Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
Park University has moved to a modified closed status across the country. Classes will continue online without interruption.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Update 3/25/2020

PARK ALERT: Effective March 25, Park University has moved to a modified closed status across the country.  Classes will continue online without interruption.  University services remain available, although staff members considered non-essential are working virtually.  Please continue to call and email University offices.

 

Update 3/16/2020 at 10:00 am CST

Effective immediately, all University Spring II face-to-face and blended classes will move online.

 

Update 3/12/2020

Effective Monday, March 16, all face-to-face and blended classes in Parkville and Gilbert will move online for the remainder of the spring and spring 2 term.  During the first week, students will be given very limited assignments as faculty convert these classes into our online format.  While housing will remain open, we recommend that students in Parkville campus housing remain at home, if possible.

Park University will treat these classes as meeting all the requirements of face-to-face classes related to visas, veteran benefits, and all federal and state financial aid. Park will honor all academic and athletic scholarships consistent with their academic standing requirements. International students who return home and are not able to return to campus based on future travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be supported with online classes to finish their degrees. For students in housing, we will continue to support these operations, including dining services, for those who cannot return home.

For all other University locations, a decision will be communicated by Monday, March 16, by 10 a.m. Central Time.

 For classes that were already online, they will start as scheduled with no change.

Message from the President

Park University is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off-campus, is our top priority.  The situation is fluid and it is important for faculty, staff and students to take precautions to prepare for the possibility that the University could be impacted by the virus.

Therefore, we are requesting that faculty, staff and students visit this site often and read all University communications concerning COVID-19 to remain informed and prepared.

Let’s all take care of ourselves … and each other.

-Greg R. Gunderson, Ph.D.
President, Park University

Areas of the University

Faculty can access technical and pedagogical guidance, and connect to live support, through the Faculty Center for Innovation (www.innovatepark.org).

Park Pirates

The Park University athletics department announced today that in conjunction with the American Midwest Conference, all athletics practices, competitive games and team activities will be cancelled beginning on Friday, March 13 for the rest of the 2020 spring academic year.

 

Park Buccaneers

The Park University Gilbert athletics department announced today that in conjunction with the Cal Pac Conference, all athletics practices, competitive games and team activities will be cancelled beginning on Friday, March 13 for the rest of the 2020 spring academic year.

 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Park University moved all classes to a virtual learning environment on Monday, March 16, 2020. Out of concern for the health and safety of our staff and communities, we will be moving all administrative operations online, effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The vast majority of our University staff at all of our locations will be working from home and will continue to provide support and services for Park University students everywhere. We are confident that we can continue to provide world class service and support to all of our students during these uncertain times. We will continue to monitor the situation and staff will return to work when it is deemed safe to do so.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

 

The following virtual events are being hosted by Career Services

4.14 | Recruiter Q&A

Calling all current students and new graduates – jump on a quick video to chat with a recruiter to discuss everything job-search related and provide insight into the current environment.

https://park.zoom.us/j/591684514

 

4.15 | Coffee + Zoom

@ParkUCareers is joining Student Life for a Coffee + Zoom to share career resources and answer questions you might have in your personal job or internship search!

https://park.zoom.us/j/368196834

There are several ways that Park University will notify students, faculty and staff with urgent updates/information as it relates to the coronavirus:

*After registering or when reviewing your account, please verify that you are signed up to the proper group(s) by selecting one or more Campus Centers

  •  Note for those in the Kansas City area — It is highly recommended that you choose at least one campus (Parkville, Downtown Kansas City, Independence and/or Lenexa) as well as the “All Kansas City Area Campuses” group.

If you have previously registered/signed up, please access your account to ensure your information (such as phone number and e-mail address) is up to date and to ensure you are set up to receive text alerts from the campus center(s) in your area.

Please refer any questions about ParkAlert, including problems related to accessing your account, to alert.support@park.edu.

All events are cancelled until further notice. park.edu/calendars

Missouri

Emergency funds from the Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation have opened for students who are Missouri residents, and are in urgent financial need to continue their program. To fill out the application, and find out more, click the link: https://bit.ly/39mGYLM

Gilbert Students, Faculty and Staff,

We have been monitoring state and local government COVID-19 responses closely and wanted to make you aware that Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced yesterday an executive order for all Arizona residents to “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected.”

