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Additional Information and FAQs about Coronavirus

NOTE: THIS PAGE IS UPDATED WHEN NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Info about Fall 2020

Becker College is closely monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus both locally and across the world. Continuous updates from many sources are reviewed, including the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and news and government reports, as well as updates from the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts. In addition, the College’s Emergency Response Team is monitoring and regularly discussing health and safety issues presented by this virus as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, our community, for the purpose of keeping the community informed and ensuring appropriate protocols are in plac

e. We are following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Currently the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency.

Please continue to visit this page for further updates.

Read the College’s COVID FAQs [or go to FAQs, at end of this document]

 

July 15, 2020

Technology and Online Learning Updates

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring and the abrupt transition to remote learning, the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology (TLT) at Becker College has spent the summer with faculty to enhance remote teaching and learning in preparation for the fall.

The TLT has been implementing changes to accommodate faculty and students taking part in online and hybrid learning experiences, and has created and beginning to implement pedagogical training on the following topics:

  • Leveraging the Canvas LMS
  • Maximizing Learning Strategies for Instructional Success
  • Engaging Students in Course Content
  • Teacher Presence Online
  • Planning & Facilitating Effective Discussions and Course Assessment Online
  • Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion

The TLT has developed these faculty training courses to help faculty make their courses more interactive and engaging, as well as to provide assistance in adhering to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to ensure accessibility, equity, and inclusion in courses. Faculty training courses are being held online in both synchronous and asynchronous formats. The TLT is working with faculty to train some to be faculty peer mentors so they may assist their colleagues with new teaching strategies and tools.

In addition to Becker-designed and delivered trainings, TLT has partnered with Microsoft Education Group (Natick, MA) to facilitate training for all Becker faculty and students through the summer and fall on all of its platforms. Current technology platforms are being leveraged to their fullest potential. This will help ensure Microsoft 365 is fully leveraged and faculty are prepared to use the various capabilities of Microsoft Teams, especially video conferencing.

Traditionally, online learning can be very text heavy. Students often must do a lot more reading and writing than if they were to take a face-to-face course.  This is why it was important to adopt new technologies that would allow the College to bring all types of media into online classrooms. New technology tools have been implemented to make online courses more interactive and engaging.

  • Harmonizeis asynchronous discussion tool that allows for embedded pictures, video, and audio recording in the discussion itself. Students and instructors will have the ability to utilize this option. In addition, there are many other options when posting, including writing computer code within an online discussion, which can be very useful for Interactive Media and Computer Science students.
  • Canvas Studio is an embedded screencast tool in Canvas. Students and instructors will be able to record, upload, post, edit, etc., all of their videos with this tool. This tool will allow for seamless video interactions with important capabilities such as auto-captioning while simplifying the video upload process.
  • Portfoliumis an eportfolio community integrated into Canvas that will connect Becker students, past and present, with faculty, staff, and potential employers for networking. It also has features that will assist the College with assessment efforts.
  • Kahoot! is a quizzing platform intended to increase student participation through gamification. It enables faculty to “see” that all students are actively participating in live online class sessions. By stopping the lecture to ask questions using Kahoot!, faculty can use the data analytics to get a sense of how all students are doing understanding the material. This allows a faculty member to intervene at earlier stage if it doesn’t look like students are understanding the course material.

Amber L. Vaill, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs

Therese Ajtum-Roberts, Ed.D., Director of Teaching, Learning, and Technology

For a PDF of this document: https://www.becker.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Technology-and-Online-Learning-Updates-1.pdf

 

July 2, 2020

New Video Update from President Crimmin: Fall 2020

Please watch this new video update. I wish you and your families a Happy Fourth of July.

https://youtu.be/kcfY1nU15lE

 

July 2, 2020

Information Regarding the CARES Act Funds

Per guidance from the Federal government regarding CARES Act Funding, the College is required to furnish the following information 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter. The first posting was May 21, 2020, this is the required 45 day update. Any changes/updates are in blue.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Becker College acknowledges it has signed and returned the certification and agreement and has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. Becker College received $822,585, all of which is to be returned directly to students.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter). On 5/13/2020, Becker College mailed out checks totaling $814,445 to eligible students, and plans to distribute the remaining $8,140 in the coming weeks. 7/2/2020 update: $816,880 has been allocated to student,s and $5,705 is unallocated. We will finalize that allocation in July 2020.
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Spring 2020: 1,476 students started an in-person (not exclusively online) program. That number does not include consortium/non-matriculated students taking class(es). As of 5/13/2020, 1,315 of those 1,476 have valid ISIRs; 161 do not. As of 7/02/2020, 1,318 of those 1,476 have valid ISIRs; 158 do not.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of 5/13/2020, 1,312 received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant. The remaining three students will receive funds, as we are awaiting requested documentation to finalize their FAFSAs. As of 7/02/2020,1316 are eligible for Emergency Financial Aid Grant.
  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. On 5/4/2020, the College communicated the following:

“After considerable analysis, Becker will award funds based on three levels of need:

  1. Financial Need and PELL eligible                  $800 per student
  2. Financial Need and not PELL eligible            $535 per student
  3. All other students who filed FAFSA              $100 per student
  4. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. On May 15, the following explanatory email was sent to all students to whom a check was mailed on May 13:

“In April, the federal government passed the CARES Act, a section of which allocated funds for college students affected by Covid-19. To distribute these funds to our students, Becker College mailed you a check on Wednesday, May 13. This money is for you to spend however you like; it is meant to help offset any hardships (such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care) you experienced when students were restricted, due to public health guidelines, from returning to campus in Spring 2020. This is your money to spend any way that you wish. This dollar amount will not be included in your AGI and does not get reported on your taxes.

For more information, please refer to the Covid-19 section of our website: https://www.becker.edu/.

Best wishes for continued health for you and your family.”

 

June 1, 2020

UPDATE: Change in Date, Class of 2020 Commencement

We have reserved Friday, September 25, at 4 pm at the DCU Center to celebrate Commencement for the Class of 2020. (Note: The previous date of September 27 conflicted with families celebrating Yom Kippur.)

Also, please note the following other scheduled events on September 25:

  • 10 am: Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Leicester Gymnasium

(NOTE: No nursing classes will be held on that day.)

  • All classes will be suspended at 1 pm so all students can attend Commencement. Shuttle service will be provided from both campuses. More details will follow.
  • 3:45 pm Commencement procession begins

The Grad Finale Celebration will be held on Saturday, September 26, on the Leicester Campus as part of Homecoming Weekend. More details will follow.

For now, please save these dates. We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 through the summer, and will provide updates.

 

June 1, 2020                                             

Update: Room & Board Refunds 

Students who have paid room & board fees for the Spring semester will receive a pro-rated refund based on the time when the College officially transitioned to remote learning (March 16) to the end of the Spring semester (May 7, the last day of final exams). The refunds have been processed, and checks will be mailed out on Monday, June 1.

