Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

LATEST UPDATE:

 

Message being sent to Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

COVID 19 message

May 24, 2020

Dear Trocaire Community:

Over nine weeks ago, we were asked by New York State to suspend normal operating procedures and move everything to a remote setting. Our world as we knew it then was turned upside down as students, as faculty, as staff and as administrators, but also as parents, siblings, children, and neighbors. And here we are, celebrating the completion of the spring semester and heading into the first summer session. As the President of the College, I have been humbled by the tenacity and commitment exercised by all members of our higher education community to make sure that student success is achieved. We congratulate those who have officially graduated from Trocaire. Our hope was to have gathered together to celebrate your achievements with you and your loved ones. However, know that you will always have a special place in our hearts as we will fondly remember your unwavering drive to cross the finish line. We look forward to a future time to gather for your commencement. Your official certificates and degrees will be mailed to you as we have always done.

 Summer Sessions

Given the timing when a decision had to be made for the Summer sessions, the decision was made to schedule all classes via remote delivery. As New York State Pause executive order comes to an end in phases, we are pursuing every avenue possible to allow those students who require in person experiential learning to complete their required hours. There will be some variation on the clinical experiences and assignments as we look for viable locations for students to complete their work, including our labs on-campus once we are given the green light to resume on-site activities.

 Fall Semester

New York State projects that the higher education sector could resume operations in phase four of the New York State re-opening process. This means that on-site instruction and student life might resume in some fashion. There are also options where Colleges and Universities may be eligible to resume planned on-site operations in phase two of the New York State re-opening that is not instructional in nature (i.e. administrative functions). Also, we are looking at the level of flexibility available to us in Phase One of the New York State re-opening process that could permit experiential learning (for example, off-campus clinicals) to take place in the health care sector which has been given permission to operate in phase one.

What does this all mean? We, as a College, are obligated to develop specific plans and certify our ability to comply with the New York State mandates irrespective of the phase in which we choose to re-open any aspect of the College. We are actively engaged in consultation with the appropriate state and local agencies and in planning for re-opening and we expect to have an approach for fall that will manage health and safety concerns for all, yet allows for a resumption of on-campus activities where possible. We must also be patient and wait until phase two guidance is received from the State before we can announce any final plans (This is expected to occur around within the first ten days of the month of June).

While we understand that everyone wants to know now what to expect in late August, we will most likely not be able to provide you with concrete answers until the middle of June at the earliest. We ask for your patience as we continue to gather information to make the best decision for all members of the College community.

It is becoming clearer every day that we are not going to return to the way things were pre-COVID 19. However, we have an opportunity to set the “next normal” by improving what we used to do, what we have done over the past two months, and develop new ways of providing teaching and learning, student support, and meaningful interactions that respect the power of this virus and the power of our Mercy community to move forward together successfully.

Thank you.

Bassam M. Deeb, Ph.D.

Trocaire College President

trocaire.edu

LATEST UPDATE:

Message being sent to Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

 

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

                                                                       G. Khalil Gibran

April 3, 2020

Dear Trocaire Community:

We are two weeks into our unplanned remote operation as a college. Surely, at the beginning of the spring semester none of us would have expected that to be the case. Despite the unscheduled move to an all remote setting. I have been extremely heartened by the amount of effort shown by students, faculty, and staff that  make it possible to stay the course and ensure a positive completion of the spring 2020 semester. As the quote suggests, we are all challenged by what is currently happening to make the best of the situation and to ensure our collaborative success as a college community.  Given the sudden change to our way of operating, I wanted to share with you a couple of decisions to help us move further down the path:

1)   Good Friday. In our first response to the pandemic, we shifted the Easter break from April, which included Good Friday, forward to March 18 – 20, 2020. Technically, that shift included the time off dedicated to Good Friday and through the Easter weekend. However, after careful consideration of our current situation and discussing the impact of any additional adjustments with the appropriate campus constituents, I am declaring that the college, including its remote operations, will be closed from Friday April 10, 2020 – Sunday April 12, 2020  Irrespective of your observance of Easter, I would hope that every member of the campus community can take the time off to catch their breath, connect with family and loved ones and re-charge as we continue to march toward completing this spring semester on-time.

