Archive for May 2020
LVC Forward serves as a hub detailing how Lebanon Valley College is preparing for an in-person start to the fall 2020 semester. We are also using this time as an opportunity to create new ways to learn and develop new programs so that students are well-prepared for the future.
Check back for updates often.
The best defense against contracting or spreading the COVID-19 virus lies in your own hands—literally. By following recommendations for the use of facemasks when physical distancing is not possible, frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and maintaining recommended social distancing, you will provide yourself with significant protection.
- As a courtesy, we will distribute one cloth (washable/reusable) face mask to all students at the beginning of the semester.
- Students and employees will provide their own cloth face masks for use on campus just as they have for use in other public spaces.
- We will provide additional face masks (as needed) to those employees where frequent face mask use is required.
- LVC has secured a stock of disposable face masks to be used if someone has forgotten or misplaced their own.
- Gloves will be provided where the use of gloves is a requirement of the job function.
- In general, the use of gloves for repeated tasks not related to housekeeping is not recommended.
Physical Barriers (Sneeze Guards)
- Locations where individual staff or students interact in close proximity for an extended conversation or exchange materials such as payments or documents—or areas with high volumes of interactions—will be candidates for the installation of a physical barrier.
- The exact size and configuration will be determined based on the actual use of the space. These locations will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and PA Department of Health (DOH) have indicated that the COVID-19 virus, where it might be found on surfaces or clothing, is relatively easily killed via the use of standard disinfectants and normal use of a washing machine. All the cleaning solutions LVC currently uses have gone through testing and been approved for Emerging Pathogen use.
The housekeeping staff is following guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and DOH, focusing on frequent cleaning of high-touch areas.
Cleaning supplies will be provided so that employees will be able to clean surfaces in their offices as needed.
Instructions will be included to assure the proper use of these supplies.
Provost Cowart has convened four task forces to focus on planning for stabilization in the fall semester and transformation and innovation in the short- and long-term.
1. COVID-19 Academic Response Task Force (Stabilization Phase)
Committee Members: Patrick Brewer, Deanna Dodson, Tom Dompier, Laura Eldred, Jennifer Kanupka, Courtney Lappas, Joerg Meindl, Renee Norris, Wally Patton, Jeff Robbins
This group will focus on using Governor Wolf’s guidelines for PA colleges and universities, recommendations from accrediting bodies, and recommendations from other key organizations, such as the CDC, to help guide the formation of an academic plan for next year. The task force will create COVID-specific protocols and recommendations to guide faculty in delivering a student-centered learning experience that assumes an in-person fall start.
- What are the major challenges departments have identified regarding the fall semester?
- What academic guidelines, policies or protocols do we need to augment or create?
- What lessons have we learned from going online this spring that will inform our strategy for fall?
- How do we best prioritize classes for in-person teaching if we have a hybrid curriculum?
- How do we ensure that our plans are truly student-centered (i.e., focused on student needs and best interests)?
- What guidance will we provide for the possibility of multiple “pivots” so that high quality learning outcomes are preserved?
- How do we prioritize academic rigor while still meeting student needs?
2. Online Learning & Digital Strength Task Force (Stabilization Phase)
Committee Members: Maureen Bentz, Jasmine Bucher, Ivette Guzman Zavala, Jennifer Kuntz, Dave Shapiro, Susan Tammaro, Lori Thomas, Keith Veenhuizen, Holly Wendt
This group is examining how LVC’s online policies and pedagogical choices can address current challenges while further affirming our institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and student success. It is determining what policies, practices, and professional development opportunities are needed to help faculty members create first-rate online learning opportunities for our students. The team is also examining how LVC can address student needs, especially for those students who lack adequate resources or need help obtaining hardware, Internet, etc.
3. Task Force on College-wide Innovation (Transformation & Innovation Phase)
Committee Members: Eva Frank, Claudia Gazsi, Stacy Goodman, John Hinshaw, Kimberlee Josephson, Jeff Leferriere, Robert Machado, Lou Manza, Tonya Miller, Justin Morell
This task force is focusing on the ways in which LVC must continue to grow, innovate, and transform, especially given current conditions, to thrive in the coming years.