As a reminder: College residence halls are unlike hotel rooms, in that expenses are not spread equally day-to-day. The College incurs far greater expenses in the first half of a Spring semester versus the second half, which include utilities, facilities management support, snow removal when necessary, as well as rent for leased residence halls. Many of these expenses continued after the transition to remote learning.

While the CARES Act provided $822,000 in stimulus funds to Becker, the total room & board refunds will be more than $1 million.

The refunds will be applied as follows:

  1. Room: There are five room rates in the Becker system. Students will receive a fixed refund amount based on what room rate was billed.
  2. Board: All students on a meal plan will receive a fixed amount based on the number of days missed due to the departure from campus, consistent with the specific plan. The amounts for a 19- or 14-meal plan are higher than the 10-meal, 5-meal, and Commuter meals plans.
  3. Becker Bucks: Students who used Becker Bucks during the Spring semester will be refunded any remaining balance.

For questions, please email stimulusfund@becker.edu.

David A. Ellis, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President and CFO

 

May 21, 2020

Information Regarding the CARES Act Funds

Per guidance from the Federal government regarding CARES Act Funding, the College is required to furnish the following information 30 days after the date when the institution received its allocation under 18004(a)(1) and updated every 45 days thereafter.

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Becker College acknowledges it has signed and returned the certification and agreement and has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students. Becker College received $822,585, all of which is to be returned directly to students.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter). On 5/13/2020, Becker College mailed out checks totaling $814,445 to eligible students, and plans to distribute the remaining $8,140 in the coming weeks.
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. Spring 2020: 1,476 students started an in-person (not exclusively online) program. That number does not include consortium/non-matriculated students taking class(es). As of 5/13/2020, 1,315 of those 1,476 have valid ISIRs; 161 do not.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. As of 5/13/2020, 1,312 received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant. The remaining three students will receive funds, as we are awaiting requested documentation to finalize their FAFSAs.
  6. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act. On 5/4/2020, the College communicated the following:

After considerable analysis, Becker will award funds based on three levels of need:

  1. Financial Need and PELL eligible                  $800 per student
  2. Financial Need and not PELL eligible            $535 per student
  3. All other students who filed FAFSA              $100 per student
  4. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants. On May 15, the following explanatory email was sent to all students to whom a check was mailed on May 13:

In April, the federal government passed the CARES Act, a section of which allocated funds for college students affected by Covid-19. To distribute these funds to our students, Becker College mailed you a check on Wednesday, May 13. This money is for you to spend however you like; it is meant to help offset any hardships (such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, child care) you experienced when students were restricted, due to public health guidelines, from returning to campus in Spring 2020. This is your money to spend any way that you wish. This dollar amount will not be included in your AGI and does not get reported on your taxes.

For more information, please refer to the Covid-19 section of our website: https://www.becker.edu/.

Best wishes for continued health for you and your family.”

 

 

May 7, 2020

A Message from President Crimmin to Students

Dear Students:

I hope your finals went well and your projects, papers, and activities are done. The semester has finally come to an end! Admittedly, this has not been easy for you. In an instant, your reality on campus was turned upside down as you made the shift to remote learning. It has not been perfect, nor has it been what anyone intended the semester to look like. However, you persevered, and the journey is finally over.

I am proud of your hard work and dedication this semester. You have learned a valuable lesson in navigating and managing change that extends well beyond the classroom.

For our students who are graduating: Congratulations! We are all so proud of you, and look forward to celebrating with you and your families at a formal Commencement ceremony in September. Please know that on Saturday, May 9, at 10 am—the time when we would have started your ceremony—our website (www.becker.edu) will celebrate and recognize the achievements of the Class of 2020. This includes a video message from me as well as the names of our graduates, including award-winners and honors recipients.

For our returning students: Since March, you have had to adapt to the new normal as a result of the pandemic. We cannot predict if or when life will return to the way it was before, but our preference is to resume on-campus living and learning in the fall. To that end, we recently posted the following message on our COVID-19 web page:

Update Regarding Fall 2020

Like many other institutions of higher education, Becker College is exploring various possible scenarios for Fall 2020. A team has been reviewing and assessing information, guidelines, and recommendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the federal government, the CDC, and local public health departments. The preferred option for Fall 2020 is for students to return to campus for on-campus living and learning—but many details still need to be worked out, as we imagine local and state guidelines may call for certain restrictions to be in place to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.

With this being the direction we are hoping to take, our goal is to publicly announce the College’s fall semester plans as soon as we are able to do so. We anticipate that will be in June, although we ask for your patience as we navigate this truly fluid and unprecedented decision-making process. Making a decision too early may force the College to shift before the summer is over, depending upon the COVID-19 situation in our area. We truly hope to avoid the disruption to you and your family caused by having to change our plans prior to the start of the semester. Planning is ongoing to ensure best practices, policies, and guidelines are in place—and that we are prepared to pivot during the semester in response to an emergent condition. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our entire campus community.

Even during this unpredictable time, a majority of our students—89%, which is above last year at this time—have registered for fall classes, and the number of first-year student deposits received to date is quite promising. What this shows is your commitment to continuing your education at Becker.

A task force has been appointed to examine what we need to do to prepare for bringing you back to campus in the fall. This includes PPE requirements, food service and housing options, class sizes, health services, potential quarantine options, and much more.

Even if we were to fully open our doors for the fall—and we are not there yet in our decision-making—we must make some dramatic shifts that will meet the following criteria:

  • The health and welfare of our entire community—students, faculty, and staff—are of primary concern.
  • By necessity, our decisions will be guided by policies and information from our local, state, and federal officials. We will not set off on a course that deviates from this guidance.
  • If we can safely bring students, faculty, and staff back to campus in the fall, we will do so with caution to ensure some level of social distancing is maintained.
  • We will have contingency plans in place so we can pivot quickly should there be a resurgence of COVID-19.

Of utmost importance is ensuring your degree completion and how can we help you achieve this. You can stay on track or work ahead in your academic plan over the summer; summer session classes are now taking registration. If you have questions about which classes would help your progress, please contact your advisor.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 webpage and send important information through email and the student portal. Please continue to check both for new information.

I sincerely hope you are able to take a deep breath and find some time to process and reflect on this past semester. You have embodied the Agile Mindset in ways that you probably never expected—and I am proud of your ability to adapt to this challenging time.

Please stay healthy and strong, and let us know if we can assist you with anything over the summer.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

 

May 7, 2020

Celebrate our Class of 2020! Starting May 9, at 10 am, log on to www.becker.edu as we recognize our Class of 2020 with a video greeting from President Crimmin and the names of our awesome graduates, including award-winners and honors recipients. Becker College is proud of our graduates!

Congratulations image for the class of 2020

May 6, 2020

Update Regarding Fall 2020

Like many other institutions of higher education, Becker College is exploring various possible scenarios for Fall 2020. A team has been reviewing and assessing information, guidelines, and recommendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the federal government, the CDC, and local public health departments. The preferred option for Fall 2020 is for students to return to campus for on-campus living and learning—but many details still need to be worked out, as we imagine local and state guidelines may call for certain restrictions to be in place to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.

