Messages to Students

This message was sent on March 23, 2020 to all students letting them know of the extended P/NP deadline of May 1 because of the changes and disruption caused by our transition to online education.

Dear SUA students,

In response to concerns from both students and faculty about the disruptions caused by our transition to online instruction, and in consultation with the Academic Standards Committee and the Registrar, we will institute a late P/NP deadline of May 1 which will allow for students to decide on whether to take P/NP grades for their courses. All Spring 2020 P/NP courses would not count toward the limited total number of allowed P/NP courses for students.  The P/NP option would not apply to Capstone, but in special cases students can still petition the Academic Standards Committee for P/NP for capstones.  Students should send an email with the subject Pass/No Pass to registrar@soka.edu if they would like to change the grading basis of their courses to P/NP by May 1. Please email from your soka.edu email account and provide student id#, and the subject/catalog number of the courses you wish to change grade basis (ie: PSYCH100 or CORE200-03).  You can find this subject/catalog number information on your access of learn, on your student center view.  Please note that advisor and instructor consent is not required, however, as a courtesy, please inform your instructor of your change directly.
 
We are also allowing instructors the option to make certain of their courses P/NP at their discretion if they feel that in the new online environment, they cannot fully assess a course with a letter grade. Instructors will be asked to notify the Dean of Faculty and Registrar whether they plan to change the grading basis for their course to P/NP by April 15. Faculty should email with the subject Class Pass/No Pass to registrar@soka.edu and provide the subject/catalog number and title of the course(s) they wish to change to Pass/No Pass. Please do not just give just the title of the course (ie: PSYCH100 Introduction to Psychology).  This will allow us in two ways to verify that we are making changes to the correct course. 

Students should be aware that if they fail all classes and receive a “NP” in all of their classes, they may be subject to a withdrawal which may jeopardize their financial aid eligibility. Should you have any questions with regards to this, you may contact Financial Aid.  Also, please keep in mind that if you fail a class, the NP will also negatively affect your GPA as it is calculated the same as an “F” grade.
 
We hope these changes will allow for you to have more flexibility and options in pursuing your studies and that this flexibility in P/NP grading will help you to adjust to online instruction and in coping with the many other disruptions that everyone is going through in these difficult times. 

Best wishes,

Bryan Penprase 

Dean of Faculty, SUA 


These messages were sent to all students from the Dean of Faculty on March 13 and March 11, trying to help them understand how to cope and adapt to the online learning environment.

Dear SUA students,

We understand the enormous sadness and disappointment that this disruption is causing and we wanted to stress that faculty will be very supportive of you and your needs as we all face the challenge of moving our classes online. We are all learning how to make the best use of the online technologies to continue your classes with the best quality possible. I will ask our faculty should be sensitive to students who may need modified deadlines in courses, and to help students complete their studies with reasonable accommodations. This includes making class sessions available through video-recording and online discussions for students who are outside of the North American timezones. Your instructors should be contacting you soon with more information about how your online courses will work. 

To support our seniors, we will be extending the Capstone Deadline from its current deadline of April 24 to May 15, which is as late as we can go in order to compile the grades for graduating seniors. This should allow seniors more time to get settled and to have more time to complete their capstone projects. I will also ask capstone mentors to allow students time to get settled (until after March 27) before any deadlines for capstone drafts will be due. 
If any students do not have internet access at their home, we will work with IT to help students with this issue. If you have a need for help with internet, please email a request to me at bpenprase@soka.edu and we will gather more information and work to cover the costs to get internet to be sure that you can continue your studies

Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding and we wish everyone the best in this difficult time. 

Best wishes,


Bryan


Dear SUA Students,

As Ed Feasel indicated earlier in the week in his email to the community, we are transitioning to an online teaching mode after Spring Break. Your courses will all resume after Spring Break and faculty will be holding class sessions using online technologies such as the Zoom videoconferencing platform.  This has been a difficult decision, but this decision was necessary to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus on campus, and to help preserve the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. The online environment will require some adjustments for all, but the faculty and IT are working hard together to bring to many of these online classes a high quality and interactive experience that will enable your education to continue without interruption. The Zoom sessions should occur at your regularly scheduled class times, and faculty will also be having some materials available online in other formats.  Zoom has been integrated within our Brightspace course sites, so you will be able to easily log in to the system and fully participate in the class via videoconference.

We recommend that the Zoom microphone be muted within a class unless you are asking a question or talking to reduce ambient noise. The IT staff have also prepared a manual for students in how to use the Zoom platform within Brightspace. This manual is available here:
https://soka.box.com/s/y8a22h25zmp24uhory3zzcuujiuh6idy

Our IT group is available to help students in any way if you have technical issues or questions. Please do contact the IT helpdesk at (949) 480-4357 with any questions about how to use these programs. The IT team is committed to helping you as we all learn with these new online technologies.  

Best wishes, 

Bryan Penprase

Dean of Faculty


This message was sent by the Dean of Students on March 11, 2020:

Dear Students,

As EVP Ed Feasel communicated in his e-mail yesterday, with health and safety of our community first and foremost in our minds, we are taking steps to proactively reduce the possibility of the spread of COVID-19.  With classes being cancelled for the rest of this week and spring break to come, you may have various plans.  Although we are strongly recommending that, if at all possible, you avoid non-essential travel, I understand that some of you have made plans well in advance and plan to move forward with your plans.  

As I asked in yesterday’s e-mail, if you plan on traveling, please send me an e-mail with the country(s) you will be visiting, date of your departure and date of return to campus.

If you travel outside the United States, and

You should plan to be in self-isolation for a minimum of fourteen (14) days upon return to campus. Students who isolate upon return should email HealthCenter@soka.edu and include dates and location of travel, any large group activities (concert, festival, etc.) you may have attended.  If any symptoms of illness are present, you will be asked to provide a contact phone number (cell phone or room phone), and a Health Care Provider from the Health Center will monitor students in isolation and determine next steps.

If you travel outside the United States but the CDC Risk Level is 2 or lowerand the level does not rise or you travel within the United States, Please check-in with the Health Center upon your return to campus.  Students may email HealthCenter@soka.edu and include dates and location of travel, any large group activities (concert, festival, etc.) you may have attended.  If any symptoms of illness are present upon return, a Health Care Provider from the Health Center will determine the next steps based on the information shared.

If you plan to remain on campus during Spring Break, please emailHealthCenter@soka.edu between March 16-20 regarding any concerns, symptoms, or illness. A Health Care Provider will respond, as needed.

Some of you have also asked about commencement and we understand the need to have confirmation for the purpose of your family’s travel plan.  We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make a decision based on the status by early April.

As we work together to proactively minimize the potential infections on our campus, I strongly encourage all students to practice social distancing and postpone any student sponsored events.  All events sponsored by areas within Student Affairs, including all athletics travel, are now postponed to a later date after April 3.  Each area will communicate the new date of the event as they are confirmed. 

Although we are postponing our events at this time, all of our offices remain open as usual and be available to provide support.  I understand that there’s anxiety around the rapid changes and uncertainty of the spread of COVID-19.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or questions regarding the current situation or need any support.

Thank you very much.

-Hyon