With the fall semester coming to a close, we are excited to share our December 2020 newsletter. In this edition, you can find information on the fall 2020 semester, the college's plans for the Spring 2021 semester, important information and updates from Student Health Services, Health & Wellness, Career & Leadership, TCNJ Athletics and more! There is also an introduction to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jeffrey Osborn and a feature on the Division of Inclusive Excellence and TCNJ Votes! Finally, we have included important housing information for the spring and a list of important dates and deadlines for your reference.
Wishing you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season!
Introduction from the Vice President
for Student Affairs
Dear Parent and Family Members,
Nearly anyone I ask about the year 2020, unquestionably I hear similar responses. The year 2020 has been EXTRAordinary! Unequivocally, I would say the same. With a disrupted spring 2020 that has continued into the fall semester, escalated by the national unrest on issues of racial injustice, and an intense national election season, we have worked diligently to protect the core of our mission of educating students that I hope proves evident as you read further through this newsletter.
The core of Student Affairs is to bring people together for the purpose of education and development. The public health challenge of 2020 has compelled us to reimagine how we meet students where they are and ensure there are opportunities for engagement with the community that makes up The College of New Jersey albeit in a very different manner. Along with our talented students, the Office of Student Involvement did a fantastic job in creating content which resulted in a digitally engaged student body. As we prepare for the spring semester, our digital efforts in student engagement will continue and if you are interested, you can always see what’s going on by checking out Virtual Opportunities.
Our campus also remains committed to maintaining an inclusive environment for all members of our community. The Board of Trustees just recently passed a resolution affirming our commitment to Racial and Social Justice and Inclusion. This commitment combined with the recent development of the Division of Inclusive Excellence will serve as important guidance as we continue to develop students. More can be found on the website for Inclusive Excellence.
The way forward will be a challenging path to be sure and it will be important for your student to understand as well as utilize the resources at the College as needed. We look forward to welcoming our students back in the spring but in order to do so, it will be important that students (and guardians) understand the new rules of engagement for the spring semester such as flu vaccine requirement, mask wearing when on campus, limitations of group sizes, and weekly testing for COVID-19 to name a few.
Take a few moments to read through this newsletter to see a recap of the fall and a preview for the spring.
Have a wonderful holiday and winter break season!
Sean O. Stallings
Vice President of Student Affairs
Introduction of the New Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: Jeffrey M. Osborn
Dear Parents and Family Members,
As the Fall term draws to a close and I complete my first semester as provost and vice president for academic affairs, I am delighted to introduce myself.
After 14 years serving the TCNJ community as dean of the School of Science and six months in my new role, I remain as excited to walk onto the campus today as I was in 2006, even as that stroll is currently onto a largely virtual setting.
Although the Fall 2020 semester has brought a number of challenges, it has also brought new opportunities. Our faculty, students, and staff have met the moment and demonstrated tremendous growth and resilience by adopting new approaches to teaching, learning, and providing services. This was beautifully illustrated by our students when they surprised their professor with a special Zoom thank you on the last day of class. The gesture of authentic gratitude for their professor was captured on video, viewed over 5 million times, covered by the national media, and inspired students on many other college and university campuses. This is just one example of the kind of personalized education that is happening at TCNJ with our dedicated and caring faculty and our thoughtful and engaged students.
As we look ahead to the Spring 2021 semester, the TCNJ Spring Flex website has the most up to date information on the college’s plan for on-campus and remote learning. For flex courses—which will combine in-person and remote instruction—we conducted a successful flex course pilot program in October to ensure that we have the facilities, technology, and policies in place to provide engaging and safe instruction in our enhanced classrooms.
We understand that this has been a challenging and unusual semester, and we look forward to the other side of this pandemic when we can all gather on campus again for a more comprehensive residential experience. In the meantime, I hope that you are all healthy and safe and wish you, your families, and everyone you hold dear the best for the upcoming holiday season.
Jeffrey M. Osborn
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
All members of the community who reside on campus or spend any amount of time on campus are asked to take Roscoe’s Pledge, which follows, to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and others.