With this being the direction we are hoping to take, our goal is to publicly announce the College’s fall semester plans as soon as we are able to do so. We anticipate that will be in June, although we ask for your patience as we navigate this truly fluid and unprecedented decision-making process. Making a decision too early may force the College to shift before the summer is over, depending upon the COVID-19 situation in our area. We truly hope to avoid the disruption to you and your family caused by having to change our plans prior to the start of the semester. Planning is ongoing to ensure best practices, policies, and guidelines are in place—and that we are prepared to pivot during the semester in response to an emergent condition. As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our entire campus community.

 

May 4, 2020  

Dear Students:

The CARES Act, which establishes and funds the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), directs institutions of higher education to use no less than 50 percent of funds received under Sections 18004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus (including eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care).

Becker College received a total of $1,644,000, with half of these funds—$822,000—being dispersed directly to Becker students, and the second $822,000 available to assist with items such as room & board refunds and technology enhancements necessary to enhance online teaching transitions during the Spring 2020 semester.

Direct Funds to Students

The Department of Education provided limited direct guidance on how institutions should provide these stimulus funds to students. The Department encouraged colleges to look to those students with greater need, but issued no further details. The one directive regarding these funds is that students must have a valid FAFSA on file in order to be eligible for these funds.  

Becker has made the decision that students who have not yet filed a FAFSA may do so by May 20, 2020, and then appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

After considerable analysis, Becker will award funds based on three levels of need:

  1. Financial Need and PELL eligible                  $800 per student
  2. Financial Need and not PELL eligible            $535 per student
  3. All other students who filed FAFSA              $100 per student

The College believes that all students who filed a FAFSA should receive a small portion of these funds to help. Checks should be mailed by the end of the week of May 4.

Institutional Funds to Use with Discretion

The Department of Education provided far wider discretion with the second half of the stimulus funds: $822,000. Becker has determined that the best use of these funds is to dedicate them to room & board refunds.

Students who have paid room & board fees for the Spring semester will receive a pro-rated refund based on the time when the College officially closed the campus (March 16) to the end of the Spring semester (May 7, the last day of final exams).

College residence halls are unlike hotel rooms, in that expenses are not spread equally day-to-day. The College incurs far greater expenses in the first half of a Spring semester versus the second half, which include utilities, facilities management support, snow removal when necessary, as well as rent for leased residence halls. Many of these expenses continued after the transition to remote learning.

The refunds will be applied as follows:

  1. Room: There are five room rates in the Becker system. Students will receive a fixed refund amount based on what room rate was billed.
  2. Board: All students on a 14- or 19-meal plan will receive a fixed amount based on the number of days missed due to the shutdown.
  3. Becker Bucks: Students with unused Becker Bucks will be refunded those balances.

The College will complete an account reconciliation for all students at the end of the Spring 2020 semester and apply a refund or partial refund amount first to any unpaid balance on your account. Refund checks will be sent out as soon as the funds are made available to the College from the government.

For questions related to the Stimulus Funds, please email stimulusfund@becker.edu.

David A. Ellis, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

 

 

May 1, 2020  

Worcester Campus Bookstore Hours
The Bookstore location is currently closed until further notice. Books and apparel can be ordered 24/7 on our website www.beckercollegeshop.com. For students wishing to return rental books, please see the blue link at the top of our website for detailed instructions on how to print a shipping label so you can mail your books back to the store.

Please email 0492mgr@follett.com with questions.

 

April 24, 2020  

Dear Students:

The transition we needed to make to remote learning due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States happened suddenly—both for you and for our faculty. There was virtually no time to assess your needs and how fluidly you would be able to adapt.

As the Spring Semester draws to a close, it’s vital that you complete this survey so we can gain a better understanding of the challenges you’ve personally experienced with remote learning, and other issues you may be facing.

This survey will help us to better understand your technology needs so we can address them moving forward. We don’t know what the near future will look like, but rest assured that we are currently working on a number of scenarios for the summer and fall to ensure you can continue your education without interruption.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey by May 1. I thank you for adapting to this new normal, and miss seeing you on campus.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

 

Announcing a free webinar: “The Lost Semester—For College Students Coping in the New Normal,” on Saturday, April 25, 2-3 pm.

April 22, 2020  

College students are encouraged to join Dr. Janet Taylor, community psychiatrist in Sarasota, FL, and nationally renowned speaker; Dr. Beth Greenberg, associate professor of psychology and mental health counseling program coordinator at Becker College; and Rana Chudnofsky, mind body practitioner who helped create the Positivity and Relaxation Training program at Mass General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute, to ask questions and learn how to manage anxiety, stress, and emotions during this challenging time.

Videotaped webinar now available. Click on thumbnail below.

Advertisement for Becker Covid-19 Webinar for college students

Student Move Out Information

April 16, 2020  

Hello from the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct,

First, we want to thank you for your patience in this uncertain time, and hope you are doing well.  We know you have been awaiting messaging on when you will be permitted to retrieve your belongings from your residence halls.

As of today, we ask that you hold Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 8, for on-campus move-out days.

To ensure the safety and well-being of everyone, Residence Life will assign students to a date and a specific 1-hour time block.  Students will also be assigned a specific entry and exit point for their building. One person per party will be allowed in the building at a time. However, students may choose to have 1-2 helpers outside to assist them. Students are expected to fully move out of their residence in this time.

Cooperation and timeliness are imperative, as these plans are in place to best protect all staff and students. Students will not be permitted to enter the building at a time other than their assigned move-out block.

Things to bring:

  • Key
  • FOB (if applicable)
  • Student ID
  • Trash bags
  • Packing materials you may need
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Wipes
  • Mask/Face Covering
  • Gloves and any other PPE (personal protective equipment) you feel you would like

In the next two weeks, as we get closer to May 7 and 8, an email will go to students’ Becker College email account with additional details and your specific, assigned date and time block for move out.

Please email housing@becker.edu with any questions.

Thank you,

The Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct

 

 

April 8, 2020  

Information about Refunds/Credits

We appreciate your patience as the College works through a myriad of issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and offer an update on room and board fees paid for the Spring 2020 semester. On March 20, we provided the following information on refunds/credits: Refunds or credits will be based on several factors, including but not limited to: type of financial aid, outstanding financial obligations (if applicable), and returning or graduating status.

Students who have paid room and board fees for the Spring semester will receive a pro-rated credit based on the time when the College officially closed the campus on March 16, to the end of the Spring semester, May 7 (the last day of final exams).

The credits will be applied as follows:

  • Students graduating in May: The College will complete an account reconciliation at the end of the Spring 2020 semester and will apply a credit to any unpaid balance on your account and/or issue a refund to you.
  • Students who will return in the Fall: The College will complete an account reconciliation at the end of the Spring 2020 semester and apply a credit to any unpaid balance on your account and/or credit your student account for the Fall 2020 semester.

