Statement from Lurie College Dean Heather Lattimer | April 23, 2020

Watch this video message from Dean Heather Lattimer following the announcement from SJSU about planning for the Fall 2020 semester in response to COVID-19.  The transcription of the message is available below.

Hello Lurie College.  The message that we received earlier this week that we’re not coming back to campus as usual this fall was hard to hear.  Although many of us might have suspected that such a message was coming, based on news reports that we’re seeing from across the country and around the world, it was nevertheless hard to see in print.  Many of us are grieving a sense of normalcy, missing rites of passage that were supposed to take place this spring, especially commencement, and frustrated that this sense of limbo that we’re all in might continue for weeks and even months ahead.

I want you to know that we see you, and we understand.

We see how hard you’re working in your academic classes, we see how many challenges you are navigating in school, at home, with family and finances.  We see the pain, the exhaustion and the fear that many of you are experiencing.  We also see your successes.  We see the triumphs, large and small, academic and personal.  We see the kindness that you’ve shown to one another and to our larger community and we’re grateful.

Looking ahead to fall, our goal is to balance opportunities for high-quality learning with ensuring your health and safety.  Although we don’t know exactly what the fall will bring, here’s what I can tell you now:

  • We’re planning that, in the Lurie College of Education, many of our courses will be online.  They’ll be a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  Synchronous to provide you with the opportunity to connect directly with faculty and peers and build community and understanding together, and asynchronous to allow you the flexibility to navigate multiple responsibilities that you may be facing.
  • We’re anticipating that our field experiences, our clinics, student teaching, community service learning, and internships will continue to run.  We’re working now with our field experience partners, our school districts, medical centers and community centers, to build those experiences and ensure that your health and safety are cared for while we’re also providing you with the opportunity to engage in the critical hands-on learning that is part of your program.
  • We’re also working to plan a robust series of co-curricular engagement opportunities, both virtual and on-site where possible, because we recognize the importance of coming together in community to grow, to learn, and to support one another.

So what does all of this mean for you?

First, we want you to register for your fall semester classes so that you’re able to continue to make good progress towards your degree or credential.  We want you to be able to graduate on time.  You’ve come too far and worked too hard to be pushed off track now.

Secondly, if you have questions or concerns or need support – whether that’s academic, financial, or emotional support – we want you to reach out to us – the faculty and staff and your departments, the Student Success Center team, and the team in the dean’s office are all here to support you.

We all care deeply about you and about your success.

Finally, we want you to take care of yourselves.  We want to make sure that you’re being kind to yourself during this challenging time.  That you’re giving yourself a break, you’re eating well, getting enough sleep and being generous with yourself and with others.

We’re depending on you. You are our future.

I know that’s said a lot in a lot of different contexts, but at Lurie College we believe that we’re creating transformative educators, therapists, counselors, school and community leaders.  That’s our mission, and we need those transformative individuals to make a difference in our society.  Now more than ever, we’re seeing the inequities that exist, and we’re depending on you to graduate and go out and change the world.

Take good care of yourselves, reach out if you need anything, and know that we’re here for you.

Lurie College Dean’s Office | |


“Memories” provided royalty-free by Video edited by Brian Cheung Dooley.  Transcribed by

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