March 11, 2020 COVID Closing Message:
Dear ECA Community,
I have a message about the ECA's current response to the Coronavirus situation. Eastern Michigan University has announced that EMU will be closing on Thursday, 3/12 and Friday, 3/13, and moving to online-only course delivery beginning on Monday, March 16 and ending on April 1 (at this time). HERE is the website with this updated message.
As we are members of the EMU campus community, the ECA program will follow suit. Thursday, 3/12 and Friday, 3/13 there will be no ECA or EMU classes. On Monday, 3/16, all students will shift the majority of their learning to an online mode for the time being.
ECA teachers will use new or existing Google Classroom or CANVAS platforms to provide instruction, collect assignments, and give assessments. Students in ECA classes also have physical books and materials--but regular engagement in the online platforms will be necessary going forward. Teachers will work on the shift to online learning on Thursday and Friday of this week, and will be communicating the details of their individual course expectations to students (via email) by the end of the day on Friday. All ECA teachers will expect a minimum of least three days per week of sustained engagement in courses online.
It is likely that the solution that professors develop for EMU classes will be as different as the professors themselves. Students in EMU classes will need to employ exceptional soft skills to navigate this situation. CORE Advisors will be reaching out to all of their CORE students, and using various communication tools to touch base and coach students through these uncharted waters--phone, text, email, video chat, Skype, etc. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR CORE ADVISORS. The grades you earn in this semester are going to be as real as any other grades, and your CORE Advisors need your cooperation to help you succeed.
Students with EMU classes and students with ECA classes need to have access to a computer, laptop, or tablet. They will need to access the Internet regularly and for sustained periods of time. If you/your student needs a device OR to problem-solve internet access, please let me know. We have Chromebooks to lend (parents/guardians need to sign these out) and I am working on a solution for Internet access. **Any student who did not complete the Duo Two-Factor Authentication or is having problems with it needs to get help immediately from the IT Help Desk (734-487-2120).** If you get stuck, my telephone number is: 734-255-9204; you may call, text, or email and I will work with you on technology plan.
Many higher education institutions, including MSU, University of Michigan, Central, Wayne State, Michigan Tech, and others have made decisions similar to EMU’s. It may seem strange that--as of now--the County Health Department is not recommending closing the k-12 schools because of possible "unintended consequences." The constraints of the public schools, who serve children of all ages and have other responsibilities to those students, are very different than those of a residential university. ECA, by virtue of our location on EMU’s campus, must follow the lead of our partner school. Therefore, our decision is a little different from that of the other k-12 schools.
There are many ripple effects of the decision to close campus. Questions about our upcoming events, Credentialing Day, EDP Seminars, etc. are on our minds. We are working through this as a staff and will provide updates on a regular basis to our families as we figure out answers. The situation with Coronavirus and its impact in our area is also fluid, and so we just ask that you not panic, but DO practice responsibility, and stay in close touch with us.
I want to reiterate that this situation is not the same as a “day off” or snow day. There is a 2-day breather while teachers and professors shift gears to online mode--but students will need to demonstrate high levels of independence, interdependence, communication, problem-solving, self-advocacy, and follow-through to maintain their academic standing. And we are all here to help!