Statement to SJSU Lurie College Students from Dean Heather Lattimer | March 17, 2020

Good evening Lurie College Students —
In response to the County of Santa Clara’s shelter-in-place order and President Papazian’s instructions, the Lurie College of Education is now fully virtual.  Although we are now in separate physical spaces, our staff and faculty continue to be very much present in our support for our students.  We care deeply about you, your academic success, and your physical, financial, and emotional well being.
Staying Connected — This sudden move to a “virtual university” is new territory for us too…. We’re working to create virtual spaces for collaboration and connection within and beyond courses (if you have ideas on how to make this happen, please send them our way!).  You can also stay connected by contacting any of the offices listed below.  This information is also listed on the contact page on our website — You may want to bookmark the page for future reference.  We’ve arranged for on-campus phone numbers to be forwarded to staff and faculty cell phones so that we can be available for you at any time.  Please reach out with questions, concerns, or suggestions.  We are here for you!

Getting Help — If you are experiencing concerns about your health and well being, food or housing insecurity, financial stress, or anxiety, you are not alone.  The traumas associate with this global pandemic are real and impact many in our community.  We want to help!

Our Lurie College of Education Student Success Center team is available by phone and email.  They are trained in a holistic support model and prepared to respond to a diverse range of concerns.
SJSU’s Student Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services also offer a full range of services remotely.
For those experiencing food insecurity, the Spartan Food Pantry remains open (please check hours).
For tenants who are worried about being able to pay rent amidst the COVID-19 crisis, the Cities of San Jose and San Francisco have adopted a temporary ban on evictions; Governor Newsom is encouraging cities throughout the state of California to adopt similar policies. Please connect with the Student Success Center or SJSU Cares if you need help pushing back agains a landlord who is threatening eviction.
For those who are struggling to pay bills and stay in school, Lurie College offers “Hardship Grants”. These one-time grants can provide up to $500 to cover unanticipated expenses and help you stay on track toward your degree.  Thanks to some generous donors, we’ve been able to increase the amount available this spring.  Please don’t feel that you are alone if you are struggling.  Reach out.  We want to help!

Looking Ahead — There is a lot of uncertainty right now.  In her Monday evening message (below), Pres. Papazian announced that online instruction will continue through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.  We hope to be able open campus back up for face-to-face advising and events before then, but will need to follow the directions of our state and county officials.  We know that many of you, especially graduating seniors and final year graduate students, have been looking forward to commencement.  I’m hopeful that we will be able to celebrate commencement as currently scheduled on May 21, 2020.  You’ve worked hard, experienced much, and the pomp and circumstance of a commencement celebration is a well-earned rite of passage!  Unfortunately, I can’t yet promise that we’ll be able to hold an in-person commencement event on 5/21.  What I can promise however, is that when this is over (and that is a when – not an if), Lurie College will have a full-blown, in person commencement celebration …  and it will be awesome!
Lurie College is a family and we are all in this together!  Thank you for supporting one another over these last weeks and for your bravery in facing the adversity of this moment.  We are here for you. Please reach out and let us know how we can help.
With Gratitude — Heather
Heather Lattimer, EdDDean and ProfessorConnie L. Lurie College of EducationSan Jose State University

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