Please note: If the government approves the use of federal stimulus funds for room and board prorated refunds, the College will issue a refund (rather than a credit) for all residence students after the account reconciliation process is complete. We remain hopeful the government will provide clear guidelines by the end of the semester.

Thank you for your patience through this process.

 

April 7, 2020  

Message for Students Regarding Academic Policies: Spring 2020

The Becker community, like the rest of nation and the world, is truly experiencing unprecedented, challenging times. We know that the shift to remote learning has been stressful to our students and our faculty, in addition to other stresses we’re all feeling right now. We want to help make this time a little less stressful and help you be successful this semester. To that end, we’re instituting revised academic policies for the Spring 2020 semester. The revised polices are available at https://www.becker.edu/academic/academic-resources/registrar/new-academic-policies-spring-2020/

Please remember that your Becker College community is here to support you and to help you be academically successful, even in these challenging times. Please reach out to your CCEA advisor, the CLC staff, the library staff, your professors, your Dean, or any other Becker staff members with your questions and concerns. We are all here for you and we look forward to welcoming all students back to campus soon.

Amber L. Vaill, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

April 1, 2020  

Important Message: Resident Students/Personal Belongings

Becker College is dedicated to selecting a safe time frame for resident students to come to campus and retrieve belongings from their rooms. However, the continued escalation of COVID-19 presents challenges that would have a direct impact on the safety of our campus as well as the safety of those students/families coming to campus.

Becker is committed to following all state, federal, and Worcester County Department of Public Health guidance. Massachusetts Governor Baker extended his order to close non-essential businesses and his stay-at-home advisory to May 4. In addition, the limit on gatherings of 10 people or less is also being extended to May 4.

Therefore, residence halls will remain closed. We understand your frustration, but must follow these guidelines.

Although many of you came to campus during the specified March 15 date to clear out some of your possessions, we understand how frustrating it must be for those who still have belongings left on campus.  We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and governmental guidelines, but at this time cannot specify a date due to health and safety issues.

When it is safe to return to campus, I will communicate this message to you. Until then, there will be no updates regarding returning to campus.

Please continue to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and well.

Sincerely,

Frank Millerick

Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics

 

March 26, 2020

Watch a personal video message from President Crimmin.

March 24, 2020

Becker College Veterinary Clinic

Until further notice, the Becker College Veterinary Clinic will be closed to the public to keep our community safe and healthy, and maintain a low-risk environment. Please note that we will have staff on hand to retrieve and respond to messages from email and voicemail twice daily. We will also be approving necessary prescriptions through online pharmacies at this time. If you currently have an appointment scheduled, someone will be in touch to cancel/reschedule. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, please contact the Tufts University Emergency Department at 508.839.5395. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Bookstore Update

The Bookstore is closed to the public until further notice. However, our website remains open 24/7 at beckercollegeshop.com, and we will be processing orders for books and apparel as usual. We are offering FREE ground shipping on these orders.

For students whose books are still in their residence halls, we are offering select free ebooks for use through May 25. Please see the link on our website for details.

Students with outstanding rental books should have received an email last week with details on how to print a free shipping label to return your rental books. You will receive another link to the free shipping label starting two weeks before your May 7 due date. PLEASE NOTE: This email will only go to the email address on file with your rental account.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email the bookstore at 0492mgr@follett.com

 

March 23, 2020

Governor’s Executive Order

Governor Baker has announced an Executive Order this morning that directs all non-essential businesses to close at noon tomorrow (March 24, 2020) through April 7, 2020. The order includes language that exempts college and university employees from the ban in order to maintain essential campus services:

Educators and staff supporting public and private emergency childcare programs, residential schools for students with disabilities, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of facilitating distance learning, provision of school meals, or performing other essential student support functions, if operating under rules for social distancing.

The Governor also issued an advisory asking all residents to remain in their homes and limit travel to only necessary trips including grocery stores, pharmacies, and other medical needs.

Information below has been updated to reflect the Governor’s mandate.

Essential Personnel

  • Campus Police is available at the Worcester location, 38 Roxbury Street; emergency line: 508.373.9555
  • Facilities: limited staff
  • Counseling Services: personnel working out of Boutin and remotely; college psychiatrist on site on scheduled days
  • Mail Room (Worcester only): Leicester mail pickup is in Worcester: open three days a week
  • Accounting and Payroll: limited staff, Mondays and Thursdays
  • Lenfest Animal Health Center: veterinary care only
  • Equestrian Facility: animal care only

Offices Being Managed Remotely

  • Office of the President: access via email, president@becker.edu
  • Human Resources: access via email Kathy.garvey@becker.edu or Jennifer.Forsberg@becker.edu
  • Information Technology (IT): helpdesk@becker.edu
  • Student Health Services: phone triage only for students remaining on campus; 774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu.
  • Swan and Ruska Learning Commons (the libraries): closed; 24/7 online chat is available.
  • The Collaborative Learning Center ACES program and peer tutoring will continue remotely.
  • The Center for Career Education and Advising (CCEA) staff are working remotely. Students can reach their advisor via email at this time.
  • Limited food service is being provided for those few students remaining on campus.
  • Bookstore: closed to the public; the websitebeckercollegeshop.com remains open 24/7 and will be processing orders for books and apparel as usual, with free ground shipping on orders. For questions, call 508.373.9470 or email 0492mgr@follett.com
  • Advancement Office: mainly managed remotely, with limited staff/time on campus for business operations. Access via email lorita.willliams@becker.edu
  • The School of Graduate & Professional Studies staff can be reached at gps@becker.edu or 508.373.9500.
  • The Office of Admissions staff can be reached at admissions@becker.edu or 508.373.9400.

Access to Buildings

·         Leicester: All buildings are locked. Faculty and staff requiring access need to call Campus Police.

·         Worcester: All buildings are closed, will remain locked, and can only be accessed by staff identified to perform essential operations on specific days.

 

Friday, March 20, 2020

A Message from the President 

Dear Becker College Community:

As the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak becomes more critical, and based on the best advice of public health professionals, Becker will be taking the following additional steps to help mitigate the spread of the virus on our campus and in our surrounding communities. Our top priorities are ensuring our community is safe, doing our part to help stem the spread of COVID-19, and fulfilling our mission of graduating our students even with these challenging times.

Spring Semester Courses

Please be advised that Becker College will be teaching all courses via remote teaching through the remainder of the Spring Semester.

  • The Bookstore has partnered with select publishers to offer no-cost eBook access to students and instructors on campus. Students and instructors can visit redshelf.com to search for eligible materials and may borrow up to 7 eBooks through May 25. Users must register with a valid “becker.edu” email address in order to gain free access. If you have any issues, please email the Bookstore at 0492mgr@follett.com.

