularly. I cannot emphasize that enough. Students have the email address of each of their professors. Other email addresses that you may find useful are listed here; please keep as a reference:
Academic Dean firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial Aid email@example.com
Student Accounts firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean of Students email@example.com
The college is open and staffed. Faculty may be working from home or they may come in to campus. Nearly all staff are here on campus. We are observing all social distancing protocols. Some of our faculty and staff are in higher risk due to age or existing health challenges. Some of them are so committed to their jobs here that they’ve put up a good fight to be here every day but we have put our foot down and requested they stay home! We will protect you, our faculty and staff, and this community by whatever means necessary. Of course you know that every college and university in the U.S. is adapting to the same conditions until public health allows us to restore normal operating status. And of course we don’t know when that will be.
This pandemic is causing you, your family, your neighbors, your employer, your friends extreme levels of stress, concern, and uneasiness. I wish you grace and strength as we all navigate this together. Andrew College will deliver a quality semester of academic work to our students. We will all get through this together.
Best wishes for strength and resilience –