The executive order goes into effect starting at 5 p.m. today (Tuesday, March 31), and continues through Thursday, April 30 (unless extended). It urges residents to remain at home, except to engage in essential activities and services.

Things to know:

  • Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. Residents are encouraged to buy one week’s worth of supplies.
  • Outdoor activities and exercise are still permitted, but residents must practice social and physical distancing.
  • Restaurants will remain open for dine-out and delivery only.
  • Businesses that are classified as essential services by the state may remain open, but must implement social and physical distancing.
  • Non-essential businesses may continue to operate, but may not perform any in-person activities or on-site transactions.

Read the full order at https://azgovernor.gov/governor/news/2020/03/stay-home-stay-healthy-stay-connected.

If you have any questions about Gilbert Campus operations, please contact me at 408-923-0029 or Sue.Wilcox@Park.edu.

Any new or current international students or other faculty or staff members who are currently located in a country with a level 3 warning as designated by the CDC shall be notified and recommended to abide by a 14-day self-isolation upon returning to the USA and then can return to campus after Park University changes from a modified closed status.

For questions about International Admissions, please contact Kevin Vicker, 816-584-6517, kevin.vicker@park.edu

In light of the recent rapid changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library wanted to provide you with an update on our services and availability. We have created a webpage that will be kept updated with any changes as the situation progresses.

While our building on campus in Parkville is now closed and our faculty and staff are working remotely, for students and faculty at campus centers, the majority of services remain the same. We continue to provide scholarly journals and articles through our databases, as well as over 200,000 e-books through EBSCO E-Books and JSTOR. Librarians are now providing reference and research support via email, chat, and Zoom, and remote library instruction may be scheduled through the remainder of the semester.

Due to the closure of other libraries, some services such as interlibrary loan may be slower than usual. While Park is still loaning books, many of our partner libraries are not, so book requests may take longer to fill. Books that Park owns can be mailed to campus centers or directly to patron’s homes.

In addition to these services, we have a new Frequently Asked Questions page that we continue to grow day by day. Users can submit questions to librarians through a form that will help populate this page. We are also evaluating and updating our research and course guides. If you have recommendations for resources to go in these guides, please let us know.

The library will continue to offer support to our remote students and faculty, and we encourage you to utilize our online services during this time and beyond. Please reach out if you have questions, inquiries, requests, or suggestions, and please share this message with your faculty. library@park.edu

To date, Park University has fielded multiple local and national media inquiries related to COVID-19. As is University policy, all media requests should be directed to the following staff in the Office of University Engagement.

Brad Biles, Director of Communications and Public Relations, brad.biles@park.edu /  (816) 584-6888

Erik Bergrud, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, erik.bergrud@park.edu / (816) 584-6412

Military connected students:

Below is the latest information received from the VA (as of 3/17/20) concerning VA educational benefits with the recent change to online learning.

  1. Students who are enrolled in the 16-week term will not have a change in their monthly housing allowance (MHA) payments
  2. Students who are enrolled in residential classes starting Spring II will be certified as normal, unless otherwise instructed by the VA.
  3. Tuition and fees are not impacted by the recent change.

Park University’s staff is here to support you during this transition. Please reach out to your Campus Center Director, Student Success Coach, or the Global Warrior Center Staff at 816-584-6530 with any questions or concerns you have. You can also call the VA education hotline at 888-442-4551.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation together, as #OneFamily.

Community Updates from the Residence Life Office

We hope this email finds you staying well. Here are just a few reminders for those continuing to live on campus through the Hardship Application Approval process and consolidation to Copley Quad.

Policy Reminders

As mentioned in the Hardship Application, you agreed to an acknowledged the following policy updates, in addition to those already outlined in the ResLife Handbook:

NO GUESTS: Suspension of the residence hall guest policy. No non-residents permitted during the day or overnight.

NO LEAVING CAMPUS: No leaving campus unless for approved reason as expressed in Request for Hardship Exemption form. Approved reasons include: getting outside and exercising; grocery store; pharmacy; doctor/dentist; essential job; or picking up food.

POTENTIAL CURFEW HOURS: Potential implementation in the weeks to follow regarding curfew hours. Details will be shared if going into effect.

No Tolerance

The Student Code of Conduct and Residence Life Policy handbook is still in place for all students. In addition, for the duration of the semester this addendum is in place for all students living on campus with approved Hardship Exception.

