Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19

 

Subject: Message from the President: Commencement Postponement 
 
Date: April 17, 2020
 
Warriors:

Commencement is a very special time for our graduating seniors to be celebrated for their accomplishments. We want you to have that time and that experience where we can celebrate our graduates. This year the circumstances in the world right now make it impossible to meet as originally planned. Therefore, we are announcing that Sterling College’s Commencement, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been postponed. However, we are committed to providing an on-campus Commencement celebration, when safe to do so. 

Dr. Scott A. Rich
President

 


 

Subject: Message from the President: COVID-19 - March 19
 
Date: March 19, 2020
 
Warriors:
 
We have made the difficult decision to complete the remainder of this semester in an online format using Canvas and other virtual tools. I appreciate the patience you have exhibited during this time and please know that I wish the decision could have been different. The choice is about more than the health of campus and all of our students, faculty, staff and campus guests, it’s also about the health for the community of Sterling. With Sterling Village senior center just a block south of campus, and many residents of our town in potentially higher risk categories, the decision to finish the year online seems most prudent.
 
Unfortunately, due to this circumstance, students that are currently away from campus, have traveled outside of the state, or have traveled to high risk counties, will not be permitted to return to campus at this time. Students that are on campus will be asked to check out of their rooms and make arrangements to leave campus as soon as possible. Residence Life staff will be in contact with these students. 
 
Once it is safe for students to return to campus to collect the items they have stored in their residence hall rooms, an email will be sent with directions as to how to collect these items. We currently anticipate this date to potentially be in May. We are working with local health authorities to determine a date that will be safe for all students and the community. Until that time, dorms will remain locked and secured.
 
Only students that remained in Rice County during the entirety of Spring Break may return to check out of their dorm room. Please contact the Office of Student Life at tess.cannon@sterling.edu to make arrangements. Before you are cleared to return to pick up your belongings you must fill out this Return to Campus Screening Form and you will be contacted by campus health officials prior to your return. This form can be found here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJ56u9uiGm6TlLimWJ-LZJ9cZnVg75XhqDV6duOFlpdjTAfQ/viewform 
 
It is recognized that select, international students may need to remain on campus for an extended time. These students need to contact the Office of Student Life and be approved to live on campus for a limited amount of time. 
 
In order to answer many other questions that you may have, please know that I will be sending the next email to students and staff on Monday.  Please continue your patience with this process and early next week expect communication from your professors, advisors, coaches and those in student life.    
 
 
Dr. Scott A. Rich
President
Sterling College
Sterling, Kansas
www.sterling.edu

 

 


 

Subject: Message from the President: COVID-19 - March 18

Date: March 18, 2020

Dear Sterling College Community,

We wanted to provide a brief update to you as we approach the end of this first week of Spring Break. 
 
As a reminder, Sterling College leadership has extended Spring Break scheduled for March 14-22, by an additional week, from March 23-29, to provide additional time for faculty and staff to prepare for a potential move to online learning for all face to face classes, should it be necessary to do so. We have also decided to extend our staff Spring Breather by an additional day, so campus will be closed Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20. Offices reopen Monday, March 23.  

We will continue to monitor the situation along with all of the complexities and will communicate our decision to you no later than Thursday, March 26.  I appreciate your patience as we hold out in hope.  Picture me playing the part of William Wallace in the movie Braveheart as he defies the instincts of battle and says “hold…hold…hold…hold” waiting until the best possible moment to make a very important decision.  That is what I am trying to do – and, watch the movie again over break – it’s a good one.   And, by the way, I appreciate the students who sent me that William Wallace GIF as a reminder - that really made my day.
 
As a reminder, all members of the campus community should monitor their Sterling College email as the primary source for further instructions. Course-specific communications will come from faculty and students are encouraged to check their Canvas account often for updates. 
 
The College website has a page that will provide the most updated information along with information regarding events, program cancellations or rescheduling. This page can be found here: https://www.sterling.edu/student-life/covid-19-information/
 
Thank you for your patience and perseverance in these unprecedented times. Our commitment and resolve is to ensure the best education and experience possible for our students, the next generation of servant leaders. 

