To: CCSJ Students, Faculty and Staff
From: President Dr. Amy McCormack
Dear CCSJ Community,
I want to start with expressing my concern and empathy for our seniors and graduating students. They are in my heart and mind, and I know this is a very difficult time. This is not how their college career should end, and for that, I am very sad for our Crimson Wave graduates. Given the current guidelines around large gatherings, the traditional graduation ceremony will not take place on May 16th. Creative efforts are underway to celebrate our seniors and recognize their accomplishments, so more information will be shared with graduating students. For all students, it is important to remember that the semester isn’t over, and that structure in your day is important and communication with your faculty and classmates is essential.
While we have no reported cases of COVID-19 on campus and no reported cases of exposure from our students, faculty or staff, the first case in Lake County, Indiana, was reported on March 17. More reports will come as testing increases in our county and region for those exposed. I want to stress the guidelines set forth by the CDC to:
- Cancel all gatherings of greater than 50 people, which we have done,
- Limit non-essential meetings/gatherings to 10 people or less and make virtual options available for any essential meetings,
- Practice social distancing and avoid contact with the elderly,
- Maintain 6 feet in distance, wherever possible,
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and avoid touching your face, mouth or eyes,
- Stay home if you have compromised health conditions,
- Stay home if you feel sick, especially if you have a fever.
Social distancing and staying home can be very difficult, but the use of technology and old fashioned phone calls can help keep you connected. You can also find places to walk, run, or sit where you can be away from multiple people but be outside. You should know that many people at Calumet College of St. Joseph are working together to manage through this difficult time while doing our best to serve current and prospective students and support one another. I am so grateful for our college family, and I thank all of you for your commitment, courage, and creativity as we deal with the coronavirus.
You will continue to receive communication through various channels, but I wanted to provide an update to share information with all constituents that are part of the college community.
- Campus offices will remain open with limited staffing Monday-Friday from 9:00 – 5:00.
- Virtual courses will begin Monday, 3/23, and based on guidance to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, virtual courses will continue for the rest of the semester.
- Tutoring services are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org , calling 219-473-4285, and contacting your professor during virtual office hours. We are exploring 24-hour tutoring services, and more information will be on the website. Please check with your professor if you need additional support.
- Disability Support Services will continue to provide accommodations, so students should reach out to John Mackowicz at email@example.com or call 219-218-3105 to make an appointment.
- Advising and Enrollment will be available to assist with registration for new and returning students. I encourage you to register virtually by contacting academic advising at firstname.lastname@example.org or 219-473-4220 and advisors will assist you.
- Kerry Knowles, our Student Assistance Program (SAP) therapist, will continue with on-campus appointments on Wednesday from 9:00-3:00 pm and Thursday from 9:00-4:00 pm in room 276. If you are not able to meet with Kerry in person, telehealth is also an option. Please contact Kerry by phone (cell: 219-413-3702 or office: 219-663-6353) or email (email@example.com ) to set up an appointment.
- The food pantry is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping by room 101.
- The library and computers will be available to students. Modifications will be made to ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained. Utilizing the chat function on the library webpage is strongly encouraged, and Dr. Qi Chen, Director of the Library, will be available to assist you.
- Financial Aid and the Business Office will continue to process financial aid applications, award letters, and payments. If you have not processed your FAFSA, please utilize this time and contact our financial aid office at email@example.com if you need assistance.
- Students currently employed under federal work study will continue to get compensation, and more information will be forthcoming to those students.
- In accordance with the NAIA decision this week, all spring sports are cancelled. Athletes will get 2 additional semesters of eligibility. Seniors/4th year athletes should contact coaches, advising, and financial aid if you plan to continue at CCSJ to understand the academic and financial implications.
- The Rittenmeyer Athletic Center is closed, except for appointments with coaches.
Activities and Events Update:
- The Annual Trustees’ Gala on April 25th has been cancelled and we will acknowledge the support of our sponsors and recognize awardees with a special feature in our summer magazine.
- The international honors trip will be cancelled, but honors students will have the opportunity to participate on the 2021 Honors trip, which we anticipate being to Spain.
- The graduation banquet is cancelled. Refunds will be issued for tickets purchased, and we will find a way to recognize our award recipients.
- The Higher Learning Commission has asked for their virtual accreditation visit to be rescheduled to May 11 & 12, which allows us to direct all of our attention to students. More information will be provided to those participating in virtual meetings.
- It appears that the April visit by the Council for Accreditation for Education Programs (CAEP) will be deferred to a date in the fall.
In difficult times, I am so grateful that I am part of a strong faith community that can pray together and talk openly about the role of faith in helping to guide us and provide hope. At this time of year and during this time of separation, I am also grateful for this common Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
With hope and gratitude,
Dr. Amy McCormack