COVID19- Important Updates from President Jack Miller

COVID 19 Pacific College information

Dear San Diego, New York and Chicago students (and faculty and staff),

Before I begin with information about alternatives to classroom instruction and the suspension of the clinic, I want to encourage anyone who needs help of any kind to reach out to your campus director, WellConnect, or personal physician, whichever seems most appropriate to you. These are difficult times for many and we are here to help. PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL FREQUENTLY AND NO LESS THAN DAILY TO STAY ABREAST OF ANY DEVELOPMENTS. Unfortunately, everything is subject to change.

The following is an important follow up to my email on March 12. I have included the still current portions of it in Section 3 for your convenience. It is critical that you read this entire email carefully, and ask questions if there is anything you are unclear about. Please send your questions to the local campus director or your program dean for clarification. While fellow students are very helpful to each other in many situations, understanding the intent and ramifications of our plans for the remainder of this semester should come from the administration.

Section 1 applies to clinical training. Section 2 applies to on-ground didactic and hands-on classes. ALL ONLINE PROGRAMS AND COURSES ARE CONTINUING NORMALLY UNLESS YOU RECEIVE SPECIFIC INFORMATION FROM THE COLLEGE OR YOUR TEACHER.

FOR ALL STUDENTS (ONLINE and ON GROUND): If you are sick, caring for someone who is sick, or have other considerations that prevent your participation or completion of any of the activities described below, or in the case of online students, your normal assignments, please contact the campus director or dean to make alternative arrangements.

SECTION 1 – Clinic Training

With a heavy heart, I am announcing the suspension of clinical instruction at all three campuses and all offsites effective Monday, March 16, 2020. While many of our patients consider our Chinese medicine and massage services to be essential, the providing of them by students-in-training is not. We will try to provide appropriate referrals when possible to alumni clinics, most of whom are still offering their services. We attempted to stay open as long as possible on a voluntary basis but that has become untenable under these rapidly developing conditions. With information provided by experts, we are and have been following the example of various medical training hospitals and universities. At this time, the decision is to suspend clinical training for the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester. Should conditions rapidly improve, we will assess our capacity to re-open before the start of the Spring 2020 semester. We will let you know immediately if that becomes a possibility or if we can institute alternative, clinical educational opportunities. Make-up plans will be announced as soon as possible. Students should not be concerned about our ability to facilitate make up shifts.

For interns in their final semester:

Unless there are extenuating circumstances, every effort will be made to provide you shifts and patients as soon as possible to meet normal accreditation graduation standards. HOWEVER, if we remain in an emergency situation and as licensure deadlines become imminent, it will be my position to accreditors that students in their last internship semester have met their hourly and patient count requirements and will be able to graduate on schedule. I submitted a waiver request to ACAOM today. I will keep you informed as to its decision. Again, in all likelihood you will be able to make up the required hours and patient count.

SECTION 2 – Classroom plan for the remainder of Winter 2020.

THE STANDARDS BELOW ARE THE MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR EACH COURSE. INDIVIDUAL FACULTY MEMBERS, WITH AUTHORIZATION FROM THEIR DEAN, MAY INCREASE THESE REQUIREMENTS. Your faculty members have been provided the directions below and are being cc’d on this email as well so they will be aware of the information you are receiving. I am sending this to students in the event that your faculty member is unable to contact you by Monday morning, or prior to your next scheduled class so that you know what will be expected of you. If you do not hear from your teacher, follow the instructions below. Any directions from faculty members will supersede these assignments.

As of Monday March 16, all on-ground, class instruction and assignments (didactic, as well as hands-on and practical) will be moved to a very low-tech, distance education format for the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester.