For our students, we understand that remote teaching cannot replace those things that are so integral to the environment we provide. We know that you miss your friends, classrooms and labs, professors, teammates, clubs and activities, and so much more. Our faculty and staff miss being able to interact with you as well. But the seriousness of the COVID-19 outbreak necessitates that we mitigate the spread on campus and keep our entire community safe.

Student Information: Resident Students

  • For resident students who have returned home but have not fully moved out, please do not come to campus to retrieve your belongings. You will not have access to your residence hall.
  • At the time of this writing, a number of states, counties, cities, and towns are issuing essential personnel and/or shelter-in-place directives that place severe restrictions even upon local travel. Not only does this restrict travel to campus, but also presents a risk to the health and safety of our students and staff with having groups of people on campus at this time.
  • Residence Life is planning for a later date when students may be able to return to campus within a given time frame to pick up their belongings. However, we continue to monitor COVID-19 and at this time cannot specify a date due health and safety issues.

Student Information: Students Living Off Campus

  • We have stringent restrictions on campus access at this time, and are closely monitoring and following Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Department of Public Health guidelines.
  • We ask that students living off campus do not return to campus for any reason. The health and safety of our community is our utmost priority.
  • All student access to residence halls and academic buildings has been turned off.

Refunds

  • The College will issue applicable refunds or credits for prorated room and board charges based on several factors, including but not limited to: type of financial aid, outstanding financial obligations (if applicable) and returning or graduating status.
  • More details about refunds or credits will be posted to the website. We do not have a specific timeframe as to when refunds or credits will be issued at this time. That information will also be posted on the website as soon as possible.

Please do not email or call with questions related to refunds or credits so our staff can dedicate the time needed to work on this complex situation.

Commencement & Spring Events

We want to be able to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our graduates with their families. Our hearts go out to our seniors, whose last semester is certainly not what they anticipated. Many have lost time with friends, special events, sports, and activities.

However, all campus events scheduled for April and May are cancelled.

Sadly and regrettably, we cannot hold Commencement as originally planned on May 9. We know how important this event is to our community. For now, we are going to reserve a date in September at the DCU Center to celebrate Commencement for the Class of 2020.  We will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 through the summer, and will keep you updated.)

Campus Operations/Remote Work

As COVID-19 news continues to project escalation of the outbreak, employees need to be prepared for more severe restrictions on campus operations.  The current protocols (reiterated below) remain in place, but please be prepared for a situation of extended remote work with strict limitations on access to campus.

  • Facilities will continue its operations and deep cleaning protocols.
  • Business hours for the College are 9 am-4 pm, Monday through Friday.
  • All offices have been relocated to the Worcester Campus.
  • The physical Worcester Campus remains open, but with limited on-site office hours and operations.
  • All employees who can work remotely should do so.

As a reminder, do not come to campus if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have the flu, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with those who are ill or may have the virus. It is vital that we ensure the health and safety of our entire community, and that means reducing the risk of exposure for those on campus.  

  • Only essential personnel need to report to work. This includes personnel in the following offices:
    • Office of the President
    • Campus Police
    • Facilities
    • Human Resources
    • Mail Room (Worcester location only): Leicester mail pickup is in Worcester.
    • Bookstore: Open Tuesday and Thursday, 3-6 pm, and Friday 9 am-noon. Books can be ordered with FREE GROUND SHIPPING directly on our website beckercollegeshop.com. Call 508.373.9470 or email 0492mgr@follett.comwith questions.
    • Information Technology (IT)
    • Accounting and Payroll
    • Counseling Services
    • Lenfest Animal Health Center (Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Care only)

 

Offices Being Managed Remotely

The following areas will manage operations remotely.

  • Student Health Services: Phone triage only for students remaining on campus. Call 774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu.
  • Swan and Ruska Learning Commons (the libraries) are closed. 24/7 online chat is available.
  • The Collaborative Learning Center ACES program will continue remotely.
  • The Center for Career Education and Advising (CCEA) staff are working remotely. Students can reach their advisor via email at this time.
  • Limited food service is being provided for those few students remaining on campus.
  • Graduate & Professional Studies information:
    • The Bookstore will be available for the return and purchase of books for Mod 3 at the times listed above.
    • The School of Graduate & Professional Studies staff can be reached at gps@becker.edu or 508.373.9500.
  • The Office of Admissions will be working remotely from 9 am-4 pm. Contact admissions@becker.edu or 508.373.9400.

Access to Buildings

Leicester: All buildings are locked. Faculty and staff requiring access, please call Campus Police.

Worcester: The following buildings are closed and will remain locked on the Worcester Campus:

  • Boutin Campus Center
  • Barrett Center
  • Design Building
  • Common areas and classrooms in the Weller academic building
  • Common areas and classrooms in the Health Science building
  • All empty residence halls

The challenges and decisions we are facing are unprecedented and continue to evolve. I have faith in our community; we are a family, and we support each other. Our people are the most important part of this community, and all Hawks are feeling stressors never felt before. I urge everyone to remain patient, flexible, and, most important of all, to take care of each other and your families.  Please continue to check your email, the College’s COVID-19 web page, and the employee and student portal for the most up-to-date notifications.

Questions can be directed to covid19@becker.edu. We will respond to inquiries as soon as we are able, and ask for your continued patience.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

March 18, 2020

Dear Becker College Alumni Community:

I’m reaching out to let you know that your Becker family is thinking of you, your loved ones, and your colleagues during this challenging and unprecedented time in world history.

I would also like to provide you with a quick update on Becker College’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Some weeks ago, we launched a dedicated page on the website that includes COVID-19-related campus communications and FAQs, along with important links to government agencies and organizations. The COVID-19 web page is accessed from the College’s home page, through a link indicated in the green banner at the top of the page. Here you’ll find the most up-to-date information about our communications and actions. Most recently, we moved to remote teaching, provided limited housing and services for students unable to return home at this time, consolidated operations on the Worcester Campus, and are managing day-to-day business through employees working remotely, or with limited time on campus. Collectively, our community has demonstrated how vital it is to be flexible, agile, and responsive to an unexpected and ever-evolving situation.

We continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Worcester and Leicester public health departments. As their decisions shift, so too will ours. Our top priorities are ensuring our community is safe, doing our part to help stem the spread of COVID-19, and fulfilling our mission of graduating our students even with these challenging times.

While a number of alumni events have been cancelled, we’ll be staying in touch with you! The Spring issue of Becker Magazine is on its way, and we’ve launched our “Brewing Up” support campaign, dedicated to providing much-needed support for our students.

Please stay safe, and know you can reach out to your Becker family at any time. Lorita Williams, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, is looking forward to hearing from you at Lorita.Williams@becker.edu.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

March 17, 2020

Update:  Becker College Veterinary Clinic

From March 16-27, the Becker College Veterinary Clinic will be closed to the public to keep our community safe and healthy, and maintain a low-risk environment. Please note that we will have staff on hand to retrieve and respond to messages from email and voicemail twice daily. We will also be approving necessary prescriptions through online pharmacies at this time. If you currently have an appointment scheduled, someone will be in touch to cancel/reschedule. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, please contact the Tufts University Emergency Department at 508.839.5395. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.