TCNJ Fall 2020: Lion Strong A Plan for Remote Learning
TCNJ Fall semester was predicated on Governor Murphy moving the state to stage 3 of its reopening plan. Influenced by the uptick in the rate of transmission in New Jersey, the state remained in stage 2 with the likelihood of staying at this stage late into the fall. Stage 2 placed ongoing restrictions on our on-campus operations, and for additional reasons, TCNJ offered all fall 2020 courses in remote-only mode, housed only a small population of residential students on campus, and further reduced in-person, on-campus activity.
For more information on the college's plan for the fall semester click here.
TCNJ Spring Flex 2021 A Plan for On-Campus and Remote Learning
As we look forward to the spring semester, the most common question of the moment is “what will spring 2021 look like?” While the course of the pandemic is uncertain, we are planning for a flexible return to campus similar to what we had hoped to implement this fall. As Provost Osborn said in his presentation to campus, the Readiness Task Forces (Health and Safety; Academic Affairs; Student Experience; Campus Operations; and External Relations) are completing their assessments of lessons learned and applying best practices from the experience of TCNJ and other colleges and universities.
Spring 2021 instruction will be a combination of in-person and remote instruction to those who are eager and able to return to campus and fully remote teaching and learning for faculty and students who may not be able to come to campus. Regardless of the mode of class delivery, students can still expect small, dynamic classes featuring personalized and engaged learning from TCNJ faculty. Nearly all faculty members have participated in workshops to further enhance their remote and flex instruction skills. And all classrooms have been outfitted with new technology to enable remote access to flex instruction.
The spring semester will start one week later, with classes beginning on Monday, February 1, and exams ending on Tuesday, May 18. In alignment with public health guidance, there will not be a weeklong spring break. However, the semester will include two independent break days: Thursday, March 18, and Tuesday, March 30. View the full academic calendar.
TCNJ Votes! is a Political Coalition of faculty & student organizations, the Center for Community Engagement, and the Office of Career and Leadership Development. Their goal is to improve the number of TCNJ students voters by preparing and educating students about how politics and elections impact their lives now and in the future, and providing opportunities for them to get involved.
Leading up to the 2020 election, TCNJ Votes! held multiple virtual events such as, viewing the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates, Town Hall meetings, and “Get out the Vote” Text Bank Party to target young voters to show up to vote!
TCNJ Votes! continues to host virtual events, even after the election!
TCNJ’s Chair of the Department of Political Science, Dr. Dan Bowen, hosted a forum “Making Sense of the 2020 President Election.”
TCNJ’s Mental Health Services hosts ongoing “Let’s Talk” sessions which are very brief, informal, nonclinical, confidential conversations with clinicians from TCNJ’s Mental Health Services, Wednesday – Friday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.
TCNJ’s Office of Inclusive Excellence hosts ongoing “Can We Just Talk” sessions which are informal group discussions, to discuss current events, First Friday of every month at 5:30pm
To find out more ways to participate in political engagement activities at TCNJ and view upcoming events, please visit here.
TCNJ Votes! also created the “Why I Vote” video series where TCNJ faculty and staff share why they think it is important to vote. You can check out why our TCNJ faculty and staff vote here.
TCNJ Student Health Services “Fall 2020: A Semester and Year Like No Other Before at TCNJ Student Health Services”
(stock photo, Google Images, Telemedicine)
As we head into the winter holidays and look back on this unprecedented year, we find it exhilarating and reassuring to know that the work of TCNJ Student Health Services has continued uninterrupted and has flourished despite the challenges unique to the year 2020 and this global COVID-19 pandemic.
When the TCNJ campus moved to remote learning in March 2020 at the start of the global pandemic and in response to local, state and national health and government directives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, TCNJ Student Health Services also closed its in-person patient care services. However, Student Health Services was able to quickly adapt and switch its business platform to launch and implement a robust telemedicine practice. The nurse practitioners and physicians with Student Health Services were able to continue to outreach to students identified at risk of health care inequities and provide comprehensive remote health care services including the management of illness and wellness promotion through diagnostic testing and prescriptions as needed.
