Bradley University Increases Support Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

April 13, 2020

Bradley University's Student Engagement Team, a group of faculty and staff representing each undergraduate college and key student support units, is responding to this unprecedented time upon us by increasing its services to students.

This group was started in December before we knew how significantly the COVID-19 pandemic was going to impact campus. Today, the group has grown and been retooled to focus on student engagement specific to this pandemic.

Greg Haines, Director of the Academic Success Center and Student Engagement Team Lead, says "Students choose Bradley University because of the connections they can make on campus and for the support we offer at every turn. Our team is focused on ways we can continue to deliver that same high level of engagement and support despite the distance created by the transition to online learning. This will help ensure that students are aware of the options available to them given their unique circumstances, but perhaps more importantly, remind them that our focus is on them and on their success."

The Spring 2020 Student Outreach and Response Plan includes key elements such as:

  • Students will receive personalized outreach from the Student Engagement Team as needed based on their midterm grades. This outreach includes resource recommendations to help them for the remainder of the semester.
  • Faculty members can submit an alert when a student is experiencing new challenges during this transition to online learning (wifi issues, technical difficulties, time conflicts, etc). When an alert is submitted, students will receive an automated resource recommendation that corresponds to their challenge. Other faculty members of that student will also be notified so they can help track progress.
  • Faculty members will submit progress reports for all of their students twice per semester. These progress reports are designed so faculty members can express any performance and/or engagement concerns within their classes. The Student Engagement Team will then personally reach out to each student who may be listed as needing extra support.
  • The team will also provide pre-advising preparation and course registration assistance to any student who wants an extra layer of preparation before their normal academic advising appointment this semester.

Students aren't the only ones who are dealing with change, faculty and staff are too, which is why the institution has also launched both a faculty engagement team and a staff engagement team. These groups are developing comprehensive outreach and support plans to ensure all of Bradley's faculty and staff succeed as well.

Dr. Heljä Antola Crowe is leading the faculty and staff engagement teams. As she explains, the worlds of Bradley's faculty and staff have been turned upside down too. "These teams are creating connections to resources and building ways to communicate while gathering ideas and information about a variety of ways to cope with the new situation. Faculty and staff are focused on many issues including how to support our colleagues on campus (now virtually) and increase the coping skills and quality experiences for everyone."

Websites are being created where staff and faculty can find resource links, helpful tips from colleagues, brainstorming opportunities and even a spotlight section where they can highlight the work of their colleagues.

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.