Updated academic grading policies for the remainder of the semester:
Thiel College is allowing students to request that courses which are normally graded (A, B, C, etc…) be converted to a pass/fail (P/F). Courses that earn a P will not be included in calculation of the semester or overall GPA, but the credits will count toward the relevant graduation requirements as appropriate. This option will not be available for all courses. For example, core courses are fulfilled by earning a C-or higher and are unlikely to be appropriate for pass/fail. Students should submit requests for P/F by April 9. Students that select this option are expected to complete their course objectives at an appropriate level to earn a passing grade. In all cases, students are expected to continue to participate in their online courses until the end of the semester.
Beyond Thiel’s policies, there are also external factors that a student should consider before making this choice. For example, some graduate and professional programs will not accept a P/F course. There may also be negative financial consequences for some students based on the stipulations of their scholarships and grants. Those policies may change in the coming months, but they may also remain the same. Therefore, Dean Frombgen and Associate Dean Butcher, in consultation with our Financial Aid office, will review all requests so we can offer guidance to students as they make their choices.
Secondly, seniors who are unable to complete a practicum project because of the COVID-19 situation should reach out to Dr. Hanneman (Scholarship projects) or Dean Frombgen (Citizenship and Leadership projects) to request that this requirement waived. Students that have prepared presentations are encouraged to work with their home departments, or can contact Dr. Butcher to arrange a virtual audience. All other students will have these types of experiential learning activities incorporated into their major requirements starting in the fall.
Finally, we appreciate that the realities of home life may change rapidly for some of our students in the coming weeks. For example, if a student or a member of their family becomes ill, it may not be possible for her/him to complete coursework within the normal academic semester. In those cases, it is advisable for the student to request an Incomplete from the relevant faculty member. This will provide the student with additional time to complete work once she/he is able to do so. Dean Frombgen and Associate Dean Butcher will work with each case to determine an appropriate timeframe based on the circumstances.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your academic adviser or Dr. Butcher.
As you may have read in previous updates (Monday, March 23), we will continue online classes through the end of the semester, and pro-rata refunds will be issued for room and board. Those refunds will affect many students regarding the housing lottery, so we are delaying the lottery to give Financial Services and Student Accounts time to apply refunds to each student’s account accordingly.
New login times by earned credits (credits earned through December 2019):
In regard to room and board refunds, the College is planning to adopt the following policy, but this is still pending federal financial aid guidance and further information regarding the stimulus package. Graduating seniors will receive refunds (net of any unpaid balance) at the end of the semester. All other students will receive credit (net of any unpaid balance) against their 2020-21 student account. The College is not requiring current students to submit a housing deposit to participate in room selection this year due to the potential pro-rata credit.
At this time, the campus remains closed to the public, in compliance with the Governor’s order regarding business operations across the Commonwealth. Thiel College’s priority is the health and well-being of our students, employees and the community at-large. As soon as the College can reopen to the public, the College will contact students and make arrangements about collecting their belongings from campus.
Students are also welcome to leave their belongings on campus through the end of the semester if public buildings and facilities are reopened prior to the end of the semester.
The College appreciates your patience during these unprecedented times.
The Thiel College Counseling Center has been working to provide an option for tele-mental health services (distance counseling). At this time, tele-mental health services offered by the Counseling Center can be provided to students who are in the state of Pennsylvania. The requirement that the student be physically located in the state of Pennsylvania is a mandate per state licensure regulations. Tele-mental health can be offered through two modalities- video sessions through the platform Microsoft Teams and phone sessions. These tele-mental health sessions will be offered at no cost. Students will be screened to determine if this is an appropriate modality of treatment on a case-by-case basis. If you are physically located in Pennsylvania and are interested in learning more about this option, please contact Melanie Broadwater, Director of the Counseling Center, at email@example.com. For those students not located in the state of Pennsylvania, the counselors remain available to assist you in locating a mental health professional in your home community.
Guided by CDC directives, Thiel will now be extending online instruction through the end of the semester. We realize this is both a disappointment and a hardship, and we took this step only after extended consideration and consultation.
