March 2020 will be a month that everyone throughout the world will remember due to the lasting implications from the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a difficult time as everyone immediately transitioned into a ‘new normal’ of remote work, and at St. Mary’s University, remote learning.

For an institution that prides itself on the closeness of community, the individualized attention paid to each and every student, and the ability to access faculty/staff/administration, St. Mary’s had to quickly pivot to ensure that our students would still receive the best possible education given the circumstances.

Thanks to everyone working together, St. Mary’s was able to transition to online class delivery for students and remote working capabilities for staff, all while providing honest and transparent communication to our students, staff, faculty and community members. It was a monumental task for a smaller institution like ours, but it is a testament to dedication that every single person at St. Mary’s has towards ensuring that our students come first, and that they are still able to receive the high-quality liberal arts and science education that St. Mary’s has become known for.

MIkayla Pritchard

For St. Mary’s University Student and member of the St. Mary’s Student Legislative Council Mikayla Pritchard the adjustment period was relatively smooth but Mikalya notes that adjusting to this new form of instruction is different for each student and offers some suggestions on how to adapt to this educational environment.

“What has been a big change for many students is the shift from the small classroom setting into the online virtual world of learning,” said Mikayla. “For those who are struggling with this change of schooling, remember to take it one day at a time. Write down a schedule for what you want to accomplish in each day of the week in order to stay on track. Take breaks when you need to. Reach out to your professors for help. Find things that motivate you to accomplish what you need to finish throughout the day.”

Mikayla credits the staff and faculty at St. Mary’s for making this transition as smooth as possible given the extraordinary circumstances everyone has now found themselves in.

“St. Mary’s University has been extremely resilient throughout this process thanks to the hard work and dedication from the staff and faculty,” said Mikayla. “Being able to have the accessibility to learn from home would not have been successful without their commitment and many sleepless nights organizing class material and understanding how the online class sessions work. It is because of their quick response that we, as students, can still be educated during this time.”

“So, Thank you very much!”

As our communities continue to navigate these changing landscapes the message at St. Mary’s and in our community is that we are all in this together. We are all learning how best to help each other, and our fellow community members to ensure that we stay healthy, stay connected and continue forward – together.