Campus Operations Through April 5, 2020
Dear Pacers –
Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented situation caused by COVID-19 concerns.
In the face of this national emergency, we are making decisions based on these core principles:
- To protect the health, safety and welfare of our students, faculty, staff and guests
- To limit the spread and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 through social distancing
- To maintain excellence in all our academic programs.
- To provide students every opportunity to successfully complete the spring semester
Regardless of the method of delivery, each member of the campus community is working to make it possible for qualified seniors to graduate on time and for all of our students to have the opportunity to successfully complete their spring classes.
The university has implemented proactive steps to ensure the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. As advised by the CDC, we are implementing social-distancing measures. Last weekend, we conducted a campus-wide deep clean, using a hospital-grade disinfectant in all buildings. By extending spring break and providing instruction remotely until April 5, we are stemming the spread of the virus.
It is our hope that we return to normal operations in April. Until that time, faculty and staff are using the extended break to prepare for the temporary measures of teaching remotely and providing appropriate services to support student success. In the short term, all instruction will take place remotely March 23 – April 5. Any course that was already designated as online will continue without interruption, including those that were scheduled to start today, Monday, March 16.
During this period, the university has modified operations so that we can continue to provide critical services and support to ensure students successfully complete the semester. To the greatest extent possible, we will operate virtually, meaning that email, teleconferencing, and phone calls will be the preferred method of communication and interaction. The university's QUICK LIST indicates how you can contact the offices and service representatives you may need. It can be accessed at: https://www.usca.edu/about/directories/quick-list/file .
While this modified approach is not ideal, we expect active, interactive instruction will continue through remote delivery of material. Instead of classes meeting in person, professors will conduct their classes remotely, through online, distance education, teleconferences, or other remote means. Professors will provide any updates to published syllabi.
For the period March 16 – April 5, the following services will be provided virtually to support student needs:
- The Gregg-Graniteville Library
- The Help Desk
- The Math Lab
- Writing Center
- Academic advising
- Professors' office hours
- Registrar services
- Financial aid services
- Veteran and Military Student Success Center
- Counseling Center services
Please note, registration for summer and fall classes will take place March 30 as planned.
For the period March 16 – April 5, the following services will be provided to support students still on campus. Hours may be amended:
- Dining services (Take-out options will be available.)
- Students involved in off-campus internships, clinicals, preceptorships, student teaching, etc., may continue as governed by policies at those specific places and according to standing unit practice. Students should contact their supervisors.
- Students involved in on-campus jobs should contact their supervisors for virtual work assignments.
- Computer labs with specialty software will be available for a limited number of students at any given time.
- Student Health Center. Please call in advance for an appointment.
For the period March 16 – April 5, the following services will not be available:
- All face-to-face instruction, including lectures, discussions, seminars, labs and other similar classroom settings. Instead, these will be delivered via remote delivery methods.
- All campus events are suspended, including cardiac rehab, the Academy for Lifelong Learning, McGrath Computer Learning Center, events at the Etherredge Center and the USC Aiken Convocation Center.
- The Wellness Center
- The Natatorium
- Ruth Patrick Science Education Center programming
- Childcare provided by the USC Aiken Children's Center
- Intercollegiate athletic competitions have been canceled by the NCAA and Peach Belt Conference for the remainder of the semester.
While the university is in modified operations, it would be wise to check hours of operations for available services. Hours may be amended. The QUICK LIST provides contact information. You can access the QUICK LIST at: https://www.usca.edu/about/directories/quick-list/file
Your professors will be in touch with you on the specifics regarding each of your courses. If you do not hear from your professors by March 20, please reach out to them to make sure they have your current contact information. Undoubtedly, there will be some individual situations which may need special attention. As always, keep the lines of communication open with your professors so they can assist.
Please continue to take personal precautions, wash hands frequently, and avoid exposure to large crowds.
If you have traveled to hot spots, been exposed to COVID-19, or experience any symptoms which are associated with COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and consider self-quarantining for 14 days. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and are in USC Aiken housing, please contact the housing staff immediately.
The extended break and period of remote instruction will allow you to continue your education while limiting your exposure to the virus. By doing this, you are not only taking care of yourself but also helping ensure the health of our campus community and of those within the vulnerable populations among us.
As more information becomes available, we will share it. For updates, go to: https://www.usca.edu/covid .
Thank you again for your continued patience and flexibility.
Sandra Jordan, Ph.D.