2)   Commencement. As a result of the current executive order in place by the New York State Governor, https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home,  and due to our inability at this time to properly plan for such a massive event, the Commencement exercises scheduled for May 13, 2020 have been postponed. We are doing our best to reschedule the event. Please know the college places a high value on the opportunity to celebrate college graduation with our students and your families and we will do our best to ensure that the celebration can take place at some point in the future. Related activities, such as program pinning ceremonies, are similarly postponed.

Students

Shifting the College’s instructional and support functions to a remote setting does require additional attention and communication by everyone involved. Students, please know that your faculty are aware of the current situation you find yourself in personally and academically and are willing to work with you to support your success. If you are encountering any such difficulties, please do not hesitate to reach out to your instructors as soon as possible. Do not wait until it is too late to seek help. The Academic Program Directors and Deans also stand ready to ensure you have all the support you need to be successful. Of course this is not different than any other time in which you have enrolled. Last but not least, members of the Enrollment and Student Affairs divisions continue their work to maintain the safety net we have implemented the last few years to ensure your success.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff – We fully understand that working remotely has had its challenges from both an operational and a technical standpoint. Please know that your good and collaborative work across divisions has minimized the impact of these hurdles.

It is becoming clearer every day that we are not going to return to onsite operation anytime soon, and once we do, it is unclear how difficult it will be to return to normal. So, additional accommodations will need to be made by all employees to ensure full engagement so that we: 1) complete the spring semester, 2) plan for a successful summer session (keeping in mind the potential of both on-site and remote settings), and 3) plan for the fall 2020 semester. We also know that we will need to implement additional technology resources to allow us to deliver instruction and services flexibly and effectively into the future. The “new normal” is yet to be defined. Therefore, your effort now to identify challenges, to work collaboratively and communicate with your colleagues and supervisors is essential to our long-term success. The college’s leadership will do its best to provide timely and relevant responses, keeping in mind that additional time and effort will be needed to assess the impact of such decisions in the current situation in which we are operating.

To all: We have consolidated the weekly electronic communications (The Blaze and What’s Happening) to ensure that consistent messaging is being shared with all members of the college community. Please continue to look out for additional information and guidance through official communication means including but not limited to emails, electronic weekly newsletters, the COVID19 webpage, etc.

Last, but certainly not least, I am extremely proud of how each of you; our students, faculty and staff, have conducted yourselves during this time of hardship. I am also proud of the contribution by your fellow graduates, the Alumni of Trocaire, who are playing a critical role in ensuring that the health care system in Western New York is able to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the same time, collectively, we pray for recovery for those who have contracted the virus and we mourn the losses that the pandemic has caused and offer our condolences and sympathy to all people who have lost a friend or family member to this disease. In this Lenten season, we derive hope that God’s mercy and grace surrounds us and will help us through this trying time.

Thank you.

Bassam M. Deeb, Ph.D.

Trocaire College President

 

 

Message being sent to Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

Re: COVID 19 New York State Governor Executive Order

 

March 21, 2020

Dear Trocaire Community,

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. In order to comply with the Governor’s ordereffective immediately, Trocaire College will shift its entire operation to a remote setting. ALL Trocaire facilities (Choate, Transit, and Seneca) will be closed.

As communicated in past updates, beginning Monday, March 23 and for the remainder of the academic semester, all courses and labs will be moved to an alternate delivery method. For many, this will take place via an online, distance education format using the Moodle platform, remote video instruction, tutorial, etc. However, in some instances other methods, such as email, will be used to provide material for instruction. The new executive order will also impact clinical experiences. As a result, all in person clinical assignments have been suspended until further notice, whether they were scheduled for the College campus or any off-campus location. Clinical faculty and program leadership will be reaching out to impacted students with additional instruction. The College is seeking additional guidance from the New York State Office of the Professions to ensure that our students can continue to progress in completing all of their academic requirements.

