As you are aware, the History Department is operating virtually as the CDC recommends and for as long as the CDC recommends. This decision requires changes in how we communicate with you and teach you. We will conduct all classes and appointments virtually. Glena is available to answer general questions via email and I am available to help you as well. Remember that your first contact should always be your professor if you are having difficulty in a class. Our emails, as well as your faculty’s emails, are on our website: https://history.missouristate.edu/People.aspx
The classes many of us are now conducting are fundamentally different than the ones we hoped to conduct. We understand that many of you are concerned about taking those classes online. These classes will not be perfect, but they will reflect our best effort. We understand that learning the material may be more difficult for some of you. We know that many of you have family responsibilities and may have lost jobs or be working new hours. We also understand that your best effort may be different from normal right now. Many of your faculty also have similar issues; we too are caring for family members, are being pulled in many directions at once, and are worried about how we can help you. Let’s be patient with each other.
Nonetheless, we still have expectations of you. We expect that you will work with us (and we will work with you) to help you continue your college degree. We expect that you will do your best to complete the required work. Most importantly, we expect that you will communicate with us as soon as problems arise. The sooner you talk with us, the sooner we can help you.
By now your professors should have contacted you (or your class) with information on how they intend to conduct their classes. You should receive clear directions about assignments and procedures. Be patient, however, as, like you, your professors are learning new technologies and teaching methods. (I just spent an hour trying to upload a video only to discover it was too long and that I will need to redo it.) Those things will happen and on occasion, faculty may need to pivot. Faculty are also responding to many questions and contingencies. It is your responsibility to let your professors know if you are experiencing problems with technology and/or you have family and personal situations that may need some accommodations. Again, please don’t wait until the last minute to do this; give us time to help and advise you of the best course of action.
If you need an advising appointment, please contact your advisor directly. Your advisor’s name is listed on the same page as your advising notes or you can call the number given to you by the University to find out who to contact. (https://www.missouristate.edu/contact/status.aspx) You should do this as soon as possible as advisors will be answering a lot of questions right now, especially given the new pass/fail policy. For this reason, it may take them some time to get back to you.
For many of you the pass/fail option makes sense. If you have a question about whether the pass/fail option is the best one for you, make sure to contact your advisor. You may also want to discuss your standing in the class with the professor offering it. Make sure you understand how your professor intends to implement this policy. Since we were informed of this policy at the same time as were you, it may take your professor a few days to work this out. If you are a BSED students, be careful when using this option especially if you have GPA concerns. A course that you take pass/fail will not help your GPA. If you need to improve your GPA to qualify for Professional education courses, student teaching etc. For BS or BA students, remember that you need a 2.00 in your major and minor to graduate. Keep this fact in mind as you decide which courses to take pass/fail. Electing to take a history course pass/fail may affect graduate school applications. Again, speak with your advisor. Also be aware of financial aid rules. Questions about financial aid should be directed towards the Student Financial Aid Office – FinancialAid@MissouriState.edu; your advisors are not experts in financial aid rules.
Most importantly, we have a lot of confidence in you. We believe that you will continue to do well and adapt to these changes. We know that many of you want to complete the semester and do well. We look forward to celebrating your successes with you. And we hope to welcome you back on campus in the Fall. Be well and take care of yourselves as you take care of others.
Dr. Kathleen Kennedy