As Troy University classes shift to online and alternative delivery methods in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus, some students may be dealing with these learning environments for the first time.
The John W. Schmidt Center for Student Success is providing guidance and a number of resources to help students as they navigate this unexpected transition.
“I would say the first step for a student making this transition right now is to become integrated into whatever their course delivery mechanism is,” said Jonathan Cellon, Assistant Dean of First-Year Studies. “Become familiar with Canvas, check your email frequently for updates and notifications from instructors. Also, students should familiarize themselves with the services we’re offering here, which we’ve fully migrated online.”
Academic advisers remain available to students through online appointments. Advisers can help students who are registering for classes, but they also provide support and guidance that can help a confused student find the right academic path during this time.
“Our academic advisers advise students in their first year, but they’re also adept in handling a lot of academic-related questions,” Cellon said. “If any student is not able to get connected with someone in the short term, reach out to us and we can help with academic navigation.”
TROY’s Learning Center is also offering all of its services online for the duration of this event.
The center offers tutoring in writing, critical reading, math, chemistry, physics and biology, and can be accessed through the TROY Canvas site. Students can also ask Learning Center-related questions through email (email@example.com) or Instagram direct messaging.
“In an in-person environment, students could just drop in at Eldridge Hall. Unfortunately, right now we’re not able to do that, but we are doing appointment-based advising and tutoring sessions,” Cellon said. “Students can set those up through the Canvas core site, and that’s something all undergraduates are automatically enrolled in. Go to the Learning Center scheduling portion of the core site and set up an appointment.”
Importantly, the University is adjusting to students’ needs by making these resources available outside normal hours.
“We are doing extended hours, and as of yesterday, we’re looking to do some sessions over the weekend as well,” Cellon said. “We’re migrating workshops into that environment as well. Those resources are updated on the Learning Center web page as well as the Canvas core site.”
Learning Center tutors are well trained in online tutoring and can help students with a variety of issues that may arise.
Career Services is also offering assistance online, including interview and resume reviews via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com for TROY Online students), interview preparation through the Big Interview software program, and internships and job searches through Handshake.
With students, faculty and staff working together, the transition can be a successful one.
“We need to keep students engaged as much as possible,” Cellon said. “We’re learning right alongside them. The faculty and staff are here to make this transition as smooth as possible, but we need students’ assistance and awareness to help as we deal with this situation as well. We’re all in this together.”