As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the last few weeks have been nothing like we could have imagined just a few months ago for our campus, our communities and our country.
As with nearly all colleges and universities across the country, NDSU made the decision to move all classes to an online format for the rest of the spring semester and for summer sessions, and asked employees to work remotely. It’s has been quite an adjustment for our students, faculty and staff and I want to share an update on how the College of Engineering is responding to the situation.
First, I can’t say enough about how well our faculty and staff have stepped up to deal with the enormous impacts of COVID-19. I have been humbled by the ways they have come together to keep our educational enterprise moving forward. Besides finding new and unique ways to conduct classes, labs and senior design projects, we’ve allowed students to connect to our computer labs virtually so they can access the software and programs they need.
Speaking of our students, I want to give them a special shout out for their patience and understanding in these trying times. Following our first week of on-line teaching, we sent a survey out to all of our students asking about their experiences with distance learning and other disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve received more than 100 responses and have used the comments to adjust our methods. The survey will be open for the rest of the semester and we will continue to monitor the feedback.
On the university level, NDSU is taking new approaches to meeting the needs of students including offering remote career coaching, online tutoring and counseling sessions and even streaming exercise classes.
We’re also exploring new ways to connect to our future Bison engineers, computer scientists and construction managers by offering prospective students virtual visits and Zoom meetings with faculty, staff and our Engineering Ambassadors.
I miss each one of the students, faculty, and staff who make the College of Engineering the vibrant community and center of innovation that it is. The way that we close out the spring semester, especially for our graduating students, is nothing short of a loss that we must acknowledge together. However, as I have watched the NDSU College of Engineering community rise to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, I am filled with optimism and hope.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support of the NDSU College of Engineering. As we all work through this unprecedented situation, remember to take care of yourself, take care of your family and friends, and Go Bison.
Michael R. Kessler
Dean, NDSU College of Engineering
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