Throughout the summer of 2020, Student Health Services worked endlessly to implement new COVID-19 health and safety measures in its physical office space within Eickhoff Hall. Environmental changes, the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) and changes made to the workflow and patient flow of Student Health Services allowed the clinical and office staff to safely return to Student Health Services through a team-based staffing model alternating working from home and working from within the office. When the Fall 2020 semester began, the healthcare needs of TCNJ students continued to be successfully met with this hybrid approach to healthcare delivery. Students were scheduled and seen through both remote and in-person appointments based on their needs and from the end of August to the end of November, over 800 patient care appointments occurred! Furthermore, traditional services offered by Student Health Services such as on-campus flu clinics continued in Fall 2020 with modifications such as physical distancing and mask wearing precautions. A new service provided in Fall 2020 by Student Health Services was testing for COVID-19 and students were able to get on-campus testing.
As we end the Fall semester and continue looking ahead to the Spring 2021 semester, Student Health Services continues its commitment to providing high-quality, cost-effective and culturally sensitive health care to TCNJ students. Appointment offerings will most likely continue to be both remote and in-person. Student Health Services will continue its fight against COVID-19 and anticipates ongoing participation in COVID-19 testing, continued participation on campus-wide advisory committees for health and safety measures related to COVID-19 and involvement in the navigation of COVID-19 vaccination efforts under the guidance of local, state and federal health authorities.
In the meantime, Student Health Services strongly encourages all TCNJ students, staff and faculty to get the flu vaccine this season in an effort to reduce the burden upon the healthcare system that would occur with the co-circulation of flu and COVID-19.
So “Don’t Delay, Vaccinate Today” and enjoy your holiday season!
What's New at TCNJ?
Here's some of the latest news available about The College of New Jersey!
Moving the TCNJ community to embrace broader diversity lands on James Felton’s shoulders
Stay updated with more news about the Collegehere.
Spring Housing Information By the Department of Residential Education & Housing
As we repopulate our campus, a careful risk assessment and staged approach is needed to reduce the chances of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases that would jeopardize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as Ewing Township residents. The decision to place a single student in each room, thereby reducing the density of students in residence halls, will support physical distancing measures, decrease transmission of COVID-19, and support the health and safety of our community. In order to be considered for the spring assignment process, students should have completed the Spring 2021 Housing Application in My Housing by Friday, November 13, 2020.
Housing assignments were announced starting Monday, November 30, 2020 and then on a rolling basis as spaces become available through the end of the fall semester, over winter break and into the spring semester.
Occupancy shall be available to all matriculated and registered undergraduate students. However, if space is limited, housing priority consideration will be provided to first year students, seniors, students in programs that require housing and out-of-state residents. Additional consideration will be provided to students who need to be on campus for in person classes and athletic participation. All residential students are required to be registered full time.
In order to ensure everyone’s safety, Residential Education & Housing has been developing new policies and procedures which are included in Residential Expectations: Behavioral Expectations and Regulations. However, it is important to note that for Spring 2021 no guests will be permitted in the residence halls or your room, including, but not limited to, students from your residence hall, other residence halls and family. The one exception is during move-in and move-out times, when each resident is permitted two support persons to help with the move. It is asked that you carefully review the contract for spring 2021 and acknowledge the changes to the traditional TCNJ residential experience when applying. If you sign the contract during this application process but later change your mind, you may do so by Monday, January 11, 2021, in My Housing without penalty.
For spring 2021 all residential students must receive a seasonal flu vaccination and be tested for COVID-19 prior to their scheduled date to live on campus. Flu vaccination must be received after July 2020. The record of the student flu vaccination should be uploaded into OWL for review and verification by Student Health Services. We ask that you do this as soon as possible. Please note that no student is required to receive a vaccination that is medically contraindicated for them. To apply for a medical exemption, please see instructions on the Pre Entrance Health Requirements webpage.
