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Drexel’s Spring Term: A Rich Offering of Student Experiences

March 25, 2020

 The following message was sent to the Drexel community on March 25.

Dear Students and Colleagues,

Although popular gathering spots like the Korman Quad, the DAC and campus coffee shops won’t be their usual hives of activity this spring, we promise an engaging and challenging academic — and social — experience, utilizing an array of creative digital tools to keep everyone in the Drexel community connected.

From professors’ office hours, to advising and counseling sessions, to student organization meetings, to exercise classes, Drexel’s virtual campus will be as busy as the real thing. In short, this will be a spring quarter and semester like no other, but our goal is to ensure that it’s fundamentally the same in many respects, and in spirit.

Following are some of the specific policies and services that will shape this experience:

Grading Policy

With Drexel’s long history in online education — granting academic degrees for online programs as far back as the 1999-2000 academic year — we have an experienced and resourceful community committed to delivering high-quality courses and exams with academic integrity and rigor. After careful consideration, we will move forward with normal grading policies for both semester- and quarter-based programs, rather than a pass/fail model. We know some students have been denied the opportunity to finish their degrees on campus with their peers, so the last thing we want to do at this time is deny them the engaging learning experiences that drew them to Drexel in the first place.

Tuition and Fees

There will be no charges levied for on-campus housing or meal plans for students working from home or in off-campus residences. However, just as with online courses offered through Drexel University Online, normal tuition and fees will apply for the spring 2020 quarter — less any institutional scholarships and grants, or federal and state aid, which will be credited on student bills. We are working diligently over the extended spring break to develop engaging teaching and learning experiences to enable students to continue their studies.  Fees, in turn, support the creation of a rich online learning experience, as well as other forms of digital interaction currently under development.

Payment Options

During this challenging time, Drexel will continue to offer several payment options to eligible students. These plans, which can be individualized to cover tuition and fee payments over the span of a term, are detailed on the Drexel Central website

 Academic Advising

 Academic advisors within the colleges and schools are ready to work remotely with students, using Microsoft Teams and Zoom, in addition to corresponding by phone and email.  Students can continue to schedule appointments with their academic advisors as before; scheduling appointment technology is available through the DrexelOne portal on the My Success Team Channel.   

Academic Support

The Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS) is providing online academic coaching for all students. Appointments can be made via DrexelOne under the academics tab. For more information visit www.drexel.edu/class  or email academicsuccess@drexel.edu. CLASS is offering a series of online workshops, including two workshops on tips for online and remote learning. The full list of workshops is available at this CLASS link. University-wide academic support services are also adapting services to deliver online tutoring and academic support. To learn more about these opportunities and accessibility, please visit the Learning Alliance.

The Office of Disability Resources will continue to provide accommodations for students in the online sphere. Students should contact the office to renew their AVLs or to request any additional accommodations they need to be successful this spring. Faculty members looking for ways to accommodate students with disabilities also may reach out for support. Please contact disability@drexel.edu with questions or concerns.

Student Counseling

Counseling Center therapists are able to conduct teletherapy using a HIPPA-compliant, confidential Zoom platform to preserve students’ privacy.  We will also be able to provide students within Pennsylvania and students residing across state lines with on-going support as licensing restrictions permit.  Students who would like to schedule an appointment with a therapist can email counsel@drexel.edu or call 215.895.1415.  An after-hours emergency line can be reached at 215.416.3337. Counseling Center staff also will be offering virtual workshops and other self-help modules, downloadable at the Center’s website. Another valuable digital resource we launched earlier this year, 7Cups , is available to all students who want to anonymously reach out for peer counseling. Finally, for students in recovery or seeking support around substance-use issues, the Haven is hosting virtual meetings every day at 8 p.m. EST at HavenRecoveryMeeting or by phone at 872.240.3412 (661-666-741 access code).

Athletics and Recreation

We are moving some of our athletics and recreational programming to a Virtual Rec Center. More information will soon be available. Some initial programs are spelled out and we will continue to expand the offerings. We anticipate having a robust group exercise schedule (mainly on Instagram), eSports tournaments, and other programs that our students and employees will suggest.

Student Engagement

We will continue to support our 300-plus student organizations by moving our organization processes and supports online, including student organization recognition, student organization advisement for event planning and operations, officer training, and student organization funding (SAFAC).  The Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as many of our key student organizations (USGA, fraternity and sorority councils) are moving meetings and programming to digital platforms. Check DragonLink for updates. 

As always, please continue to check Drexel’s Response to Coronavirus website for the latest updates, and utilize the CDC's prevention tips.

Even as we are being challenged to live and learn in new ways by this pandemic, we can be reassured that Drexel will continue to carry out its mission of teaching, research and service. Please take care of yourselves, and each other, in the days and weeks ahead. And we’ll look forward to everyone’s return to Drexel’s virtual campus in less than two weeks’ time.

Sincerely, 

John Fry
President

Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer

Paul E. Jensen
Interim Nina Henderson Provost

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