  1. As soon as possible before the next scheduled meeting of class, faculty or administration should send an email to all students (and T.A.s) in each class notifying them of the following:
    • Student assignment for Week 11 will be to do any reading assignments indicated on the course syllabus for that week and to review previous reading assignments or notes.
    • If there are no reading assignments, students should review their class notes or whatever previous material that has been provided during the semester.
    • The next student assignment for Week 11 is to email your teacher stating that you have completed the reading. This is important so we have a record of your “attendance” in the class. Please maintain a record of these emails. The simplest way is to save them in a dedicated email folder.
    • Student assignment for Week 12 is the same as Week 11. That is, do the assigned reading for Week 12 and email your teacher confirming that you have completed the reading. I expect that by Week 12 you will have been contacted by your faculty member and will have received any updated assignments and information.
    • Lastly, students may submit questions about their reading to their teachers via email. Faculty will do their best to answer questions in the time allotted to the course.
    • As mentioned at the top, if faculty want to add additional learning activities they will coordinate them in advance with the program dean. This is not meant to limit the value of the class or your faculty’s commitment to excellent service, but rather to ensure that both the students and the institution have the online resources to meet any additional class requirements during this emergency situation.
    • For Week 13, faculty may experiment with the distance education tools (webinars, etc.) they will be trained to use in Week 12. If we are unable to facilitate that, they will assign further reading from the syllabus or other materials deemed appropriate.
    • For FINAL EXAMS, if teachers have prepared a final and it is administered via Moodle, they can use that. However, all faculty have the option of not giving a final and giving full credit for the final when calculating the students’ final grades. Please do not attempt to pressure your teacher or administrators to eliminate the final.
    • If any part of your examinations or assignments included classroom-supervised, hands-on, or practical training, those activities have been suspended until further notice.
  2. The schedule for courses that are less than 14 weeks will obviously be adjusted accordingly.
  3. If your faculty use Moodle to contact students, that is the preferred method.
  4. If your faculty already have an email list of students in some other format, they may use that.
  5. The administration will provide email lists of students to faculty that do not otherwise have them.

We recognize there will be some temporary compromises to the level and quality of interaction you expect from Pacific College faculty. Students will have the option of auditing the courses disrupted by this emergency in subsequent semesters at no cost.

Again, if you have any questions, please contact the local campus director or program dean.

ONCE AGAIN, FOR ALL STUDENTS (ONLINE and ON GROUND): If you are sick, caring for someone who is sick, or have other considerations that prevent your participation or completion of any of the activities described above, or in the case of online students, your normal assignments, please contact the campus director or dean to make alternative arrangements.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution of my management and academic leadership who have been working overtime and on weekends to navigate these difficult times. They include, in alphabetical order: Dave Frech, Aimee Holdwick, Stacy Gomes, Jessica Johnston, Kiera Nagle, Kellie Knight, Ashley Kowal, Greg Lane , Brendan Mattson, Cynthia Neipris, April Paniagua, Don Phillips, Teri Powers, Deb Reuss, Greg Russo, Beatrice Smith, Dave Sol, Leng Tang-Ritchie, Nathalie Turotte, and Malcolm Youngren. If I’ve forgotten anyone, it’s because so many have pitched in to help with this heavy weight.

Lastly, we all recognize the central role of our outstanding faculty. On normal days, they are extraordinary. In these extraordinary times, they will exceed our expectations and be exemplary role models to us all.

With deep gratitude,

Jack

 

SECTION 3 – EDITED Email from March 12, 2020.

Dear Pacific College Students,

If you only read one email this year entirely and carefully, please make it this one. It is important. Faculty, you are receiving this to be aware of the information being given to students. You will shortly receive a separate email.

Given the events of the last 24 hours, administrative and academic leadership at the college have decided to do our best to limit possible exposure of our community to the coronavirus. To that end, there will be two phases to our plan. These plans affect only the on-ground campus program not any online transitional doctoral, medical cannabis, or health and human performance programs.