Students are required to provide a NEGATIVE COVID-19 test record that includes the student name, date of test collection, facility where the test was done and the result. This test must be collected WITHIN 7 DAYS OF THE STUDENT’S SCHEDULED DATE TO LIVE ON CAMPUS (January 24, 2021 to January 30, 2021 for most students). Antibody (blood test) results are NOT acceptable. Tests that are collected more than 7 days prior to living on campus will not be accepted. The record of this test must be uploaded into OWL for review and verification by Student Health Services. Please visit COVID-19 Test Site Finder to locate a COVID-19 test facility near you.
It is important to understand that entry to live in TCNJ housing is contingent on completing the above requirements.
Additionally, all residential students will be tested for COVID on a weekly basis for the entire spring semester. COVID testing will be done on campus and will be required in order for a student to remain in housing. The College is exploring how insurance companies might be billed for this service but does not expect students to bear the cost of these tests. We will provide more information about this service as it becomes available. If a student tests positive for COVID or is found to be a close contact of someone with a COVID diagnosis, the resident will need to relocate to Quarantine and Isolation housing until they are cleared by Student Health Services or the Contact Tracing Team and they will need to follow all Quarantine and Isolation requirements. We recommend all students have a "go bag" ready in the event this happens to them. More information about this process and recommended preparations will be emailed in November.
TCNJ is committed to supporting our students in their return to campus during this unprecedented time and recognizes the value of the on-campus residential experience. We look forward to your application and will work diligently to provide you with timely updates.
Residential Education and Housing
TCNJ Health & Wellness Newsletter By TCNJ's Health and Wellness Portfolio
Hello Lions! Well, we’ve made it through the first couple of months of the semester during one of the most challenging times in modern history. The ongoing pandemic is not the only thing impacting our health and wellness these days. Struggles maintaining social connections, difficulty with technology, economic hardships, systemic racism, white supremacy, disinformation, and violent protests, to name a few, bombard the airways and contribute to the increasing stress we are all feeling. We are also in the midst of one of the most divisive, partisan (and consequential) presidential elections of our lifetimes. On the upside, as the demands of our new normal have begun to settle in, many have honed skills in being flexible, patient, creative, compassionate, persistent, and ultimately more resilient.
For more information from TCNJ Mental Health Services, you can view their latest newsletter here.
TCNJ Athletics Spring Update By Barry Beal
To access the November 2020 Athletics Newsletter click here.
The College of New Jersey announced its plans for the Spring 2021 semester, and that announcement included plans for varsity intercollegiate competition.
"A major change from the fall semester plan is TCNJ's spring intentions for varsity athletics," said TCNJ President Dr. Kathryn A. Foster. "In alignment with and pending decisions from the New Jersey Athletic Conference, TCNJ plans to participate in winter and spring varsity sports. Varsity athletes will hear directly from the Department of Athletics with information on eligibility, testing protocol, training and team schedules, including practice sessions, in coming weeks.
"The college is exploring competitive opportunities for fall sports during the spring semester. Information will be forthcoming. Per NCAA Division III guidance, testing protocol for varsity athletes may vary from that of other students."
Voluntary workouts began on campus Monday, November 2. Voluntary workouts for fall and spring sports occurred for three weeks, between Monday, November 2, and Friday, November 20. Winter sports also began on November 2 and will continue workouts through December 18 in preparation for a competition schedule beginning in January.
Winter sports will return early to campus after the holidays in late December or early January, with competitions scheduled to begin in the middle or end of January.
Spring sports are scheduled to begin as they normally would once classes begin. Information will be forthcoming on participation opportunities for fall sports during the spring semester.
TCNJ Athletics will provide more information as it becomes available in the coming weeks.
For more information on Spring Flex '21, please click here.
Career & Leadership COVID-19 Career Resources
The Career and Leadership Development Staff are committed to assisting you as you continue with your career preparation during this challenging time. Please find below resources created or gathered by staff to assist you:
State of New Jersey COVID-19 Jobs and Hiring Portal
The State of New Jersey has developed a centralized resource to match talent with opportunities in industries on the front lines of serving New Jerseyans during the outbreak. Learn more about who is hiring at https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov/
The State of New Jersey is hiring contact tracers. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to New Jersey’s contact tracing efforts in both a volunteer or paid capacity. To learn more and to express interest in this role, please visit https://covid19.nj.gov/forms/tracer.