I am reminded today of Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”.  Join me in praying for our nation, our communities and our campus – that we would be patient during these days and be reminded that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have a joyous hope that rests not in the circumstances of this world.

I miss you…and I love you.
 
Dr. Scott A. Rich
President

 


Date: March 13, 2020

Dear Sterling College Community,

Sterling College leadership is closely monitoring the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidance of the CDC and other health agencies. 

Please review this information carefully, as some normal activities may be impacted. We understand at least some of the difficult implications of these decisions. Please know that we make the following announcement from a desire to demonstrate caution and to protect our students, faculty, staff and guests.

At present, the College has not identified any cases of the virus within our community and is operating “as usual” based on the guidance we are receiving. Because of the spread of the virus in the U.S., the situation may change quickly, and we will initiate appropriate action as necessary to further protect our campus community. We will continue to exercise caution for all concerned and will be mindful of the needs of our faculty and staff. We especially want to assure students that their academic programs, services and support needs will be fully considered as we move forward.

Guidance for Faculty and Students Regarding Classroom Teaching
Out of an abundance of caution and to follow guidance set forth by state leadership, Sterling College leadership has decided to extend Spring Break scheduled for March 14-22, by an additional week, from March 23-29, to provide additional time for faculty and staff to prepare for a potential move to online learning for all face to face classes, should it be necessary to do so. This will provide a two week break to permit continued monitoring of the virus situation and provide time for additional preparation and response to these issues. Our prayer and hope has been and will be to have face-to-face classes back in session on Monday, March 30. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional guidance about classes by Thursday, March 26. 

Residential Living
The traditional undergraduate student population will be welcome to return to residence halls on Sunday morning, March 29, with classes resuming on Monday, March 30. Students leaving for Spring Break should take textbooks, supplies and materials necessary and be prepared to return to classes on Monday, March 30. Should classes be moved to online format the College has computers located in Mabee Library that are accessible for students who do not otherwise have computer access. As a reminder, the College’s learning platform, Canvas, is available anywhere via the internet. Additional communication will be provided prior to the return of students regarding class format, preparation for return and other instructions. 

It is recognized that select students may need to remain on campus for the extended spring break. The Office of Student Life will identify and must approve all requests for students who desire to remain as residents on campus. If you received approval to stay on campus during Spring Break, this approval is extended for the extended Spring Break. During the break, visitors, family and non-residential guests will not be allowed to visit the residence halls without the approval of Student Life. 

Dining Services
With the extended Spring Break, dining services will be closed for the entire Spring Break, from March 14-29, with regular dining services starting again on Sunday evening, March 29. Maintenance and custodial staff will initiate additional disinfecting or cleaning procedures in all occupied buildings and hand sanitizer will be distributed to all classrooms, offices and common areas.

Coronavirus Preparedness
Prior to returning to campus, any student that is ill should contact the Office of Student Life at tess.cannon@sterling.edu. Please visit the CDC Coronavirus travel information link to be aware of travel alerts. You will be asked by Sterling College to fill out screening questions as to your extended spring break travel prior to your return to campus depending on the current state of the spread of Coronavirus at that time. There is also a possibility the KDHE or CDC may recommend a period of self-quarantine depending on the area that you may have traveled to during the extended spring break. Should this be the case, online coursework will be made available to you at this time. 

All College sponsored or reimbursed travel by faculty, staff and students is immediately suspended unless specifically approved by their respective vice president.

All current online learning classes, graduate or other clinical classes may continue to meet or may be converted to an online learning format and function as scheduled, unless it is determined that circumstances require changes approved by the vice president for academic affairs.

Faculty and Staff Work Arrangements
During the extended portion of spring break, College facilities and offices will remain open for regular hours including the Student Union (excluding dining services) and the Mabee Library. Faculty and staff will receive internal communications and updates regarding operations and functions within their areas. Faculty or staff who become ill should not report to work and should utilize College PTO provisions and may be required to provide physicians clearance prior to reporting for work.

