March 27, 2020
Greetings, Hilbert College students:
We have spent this past week soliciting feedback from you on our new, and unexpected, online environment. I am grateful for your many positive comments, despite this extraordinary disruption to all of our lives. The College is proud of the commitment the faculty and staff have devoted to you during this difficult time, which is traumatic and disorienting for our society. We must work to continually improve our educational programs all the way through the last day of finals week, so I will address now the areas that you have identified for immediate improvement.
Accessing Course Content
We want you to succeed. Please reach out first to your professors if you are experiencing difficulty accessing your courses. If you don’t have access to a computer or Wi-Fi, you can let your professor know or submit a support form via www.hilbert.edu (more information on web resources is below).
Managing Academic Workload
We know this new online environment presents some challenges, including the balancing of your study, your jobs, and your family. Based on your comments, I have asked our faculty to keep in mind the volume of work we are asking of you and to only schedule live sessions of your courses at the same time of day that they met on campus just two weeks ago. The College has also extended the course withdrawal deadline to April 3rd to help you navigate decisions you are making about workload and success, but I encourage you to remember that you will be able to request that the College change your passing grade, whatever it is, to a “P,” for “pass,” at the end of the semester if you wish. More information on these policies is available here - https://www.hilbert.edu/academics/student-services/student-records.
In response to student suggestions, faculty will now be working to streamline messages through Blackboard and email with a goal of clear and consistent communication.
Resources Available On The Website
We have recently updated and re-organized our Covid-19 webpage in an effort to make the information easier to find and more helpful to your needs. Please visit https://www.hilbert.edu/about/coronavirus-update for all the latest information.
For issues related to advisement or registration, events (such as commencement), financial aid and billing information, or residential life, please visit the updated FAQ page.
We want to make sure students have the ability to obtain support for any personal or academic challenge they may be enduring while participating in distance learning. We have created the Student Support Resources and Form webpages to address these needs. This website has information pertaining to assistance for travel, food and immediate needs, academic resources, counseling services, storage information, computer access, Wi-Fi access, utilities, and more.
In addition, we have added other “Help Desk” features to serve any additional needs that may arise:
Finally, the following tutorials and offices are readily available to assist you in your continued transition to online learning:
Blackboard Learn Assistance
Blackboard Collaborate Assistance
Office of Career Development
Emergency Funding And Scholarships
The College is working with private foundations and the state and federal government to bring in as much emergency funding as we can, with the goal of helping you through these tough times with scholarships. As part of that effort, we will award an additional $1,000 scholarship to all returning full time undergraduate students if they register for their fall 2020 courses before April 15th.
We Are Here For You
As you can see, we are mobilizing and working very hard to ensure all students have the appropriate accommodations and services at this time. We will be most successful when we know what’s on your mind throughout the rest of the semester. Please know you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time, day or night, if you need help. I will be there for you just as all of our faculty and staff will be there. We promise.
God bless you. God bless your family and loved ones. God bless Hilbert College.
Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D.