Update from Brookdale President On our Return from Spring Break


Thank you for taking the time to respond to my quick survey. Within just a couple of days, I received over 1,000 responses that we will be using to further develop our FAQs. I sent a similar email to our employees and some common themes that emerged include the following:
Students and employees are experiencing very similar levels of anxiety about this migration to online/remote learning.
Issues that are making us anxious and about which we have questions are very similar, including concerns about the virus, student support, the reliability of technology, and arrangements for courses that can’t be completed online.
Uncertainty about the future is a significant source of questions and concerns for employees and students.
Both students and employees are roughly split right down the middle between the desire to come back and the desire to stay away.
It’s going to take some time for us to integrate the feedback into our FAQs which are being regularly updated, but I can give you some immediate details.

One concern that came up more than a few times was communication with faculty. Our faculty, administrators, and staff have been working around the clock to transfer as much course content and support services as possible into an online environment. Any lack of communication or lack of clarity in their communication is likely due to the rapidly changing situation, their focus on their own planning and training so that they can give you answers, and some were away this week.

As we continue to track the spread of COVID-19 across our state and country, it’s clear that we’re going to be socially distancing for a while. I can’t accurately predict when we’ll be back in the classroom, so we need to plan as if we won’t be permitted by state officials to be back in the classroom this semester. I understand that this is a very complex issue for many of you.
If you’re studying in a program that can’t be completed online, you can expect additional information from your faculty next week about how these requirements can be completed. Your faculty have come up with some creative options.
If you don’t have the technology to complete the course online, we’re looking into options for helping fill this need. Students actively enrolled at Brookdale can expect to receive a text poll on this issue very soon. Please don’t panic — we’re putting final touches on our plan but we need your feedback.
If you’re dealing with home challenges that might interfere with your ability to concentrate or if you’re just not sure if you’ll be able to learn online, we’re asking for you to try your best and we will consider these situations if you need to appeal for a late withdrawal. All actively enrolled students will receive more information about this process.
Several of you expressed concerns about pinning ceremonies and commencement. We may need to make some adjustments, depending on how long this situation lasts, but we’re committed to celebrating your success. You will receive more details if we need to adjust any dates.

Very soon, all actively enrolled students will be receiving a message from Dr. Yesenia Madas, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs. In this message, you’ll find some excellent resources that will help in this transition, such as emails and phone numbers if you’re having trouble with a professor or need assistance with technology. I have also re-assigned one of our Deans and her entire office to assist with issues related to this transition. Click here if you need help related to the transition to online/remote learning. Just note, the staff may not be able to assist before Monday morning.

Finally, it’s really important that we respect Governor Murphy’s executive orders to stay home. We may think that our chances of becoming infected with COVID-19 are low, but the consequences of helping to spread this disease are really high. Even if the symptoms we experience are mild, we could inadvertently harm our loved ones or contribute to the overwhelming of our healthcare system. We want you, your loved ones, and our employees to stay healthy. On that note, access to all of our facilities on all of our locations continues to be restricted to only authorized personnel. The Governor’s orders are being strictly enforced by our campus police. Courses and services are being delivered remotely effective Monday, March 23 and until we are permitted to return by our state officials.

Please stay safe.