Virtual resources for Cal U students transitioning to a distance learning environment

Cal Times

University Deans emailed a memo addressed to the Cal U Community on March 25 titled “Quick Glance Resource Information.”

“We hope this information will be helpful with the transition to a distance learning environment.”

Applying to Cal U: You can apply at calu.edu/apply. At this time, admissions decisions are being made on unofficial documents that can be emailed to admissions and self- reported GPAs and test scores. A virtual live experience is being developed and students can do a virtual tour at https://www.calu.edu/admissions/visit/index.aspx  Students and parents can also attend a facebook/instagram live session on either Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2:30 or Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm. Admissions counselors are also available for either 1:1 calls or video calls. Contact [email protected] for more details.

Bookstore: The Cal U Bookstore is here to assist students during the University’s transition to distance learning. The campus store is offering free shipping return labels and is extending the non-return period without penalty to assist with increased returns by mail. Free online shipping of course materials, supplies, technology, etc. is also offered. Additionally, students may access up to seven eBooks at no additional charge during this transition period. Visit the campus store website www.calupa.bkstr.com for details.

Changing Majors and Minors: You will follow the same process as usual by filling out the major form available at https://www.calu.edu/inside/forms/_files/academic- affairs/request-change-major.pdf and the minor form at https://www.calu.edu/inside/forms/_files/academic-affairs/request-add-drop-minor.pdf

Commencement: We are very proud of you and we will celebrate your achievement. President Jones is monitoring the situation and will make an announcement as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

Counseling Services: The Counseling Center therapists are offering distance counseling for ongoing clients who are currently living in PA (or whose state allows out- of-state practitioners). For other students, the therapists are offering brief consultations to help locate other resources. Students can call 724-938-4056 to leave a message, or email the therapists: [email protected]; [email protected]; or [email protected] In case of emergency, call 911 or your county’s emergency number. For more information, visit https://www.calu.edu/news/announcements/view.asp?ID=22977

Emergencies: The nation’s 911 centers are available to provide EMERGENCY assistance. Please be mindful of how and when to dial 911. If you have either come in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus or have symptoms such as fever or cough, please call your healthcare provider – not 911. If you do not have a healthcare provider, contact your local health department for instructions. If it is available in your area, call 211/311/411 for general information about how your community is addressing the pandemic.

DO CALL 911 if you develop symptoms requiring emergency assistance such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

If you think you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, notify the call-taker immediately so the telecommunicator can better inform responders how to take care of you and protect themselves from exposure. Be prepared to answer a few questions from the telecommunicator about your symptoms and possible exposure to Coronavirus to help dispatch an appropriate emergency response.

Financial Aid: For financial aid questions, email [email protected] with questions/concerns. If a phone call is desired, provide your callback number in the email and someone will contact your promptly.

Housing Problems at Home: Call 911 or your county’s emergency if you are in danger. Local helplines can also help (find one here). The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 is available 24 hours a day and you can go to their website and access a chatting feature (click “Chat Now” in the upper right corner). The Cal U counseling Center can offer guidance as well (724-938-4056 to leave a message) and by emailing a therapist at either [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]

Library Materials and Services: All current due dates for returning materials have been extended until May 15, 2020. You may return material when the campus reopens. All current fines and fees are waived. Library database resources are available 24/7 via the Library’s website for assigned research papers, assignments, etc. You may also schedule librarian research assistance and chat with a librarian (limited hours). Please visit http://library.calu.edu for details.

Online Learning: The move to distance education is challenging and requires organizational skills. Professors have been working closely with the Teaching and Learning Center at Cal U. Talk with your professor about the challenges you are facing. There is also a Pass/No Credit option for students for any and all courses this term https://www.calu.edu/coronaplan/index.aspx#messages

The Success Center is also offering ONLINE Workshops. The link is posted on the Starfish homepage. They are also in the process of automating the workshops. Visit Success Center Online Workshops for more details. Students can always email [email protected] if they need assistance with time management, study skills, organizational skills, and more.

Placement Testing: Students needing either a mathematics or English placement test should email [email protected]

Parking Pass Return: The Office of Parking and Transportation will contact all graduating seniors with instructions on how to return their parking passes. In the coming weeks, online renewals for the fall will open up and students will be able to charge passes to their student accounts. Students are strongly encouraged to either renew current permits or place themselves on the waitlist for the fall. Anyone who isn’t graduating and will not bring a car back in the fall should mail their permits back to Parking and Transportation, 250 University Ave, Box 46, California, PA 15419.

Refunds: if you are expecting a refund for housing/meal plans/fees, etc., log on to your VIP account, view the billing tab, select “direct deposit information for refunds”, and enter your routing and account numbers for your bank account. By choosing to use direct deposit, you can expect your refund to be secure and to arrive in your account within three to five business days from the processing date in VIP. Please note: Your refund will first be applied to your student account to reduce any total amount owed to the University. Once you have paid all balances owed to the University, any remaining funds will be refunded to you. For more information, visit https://www.calu.edu/coronaplan/index.aspx#messages.

Registering for Summer and Fall Classes: Contact your adviser and follow the same process as usual. Make sure to resolve any holds you have on your account. If you get an error message when registering and you need a permit to register for a class, email either your department chair or academic records at [email protected] . For additional help, undergraduate students should email [email protected] and graduate students should email [email protected]

Student Accommodations: All student accommodations are still in place and new accommodations can be requested. For more information, contact the Office of Student Accommodations at [email protected]

Student Conduct: If you experience issues with other students while learning from a distance, check the Statement of Student Rights & Responsibilities: Student Code of Conduct at  https://www.calu.edu/inside/policies/_files/general/Student%20Code%20of%20Conduct. pdf. Conduct expectations apply on-line as well as in-person. Interactions and referrals can still be made to the Office of Student Conduct by contacting the Associate Dean for Student Conduct Jim Pflugh by email at [email protected] The conduct process will be administered by alternative means: phone, email, and other on-line options such as Zoom. Academic dishonesty issues will continue to be addressed through the Provost’s Office via the academic integrity process https://www.calu.edu/inside/policies/_files/undegraduate/Academic%20Integrity.pdf.

Technology and Technology Access: For assistance, submit a request to [email protected] You will be contacted to evaluate needs and to identify resources.

Transcript Requests: Log into VIP to request your transcripts online. Contact the Dean’s office for late-graduation applications and instructions.

Tutoring Online: The Vulcan Learning Commons (VLC) offers Cal U students free academic support services. Course-specific and writing assistance are available online. Please email us at [email protected], or email the director at [email protected]

Withdrawing from a Class: In order to withdraw from a class remotely, email [email protected] Include your CWID and the course that you wish to withdraw from. The deadline is April 3, 2020.

Work Study Position: While not required to report, students are encouraged to work remotely on a volunteer basis. Please email your supervisor for additional details. Cal U has tentatively approved the paying of work study students through the end of the semester. Your pay will be based on the average of the hours you worked over the last three pay periods. You will continue to receive your pay bi-weekly.