WGU COVID-19 Coronavirus Update.
Like all of you, we at WGU are carefully watching the developments related to coronavirus and COVID-19. Our #1 priority is protecting the well-being of our local communities, our students, our employees, and their families while maintaining our focus on student success.
First and foremost, we encourage everyone to protect themselves and their families. We strongly recommend that you follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a university, we are committed to supporting you in these efforts.
WGU’s operations are continuing uninterrupted, and we are continuing to enroll new students on the first day of every month. We are grateful that our technology-driven approach to learning allows us to continue to serve our students without disruption during this time. We fully anticipate that our students will have normal and ready access to faculty, course materials, and assessments. For students facing specific situations—like disruptions to clinical rotations or demonstration teaching placements—we will work with them individually to find answers and solutions.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education issued guidance providing flexibility for colleges whose students are facing interruptions to their studies. Within this federal guidance, we will make adjustments for special circumstances and reasonable accommodations for any students disrupted by the virus outbreak.
For our employees and staff, we are taking steps to reduce risk while continuing the work we do. Our employees will be working remotely for the next few weeks, and we have suspended all WGU-related travel, events, and in-person meetings.
Due to the ongoing developments and new guidance from our federal and local governments, we will be updating this page with important information. I encourage you to check back often as we work diligently to provide information and answer questions of our students, faculty and staff, and assist in the needs of academic community. While it’s necessary to have physical social distancing to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, it’s our ability to connect and coalesce in a shared purpose that will see us through this trying time.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, the education community is acting in solidarity and continuity. Our academic colleagues from K–12 schools and throughout postsecondary education are quickly adapting their institutional structures to ensure that students are supported in what, for many, are new online learning environments. Since WGU’s founding in 1997 we’ve built our entire university online and hope that we can share some of the expertise and resources that we know support student success and provide everyone resources for emotional well-being and resiliency.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a lifelong process through which we all develop adaptive Power Skills that contribute to academic and career success and overall well-being.
These skills help us:
- Develop our self-awareness by understanding our own thoughts, emotions, beliefs, strengths, character, personality, and motivation.
- Incorporate self-management into our daily life to increase productivity, satisfaction, and overall well-being.
- Utilize effective interpersonal communication to build strong personal and professional relationships.
- Strengthen our executive function processes needed to learn new things, complete complex tasks, and achieve our goals.
- Develop our social awareness so we can make positive contributions to our teams and communities.
Online education has many benefits for students, but for those that are used to a traditional in-person instruction setting, there may be challenges. The most immediate benefit is the flexibility of online learning that in many cases can be accessed at any time or place. For students that are experiencing online learning for the first time, or those that need a little motivational push, here are some of our top articles and tips as you adapt to your new online learning environment.
1. Create a study space, a room in which you can be alone and with as little distraction as possible.
2. Make a schedule for yourself, plan ahead and make sure you give yourself timeframes to complete tasks to keep on track.
3. Play some relaxing instrumental study music -- no words -- that keeps you focused.
4. Take your time and do practice tests or questions if possible.
5. Follow the course instructor’s curriculum, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
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The Pandemic Has Accelerated Demands for a More Skilled Work Force
The New York Times
How WGU aligns students' educations to employers' needs
Lessons Learned Podcast
Strada Education Network
Featuring WGU President Scott Pulsipher
Indianapolis Business Journal: BELL: Equal access to broadband needed to shrink equity gaps for Hoosiers
The Times Tigard: Drake: Bridging digital divide will accelerate learning, economy
Rio Grande Guardian: Swanson: Rural Texas Needs More Nurses
Real Clear Education: Closing the Digital Divide Will Advance Equity
The Evolllution: What NOT to Do When Putting Your Classes Online
The Evolllution: Fast Forward: Looking to the Future Workforce and Online Learning
eCampus News: 5 ways to focus on student success in a pandemic
Campus Technology: 9 Thoughts for Dealing with Online Learning in a Crisis
Campus Technology: Moving to Digital Learning Fast: Where to Start
The Federal Communications Commission has called on broadband internet providers around the country to support Americans as our daily lives are disrupted due to the outbreak. Many companies have pledged to provide free internet access and hotspot access and many cellphone providers will allow unlimited data. Visit the following companies for further details about internet access and check with your cellphone provider regarding extended data limits.