Resumé Open Hours
Students will schedule to meet with an advisor 1on1 for a 15 minute appointment during the below times. You must have a draft resume to participate. Please use Handshake and select “15 Minute Resume Review” as your appointment to schedule your resume review. Once your appointment is confirmed a Zoom link will be provided via the Handshake comments in your appointment. Please plan to share your resume via a Google doc for review and comments.
Reviews will be completed online. Please share your resume via Google Doc with firstname.lastname@example.org. An advisor will provide feedback using the comment tool within 48 business hours, depending on volume of requests. Please note, advisors will not directly edit your resume. You must have a draft resume to participate.
Advisors will hold remote appointments. Students can choose phone or video option when requesting an appointment through Handshake. Each advisor will provide specific connection information once the appointment is confirmed.
Students are encouraged to complete their Handshake profile, fill in their Career Interests, utilize the job board, register for virtual events, and finally visit their Get Hired Remotely page for tips & advice.
Please visit this page to be updated throughout the semester.
Division of Inclusive Excellence
Under the leadership of Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, James Felton III, the college has made steady progress toward the infrastructure and outcomes demonstrating its commitment to inclusive excellence. In an email sent out to the college, Vice President Felton highlighted a number of updates and important actions from the past few weeks. One of the actions was the creation of a College-Wide Taskforce on Anti-racism, which was one of three of President Foster’s priorities from her August Welcome Back Address. The group, composed of faculty, staff and students, is currently developing the implementation plan and coordinating activities.
Finalizing an anti-racism resource webpage
Fostering education and professional development programs for faculty, staff, and students
Establishing a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Center for the campus and local community
Coordinating an anti-racism diversity narratives project (see more below)
Developing an annual assessment of anti-racism initiatives across the campus. The working group will provide regular updates beginning in February.
The Division of Inclusive Excellence will be continuing their anti-racism initiatives into the Spring 2021 semester and years ahead.
Learn more about the Division of Inclusive Excellence here.
Title IX By Chelsea Jacoby, Title IX Coordinator
What is Title IX and who does it protect? In what ways can the Title IX Office support your student? How can someone submit a Title IX Report? In what capacity can you speak to Title IX staff on behalf of your student?
Get the answers to all of these questions and more through our Title IX Feature.
Significant Dates and Deadlines
Exam Period: 12/9/20-12/15/20
Residence Halls close for winter break: 12/15/20, 8pm
Deadline to cancel the Spring 2021 housing contract without penalty: 1/11/2021 (Please note that cancellation requests received between 1/12/2021 and 3/9/2021 will be assessed a cancellation fee.)
Residence Halls reopen for the spring semester: 1/27/21-1/30/21
First Day of Spring Classes: Monday, 2/1/21
Spring Semester Course Add/Drop Deadline: 2/9/21
Last day to apply for May, August, and December 2021 and January 2022 graduations without a $35 late fee: 2/18/21
Last day to submit change of major forms for Fall 2021 registration: 3/5/21
Residence Halls close for the spring semester: 5/18/21, 8pm
RENTAL TEXTBOOKS ARE DUE BY 12/15!
Here are the 3 main ways to return your rentals! Please make sure to take out all post its. If you’re unsure what you rented, you can always check out your order history via your bookstore account online.
Are You a TCNJ Legacy Family? Let us Know!
A Legacy at The College of New Jersey is an alumna/alumnus or current student who is the grandchild, child, or sibling of another TCNJ alumna/alumnus or current student. The Office of Alumni Affairs hosts special events for Legacy families throughout the year. Please let us know if you are a TCNJ Legacy family by clicking here to fill out our survey.
First Time College Parent/Family Member?
If so, we have articles on our website focused on transitioning to college for parents and families. You can find articles and resources on our website here.