Seniors who complete all requirements will graduate on May 3, as scheduled, but the Commencement ceremony will be postponed until it is safe and feasible to host a large event on campus.
Online registration for summer and the fall semesters will continue as originally scheduled and be completed online, as is the current practice. Room selection will also continue online, and Student Life will communicate the revised dates. Continuing students should be sure to complete their FAFSA if they have not already done so. The College will begin issuing returning student financial aid packages for the academic year 2020-21 in April.
Federal and state financial aid agencies are in the process of issuing regulations regarding the reimbursement of expenses for residential students. The College intends to issue a pro-rata refund of room and board charges to graduating seniors at the end of the semester. All other residential students will be granted a pro-rata refund as a credit toward any current charges and the 2020-21 academic year. Questions regarding student accounts may be directed to Stacey Yake at 724-589-2810, firstname.lastname@example.org after April 1.
As soon as we can reopen to the public, Vice President Mike McKinney will make arrangements with students about collecting their belongings from campus. Students are also welcome to leave their belongings on campus through the end of the semester if that is more convenient. The federal government may be offering aid to students and families who incur expenses related to additional travel as a result of this semester’s disruption. We will keep you posted regarding potential aid and other information about additional support and resources for college students at this time.
We are in close communication with our state and federal elected officials as well as with higher education organizations as they pursue support for students as well as colleges and universities. We will continue to share updates and communications as this unprecedented situation unfolds, making every effort to maintain the sense of community that we cherish at Thiel.
If you have questions or concerns related to Student Affairs, please contact Vice President Mike McKinney at 724-589-2600 or email@example.com. For Academic Affairs questions or concerns, please contact Vice President Liz Frombgen at 724-589-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In compliance with Gov. Wolf’s March 19, 2020 order, the Thiel College campus is closed to the public. Thiel employees should plan to work from home as directed by their supervisors until further notice. During this time, only authorized personnel will be allowed on campus. All other work, including online instruction, will be accomplished remotely. This closure will remain in effect until the order is lifted by Gov. Wolf.
This arrangement continues the public closure of the campus and WFH arrangements announced on Monday, March 16.
Access to Facilities: As of today, no students and few employees will have access to campus facilities (with exception to students who we are working with to arrange travel home). A limited number of personnel will be on-campus throughout the WFH period in order to help support the continuation of business.
Academic Affairs Information
Course Work/Classes: Online instruction begins Wednesday, March 18 for all of your courses at Thiel College. Please check your email and Moodle for messages from your instructors. For technology related questions, please see the information about Information Technology Services in the Campus Operations Information section below. Your instructors can address other course related questions.
Free Online Books through eCampus: eCampus has partnered with their Online Bookstore’s digital course materials platform, VitalSource, and leading publishers to launch VitalSource Helps. This program is offering free access to ebooks for students who may have lost access to course materials with the rapid move to distance learning.
If you previously accessed textbooks via the library, shared a book with a classmate, or left your books on campus, visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com to access free ebooks through May 25. VitalSource Helps provides access to tens of thousands of ebooks, but some content may not be available.
Getting Started: To access free materials, you must use your XXXXXXX@thiel.edu email address to log in or create an account. Before you get started, we encourage you to review this student FAQ.
Thiel Learning Commons Services: The Thiel Learning Commons will be offering academic coaching and supplemental learning services (peer tutoring, SI, PAL, Test Reviews, and Writing Lab) remotely utilizing phone conversations, email exchanges and/or video chats. Students can also request a peer tutor during this time, and the TLC will make an effort to match the student with a peer tutor. Please see the attached document for more information about TLC services.
Disability Services: The Disability Resource Center (DRC) will continue to work with students to provide academic accommodations to students who are eligible. Students should reach out to the DRC Coordinator, Liza Schaef, at email@example.com with questions and concerns. Liza will consult with the student and work with faculty to provide needed accommodations based on the student’s disability and how their disability is impacting them in the (online) classroom environment.