Phase 1

  1. All classes on Friday March 13 to Sunday March 15 are cancelled.
  2. Clinic shifts will all remain open

Phase 2

  1. Beginning Monday March 16 through the end of the Winter 2020 semester, instruction will be delivered by distance education through a variety of media described below.
  • Didactic classes (non-practical)
    • Will move to an assignment-based educational model. Generally, faculty will send you reading assignments and will respond to questions via email to the best of their ability given the time dedicated to each course.
    • Quizzes and exams may be administered in Moodle, if the exams are already in that format. Alternate assessments may be given or waived in other cases. Deans are currently discussing options with faculty.
    • Do not come to class at the campus.
  • Practical classes
    • Where possible, we will move to an assignment-based educational model as described above.
    • Other alternatives are still under discussion. Given the short time remaining in the semester, it is likely that the course learning objectives can be moved to the next course in the series, if there is one, or alternative supplementation will be considered.
    • Do not come to class at the campus.
  • Clinic
    • The Pacific College Clinic will remain open for the duration of the semester. All clinic shifts will be held as normal with students and faculty treating patients. Heightened screening/precautions/and hygiene practices will be in effect.
    • Unless you are sick or determine that you do not want to or cannot provide services in the clinic, please report to your normal shifts. Notify the clinic immediately upon any decision not to show up for your shift. Grade won’t be affected if time is made up.
  • Comprehensive Exams
    • Comprehensive exams are cancelled this semester. Students may proceed into subsequent semesters as if they had passed the comps. Comps will be rescheduled for a future date. If they are conducted during the Spring semester, even students failing them will be allowed to complete Spring 2020 classes but may be prohibited from further progress in Fall 2020, as if they had failed in the Winter 2020 semester.
  • Library
    • The library will be open, but on a more limited basis. Please check with the campus before making a trip to the library.
  • Other college events
    • At this time, graduation plans are still in effect. However, those plans may change at any time. We will keep you informed.
    • Other outside events at the three campus may be cancelled. Please check with the campus director.

PLEASE, check your email EVERY DAY for details about any classes you have for next week. The email may come from the faculty member or deans with important details about the ways in which you will be able to complete this semester’s courses and receive credit for them.

Please note that these are unprecedented events and we are all doing our best to keep you healthy while ensuring the continuity of your education. While we hope that this situation will be limited in time and scope, we must prepare for the worst. To that end, we will begin the training of faculty shortly so that, if needed, they will be able to deliver the kind of distance education experience in the Spring 2020 semester that we want for you. These would include live, interactive webinars in an environment where you would be able to see and hear your faculty and fellow students from the safety and comfort of whatever location you choose. Options for hands-on courses are still be explored. We all pray it does not come to this, but forewarned is forearmed. Updates about Spring 2020 will be sent as soon as possible. Please register as you normally would.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the plan to make up practice time for this term for acupuncture and massage students?

With such little time remaining in the Winter 2020 semester, the likely plan will be to address the course learning objectives in subsequent semester with no replacement of lost time. However, all options are still under consideration.

  • Will the campus remain open for the remainder of the term?  If yes, can students come to campus to work on the campus computers, use the library, use the space to study, etc.?

Yes, but hours may be limited. Please check with your local campus before making a trip to school.

    • Will the library remain open? If yes, for how many hours per day/which days, etc.?

Yes, but hours may be limited. Please check with your local campus before making a trip to school.

  • Can students get a partial refund for this term’s courses? Or, can they receive credit toward re-taking the same course in the future term?

We are past the no refund point in the semester. All course must be completed to receive credit for the course.

  • What is the process if a student decides not going to attend clinic for the rest of the term?

 All students must use their own best judgment about their health while considering their responsibility as a healthcare provider. If a student does not complete their hours this semester, the college will do its best to allow make up of those hours on a space available basis. Please let your clinic director know immediately if you will not be attending clinic shifts.

If you have specific questions about this email, please contact your program’s academic dean for the best response time. While I’m always happy to hear from students, given this situation, I may not be in the best position to provide a speedy response.

Here are your dean’s email addresses:

San Diego

Chinese Medicine. Greg Lane. Greg Lane [email protected]

Massage Deborah Reuss [email protected]

Chicago

Chinese Medicine Brendan Mattson [email protected]

Massage Dave Sol [email protected]

New York

Chinese Medicine Ashley Kowal [email protected]

Massage Kiera Nagle [email protected]

Thank you all for your patience, cooperation and continued healing efforts during such extraordinary times,

Jack Miller, President

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