- What unexpected opportunities are emerging as a result of the pandemic and the current state of higher education? How can LVC leverage those opportunities in a mission-driven, strategic manner?
- What new academic programs need to be developed to meet current and emerging regional needs?
- What potential non-credit bearing opportunities are there for revenue generation?
- Could part of the undergraduate curriculum include hybrid and online classes for residential undergraduates? if so what should the target be?
- How could summer be used more effectively to accelerate degree completion more quickly?
- What “innovation-opportunities” exist outside of program development?
- What is the role of community partnerships in our overall strategy? What relationships are in place and what key relationships with community leaders need to be developed/cultivated?
- How do we innovate and transform while staying true to LVC’s core identity and traditions?
- What approval process can be created to “test” or “pilot” promising ideas?
4. Task Force on Non-Credit Bearing Opportunities (Transformation & Innovation Phase)
Committee Members: Philip Bensech, Kristen Boeshore, Andrew Hildebrand, Joel Kline, Gabriella McEvoy, Justin Mierzwicki, Cindy Vejar, Ken Yarnall
This task force is focusing on the ways in which LVC can continue to grow, innovate, and transform to thrive in the coming years. Specifically, this task force will examine a variety of non-credit bearing opportunities (i.e., bootcamps, certificates, trainings, seminars, CEU opportunities, licensure test prep, etc.) and determine how these opportunities can be part of LVC’s strategy for success.
- What unexpected opportunities are emerging as a result of the pandemic, the current state of higher education, and industry needs in our area? How can LVC leverage those opportunities in a mission-driven, strategic manner?
- What potential non-credit bearing opportunities are a good institutional fit while also generating revenue? Which opportunities can be developed and launched quickly? Which ones require a long term strategy?
- How could summer be used more effectively to leverage these opportunities?
- What is the role of community partnerships in our overall strategy? What relationships are already in place and what key relationships with community leaders need to be developed/cultivated? What are our partners saying they need regarding employee professional development, etc.?
- What do community members or current students state that they need regarding non-credit bearing opportunities? How can we address these needs?
- How can LVC’s non-credit bearing strategy be nimble yet coordinated?
- How do we innovate and transform while staying true to LVC’s core identity and traditions?
May 6, 2020
Dear LVC Community,
As this historic Spring 2020 semester draws to a close, I am inspired by the accomplishments and agility of our students, their families, faculty, and staff. You have overcome challenges and adapted to often daily changes requiring strength of mind, body, emotion, and spirit. It has been an honor to lead the College for eight years and to once again see LVC at its best
Now the College has begun in earnest to prepare for what comes next. I am happy to report that the College is deep into planning for an in-person start of the fall 2020 semester. The College’s senior leadership and Critical Incident & Emergency Management Team are developing several scenarios for opening up LVC gradually over the summer. These plans will be based on guidance the Pennsylvania Department of Health expects to release May 15, as well as recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. We are also vetting potential partners to advise and assist with any needed mitigation strategies.
The team is working closely with incoming president Dr. James MacLaren to define the next eight weeks, and he will take the lead on planning for the next academic year. His experience as part of the team that led Tulane University Katrina-recovery efforts will be invaluable to this process.
The scenarios we are outlining will be flexible. Scheduling may change to reduce density in classrooms and labs. Residence halls may hold fewer students, and there might temporarily be more commuters. Even though the way students learn in the fall will likely be different from how it has been in the past, rest assured that Lebanon Valley College is committed to maintaining the same level of personalized attention it has always given to students. Student affairs will develop co-curricular programming to maintain the community connectedness that makes LVC so special. Learning outcomes will not change, and students will be on the same path to graduate on-time and fully prepared for their careers or post-graduate studies.
There are still many unknowns, including questions related to athletics, student worker opportunities for fall, move-in and Orientation, dining services, and the status of the virus and its spread. As conditions change, LVC will keep you informed.
Please continue to practice physical distancing, and encourage each other—remotely—as we show the world what it means to be #LVCStrong.
President Lewis E. Thayne