Becker Athletics Announces Cancellation of Spring Season

In response to COVID-19, the Becker College Department of Athletics has announced the cancellation of all scheduled intercollegiate athletic activities for the remainder of the Spring 2020 season.­­ The decision made affects five Becker College spring teams: baseball, equestrian, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and softball.  Additionally, all non-traditional athletic activities scheduled for the spring are also cancelled.

Worcester Campus Bookstore Hours

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) safety concerns, the Bookstore will be operating on shortened hours from March 17-27. The store will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-6 pm, and Friday, 9 am-noon. For questions, please email us at 0492mgr@follett.com. We will be monitoring this email account daily to resolve any issues you may have in a timely manner.

For students unable to come to the store, you can look up your textbook information and place orders 24/7 on our website: www.beckercollegeshop.com. The Bookstore is extending FREE Ground Shipping to all students. To find your textbooks, click on the “textbooks” link to the left of the search bar or scroll down to the “Find my Course Materials” section. Enter your course numbers (i.e. BIOL 1001 B2), and you be see all materials needed for your class. Simply check the box next to the items you wish to purchase and checkout as usual.

For those with outstanding rental books: We are currently working on a solution in the case that Becker remains closed beyond the due date of May 7. If you are an accelerated/GPS student whose class has ended already and you wish to return your book, please send us an email and we can help you get a free shipping label to mail them back to the bookstore.

 

March 16, 2020

A Message from the President 

Please be advised that Becker College moves to online learning beginning today, March 16, through March 27. This two-week period represents a major shift for our learning community, and one that requires patience as we navigate truly uncharted waters.

I want to thank faculty and staff for their hard work over the past week as we responded to the rapid escalation of COVID-19 in the United States. You have demonstrated how vital it is to be flexible, agile, and responsive to an unexpected and ever-evolving situation, and I ask for your continued dedication to the task at hand.

As of today, we are focused on this two-week time frame. However, we will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Worcester and Leicester public health departments. As their decisions shift, so too will ours so we can ensure Becker does its part to maintain a low-risk community.

Over spring break, Facilities engaged in deep cleaning across both campuses, and will continue to deep clean high-impact areas, focusing on administrative buildings/offices and residence halls, where a very limited number of students remain on campus.

Information about Offices/Office Hours

As a reminder, please do not come to campus if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have the flu, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with those who are ill or may have the virus. It is vital that we ensure the health and safety of our entire community, and that means reducing the risk of exposure for those on campus. 

Beginning today, March 16, through March 27, the following updates take effect immediately.

  • The business hours for the College will shift to 9 am-4pm.
  • Only essential personnel need to report to campus. This includes personnel in the following offices. *Please also note: Offices currently located in Leicester will be relocated to Worcester.
    • Office of the President: The President is on campus, but 84 William Street is locked because a number of staff in the building are working remotely. Please contact Amy Dean (dean@becker.edu or 508.373.1905) to gain entry.
    • Campus Police
    • Facilities
    • Human Resources
    • Mail Room (Worcester location only): Mail will be brought from the Leicester Campus and can be picked up in Worcester.
    • Bookstore
      • Open Tuesday and Thursday, 3-6 pm, and Friday 9 am-noon. Books can be ordered with FREE GROUND SHIPPING directly on our website www.beckercollegeshop.com. Please call 508.373.9470 or email 0492mgr@follett.com with questions.
    • Information Technology (IT)
    • Accounting and Payroll
    • Counseling Services
    • Lenfest Animal Health Center (limited coverage)
    • Equestrian Center (for care of horses only)
  • Supervisors will designate personnel for coverage of offices identified above. Staff who have been identified to work remotely need to be online and available during the business hours of 9 am-4 pm. 

Offices Being Managed Remotely

The following areas will manage operations remotely.

  • Student Health Services: Phone triage only for students remaining on campus. To contact Health Services, call 774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu.
  • Swan and Ruska Learning Commons (the libraries) are closed. However, 24/7 online chat assistance is available: https://libraryh3lp.com/chat/beckercollegelibrariess-queue@chat.libraryh3lp.com?skin=26873
  • The Collaborative Learning Center ACES program will continue remotely.
  • Limited food service is being provided for those few students remaining on campus.
  • Graduate & Professional Studies information:
    • Graduate students will hear directly from their program coordinator with specific details regarding their programs.
    • The Bookstore will be available for the return and purchase of books for Mod 2 and Mod 3. Please call ahead for specific hours 373.9470 or email Bookstore Online.
    • The School of Graduate & Professional Studies staff will work remotely from 9 am-4 pm for the next two weeks. The team can be reached at gps@becker.edu or 508.373.9500.
  • The Office of Admissions will be working remotely from 9 am-4 pm for the next two weeks. The office team can be reached at admissions@becker.edu or at 508.373.9400.

Access to Buildings

Leicester: All buildings will be locked. For access, please call Campus Police.

Worcester: The following buildings are closed and will remain locked on the Worcester Campus:

  • Boutin Campus Center
  • Barrett Center
  • Design Building
  • Common areas and classrooms in the Weller academic building
  • Common areas and classrooms in the Health Science building
  • All empty residence halls

Upcoming Events

Many of you may be concerned about scheduled large-scale events in April and May. As of today, the following events have been cancelled:

  • April 3: Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society Induction
  • April 7: Academic Awards Ceremony and Honors Society Induction
  • April 7: On-campus Info Sessions for Professional Studies, the Master’s in Mental Health Counseling, and the Master of Fine Arts in Interactive Media; sessions will be held online.
  • April 18: On-campus Accepted Students Day; Admissions is working on virtual opportunities for students and families.
  • April 20-24: On-campus Info Sessions; Admissions is working on virtual opportunities for students and families.
  • April 29: Senior Showcase

As we continue to monitor the situation, we will keep you informed on any decisions made about other scheduled events.

Please continue to check your email, the College’s COVID-19 web page, and the employee portal for the most up-to-date information and notifications. You may direct questions to your supervisor or send to covid19@becker.edu. We will respond to inquiries as soon as we are able, and ask for your continued patience.

 

March 13, 2020

A Message from Becker College Counseling Services Office

The Becker College Counseling Services Office will be open and provide mental health consultation services by telephone only. Ongoing psychotherapy and psychiatry clients will be receiving phone calls and email messages to arrange appointments for phone consultation.

Psychotherapists are available for consultation to help students adjust and cope. Students seeking support are encouraged to utilize the request form found on the Becker College website: https://www.becker.edu/student-life/student-support/counseling/ Students should include the times they are available to receive our phone call. The counseling center will reply with an appointment time for a counselor to call and consult.

For general information about the coronavirus and Becker College updates, please continue to watch this web page for updates. If you have further questions, please contact covid19@becker.edu.