Failure to follow the student code of conduct and/or Residence Life rules and regulations may result in disciplinary measures, up to and including removal from on-campus housing. There is a no tolerance approach for any policy violation moving forward.

Campus Safety

Campus Safety is fully functioning during this time, please call immediately regarding any campus safety concerns at 816-584-6444. Everyone has a part in creating a safe campus community. See something, say something.

ResLife Door Name Tags

Door decorations with name tags of occupants will go up on your doors in the next week. It is required for these to remain in place on the exterior of the door.

Campus Identification

As part of the guidelines set out by the university and Campus Safety, all individuals permitted to be on campus must wear their id card as a badge. Lanyards and plastic pouches are available for pick up at the ResLife office in Copley.

Please stop by to verify your room number and pick up the id holder. You will also need to verify if you are in bedroom A (left) or B (right).

Additionally, when swiping into Copley Quad or Thompson Student Center, please swipe only for yourself. Each resident must swipe their own id.

Laundry

Now that new washers are in the process of installation, wanted to share a few reminders about Laundry Etiquette and Expectations.

Residents are responsible for their own laundry and are encouraged to stay in the lobby areas while using the laundry facilities. ResLife is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Average laundry times are 30 minutes to wash and 45-60 minutes to dry. To avoid others handling your laundry as they may need the machine, set a timer to be prompt at removing your items.

Community Connections

Watch for more details about opportunities from Student Life to engage online.

Residence Life Contacts

Katie Payne:  1st & 2nd Floors, 1475218@park.edu
Kayla Martinez:  4th Floor, 1477223@park.edu
Jesse Patrick: 3rd Floor, 1484203@park.edu
RA on Duty: 816-839-2651
Campus Safety: 816-584-6444

Kalli Cheffey, Coordinator, kcheffey@park.edu

Tonya Wessel, Director of Residence Life at 816-584-7401, tonya.wessel@park.edu

Dr. Jayme Uden, Dean of Students, 816-584-6595, jayme.uden@park.edu

Graduate Assistants

Kennedy Mbuthi, kmbuthi@park.edu
Stefanie Rettenbacher, srettenbacher@park.edu
Eunice Apiyo, eapiyo@park.edu

 

Guide for Students Transitioning to Online Learning

 

  1. Participate in two-way communication with your instructor.

Your instructors know that you may have questions about the online transition, and they’ll do their best to give you as much information as you need. For that to work, however, you must commit to checking your university email account at least once a day.

If you have any questions or concerns about anything, be proactive in contacting your instructor. They will not consider any of your questions trivial or unnecessary—they want to hear from you, and they want you to fully understand every aspect of the new course delivery plans. And again, check that email!

  1. Learn how your instructor has modified the course.

If you’ve taken an online class before, it was probably designed explicitly for online instruction. The courses that are moving online due to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, were originally planned for blended or face-to-face instruction. In modifying those courses for online delivery, your instructor will have chosen some version of the following:

Primarily synchronous. In this model, you will continue to “meet” at your regularly scheduled time, using the Zoom videoconferencing application. Your instructor will speak to you via webcam, show slides via screen sharing, and solicit class participation comments via the “chat” feature. In short, this model attempts to replicate the face-to-face version of the course as much as possible. The main difference is that you’ll be looking at your instructor on a screen rather than in person, and you’ll submit your papers and tests through Canvas instead of handing over hard copies.

Primarily asynchronous. In this model, the instructor will not require Zoom meetings at the times/days prescribed by the schedule. Instead, he/she will ask you to participate via the Canvas discussion thread, and course content will be provided through recorded videos or lecture notes. Other elements of the class, such as the course assignments, quiz schedule, and grading plan may or may not stay the same, depending on the instructor’s preference.

Elements of both. In this model, the instructor will ask you to continue meeting via Zoom at the times/days prescribed by the schedule, or perhaps modify those meetings (for example, the instructor of a MW class might ask you to only meet via Zoom for the Monday sessions). To supplement those interactions, he/she will post prompts to facilitate class discussion threads, upload video lectures, add documents and slides to the modules, etc.

It’s important to find out early which model your instructor is using, since this will affect your personal schedule and possibly your equipment needs.

