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SXU Community Prepared for Remote Learning Transition


While Saint Xavier University (SXU) has transitioned to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester, with limited campus operations through April 7 to protect the health and safety of its community, students will continue to receive the myriad of exceptional support services they're used to.

The compassionate, mission-driven services students are accustomed to will continue to be present through remote resources. The University's staff and faculty have taken innovative measures using a variety of tools, programs and technology to stay engaged and connected to students. 

"Faculty have spent countless hours preparing for this transition, researching new and innovative ways to cover essential course content, including redeveloping courses to implement new techniques of engaged learning. As a group, we've discussed many alternate ways to adjust to this new teaching platform and continue to provide for student learning needs, as well as the ways to support students as we navigate this challenge together. Learning is a collaborative experience, and we will continue to work with students to achieve our goals of educational and personal growth," said Karen Wood, DNSc, RN, CCRN, CNL, president of Faculty Senate.

The SXU Health Center continues to be available for SXU community members' health care needs.

"We are very excited to be able to provide telemedicine to SXU students, staff, faculty and members of the community. Our nurse practitioners are able to assess and treat common ailments such as sore throats, coughs, sinus infections, urinary tract infections and pink eye via a phone or secure video visit. We want to do whatever we can to support our community and keep them safe whether they live nearby or far away," said Kathryn Schlee, M.S., FNP-BC, director of Clinical Services. 

Advising sessions will continue to be offered, and students will have access to significant professional development resources.

"Advising and Career Services staff are still actively supporting students," said Alison Chandler, executive director of Student Development, Advising and Career Success. "We are working to come up with creative ways to keep students engaged and connected, including virtual and phone appointments with academic and career advisors, virtual advising and career development resources, as well as connecting students with Parker Dewey to provide opportunities for micro-internships, which are paid, short-term and generally remote opportunities. The continued success of our students is our top priority. We want them to know that we will get through this together."

Campus Ministry and Campus Life are available for spiritual and emotional support, and they actively invite students to submit ideas for ways to stay connected virtually through their Virtual Engagement Idea Proposal Form.

"We are absolutely invested in supporting our students by finding avenues for them to use their creativity and exercise their leadership," said Deirdre Kleist, director of Campus Ministry.

"It's important to us to keep the SXU community connected while students are learning remotely. If we can't have them at the Student Organization Center (SOC), we'll bring the SOC to them! We're working hard to come up with fun, virtual programming to keep our students engaged," said Alexa Zaharris, director of Campus Life.

SXU prioritizes its students' health and well-being, and counseling and mental health guidance will continue to be available.

"The Counseling Center is committed to serving students, and we're here for them during this uncertain time, offering tips and guidance to stay mentally well while navigating the COVID-19 crisis. We are pleased to offer sessions by phone, and we'll provide telehealth through Zoom video conferencing soon," said Brian Kelley, director of the Counseling Center. 

Information Technology has worked hard to deliver remote support to faculty, staff and students, and they teamed up with Records and Registration to continue to exercise the core value of service even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Maureen Wogan, vice president for Enrollment Management, Student Development and Student Success, along with Nathan Peck, department chair of Art and Design, and Rola Othman, director of Client Services for Information Technology, coordinated distribution of iPads to Mercy Circle residents so they could FaceTime with their families during the "shelter-in-place" order.

"The entire IT team has stepped up to ensure all faculty and students have the resources they need to work remotely," said Molly Maley-Gaik, chief information officer for Information Technology. "We've deployed loaner laptops and secured access to necessary systems. The team has come together and exemplified the service excellence standards of being respectful, collaborative, effective and responsive."

Despite the challenges COVID-19 has posed, the University remains united in supporting students through every step of their academic journeys.

"The community's response to this crisis has been incredibly inspiring, and demonstrates our dedication to SXU's Mercy values. We truly are a community of doers, who will roll up our sleeves to do what it takes to make sure students continue receiving a transformational educational experience--regardless of how it is delivered," said President Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D.

The entire community comes together to cheer students on and support them to come out stronger in the end. Proudly, we are SXU.