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Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear University Community:

It is a bittersweet day for all of us at Point Park University. Today marks the end of finals week for the spring term and tomorrow would have been Commencement for the Class of 2020 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Those undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral program students eligible for graduation let us know in overwhelming numbers through a survey that their desire is to experience the pomp and circumstance of their great accomplishment at an in-person commencement and graduate hooding ceremony. We will do this at a time when it is safe to have large gatherings and when we can rebook the PPG Paints Arena.

While we wait for that day to arrive, I hope that you will take a moment to view a special video prepared to recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. It will be available beginning at noon Saturday on the University’s special COVID-19 information page.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan
President

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dear University Community:

Federal Government Cares Act Relief for Students

As I have reported to you over the last few weeks, the University has been waiting for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on the distribution of emergency aid for students.

Yesterday, the Department issued more guidance. We have a team of people at Point Park working on a student distribution formula based on the Federal law and this guidance. 

All students should check their Point Park email and University website daily to look for direction from the University regarding the distribution of the CARES Act emergency aid to students.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan
President

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Dear University Community:

On Monday, April 20, 2020, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf extended the stay at home order for Pennsylvania to Friday, May 8, 2020, at which time the Governor hopes to begin a “measured approach” to reopening the Commonwealth for business.  We expect to hear more details from the Governor in the coming weeks.

What does this mean to operations at Point Park University?

It means that for now and until at least May 8, if not beyond, we continue to operate remotely and follow the directives set forth by the local, state and federal governments. By doing so, we are ensuring the safety of our University community and being responsible members of the Pittsburgh community at large. 

I know this is frustrating, as we are all eager to reestablish the daily operations of the University on ground and in person. 

As the Governor and the State Secretary of Health continue to remind everyone, we are still at a point with the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania that requires us to be patient and continue to follow the measurers in place to flatten the curve of the virus in a way that will lead to the ability to safely reopen Pennsylvania for business.

As new information becomes available and as the University develops plans to resume on campus operations, I will share those details with you through these communications and on the University website.

Thank you

Paul Hennigan
President

Monday, April, 20 2020

Dear University Community:

As we wrap up the Spring 2020 term this week, I want to thank the entire University community for everything you have done to overcome obstacles none of us could have imagined just a few weeks ago as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The transition to remote learning when we did made it possible for all of us to be where we are today. Thank you!

This week, we also will make a transition in our daily communications. Over the last five weeks, we have covered a lot of ground and provided answers to important questions of the moment.  Moving forward, I urge all students, faculty and mission support staff to check their Point Park email and the University Website daily for important information that will continue to be communicated as needed.

There are still questions to be answered and decisions to be made regarding a return to full, on-ground operations when deemed safe.  I look forward to sharing this information with you as it becomes available.

Have a great week.

Paul Hennigan
President

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear University Community:

To our students and faculty – You Did it!

Today, we wrap up the last week of classes for the Spring term.

To our mission support staff, thank you for playing such a critical role in helping our students and faculty move quickly to remote education and to sustain their learning objectives. 

Next week is final exams and the spring term will be finished. 

Please stay very focused this weekend and best wishes with final exams next week.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan
President

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dear University Community:

SUMMER CAMPS 

Thank you to everyone that has an interest and asked questions about our summer camps and programs. We continue to take each day with optimism that we'll be able to offer summer camps. We expect to make a decision concerning the operational status of programming in early May. Please check the webpage specific to Community and Summer Education for an official decision.

Please understand that if we need to cancel noncredit programming, registered families will be notified directly through email. Families will receive a refund of all tuition and/or add-on costs currently paid minus any third-party fees we are unable to collect. Scholarships and acceptances will be deferred until 2021 (applicable for International Summer Dance and Summer Theatre Intensive students).

If you have an immediate questions or concerns, please reach out to summercamps@pointpark.edu for assistance. We hope we are able to deliver a memorable summer experience for our all of our participants. 

Thank you

Paul Hennigan
President

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dear University Community:

UNIVERSITY WEBINAR FOR STUDENTS
Last week, I let you know that we would be preparing a presentation to address issues we have heard from students. Some of the questions came directly from a student survey done by the Office of Institutional Research, and other questions came to me through a special link we released last week.

Using that material, we have assembled several leaders from the University and recorded a presentation that will answer questions received from our students. This format will allow for students and their families to watch when it is most convenient for them.

The presentation will be posted to the University website later today. Please watch for a separate notice from me letting you know when it is available.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CARES ACT RELIEF FOR STUDENTS
The University has applied for, but not yet received, money from the Federal CARES Act. We have a team of people working on a student distribution formula based on Federal law and student need as provided to the University through the students’ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). As soon as we have information about this Federal money, we will be in touch directly with students eligible to receive checks.

SUMMER SESSIONS ONLINE
Summer One and Summer Two sessions will be delivered solely in an online format.
All first-term summer classes begin in May, and include our 6-week, 8-week and 12-week terms. Summer Two sessions begin in June.