  1. Know your academic support resources.

The following resources—which provide academic tutoring and mentoring, library services, disabilities services, writing assistance, and testing services—will continue to operate during the online transition:

The Academic Success Center

URL: https://www.park.edu/academics/academic-support-center/

Phone: 816-584-6313

Library Services

URL: https://library.park.edu/home/about

Phone: 816 584-6285

The Testing Center

URL: https://www.park.edu/academics/academic-support-center/testing-center/

Phone: 816 584-6332

Disability Services

URL: https://www.park.edu/terms-and-regulations/disability-guidelines/

Phone: 816 584-6313

 

  1. Manage your time.

When your courses transition to online, it can be easy to procrastinate, especially if the courses don’t require synchronous activity. It’s therefore important to make a schedule that identifies when you’ll work on particular courses and assignments. And if your class has moved to the asynchronous model, why not use the time that you previously scheduled for the class period to work in the Canvas shell?

For the best learning experience, you’ll want to log into your Canvas shell at least four days each week. This technique will allow you to better absorb the material, to stay engaged with your classmates, and to show your commitment to an instructor who no longer gets to see you in person.

  1. Assess your equipment and space capabilities.

The main requirements for online learning are a computer and a reliable internet connection. You may also want headphones for lectures and videos, especially if you plan to do your Canvas work in public.

You also want to consider what physical space you’ll need. If you don’t have a work space at home, you should research which public libraries or community centers are still open. For students in the Kansas City and Gilbert areas, those campuses and their facilities will remain open even as classes move online.

***

Park University is confident that our experience with online learning will allow us to continue to meet the needs of our students, while taking precautions for the safety of our communities. Everyone at the University wants you to succeed. If you feel that your chances of success are being compromised by the transition to online, we want you to let us know by reaching out to your instructor, your success coach, another faculty member, or the Office of Academic Affairs. We appreciate your patience during these challenging times, and we wish you the best in this phase of your educational journey.

Study Abroad

University-related travel to any country with a Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 and/or a U.S. Department of State “Do Not Travel” warning (Level 4) or “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3) due to COVID-19 is not permitted. Thus, university-related student travel to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy is prohibited at this time. Study abroad programs in these countries have been cancelled for spring and spring break 2020.

For questions regarding Study Abroad, contact Kevin Vicker, 816-584-6517, kevin.vicker@park.edu

University Travel

All University related travel by faculty, staff and students is cancelled. Exceptions to be approved by area VP/Chief.

If you have traveled within the last 14 days internationally and/or a U.S. state reported as having more than 100 cases of COVID-19 (as reported by the CDC), please do not report to campus.

Contact your supervisor regarding continuing your work remotely during the self-isolation period.

Athletics

If you are an athlete, check with your coach for the latest information regarding travel for your sport.

 

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

WHAT IS THE RISK?

The spread of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. Check here for the latest updates.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly from person to person in the following ways:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or can be inhaled into the lungs.

Social distancing should be practiced in an attempt to reduce the frequency, proximity and duration of contact between people (both employees and students) and minimize the chances of spreading COVID-19 from person to person.

HOW DO I PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19?

Cleaning your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing and/or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoiding close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Higher-risk individuals include:
      • Older people (ages 60+)
      • People with severe chronic conditions
      • Healthcare workers caring for patients
      • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19
      • People in places with ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 
      • Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring

Take steps to protect others

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. 
  • Learn what to do if you are sick. (For tips, see “HOW DO I PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19?” below.)

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Information about coronavirus

Reported symptoms have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to the CDC, the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners).
  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis.
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS).
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks.
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus).
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders).
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease).
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

There is currently no treatment or vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

Park’s history of online learning

Park University’s online operations began with one pilot class in English in 1996. The first class was a success and very quickly the online program found its own path for the adult student. Park University has developed over 500 courses online and offers multiple online sections per term. The online learning environment provided by Park University provides flexibility, adaptability, and convenience.

Most online courses are scheduled within five eight-week terms in an academic year with classes beginning on Monday to Midnight Sunday.

Helpful Tips for Online Learning

New to Canvas? Here is a video with the features of Canvas to help make your class a success.

Tips for working from home

  • Commit to a daily schedule
  • Have a dedicated work space
  • Make sure you have reliable wifi or internet
  • Take breaks. Go for a walk or stretch.
  • Ask for help. Reach out to your professor or the Academic Support Center for assistance.

Academic Support Services

Our services are free and available to all Park students. We help our students from their freshman year all the way through graduate school.  Please select the campus location for virtual meetings when scheduling an appointment in tutortrac. Schedule an appointment today. 

Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.