We recognize that the increased social isolation for students may cause additional stressors, fears, and anxiety.  Remember that pandemics have happened before, and they eventually end.  Please know that Becker College Counseling Services are available to assist the student population. Because of new information coming in every day and the many changes taking place, students should monitor the latest information.

If you feel you require immediate care, please contact emergency services in your area.

Here are some resources that are available to you:

Mental Health of America

1-800-273-TALK

www.nmha.org

Crisis Text Line

TEXT HOME to 741741

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1800-273-TALK

 

March 12, 2020

COVID-19: Major Changes at Becker

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread both globally and domestically: the number of cases in the U.S. has increased dramatically, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared a state of emergency, and the World Health Organization has declared it a pandemic. We cannot speculate about what will happen next.

We know that many in our community traveled over spring break, and may have come in contact with those who, knowingly or unknowingly, have been infected with the virus. This presents us with a risk to the health and safety of our community returning to campus on March 16. It is vital for us to take steps to prevent the spread of the virus on our campuses.

The College’s administration and an Emergency Response Team, made up of members from various departments and offices on campus, have been meeting regularly to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. There are multiple protocols in place. Over spring break, we engaged in deep cleaning of a number of campus gathering areas (classrooms, residence halls, libraries, and dining halls) and “touch points” (handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, etc.).

However, despite these measures, there is simply no way we can guarantee a COVID-19 virus-free environment at the end of spring break. To that end, please be advised of the following decisions, which affect the next two weeks. Please keep in mind that we are continually monitoring the situation and will update the campus community as further decisions are made.

Academics

  • From Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27 (a period of two weeks), undergraduate course instruction will be conducted online. This includes all undergraduate courses in the School of Graduate & Professional Studies.
  • Students should check Canvas beginning March 16 for information from their instructors.
  • Graduate students will receive separate instructions from their program chairs.

Residence Halls

  • Resident students who need/wish to retrieve any belongings can come to their respective campus on Sunday, March 15, from 9 am to 3 pm.  Please be sure to have student ID, your key and FOB.
  • During this two-week period, students who are unable to return to their permanent residences or who have other significant constraints must contact Associate Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct Katie Graffum at Katie.graffum@becker.edu and request permission to remain on campus.
  • Students who do not have approval to stay on campus must be off campus by 3 pm on Sunday, March 15.
  • Those who have been given permission to stay on campus may be moved to another residence hall for their safety and security.
  • Should students who have been approved to stay on campus experience symptoms of COVID-19, they will be sent home if this is feasible. Otherwise, they will be quarantined. Likewise, students who have come in contact with them will be under quarantine for observation.
  • For those remaining on campus, during this two-week period there will be a reduction in services and resources. More information will be forthcoming.

Campus Faculty and Staff

  • Becker College and its two campuses will remain open.
  • All faculty and staff will be provided with information from their Vice President.
  • Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 MUST stay home, and inform their supervisor.
  • Contingency planning is underway should it become necessary for the College to move its operations entirely online, outside of essential staff.

Athletics 

  • No games or practices will be held from March 14-27.

Travel & Re-entry to Campus

  • Becker strongly discourages all personal domestic and international travel by students, faculty, and staff, except for the purposes of students returning home.
  • Please be advised that as of Friday, March 13, the U.S. has imposed a travel suspension from Europe for the next 30 days, with the exception of the United Kingdom. Any faculty, student, or staff currently abroad needs to stay current with this ban. Any faculty, staff, or student who has been to or traveled from CDC Level 3 warning countries is prohibited from coming to campus, even if symptom-free, for 14 days. You must self-quarantine in accordance to the guidance issued by the CDC.

Campus Events & External Visitors

  • On-campus events that include external visitors will be cancelled or held virtually from March 16 through March 27. Later events will be evaluated on an on-going basis.
  • The Lenfest Animal Health Clinic will continue normal operations.
  • The Community Counseling Clinic @ Becker will also continue normal operations.

Additional Questions

While this communication addresses a number of areas, I know that many of you will continue to have questions. To that end, we have created covid19@becker.edu to address these questions. Please be patient as we review these inquiries in order to provide you with answers. Please also continue to monitor the CDC and College’s website for the most up-to-date information about the COVID-19 virus, and Canvas for academic instruction.

This is certainly a challenging time, and can result in worry and anxiety—both for yourself and for your loved ones. The actions being taken by institutions of higher education, businesses, organizations, and more to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is unprecedented in our lifetimes, and presents sobering validation of a world in which change is both inevitable and unpredictable.

I take great pride in Becker being a close-knit and caring community. Our goal—first and foremost—is to protect the health and welfare of our community.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

March 5, 2020

Important Message from the President about Spring Break

TO: Faculty, Staff, Students (BOT)

As you look forward to Spring Break, I urge you to stay informed about the coronavirus in your travels.

It is vital that we each do our part to stop the spread of this illness in our community. To that end, I have included three CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) flyers that provide guidance: Stop the Spread of Germs, Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease, and What to Know about Coronavirus

You should NOT return to campus if you are experiencing symptoms OR if you have come in contact with or been exposed to someone who has the virus.

Employees should contact their supervisor. Students should reach out to springbreaktravel@becker.edu and their professors to keep up with assignments while you are absent.

The CDC provides maps of both the United States and global locations where outbreaks have been reported. These maps are updated regularly, so please visit these sites often to ensure you have the most up-to-date information. Should you plan to travel outside of the U.S., there may be the possibility, depending on the country you visit, that you will not be able to fly back to the U.S. when classes begin.

Let’s all work together to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Sincerely,

Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D.

President

 

March 4, 2020

A Message from the President Regarding the Coronavirus

To Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Becker College takes campus safety and security very seriously. To that end, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus, both locally and globally. While the risk of coronavirus in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is low, we have undertaken a number of actions:

  • Continuous updates from many sources are reviewed, including the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and news and government reports, as well as updates from Mass.gov and the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts.
  • Emails and communications have been posted on the Employee Portal, Student Portal, and Canvas from Human Resources and Student Health Services.
  • We have built and launched a one-stop resource for our community on our website that captures communications that have been sent to the community to date, and includes valuable links and FAQs for our population. It is a “living” space in which we will provide regular updates and can be accessed from the green banner on the home page. Here is the direct link.
  • We have activated our Emergency Response Team, which is meeting regularly to monitor and discuss health and safety issues presented by this virus as it impacts, or has the potential to impact, our community, for the purpose of keeping the community informed and ensuring appropriate protocols are in place.

While the challenge presented by this situation is ever-evolving, I ask that you stay current with accurate information. Students who have questions should contact Frank Millerick, Vice President of Student Affairs (frank.millerick@becker.edu) .

 

March 3, 2020

Dear Students:

As you look forward to a well-deserved Spring Break, I would like to convey an important reminder about health and safety.

You may be aware of the global coronavirus outbreak, which continues to be of great concern. A Becker team has been closely monitoring news and government reports, as well as meeting to prepare for potential impact on the College.

