Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff
Message From:Message from the Office of Student Development
Date Sent:Friday, July 24, 2020 02:30 PM CDT

What to Expect if You Are Exclusively Online

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Below is the third message in our series of emails this week that was shared with students and parents regarding the return to campus. Today’s message provides a look at how we plan to provide a first-class education, extensive student resources, and the Rambler community spirit at Loyola University Chicago this fall—all in a virtual environment.

Along with visiting our Return to Campus website, please continue to watch for our emails, check our websites regularly, and send us your questions at covid-19support@LUC.edu.

Yours in Loyola,

Thomas M. Kelly
Sr. Vice President, Administrative Services
Office of the President

July 24, 2020

Dear Students,

As you’ve read in our emails this past week, we are diligently preparing for a safe return to campus in the fall. We understand that not all students will physically return, as some of you will have a fully online experience. Today’s message will give you a look at how we plan to provide the first-class education, extensive student resources, and Rambler community spirit you’ve come to expect from Loyola University Chicago—all in a virtual environment.

Your first step is to join our Campus Experience webinar this Sunday, July 26, at 6 p.m. Central Time. Hosted by the Division of Student Development, it will provide more detail around the topics covered in our recent emails. Registration is required, which also allows you to submit questions in advance. We’re looking forward to talking to you!

In the meantime, please bookmark our Return to Campus website, which is being updated with University plans and resources as they evolve. And as always, our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and neighbors.

Like our previous message, this one is long but filled with answers to many questions we have received about the virtual student experience this fall. We encourage you to click through the links throughout. Questions regarding academic schedules and finances can be directed to our COVID-19 email.

Educational Experiences

Like you, we will miss the familiar in-person classroom experience this fall. However, our faculty are ready to provide high-quality instruction, following our tradition of educational excellence and our deep commitment to student success.

Loyola has offered online courses for more than 20 years, well before COVID-19, with 50 online programs and more than 2,000 virtual courses taught by Loyola faculty. The quality of our online instruction has not gone unnoticed: In 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked Loyola’s online bachelor’s program eighth in the nation, one of only two private universities in the top 10.

One benefit of being a leader in online education is having the ability to adopt best practices University-wide. Since March, more than 1,000 faculty have completed additional workshops on designing and managing a digital classroom. These workshops are preparing our faculty to reimagine their courses for online delivery and to incorporate strategies that have proven to engage online learners effectively.

As you know, learning at Loyola is an engaging experience that extends beyond the classroom. That won’t change. We are committed to bringing the full depth of our resources to you wherever you may be. Some of those offerings include:

  • One-on-one appointments and express advising with your academic advisor. First and Second Year Advising will provide all support services online this fall.
  • Free and accessible tutoring services for all students through the Tutoring Center. Our undergraduate tutors and Supplemental Instruction Leaders, as well as graduate student Success Coaches, are excited to help you achieve your academic goals.
  • Engaged learning courses, project-based work, virtual/remote internships, and research experiences readily available with the new digital portfolio (e-portfolio) platform through the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL).
  • Virtual support for first-year students, underrepresented student populations, and first-generation students, such as:
  • Services and online programs for Loyola’s students with disabilities through the Student Accessibility Center (SAC). In addition to the online registration process, we will continue to support our students by meeting, advocating, and helping to implement reasonable accommodations. Students already registered with SAC can review accommodations, submit semester requests, and schedule appointments through Accommodate.

Beyond your classwork, opportunities for internships, fellowships, and work experiences are critical in preparing you for success after college. Career Services is moving online, hosting its virtual Job, Internship, and Service Fair on September 2. Our new LUC Micro-Internship Program allows you to work remotely and be paid while gaining valuable professional experience. Additionally, you can find job and internship postings, as well as schedule your one-on-one career advising sessions, on Handshake.

Campus Experiences

Even virtually, we are committed to keeping the Rambler spirit at the heart of our Loyola community alive and active. Regardless of where you’re located, all fall events, student resources, initiatives, and programming will have virtual elements so everyone will be connected, including:

  • For first-year students, the Saturday of Service on August 22, which offers multiple community engagement workshops and projects. Community Service and Action will host several virtual opportunities throughout the semester.
  • The Faith, Service, and Justice Festival on August 25. This virtual fair is a fantastic way to learn about how you might grow your spirituality and connect with others through service and justice opportunities. In addition, Campus Ministry will offer robust online programming across all faith traditions.
  • The virtual Student of Color Reception also on August 25, hosted by Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (SDMA). All Ramblers are welcome to join special events and programming throughout the year on topics from diversity to social justice.
  • Beginning September 11, the “Loyola 360” retreat for first-year students. Many other retreats and Christian Life Communities (CLSs) are ready for you to connect with others and deepen friendships.
  • A favorite Loyola tradition, Family Weekend 2020 on September 26-27. Explore the campus from a new perspective, celebrate Mass in Madonna della Strada Chapel, and chat with head men’s basketball coach Porter Moser in a live webinar. We’ll make it easy for you to share your Rambler pride with your whole family!
  • The Wellness Fair on October 7. Students can attend engaging online panels and sessions from wellness experts and local health organizations.

Cura personalis, or care for the whole person, is central to our mission. To that end, the Wellness Center is prepared to serve our students’ physical and mental health needs virtually this semester. Group counseling, drop-in virtual mindfulness sessions, and weekly discussions on the transition to college are among several regularly offered services. Several student organizations affiliated with the Wellness Center will operate virtually, meeting regularly to plan and host programs on stress, sleep, body image, sexual assault prevention, and other related topics.

Stay connected with many of these support services and special events by following our Instagram accounts:

We appreciate the time you’ve spent reading through these important details. Again, we hope you’ll join us at this Sunday’s webinar to learn more about the semester ahead. Please know we are working hard to give you the best possible Loyola experience this fall while making sure everyone stays as safe as possible. We thank you again for your willingness to join with us, supporting one another to make this a healthy and successful semester.

Together in Loyola,

Jane Neufeld
Vice President for Student Development

William Rodriguez, PhD
Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students