Center for Student Success advisors are available to assist students. For faculty, Nelson Chipman and the Online Support Staff, along with Jonas Prida, Assistant Provost, are available to work with you as you prepare for Summer sessions.

For information on all Summer courses click here.

Thank you

Paul Hennigan
President

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dear University Community:

UNIVERSITY TO HOST WEBINAR ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020

The University will host a special webinar for students Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The University recently sent a survey to all students who transitioned their on-ground classes to fully online instruction under these extremely difficult circumstances. We have received a lot of good information and questions. Thank you to those who have participated.  I, along with other University officials, will address these issues during the webinar. A link to that webinar will be available Wednesday in the daily communication from the President’s office.

SUMMER TWO SESSION ONLINE

We recently announced that Summer One courses would be offered online. The University has determined that Summer Two courses also will be offered online. Making this decision now will allow for time needed so students and faculty can make decision best for their individual circumstances.

For students, the Center for Student Success is ready to assist you. For faculty, Nelson Chipman and the Online Support Staff, along with Jonas Prida, Assistant Provost, are available to help get you ready for online summer offerings.

While Summer sessions proceed remotely, I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in the Fall. 

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan
President

MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2020

Dear University Community:

STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE REFUNDS

All Students who paid the $185 student activity fee for the Spring term will receive a $70 pro-rata student activity fee refund. These students will receive an email today, Monday, April 13, 2020, from the Student Accounts Department containing additional information.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CARES ACT RELIEF FOR STUDENTS

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education started to issue guidance to all colleges and universities throughout the country regarding the funds to be used for “emergency aid to students.” Based on that guidance, the money will be used by Point Park for all undergraduate students based on financial need. Each undergraduate student is eligible to have an individualized Financial Aid package through the University based on need, merit and/or talent. These Financial Aid packages were determined prior to the start of the Spring or Fall term based on the student’s completion of the confidential Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is based on confidential Federal Tax Returns. We will use these need based calculations to determine distribution of Federal emergency student aid money. Details regarding the distribution of this money will be made available as soon as we have more direction from the U.S. Department of Education.

COMMENCEMENT AND GRADUATE HOODING CEREMONIES

Based on the results of a survey sent to the 900 students in the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs eligible to graduate this Spring, the University will not hold a virtual event and will wait to schedule an in-person commencement and graduate hooding ceremony at a time when it is safe to have large gatherings and we are able to rebook the PPG Paints Arena. We thank all who have offered their thoughts on this important milestone moment for the Class of 2020. The University looks forward to honoring the accomplishments of these students.

UNIVERSITY TO HOST WEBINAR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020

The University recently sent a survey to all students who transitioned their on-ground classes to fully online instruction under these extremely difficult circumstances. We have received a lot of good information and questions. Thank you to those who have participated. I, along with other University officials, will host a Webinar, which will be available Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to address these issues. A link to that webinar will be available on Wednesday in the daily communication from the President’s Office.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan
President

Friday, April 10, 2020

Dear University Community:

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CARES ACT RELIEF FOR STUDENTS

On Thursday, April 9, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education started to issue guidance to all colleges and universities throughout the country regarding the funds to be used for “emergency aid to students.” Based on this guidance, this money will be used by Point Park for all undergraduate students based on financial need. Each undergraduate student is eligible to have an individualized Financial Aid package through the University based on need, merit and/or talent. These Financial Aid packages were determined prior to the start of the Spring or Fall term based on the student’s completion of the confidential Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is based on confidential Federal Tax Returns. We will use these need based calculations to determine distribution of Federal emergency student aid money. Details regarding the distribution of this money will be made available as soon as we have more direction from the U.S. Department of Education and could be as early as next week.

UNIVERSITY TO HOST WEBINAR NEXT WEEK

The University recently sent a survey to all students who transitioned their on-ground classes to fully online instruction under these extremely difficult circumstances. We have received a lot of good information and questions. Thank you to those who have participated. I, along with other University officials, will host a webinar, which will be available next week, to address these questions and others that you may have. If you have a question, please email it to questions@pointpark.edu by noon Monday.

COMMENCEMENT AND GRADUATE HOODING CEREMONIES

On Monday, April 13, 2020, we will announce the results of the survey sent to the 900 students in the Class of 2020 in the undergraduate, master’s or doctoral programs eligible to graduate this Spring. The results of the survey will guide the University in understanding the best way to honor the accomplishments of these students.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Dear University Community:

SUMMER TWO SESSION ONLINE

We recently announced that Summer One courses would be offered on line.  After much consideration and taking into account the current situation with COVID-19, the University has determined that Summer Two courses also will be offered online. Making this decision now will allow students and faculty to have the time they need to make decisions best for their individual circumstances.

For students, the Center for Student Success is ready to assist you.