Given the increased spread of coronavirus beyond China to Italy, Japan, and other countries, as well as within the U.S., we ask your cooperation in informing the Office of Student Affairs of your/your family’s travel plans during Spring Break outside of the U.S. or to states that have reported cases of outbreaks. Please contact springbreaktravel@becker.edu

The College encourages students to discuss personal travel plans with their families, to consult the travel advisories issued by the CDC, and to observe CDC-recommended steps to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

I hope you enjoy Spring Break, and look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

Frank Millerick

Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics

774.354.0481 or email Frank.millerick@becker.edu

 

March 2, 2020

Becker College professors Sharon Dipasquale and Ales Jug presented on “The Hidden Truths about Pandemics: How response to infectious disease determines socioeconomic impacts” on March 2.

A growing number of international companies, including Apple, McDonald’s, and Starbucks, are among those that have shuttered stores, reduced service, or removed staff from China as the coronavirus pandemic continues to dampen global economic activity.

The talk focused on how different factors not only influence the course of an existing pandemic, but can also influence the incidence of, and the health and economic outcomes of, future pandemic outbreaks. Those factors include global travel, environmental changes, and human responses to perceived health threats.

Other factors, including health care preparedness, politics, and economic and health care disparities, can also strongly influence the overall impact of pandemic outbreaks. Sharon Dipasquale, MSN, RN, is an instructor of nursing and Ales Jug, Ph.D., is an associate professor of management and marketing. Listen to the lecture here: https://becker.zoom.us/rec/share/_OpuMuioxnpIU4Hr7V7OdIgrWYjCaaa81XJM_fELmk9o6Gnlg8b9OAKj3ZbGWYBs?startTime=1583187435000

 

February 28, 2020

Becker College Community Health Advisory

Please review the information below from AllOne Heath, our EAP, for a comprehensive coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) update. This includes travel advisories and a world map for geographical locations that illustrate the areas affected by the coronavirus. For more information, please contact your primary care provider or Student Health Services at 774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu.

SARS-CoV2 update 2.27.2020

Becker Community Health Advisory Update

Dear Becker students, faculty, and staff,

Student Health Services continues to monitor the outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China and other parts of the world including the United States. Our office has been working proactively by screening anyone that has travelled to/from China over the last several weeks.

This virus originated in the city of Wuhan in Central China. As of February 12, there are 13 confirmed cases in the US. Currently there is ONE confirmed case of 2019-nCoV infection in Boston MA.

Persons with confirmed Coronavirus may have mild to severe respiratory illness AND report recent travel to Wuhan City. The symptoms of coronavirus may be similar to the flu or common cold. If you are experiencing a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing but have not recently traveled to China, you most likely have a cold or the flu.  Please call Student Health Services for a telephone triage and to schedule a visit for an evaluation.  (774)354-0471

The CDC recommends taking everyday actions to help prevent the spread of ALL contagious illnesses:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others that are sick.
  • Stay home if sick, especially if you have a fever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it in the trash.
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

All contagious illnesses are concerning, but please remember that the risk level in MA is considered low for the Coronavirus.

You can get additional information regarding the Coronavirus and other viral illnesses by visiting the CDC website.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Please contact our office directly regarding any health concerns.  Thank you.

Catherine Meloche RN, BSN

Director of Student Health Services

774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu

 

January 28, 2020

Becker Community Health Advisory

Dear Becker students, faculty, and staff,

We would like to take this opportunity to provide information and support regarding the 2019-novel Coronavirus. There are NO identified cases of infection in Massachusetts and we are currently considered at low risk for the Coronavirus.

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) reports that the Coronavirus is a large group of viral illnesses that originated in the Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Persons with confirmed Coronavirus may have mild to severe respiratory illness AND report recent travel to Wuhan City.

The CDC recommends taking everyday actions to help prevent the spread of ALL contagious illnesses:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, you may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others that are sick.
  • Stay home if sick, especially if you have a fever.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw it in the trash.
  • Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Please be aware that this is cold and flu season, and other viruses but may present with similar symptoms.

All contagious illnesses are concerning, but please remember that the risk level in MA is considered low for the Coronavirus.

You can get additional information regarding the Coronavirus and other viral illnesses by visiting the CDC website.

Please contact our office directly regarding any health concerns. Thank you.

Catherine Meloche RN, BSN

Director of Student Health Services

774.354.0471 or email nurse@becker.edu

 

COVID-19 FAQs

How is Becker monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak?

College officials have been monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) through the Centers for Disease Control, state and local government agencies, as well as through consultation with the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts.

From the onset of COVID-19 reported in the U.S., the College’s Emergency Operations Team has met to discuss and update the College’s response plans, and has put systems and protocols in place. Please see the Communications page for the most up-to-date information.

The College continues to provide faculty, staff, and students with updated information through email, the Employee and Student Portals, Canvas, and this web page.

What communications are important for the Becker community to know, to reduce the risk of exposure? 

The Centers for Disease Control has issued the following information:

How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 Symptoms

Prevention and Treatment

What to Do If You Are Sick With COVID-19

Other Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19

Becker College has issued the following information:

What is social distancing?

What resources are available to learn more about COVID-19?

There are a variety of updated resources available to those who want to learn more about COVID-19, including information provided by:

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

World Health Organization (WHO)

US Department of State

Massachusetts (Mass.gov)

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)

City of Worcester Department of Public Health

What is the impact on classes?

Becker College moved to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

Is Becker restricting visitors to campus?

No external visitors are allowed on campus. Only a limited number of students who could not return home remain on campus; they are being provided with limited dining and other services.

Has Becker canceled sporting or other campus events?

Becker College has canceled the remainder of its spring athletics season and will not be holding any on-campus events. The Office of Campus Activities & Student Life has planned a number of virtual campus activities to keep students connected.

Will Commencement and other events be held?

Commencement, which was scheduled for May 9, has been postponed to the Fall. Further details will be forthcoming. The Office of Admissions has scheduled a number of virtual events.

Are campus buildings open?

No. Administrative buildings are only open to essential personnel.

How is Becker advising and responding to the needs of students studying abroad?

Becker does not administer any study abroad programs; it utilizes partner providers, who work with their networks and governments to determine emergency crisis plans. Those programs are in communication with Becker to share updates specific to their program, city, and region.

What will Becker do if a study abroad program is suspended?

Becker works closely with its academic partners to mitigate potential impacts on students’ academic progress. Dependent on each program, we work with students to consider alternate means to maintain academic progress following the options set out by the students’ respective programs. If a student chooses to leave a study abroad program that has not been suspended, they should contact Dan Chapman, Study Abroad Coordinator (774.354.0679 or email Daniel.chapman@becker.edu) as soon as a decision has been made. He will work with our partners to try to support the student’s completion of work with that program.

Who do I contact for questions?

Send an email to covid19@becker.edu.

For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Communications page.

 

Summer hours: 9 am-4 pm. Closed Fridays through August 7. --- COVID-19 Communications.Click here