The College has been preparing for such a scenario and will begin to implement its business continuity plan immediately. Moving forward, and until further notice, College offices and employees will work remotely and when working their assigned hours are available via phone or email. With our employees continuing to provide their services to students and others, we will make every effort to minimize disruption to the services we normally provide.

Since it is unclear when we might resume in-person contact, this approach will be in effect until further notice. Please make sure that you monitor your email account and please check now to ensure that your email system is accessible to you and capable of receiving regular updates. You are also encouraged to go the College’s website for updated information.  https://trocaire.edu/response-to-covid-19-coronavirus/

 

Bassam M. Deeb, Ph.D.

Trocaire College President

 


Message being sent to Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

 

March 19, 2020

Dear Trocaire Community,

As noted in the March 17th communication, “beginning Monday, March 23 and for the remainder of the academic semester, all courses and labs will be moved to an alternate delivery method. For many, this will take place via an online, distance education format using the Moodle platform, remote video instruction, tutorial, etc. However, in some instances other methods, such as email, will be used to provide material for instruction. Clinical placements will be handled on a program by program basis”. (please refer to my communication of March 17, 2020).

 

Students and Employees

As we continue to address the COVID 19 pandemic and its impact on our personal, professional, and academic life we will do our best to continue to provide the support necessary for every member of the Trocaire community.

The advice and direction we are provided by the CDC, The New York State Governor’s Office, and the Erie County Health Department are constantly evolving. As a result, we will do our best to provide periodic and timely communication to you using this format. In addition, the information will also be populated on our webpage https://trocaire.edu/response-to-covid-19-coronavirus.

 

March 23, 2020 and until the end of spring semester

Until directed otherwise by the appropriate governmental agency, The College will continue to operate two locations, Choate and Transit, under reduced building hours from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Seneca street location will be closed.

Access to Choate and Transit will be restricted to students, employees, and individuals who have business to conduct with the College (i.e. applicants, delivery personnel, etc.). No general guests or children of students or employees are permitted on-campus. Also, Security Guards may request to see your Trocaire ID at any point you are on-campus. Make sure you have your Trocaire ID with you at all times.

On campus bookstore has been closed through March 31, 2020. Barnes and Noble will continue to serve you through https://trocaire.bncollege.com/shop/trocaire/home

Shuttle Service routes have changed – Starting March 23, will not go to the Knights of Columbus lot. So, please plan on parking at the Salem Lutheran Church lot or street parking.

Tim Hortons Express in the Commons is closed indefinitely.

Tunnel access to Mercy Hospital is closed. Entrance into the hospital must follow access protocol as determined by the hospital.

IT Help Desk is keeping its current hours: Weekdays 7 am – 8 pm

Work force development offerings will be assessed on a program by program basis

 

Students

If you have questions about your class as we start up on March 23, your first point of contact should be your course instructor! Be sure to send an email or call and leave a voicemail for follow up. Your professors are eager to work with you through Moodle, zoom, email, or phone. Just ask!

CPR: All Trocaire programs requiring CPR certification will extend the certification expiration by 60 days. Please make a note that this means your recertification date may be near the end of the semester or as you start looking for more summer work hours!

Please know that all student and academic support services provided under the umbrella of Student Affairs will continue business as usual. Student Affairs staff are prepared to provide services in a variety of formats including online, email, and if preferred in-person (providing that the campus is open). Staff is committed to providing ongoing support, guidance, and resources as we sort through this unprecedented situation together. Please contact offices directly (email and telephone numbers are posted on the college’s website) for specific service requests and information.

Computer Use – Computer lab in Room 320 is open with social distancing. Additional locations will be open if necessary.

Library Use – Library is keeping current hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mon to Thursday and 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday; including the reference desk with appropriate social distancing in effect.

