Blackburn Coronavirus Student Resource Center
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 @ 5:34 PM CT
Information is subject to change due to the rapidly changing situation.
Please revisit this page regularly.
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have made every attempt to keep our students up-to-speed on changes, latest developments, and next steps regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Emails have been fact-based, to the point, and full of information in an effort to keep students informed.
I sincerely appreciate everyone’s resilience and flexibility as we respond to the serious threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have two goals: 1) keep you, your families, and Blackburn faculty and staff safe, and 2) ensure that you continue to receive the excellent education you came to Blackburn to receive. Please know that Blackburn is not closed! Faculty and most staff are working from home, but are still available to help by phone, email, and/or videoconference.
This situation is changing daily, and through each of our decisions, the best interests of our students are at the forefront. We would love nothing more than to have a bustling campus right now, but students’ health and well-being are at the heart of all decisions. We want you to know that we understand this isn’t easy, we support you through this, and for you to know that we are here for you.
We at Blackburn want to acknowledge that this situation might be causing some fear, anxiety, doubts, and questions. We honor those feelings: they are natural and real. We recognize this is not what our students have planned for the conclusion of the spring semester, and for some the end of their college career. If students are feeling anxious and could use a confidential sounding board, virtual counseling is available to the campus by scheduling an appointment with Counseling Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Here is a summary of the most important points for students from our communications over the past couple of weeks:
|Spring Semester 2020|
|FA20 Early Registration||Withdraw Passing (WP)||Finals / DIPS||Virtual Graduation|
|April 7 – 17, 2020||Deadline: April 21, 2020||May 8 – 12, 2020||May 16, 2020|
Classes resumed Monday, March 30 in an online “Distance Learning” format. Classes will remain online for the rest of the semester.
If you are concerned about your access to necessary technology for your coursework, please contact Rachel Stull, Director of the Student Success Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 217-854-5623 to discuss the program. Alternatively, you may contact your professor, coach or your advisor who will forward your concerns.
As I hope you are experiencing, moving online does NOT mean that you will be on your own for the semester!
- Your professor is more than happy to communicate with you (video chat, phone, email, etc.) about questions and difficulties you may have with your coursework. Faculty have online office hours or other procedures so they can respond to your concerns quickly.
- The Writer’s Block is still open (writer’email@example.com), and tutoring continues in biology and computer science.
- Online library resources are still available through the Lumpkin Learning Commons page on our website. Lynn Armstrong will still be available to help meet your needs.
In short, moving online does not mean students are on their own. It means only that we will be communicating with each other in new ways. Please do not hesitate to contact your instructor, advisor, coach, or Rachel Stull with any questions or concerns about making this transition. Beaver Nation is still going strong!
The date to drop a class with a withdraw passing ‘WP’ grade has been extended to Tuesday, April 21. A grade of ‘W’ has no punitive effect on a student’s grade point average. If you have any unresolved questions about an internship, please reach out to your supervising faculty member or Dianna Ruyle, Registrar.
- If you are currently a full-time student and you drop a class that puts you below 12 hours, your financial aid may be impacted. Please contact the Financial Aid Office, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions.
- Any student with an internship should reach out to their supervising faculty member for guidance about completing their internship hours.
Finals/DIPS will be held as originally scheduled, Friday and Saturday May 8 and 9, and Monday and Tuesday May 11 and 12.
Students will receive credit for the remaining unworked tuition credit hours they would have been expected to complete during the remainder of the semester, even though they will not be working those hours.
Work Managers are working on the details for fall hiring. We will communicate the timeline and process as it is finalized.
Due to the quarantine, we do not anticipate any additional paid positions in the near future. Any openings will be placed on Blackburn Announcements.
If students were not able to move out of your residence hall room, please contact Jarrod Gray at email@example.com or 217-854-5582. In light of the shelter in place order, nobody is being allowed to move out at this time. Specific dates and times for move out will be announced once the order is lifted.
Blackburn will return prorated room and board costs. Unfortunately, we are unable to share more details at this time, as we continue to wait for guidance from the Department of Education and potential legislative changes related to financial aid (financial aid covers some room and board charges for most students.) Please be patient, we will provide that information as it is available to us.
We are working out the details about things like room selection for next year, senate elections, etc. Please stay tuned as we will keep you informed.
The Campus Bookstore is beginning to forward mail.
Residential Life is sponsoring a number of remote engagement activities that can help you do something different, engage with your classmates and work to fight off cabin fever. Watch for information in Blackburn Announcements.
The SLIAC conference has cancelled the remainder of the season, including any championship competitions. Students impacted by the cancellation will not lose any eligibility.
While we recognize that commencement exercises are very important to our graduates and their families, we also recognize the importance of keeping you and your family safe. Therefore, it is with great sadness that I announced that in-person commencement exercises will not take place on May 16, 2020. We are planning a virtual graduation for the 16th, and will have additional information coming soon.
In addition, we are planning for a special in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 the weekend of May 15th, 2021. We sincerely hope you and your family will join us that weekend to celebrate your accomplishments and update everyone about the amazing directions your life will have taken you.
When will I officially be a graduate? Will that wait until the graduation ceremony?
- Degrees will be officially conferred on May 16 for students who have successfully completed all required coursework. Graduate status will appear on graduates’ transcripts by May 22.
- Change of Registration Form (PDF) — New Deadline: Tuesday, April 14, 2020
- COVID-19 and Mental Health (PDF)
- Lumpkin Learning Commons
- Writer’s Block — Virtual open hours six days/week, just share via Google Docs
If you have questions or concerns about not returning to campus, please contact Heidi Heinz (firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-854-5586) or Jarrod Gray (email@example.com or 217-854-5582) in Student Affairs.
If you have Academic or technical questions, please contact Director of the Student Success Center Rachel Stull (firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-854-5623) or your professor/instructor directly.
If you’re feeling anxious and could use a confidential sounding board, virtual counseling is available to the campus by scheduling an appointment with Counseling Services at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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