Like any other communal institution in the U.S., university campuses nationwide have been forced to enact dramatic changes in order to correspond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental shutdown of most local facilities that has followed.
It is no secret by now that all of APSU’s courses have been converted to online classes in order to see all Gov students through the Spring semester. By enforcing this, many faculty and staff have had to deal with a great load of stress in doing so.
It has been a great change but that does not automatically imply a fully negative impact upon the many institutions of the university.
Many of APSU’s offices and programs have adjusted well to this new status and despite lacking the face-to-face contact with students, university business still proceeds to maintain its course regardless of this time of crisis.
The Office of the Registrar is one such office that has done this well and proceeds to serve the campus community a proficient way that it is as if nothing has changed at all.
“If there’s any inconveniences, it’s that we’re not being able to see students face-to-face and that people are not allowed to pick up things or drop things off like they usually would,” Telaina Wrigley, head of the Registrar said. “But we still keep up levels of customer service with phone and mail at pretty much the same rate.”
The Office of the Registrar has been barred from using their regular desk computers due to the safety procedures implemented by university officials, but IT has provided them with laptops to back them up.
If there is to be any inconvenience mentioned, it is simply the mere absence of seeing students on a day-to-day basis.
“It impacts us in different ways not seeing students because we don’t get to see the impact we’re making on them. We miss some of our students and I think they miss seeing us, and that’s because we’re a family,” Wrigley said.
Priority registration is still in effect.
The Office of the Registrar still beckons all students to preserve their intentions of being advised and signing up for courses during the Summer and for the Fall semesters just as they usually would.
If any students have missed their priority registration dates, the Office of the Registrar can still assist them until the next term starts.
The Office of the Registrar also wishes to remind all senior students that they can still drop by to pick up their cap and gown.
In addition to the Office of the Registrar’s ability to adjust well, another department has also accomplished this feat during these circumstances: the APSU-1000 course.
APSU-1000 is an interdisciplinary course which provides students with the foundations of success.
In particular, it is a course that is required for first-time freshmen and students who enter APSU with fewer than 12 hours earned on a college/university campus after high school graduation and centers on familiarizing them with student engagement, support services, library literacy, financial literacy and academic planning.
It is also a course available, though not required, for any student who is new to the APSU campus.
Presently there are five APSU-1000 classes on campus that have been impacted by these sudden changes, affecting a total of 144 students.
But along with the well-prepared instructors of the course, the students have also been well-prepared through eight weeks of solid instruction.
“Thus far, I have heard of no consequences to the course because of the change. I believe it is because students have had eight solid weeks of instruction,” Bonnie Hodge, head coordinator of the APSU-1000 course said. “I also believe that it has better prepared them to take their other classes online as they had been exposed to the online environment consistently in the first half of the course.”
Implied within these eight weeks, was a constant correlation between students and their instructors, their D2L was already an online component to their course (so navigating online was nothing new to them). All APSU-1000 classes have already met with their course librarians twice prior to spring break to prepare them for writing their career research papers.