The College will continue to monitor the situation and further announcements will be issued as necessary. During the extended break (March 14-29) all scheduled campus events, public events and use of campus facilities by outside groups are cancelled. The sponsoring group or department will be responsible for communication of cancelled or rescheduled events.

I want to assure the campus community that there is no immediate threat or cause for alarm. Current information has indicated that our area is not at immediate risk, but definitive action is necessary out of a serious need for caution and care. Students can be assured that the College will keep them fully informed and that their class work and academic progress will be a high priority consideration, especially for our seniors and those contemplating graduation. They should not be alarmed or have undue concern. Commencement services are still planned to take place as scheduled on Saturday, May 16. 

Athletics
Per the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), all athletic activity (including organized practices and competitions) have been suspended indefinitely at this time. If you have any questions, please contact Justin Morris, athletic director. 

Academic Activities
All Sterling College co-curricular activities (including organized practices and competitions) have been suspended indefinitely at this time. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Ken Brown, vice president for academic affairs.

Travel
Nonessential business travel will cease effective immediately. The respective vice president or athletic director will provide further guidance concerning College business. We have cancelled all missions trip travel including summer and Spring Break trips. 

All members of the campus community should monitor their Sterling College email as the primary source for further instructions. The College website has a page that will provide the most updated information along with information regarding events, program cancellations or rescheduling. This page can be found here: https://www.sterling.edu/student-life/covid-19-information/

These are exceptional times and as a Christ-centered community we have a responsibility and a privilege to demonstrate compassion, long suffering and patience during these difficult circumstances. I am confident that as Warriors we can work together to deal with these issues as we become even stronger in our commitment to serve and support each other.

We will continue to monitor the situation and share regular updates and resources with our campus community.

Dr. Scott A. Rich
President


March 12, 2020

Sterling College Community – 

Please find the below update from the Office of Academic Affairs. In an abundance of caution, we are encouraging students and faculty to follow the below recommendation to bring essential learning items with them as they depart for Spring Break. 

Thank you, 

Dr. Scott A. Rich
President

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Sterling College Students – 

With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 virus, as well as the responses to it, I recommend that you take all essential learning items with you as you leave campus.  This would include laptops, tablets, textbooks, and other classroom materials and resources. 

At the moment, there are no changes or extensions that have been made to the dates for our spring break, but in the event that changes must be made due to the virus, it’s wise for you to take these items with you to be prepared for such an event.

Sterling College will continue to monitor the situation and will keep in touch with you through all available modes of communication (text alerts, email, website notifications, etc.).

Dr. Brown

Ken Brown, Ph.D.
Vice-President for Academic Affairs
Dean of the College


March 11, 2020

Dear Sterling College Community, 

As the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues, we want to communicate information on how Sterling College is monitoring and preparing for any potential impact to our campus community.

We do not anticipate any disruption to classes or regular college activities at this time. 

Sterling prepares for situations of this nature and has a campus preparedness and response plan in place that addresses prevention, care, communication, and safety measures as well as the many academic and student support implications that could arise in any situation like this.

Our team is reviewing this plan and is updating in light of the most recent Coronavirus data and communication available from the CDC as well as our local health care providers. Further, our campus safety committee has been monitoring the situation with resources from the state and CDC.

Many preventative measures are also being taken. We are encouraging everyone to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and prioritizing the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards and light switches. Special focus is being put on the cleaning of public areas. The Kansas Department of Health has produced a guide for helping individuals protect themselves from the coronavirus. 

Please visit the CDC Coronavirus travel information link to be aware of travel alerts. You may be asked by Sterling College to fill out screening questions as to your spring break travel prior to your return to campus depending on the current state of the spread of Coronavirus at that time. There is also a possibility the KDHE or CDC may recommend a period of self-quarantine depending on the area that you may have traveled to during spring break.

We will continue to monitor the situation and share regular updates and resources with our campus community.

Dr. Scott A. Rich
President

Links:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/