 

Bassam M. Deeb, Ph.D.

Trocaire College President

 


A Message to the College Community – COVID-19

March 17, 2020

The health and safety of Trocaire College’s students, faculty and staff continues to be our highest priority. As we continue to monitor developments related to coronavirus, known as COVID-19, I want to remind all members of the College community at the conclusion of today’s schedule the College is shifting its Easter Break to cover the period of March 18 – 22, 2020.

 

For Students:

Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22 all classes, labs and clinicals are cancelled, and students are asked not to come to campus.  Students working via online distance education classes are expected to follow the same procedures which normally take place during a holiday break.

Beginning Monday, March 23 and for the remainder of the academic semester, all courses and labs will be moved to an alternate delivery method.  For many, this will take place via an online, distance education format using the Moodle platform, remote video instruction, tutorial, etc.  However, in some instances other methods, such as email, will be used to provide material for instruction.

Clinical placements will be handled on a program by program basis.  Academic Deans, Program Directors, and relevant faculty instructors will provide guidance on a course-by-course basis.  This will also depend on the continued availability of off-campus clinical sites.  We will continue to find ways to ensure that all of our students meet the required practical experiences of their profession.  This involves looking at alternative ways to deliver clinical experiences, substitutions, etc.  These decisions do require consideration by entities like the New York State Department of Education, Office of the Professions, and program accrediting agencies.  Trocaire is advocating to ensure that all our students are making the necessary academic progress to complete their program and become licensure eligible.

Please know that all student and academic support services provided under the umbrella of Student Affairs will continue business as usual.  Student Affairs staff are prepared to provide services in a variety of formats including online, email, and if preferred in-person.  Staff is committed to providing ongoing support, guidance, and resources as we sort through this unprecedented situation together. Please contact offices directly for specific service information.

Please note that the on campus bookstore has been closed.  Barnes and Noble will continue to serve you throughhttps://trocaire.bncollege.com/shop/trocaire/home

 

The following spring semester dates will be in effect:

Withdraw deadline extended to Friday April 3.

Electronic Registration *still opens* March 29

 

For Faculty and Staff:

Faculty and Staff will be engaged in a variety of College meetings and training on Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19 to prepare for short term and long range impact of the current crisis on instruction, academic compliance with state and federal regulations, licensure and professional expectations.  These working sessions will be critical in creating sustainable solutions over the long run.

In addition to the above updated spring semester dates, Midterm grade submission deadline has been extended to Friday March 27, 2020.

Employees are encouraged to make sure they have all that they need to be able to operate remotely, by the end of business day Thursday March 18, if not sooner.  The Facilities Department encourages all Trocaire members to do the following to prepare their space before the deep cleaning commences:

  • Clear your desk or open surfaces as much as possible so they can be cleaned.  Custodial will not touch any paperwork on your desk or tables; rather they will clean open areas around the paperwork.
  • Dispose of food in your office and in communal refrigerators.

Additional communication will be forthcoming under separate email to faculty and staff from the Office of the President.

Monday, March 23 through the end of the academic semester

The College will reopen its Choate and Transit Road Extension Center only.  The Seneca Street facility will remain closed.  Our Building hours will be from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.  The Shuttle service will run when the College is operational but it will not extend to the Knights of Columbus lot.  So, we urge everyone to use street parking or parking at Salem Lutheran Church.  College offices will resume operations and schedules within the hours above.  Students will be permitted to be on-campus should they need to do so, to use library resources, computer lab resources, etc. Please note that you may be asked for ID when entering the building as we work to ensure that only the Trocaire community is onsite.

 

In Conclusion

We will continue to address this developing situation as best as we can and under the guidance of local, state, and national agencies.  In the event that travel becomes restricted, the College will comply and availability of services and support will be communicated accordingly.

Given the fluid nature of this crisis, we ask that you continue to monitor your college email for further communications. Announcements will also be posted to this web page.

