This year has been unique — the coronavirus pandemic and the groundswell of activism around racial justice have tested the values and fundamental operations of higher education institutions across the world. At The School of Business, we have been working and learning alongside our community to address the challenges and opportunities of today and to prepare for a fall term unlike any other.
Right now, I want to address the question so many of us are considering: What will fall term look like?
To best accommodate Oregon’s public health requirements for higher education, the majority of Fall 2020 business classes will be remote or online. The PSU Coronavirus Response and Flexible Fall Term at Portland State pages are the best resources for up-to-date information, including updated course schedules with delivery formats.
I also want to share some of the ways we are ensuring we offer an impactful, rigorous and valuable graduate student experience:
Honoring student feedback
When surveyed, the majority of PSU students indicated a preference for online or remote classes. University leadership committed CARES Act funding to support digital learning across departments, including enhanced Zoom technology, training and support for remote instruction and outfitting a number of global classrooms to accommodate remote and online learning.
In an effort to address the student concerns that come with remote learning, the university will make laptops, headsets and wifi hotspots available, and is in the process of creating safe on-campus areas for students who need low-distraction places to study.
Equity in The School of Business
The School of Business has engaged in the first iteration of staff-wide antiracism trainings, and launched new remote learning technologies and an upgraded digital application portal. We continue to apply an equity lens to our student code of ethics and train our faculty to adapt their classes to a remote format.
Adapting community events
We know our community is our greatest strength, and student orientation and professional development events will require great creativity to adapt to a virtual format. We are working hard to offer meaningful online community-building and networking opportunities and strategic in-person experiences.
Things are changing every day. Once we can safely return to large scale in-person instruction, we will. Until then, we are grateful to continue shaping the future of business through inclusive, transformative learning and meaningful research from flexible formats best suited to student safety and success. Please contact us for individualized advising as needed at SBGradInfo@pdx.edu.
Julian Steele works with newly admitted Graduate Business Programs students to help them navigate Portland State systems and prepare for their program. Julian earned his M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Lewis & Clark College in 2019, and is committed to supporting special projects related to equitable student success.