Liza will also be available for virtual office hours via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Student appointments will be scheduled as needed between 9:30 a.m. to noon & 1–3:30 p.m. Monday–Friday.
Library: The Library facility will be closed during the WFH period. To access library resources from off-campus locations please login to the Thiel Hub and choose "Library." This will give you access to the "Library Databases" page of the Library website. If you would like to access any of our Ebscohost Databases from off-campus locations, not using Hub access, email Tressa Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career Development: Students should continue to contact Clarissa Arbuckle at email@example.com for an appointment via College Central. College Central also provides podcasts on professional development and numerous documents pertaining to resume/cover letter writing and interviewing, including the Career Center’s own Resume and CV Guide. We have attached a pre-recorded webinar for students needing guidance on how to use College Central.
Students can also continue using www.onetonline.org to learn more about specific occupations. Students unsure of their major/career path can also login to FOCUS2 to obtain free access to career inventories: https://www.focus2career.com/Portal/Login.cfm?SID=1513. The access code to create a free login is "tomcats."
Class Registration for Fall 2020: Registration for the fall semester continues as originally planned. If you have not yet met with your advisor, contact them via email to set up an advising session. This may occur through phone, facetime, skype, email, or another system that works for both of you. Once you are authorized to register, you may do so through self-service as usual. Registration for sophomores is currently in progress and will open at 6 a.m. for all students on the 18th. If you are unable to contact your advisor, notify Dr. Butcher (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Student Life and Wellness Information
Counseling Services: During the WFH period, it is recommended that you seek mental health treatment in your home community, just as you would during the summer break. If you would like assistance in linking to a resource in your community, Counseling Center personnel will be happy to assist you. If you would be interested in a tele-mental health option, you may want to contact your health insurance company by calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Your insurance company can then direct you to a tele-mental health provider if one is available and covered by your insurance.
Crisis resources include the following:
The following is a link to a website that provides helpful tips on managing anxiety related to coronavirus: https://theconversation.com/7-science-based-strategies-to-cope-with-coronavirus-anxiety-133207.
Counseling Center personnel will remain available to support students through email (email@example.com or JWitherite@thiel.edu) and to answer questions about seeking treatment in your community and provide assistance in linking to resources.
Health Services: During this time, students are encouraged to contact their Primary Health Care Physician and/or seek medical attention in their community. If you need assistance or guidance obtaining the proper care, please contact Nurse Patty Alfredo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Activities: Please look for emails about upcoming virtual events. Than is always planning something fun and new, and you do not want to miss out on an opportunity for the giveaways that he has in store. Please also follow the College’s social media outlets for updates, activities, etc. As Tomcats, we can create fun in this virtual world and you are encouraged to stay connected with your friends via technology.
Room Draw/Housing Selection/Residence Life: Room Draw will be postponed, and new dates will be sent out via email. Students wishing to pay their room deposit during the WFH and online periods can mail a check to the following address. Please include “Housing Deposit” in the memo.
75 College Avenue
Greenville, PA 16125
Public Safety: Public Safety will remain staffed 24 hours a day and 7 days a week throughout the WFH and online periods. For questions or assistance, please contact 724-589-2222.
Information about Other Campus Operations and Services
Information Technology (IT) Services: The IT help desk will be staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for remote service. Students can contact the IT help line at 724-589-4000 or email SolutionCenter@thiel.edu for technology assistance. The IT web page also provides the option to submit a support ticket at the following link https://resources.thiel.edu/theforms/it-support-request-form.htm.
Post Office: All mail/packages received at the campus post office will be held for students during the online and WFH periods. If you are expecting mail or a package during this time and would like it forwarded to your home address please contact Anita Lillie at email@example.com or 724-589-2230. You will be responsible for all postal charges and will be able to pay via credit/debit card over the phone. (Please do not send credit/debit card information through email.)
Student Employment: Students will receive an email message later in the month with instructions on how to report hours worked in March. If you have immediate questions, please contact Kim Braden at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Governor Tom Wolf held a press conference this afternoon where he issued a statewide ‘stay calm, stay safe, stay home’ directive for the next two weeks. In compliance with the Governor, Thiel will adopt a work from home (WFH) arrangement effective March 17 through March 30, 2020. We will continue to assess this arrangement and communicate as necessary.
