Pandemic impacts local community
On Monday, March 16th 2020, after a week of spring break, Penn State, like so many other institutions, had its first day of remote, synchronous classes as a result of the looming threat of COVID-19. In the two weeks that followed, the world watched as more and more cases of coronavirus were reported around the globe. The governor of PA, Tom Wolf, eventually ordered a stay-at-home order for Centre County. Due to the preemptive actions of Penn State, however, the university was already compliant with the state order. Remote classes will continue through the end of the spring semester.
An order of this kind has had and will continue to have far-reaching effects in our local and global communities. It’s important to focus on good news, as well. Many people in the State College community are stepping up to help people who may have lost sources of income. For example, the State College Area School district is providing meals for families who depended on school lunches.
IECP adjusts to remote learning
As Penn State ordered online classes to be delivered synchronously, faculty and students immediately began working with the video conference software, Zoom. While many students enjoyed not having to wake up as early to “attend” classes, IECP students miss their in-person classes. More importantly, our international students face very real concerns related to uncertainties with travel and academic progress. IECP faculty are very understanding of the feelings and frustrations of students and are continuing to work hard to provide outstanding instruction and maintain communication online.
In one of Nikki’s classes, she used the online application padlet to create an opportunity to for students to say something positive. No doubt, this exercise helped everyone brighten their day a little bit in the midst of a lot of negativity. See the photo below.
A message from the IECP’s associate director of academics
Hi everyone–it’s Jackie, the writer and curator of the IECP Blog. I wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to all the IECP faculty, staff and students for hanging tough and being so open during these very strange times. First and foremost, please take care of yourselves both physically and emotionally. We at the IECP care about our students and their well being. We will get through this together, and we will support you in any way we can. Be well.