NDSU staff understands that feeling connected to campus is a crucial element for most students who attend college. That’s why they’ve worked together to coordinate an individual outreach program for students learning remotely due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The program commits to weekly contact with every NDSU undergraduate student.
“It’s important during this time to stay connected to our students and support their academic performance,” said Casey Peterson, Interim Dean of Students and Director of Student Success Programs. “The staff at NDSU are here to help support our students however possible while they are away from campus. Their success should not be hindered because of this external factor.”
The first step is a weekly email to students. Students who wish to engage further are contacted via phone or video conferencing. Initial discussions will include information about continued resources and solutions to any problems with learning remotely. Additional resources that will be discussed include food, housing, child care, transportation, financial support, disability services, student health, counseling, safety and security and more.
A group of dedicated staff will each connect with an assigned list of students. The program is designed to help students continue to feel a personal connection to campus, and help them resolve any issues they may be experiencing. The program also provides a meaningful project for staff whose workload has diminished due to the lack of students on campus. Communication from staff can be done from home to comply with social distancing recommendations.
“I volunteered because I thought it would be a good way to help students connect with the university beyond their online instruction,” said Zebulon Watkins, campus visit coordinator at NDSU. “Checking in on a regular basis will hopefully answer some questions, and make them feel like they are still connected to the NDSU community.”
The primary goal of the program is to maintain care and contact for each student. NDSU is committed to continuing this program through the duration of the remote learning period.
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