March 26: Student Support for Faculty and Staff
Dear Faculty and Staff,
We hope this has been a successful and productive week of online learning for both you and your students. The feedback we have received is overwhelmingly positive and we thank you for your efforts and dedication to remote learning, our students and Merrimack College during this trying time.
As we continue with remote learning through this crisis, you may experience or sense that some of your students are experiencing challenges with this transition. It is very important that we support students as best we can during this time. If you have not heard from a student, if they have not attended one of your classes, if they are not completing assignments, if you have a student who is experiencing increased anxiety, or you have a student who you believe would benefit from extra assistance, please reach out and use the resources below so that we can deploy assets that will help that student. Our faculty are the best way to know if a student needs more help and we are here to help you in the effort to support your students.
We can’t help a student if we don’t know they are experiencing challenges. Below are resources and contacts that can be used in order to help students who may be experiencing challenges with this transition:
CARE Reports. The CARE Team reviews all reports of students who are experiencing more than ordinary transitional issues and may need a member of the campus community to help. These include academic and financial hardships, as well as mental health and well-being. The team utilizes a vast network of faculty and staff from across campus and identifies the key people who are best suited to help the student address their concerns and succeed at the college. Please submit a CARE report for each individual student that you may be concerned about. For more info or to submit a report, visit www.merrimack.edu/CARE
Students not attending class. If a student is not attending your class or has been non-responsive to your outreach, please also submit a CARE report. Our team who is monitoring these daily will reach out to individual students and their families to work through their unique circumstances.
The Academic Success Center Team is up and running and ready for remote support. Students can access a success coach by sending an email to ASC@merrimack.edu. We will be meeting with students one-one-one with Zoom. You can also share our new Remote Learning for Students web page to help students navigate this new environment.
Accessibility Services Office (ASO). Merrimack will continue to support all students who are signed up with the ASO. The expectation is that all current accommodations will continue - with some changes to adjust for the remote learning environment. If you have questions about a specific student, please email the ASO.
Mental Health & Counseling Services. Counseling from our staff at Hamel Health is available to students for teletherapy appointments. Scheduling for these appointments began on Monday, March 23rd. Students can call Hamel directly at 978-837-5441 to schedule a teletherapy appointment, which will happen confidentially via Zoom.
Virtual Student Programming. The Office of Student Involvement is keeping a calendar of virtual student programming across campus to provide one comprehensive communication for students each week. The “This Week at Merrimack” communication looks much like “The Weekender” and allows students to see what is being offered for them to join remotely each week. This communication comes out through the Dean of Students and if you would like to add a virtual event or be added to the email distribution list, please email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can assist.
COVID-19 Diagnosis. If a student indicates to you that they are concerned they may have the COVID-19 or have tested positively for COVID-19, please notify the Task Force, who will reach out to the student immediately to assist them. All emails to the task force are considered confidential.
Finally, we would be remiss to only speak about students and their needs. The reality is, for many of our faculty and staff, this is a massive transition and disruption to our professional and personal lives. Many of us have significant family responsibilities, including children who are not in school, and health concerns that may make us or our loved ones susceptible to this virus. It is a time of great stress and confusion. It is important that our faculty members take care of themselves and their families first. If at any point you feel overwhelmed by the needs of your students, with remote learning, or with circumstances happening in your personal life, please reach out. We are here for you and you are not alone during this time.
Please feel free to contact CETL if you have any issues regarding remote teaching and learning, or reach out to the Task Force or to Human Resources as we have many resources, such as our Employee Assistance Program, and support services we can connect you to so that you can talk through your challenges and get the help you need. There is no question that this unprecedented and complicated crisis is a challenge for us all. We are all in this together.
We are so proud of our faculty and staff who have stepped up over these past few weeks to continue to serve our students and our community with such Warrior pride. This is what Merrimack is all about. Thank you.
The Task Force