The College will continue to support students as they work remotely on their academic classes and will continue to provide other essential campus services; however, the campus itself will be closed to the general public until March 31.
It is expected for all employees to consult with their supervisors to establish work tasks and flows of communication to fulfill assigned work responsibilities from home. No face-to-face meetings or other gatherings will be held on campus during this time period.
Some personnel may be asked to report to campus as needed. Otherwise, staff should not report to campus or plan to work in their offices unless requested by their supervisor. Any employee who is sick or who has been exposed to someone who may be positive for COVID-19 should not come to campus.
Given the expectation for campus to limit its physical operations at this time, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students Mike McKinney is working with the remaining students on campus to arrange their departure. International students will be supported to complete their academic work remotely without returning to campus this semester.
At this point, we continue to plan for all other students to return to campus on Sunday, April 5, with face-to-face classes resuming Monday, April 6; however, those plans may be altered as necessary. Thiel will provide an update to students and families on Monday, March 23, regarding any further adjustments to the academic calendar. In the meantime, students should stay closely engaged with their professors and academic course work through online and remote arrangements. Learning and Career Services will also be available to students through remote means.
Thiel College has been in consultation with the PA Department of Health and have been using Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to stay informed on the ways to slow or prevent the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. The College has decided to reduce activities on campus over the next three weeks while ensuring students the ability to continue their coursework.
While no cases of COVID-19 have been identified on our campus or in Mercer County, we are taking pro-active steps to promote social distancing as a way of maintaining the well-being of our campus and the larger community.
The following items are effective Friday, March 13:
Adjustments to student accounts may be made at the end of the semester when state and federal financial aid policies have been clarified.
Thiel College officials continue to monitor the situation during this period. Announcements about any further reduction of activities or access to campus will be posted to the College website and communicated by email and social media. Public Safety remains available 24/7 and can be reached at 724-589-2222.
We appreciate your understanding as we take these precautions to do as much as we can to keep the members of our community safe, while also allowing students to complete the semester and stay on track for graduation. We will continue to monitor the national spread of COVID-19 closely, as well as the recommendations of local, state, and federal agencies.
The Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Presidents Council determined it to be in the best interest of the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and campus communities to indefinitely suspend all varsity athletically-related activities as of Friday, March 13.
Along with the leadership of its member institutions, the PAC will continue to monitor the rapidly-evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The decision by the PAC Presidents Council to indefinitely suspend all varsity athletically-related activities came after the March 12 announcement by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) canceling the remaining winter and spring championships.
Thiel College and the PAC remains confident that proceeding with an abundance of caution is in the best interest of all our member institutions and local communities.
The Thiel College I.T. Department recommends that all students, prior to leaving campus, should verify that the following are updated and accessible on their laptops/mobile devices:
The I.T. Department will provide technology services and trouble shooting in the Solution Center to students prior to leaving campus. The Solution Center will continue to provide additional support to the campus community via their support line at 724-589-4000, email at email@example.com, and the work order ticketing system. The I.T. Solution Center hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Additionally, there are many help guides, applications, and links that are accessible by visiting the Information Technology website.
As is this case during the regular flu season, housekeeping staff will increase cleaning efforts to disinfect common areas and touch-points like doorknobs, handrails, faucets, etc.
Below are everyday actions that everyone can take to help prevent or contain the spread of any virus, including the coronavirus:
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus are very similar to those of influenza. If you have a fever and have a mild-to-severe respiratory illness, with a cough, sore throat, and/or difficulty breathing, please contact the Campus Health Center or Public Safety to receive medical care.
Your efforts to take these basic precautions will help to reduce the spread of all viruses on campus.
As this situation continues to unfold, the College will remain vigilant and continue to communicate updates to the campus community. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Mike McKinney, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, at 724-589-2600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
Visit the American Psychology Association’s Tips for Managing Anxiety about the Coronavirus: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/pandemics