As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority at Missouri Southern State University is the health and safety of our Lion family. You can find the latest information and answers to questions about our comprehensive response below.
Dear Lion Family:
Thank you for your continuing cooperation and understanding as we have strived to navigate this challenging period in Missouri Southern’s history.
Each decision that has been made in relation to the Fall 2020 semester – including classes and campus operations – has been made with the utmost consideration of the overall safety of the Lion community and for as little disruption to the academic and student experience as possible. Because of your support, our efforts have been successful, with the blend of hyflex courses allowing us to stay face-to-face for as long as possible.
We appreciate your patience as we waited to make a final decision on our post-Thanksgiving plans to ensure that we had a clear understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our campus community, as well as the most current recommendations from our state and local public health officials.
Out of an abundance of caution and due to the recent increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Southwest Missouri, following the Thanksgiving break, in-person and hybrid courses – with limited exceptions outlined below – will move to online delivery for the last two weeks of the fall semester, including the final exam period.
This decision will result in reduced activity on campus, particularly as residential students will be given the option to stay home after the break, thereby helping to prevent future spread of the virus. This action is supported by both the Student Senate and Faculty Senate.
All previously stated health and safety protocols will remain in effect during this period, including the mandatory use of face coverings and the required practice of social distancing. Following consultation with local public health officials and our key constituencies, we are confident that the decision to move academic programming primarily online for the final two weeks of the semester, while continuing to offer on-campus residential and student services, will be the best move forward for Missouri Southern as we conclude the fall semester.
In the meantime, know that we will consistently monitor the situation in the Joplin area, and will be in contact detailing plans for the spring semester. At this time, we want to assure you that if the conditions allow, it is our intent to return to the face-to-face/hyflex courses for the Spring Term. You may continue to access the most current and comprehensive campus information, including dashboard data, by visiting our COVID-19 website. If you have any questions on plans for the remainder of the fall semester, please direct them to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or call the student affairs office at 417.625.9392.
Thank you for your continued flexibility as we navigate these challenging times together.
Dean Van Galen, Ph.D.
Missouri Southern State University
The decision to shift to online delivery for most courses after Thanksgiving will have the following impact on academic and student services:
Academic Course Delivery:
- Courses currently offered online will continue to be offered remotely.
- The majority of courses that are currently offered in a face-to-face or hyflex format, will be offered remotely.
- Exceptions are in-person or hybrid courses that are not amenable to remote delivery, including in-person clinical and field-based experiences.
- Students who are impacted directly by these exceptions will soon receive further instruction from their faculty/instructor.
- All residence halls will remain open to students who wish to return to campus after Thanksgiving.
- Residence hall students will not be required to move out, but are strongly encouraged to do so if their classes allow them to finish at home.
- If on-campus residential students choose to stay home after Thanksgiving, they will need to check out with the Residence Hall staff prior to departing for the Thanksgiving break.
- The Residence Life office will follow-up soon by email with detailed instructions for this process.
- If you choose to leave university housing, you will receive a prorated refund or credits for the period beginning Monday, Nov. 30, 2020 through the end of the semester fall semester.
Social Interactions, Extra-curricular and Co-curricular Activities:
- Social interactions will continue to be limited to small groups.
- If these interactions take place indoors, masks must be worn and six feet or more of social distance must be maintained.
- Residence hall visitation restrictions will remain in effect.
- Student Activities will assess any planned activities and events for the possibility of those events being held virtually and/or via live stream.
Willcoxon Health Center:
- The Willcoxon Health Center will continue normal hours during this time.
- If you are not feeling well or have any Covid-19 symptoms, please contact the Willcoxon Health Center at 417-625-9323 or email at email@example.com. We will help you determine if your symptoms are consistent with Covid-19 and if testing is recommended.
- The George A. Spiva Library will be open with reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.
- Computer use and study space will be available for students following health and safety guidelines.
- Contactless book request and pickup service will continue.
- The Beimdiek Recreation Center will continue to operate, observing the current Covid protocols.
- The Mayes Dining Hall will continue to offer its normal hours of operation. The Lion’s Den Food Court will be in normal operation with meals packaged to go. Please check for the possibility of changes to the operating hours for all facilities.
Computer Labs and Wifi Access:
- Computer labs will remain open with possible modified hours.
- Users must maintain six feet or more of social distance and observe other health and safety protocols.
- University athletic team activities will continue – including limited winter sports competition, practices, and individual and small group training – provided all activities are supervised by athletics staff and observe health and safety protocols.
- Winter Commencement will proceed as scheduled in a walk-through format that maintains proper health and safety measures.
‘Return to Campus’ guide
With the Fall 2020 semester quickly approaching, all MSSU employees should be aware of two new resources available to them.First, a downloadable “Return to Campus” guide can now be easily accessed:http://www.mssu.edu/returntocampusThe 22-page document covers everything from Missouri Southern’s operating policy in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, to guidelines and procedures put in place to maintain the highest health and safety measures across campus.Faculty and staff are now able to download a print signage to use as students join us back on campus August 17. Signage is accessible on the university’s COVID site.
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