 


Message being sent to Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

March 13, 2020

 

Trocaire continues to monitor and assess the current and potential future impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on college operations.

Our purpose is to provide students with instruction and learning opportunities, while being mindful of the changes taking place globally and regionally related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  We desire to follow official guidelines, such as those provided by the Centers for Disease Control, as we address this issue.  Certainly, above all else, the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors are paramount.

We are, therefore, making the following changes to the college’s calendar and processes, effective today:

 

  • Monday March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020

o   All classes will be held as usual on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17.  This includes lectures, labs, seminars and clinicals.  Mid-term exams scheduled for this time frame should take place.

o   Staff and faculty are to report per their usual schedule.

 

  • Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22, 2020

o   For Students:

  • The college is shifting forward the usual Easter break previously scheduled for April 8 through April 12.
  • What does this mean?  It means that from Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, March 22 all classes, labs and clinicals are cancelled, and students are asked not to come to campus.  Students working via online distance education classes are expected to follow the same procedures which normally take place during a holiday break.

 

o   For Faculty and Staff:

  • Full-Time faculty and staff are required to come to campus on Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19.  Faculty are expected to be on premises for college meetings between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.
  • On Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 22 –  all college buildings will be closed and faculty and staff will not be permitted to come to campus.  During this time, teams of workers will move throughout all areas of the college and engage in deep cleaning and sanitizing activities.

 

  • Monday March 23 through the end of the academic semester 

o   For Students:

  • Beginning Monday, March 23 and for the remainder of the academic semester, all courses will be moved to an alternate delivery method.  For many courses, this will take place via an online, distance education format using the Moodle platform.  However, in some instances other methods, such as email, will be used to provide material for instruction.  The faculty and staff will be working through these options on March 18th and 19th and will communicate the results accordingly.  Students should check their email systems now to ensure they are able to send and receive messages.
  • Clinical placements will be handled on a course-by-course and program by program basis.  Faculty instructors will provide guidance on a course-by-course basis.
  • Student support services will remain available to students and various formats will be considered.

 

o   For Faculty:

  • Further information will be provided during the meeting days on March 18 and March 19.  Delivery of instruction is expected to meet federal and state credit hour requirements.

 

o   For Staff:

  • Staff are expected to come in and resume normal operations and schedules on Monday, March 23.
  • Building hours and access may be adjusted as we work through this process.

We ask that you continue to monitor your college email at this time for further communications.

We understand that these changes may be inconvenient and potentially disruptive for all involved, however, we again stress the need to calmly, rationally and comprehensively consider all ramifications of the disease outbreak.  It is our expectation that with appropriate measures we will be able to continue with our core work – the delivery of knowledge to students – and continue to meet our mission.

 


Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Trocaire is actively monitoring the local and global health situation concerning the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The health, safety and well-being of the Trocaire community is our top priority.

At this point in time, there is no indication that Trocaire has been directly affected by Covid-19. Trocaire remains open and all functions continue operating as we balance two issues: ensuring that we take prudent precautions to protect our community, while continuing our provision of instruction and other college services and activities in ways that are appropriate under the circumstances.

Trocaire is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the Trocaire community, in accordance with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Some of the steps Trocaire has taken include:

  • Closely monitoring the CDC web site for updates.
  • Attending webinars and conference calls provided by the NYS Department of Health, the CDC, the Erie County Health Department and the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities.
  • Contingency planning is underway to address the potential that changes to the college’s operational status are needed.
  • Development of this web page as a central location for information and alerts. In many instances, the web page provide links to official sources of information, including the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Additional cleaning in all buildings.
  • Monitoring the status of planned events, both now and into the future.

 

COVID-19 Information and Resources

General Information About Covid-19

CDC Overview and Facts
Symptoms
Covid-19 Status in New York State
Informative Video About Covid-19

Preventing Spread of the Virus

CDC Guidance on Preventing Spread
World Health Organization – Hand Washing Technique

CDC – Situation Summary

Information for Travelers

Managing Stress and Anxiety