Hello and welcome back from your extended Spring Break – and welcome to a new reality for you, our college and our university.
As we begin this period of non-face-to-face instruction, we are taking these first unfamiliar steps together. I want you to know how much your professors, advisors, supervisors and I care about you.
We once were in your shoes – mixing ambition with energy and excitement to learn, and to make our marks on the world, ultimately choosing to do so in the field of higher education to benefit the generations following ours – but we never faced a challenge like this.
That doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate how difficult this must seem for you. It feels that way to us, too.
Please know that the College of Education faculty and staff are prepared to do everything in our power to support and assist you through this challenging time.
Your professors already have transformed the way in which they will deliver their courses without being in the classroom with you, and I am confident that they have come up with innovative and impactful ways to foster this teaching and learning.
I trust that they have reached out to you directly with their plans for the rest of the semester; if they have not, I urge you to contact your academic advisor or your department chair get the information you need to be successful.
Meanwhile, NIU has launched the Keep Learning website to help you thrive in non-face-to-face learning platforms. The site contains valuable resources for online learning, practical tips about using these platforms and a place to turn if you need technical assistance.
Finally, I want you know that I have strongly urged your professors and instructors to practice patience and flexibility with you as we proceed. I respectfully ask the same of you. These are uncharted waters for your faculty as well, and they are doing their best.
Spreading kindness and positivity among our Huskie and NIU College of Education family will go a long way in helping us through this situation, and that includes self-care. Being nice to yourself and mindful of your own human needs will allow you to offer the same comfort and compassion to those around you, even if we’re only connected electronically.
Like our Huskie Fight Song tells us, “Forward, Together Forward, there’s victory in view.” Together, we’ll come through this.
Be well, and Go Huskies,
Dean, NIU College of Education