For faculty, Nelson Chipman and the Online Support Staff, along with Jonas Prida, Assistant Provost, are available to work with you to help prepare for online summer offerings.

As Summer sessions proceed remotely, I look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in the Fall. 

COMMENCEMENT SURVEY ALERT

If you are one of the 900 students in the Class of 2020 eligible to graduate in the undergraduate, master’s or doctoral programs, please check your inbox for an important survey sent by Keith Paylo, Vice President for Student Affairs. Responses are due by Friday, April 10, 2020. As the University works to honor your accomplishments, we want to make sure we know what your thoughts are regarding when and how a ceremony should take place. As stated earlier, the in-person Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, are postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

We will make an announcement Monday on a future commencement ceremony.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO LEARN ABOUT UNIVERSITY PASS/NO CREDIT OPTION

If you missed the Webinar featuring The Center for Student Success and Dr. Jonas Prida you can catch it again here. Also, as a reminder, students can view a YouTube video that describes the process in more detail. That video can be found here. Please take advantage of these opportunities to become more informed about this grading option.

VIRTUAL STARS DAY

I would like all of us to be sure to thank the mission support staff at Point Park for maintaining the remote operations of the University. Monday, April 13, 2020, is the Staff STARS (Striving to Achieve Remarkable Service) Day. This year, STARS day will be a virtual celebration. I encourage all staff to wear your STARS shirt and share your new work environment with stars@pointpark.edu.

Thank you,

Paul Hennigan

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Dear University Community,

Please see the following important items:

COMMENCEMENT SURVEY ALERT

If you are one of the 900 students in the Class of 2020 eligible to graduate in the undergraduate, master’s or doctoral programs, please check your inbox for an important survey sent by Keith Paylo, Vice President for Student Affairs. Responses are due by Friday, April 10, 2020. As the University works to honor your accomplishments, we want to make sure we know what your thoughts are regarding when and how a ceremony should take place. As stated earlier, the in-person Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, are postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

SUMMER SESSION ONE ONLINE

All first-term summer classes that begin in May, which include our 6-week, 8-week and 12-week terms, will be delivered solely in an online format. You can find all the information regarding Summer One here. Please consult with your CSS advisor and check course schedules regularly to get the most up-to-date information. We will have a decision later this week on Summer Two classes that begin in June. 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO LEARN ABOUT UNIVERSITY PASS/NO CREDIT OPTION

If you missed the Webinar featuring The Center for Student Success and Dr. Jonas Prida you can catch it again here. Also, as a reminder, students can view a YouTube video that describes the process in more detail. That video can be found here. Please take advantage of these opportunities to become more informed about this grading option.

Thank You,

Paul Hennigan

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dear University Community:

As our academic coursework and operations are currently in a remote format, and with just a few weeks remaining in the Spring term, it is time for students and faculty to begin thinking about Summer and Fall classes.

SUMMER SESSION ONE ONLINE

All first-term summer classes that begin in May, which include our 6-week, 8-week and 12-week terms, will be delivered solely in an online format. You can find all the information regarding Summer One here.  Please consult with your CSS advisor and check course schedules regularly to get the most up-to-date information. We will have a decision later this week on Summer Two classes that begin in June.

FALL SEMESTER

Point Park University is planning for Fall semester to be on-ground and in-person with normal University operations. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus!

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO LEARN ABOUT UNIVERSITY PASS/NO CREDIT OPTION

If you missed the Webinar featuring The Center for Student Success and Dr. Jonas Prida you can catch it again here. Also, as a reminder, students can view a YouTube video that describes the process in more detail. That video can be found here. Please take advantage of these opportunities to become more informed about this grading option.

Thank you

Paul Hennigan

Monday, April 6, 2020

Dear University Community:

There are two weeks of classes and one week of finals remaining in the spring term. Let’s all hang together and finish as best we can under this incredible set of circumstances.

POINT PARK NETWORK OF SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Student Affairs has an excellent network of support services for students.  They can be especially helpful as we head into the final weeks of the semester. Click here to see the complete rundown of services available to help you.

We will continue to provide these daily updates with information that can assist our students, faculty and staff.

Stay safe. Stay home.

Paul Hennigan

Friday, April 3, 2020

Dear University Community: 

It's been another intense week.

I hope this weekend you can recharge, regroup, take care of yourself and loved ones.

Stay Safe.  Stay Home.

Until next week,

Paul Hennigan

APRIL 2, 2020 

Dear University Community:

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf expanded the stay at home order to cover all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. The Governor’s stay at home order is in effect until April 30, 2020. 

We will keep you informed on directives from federal, state and local governments, and their impact on the University community.  

Here are important announcements for today:

SCAM ALERT

Unfortunately, online scams and phishing (the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information on line) don't diminish during a crisis. Point Park works with a network of federal agencies to stay abreast of scamming activity. There are indications of an increase in fraudulent activity online. Please be vigilant of emails you receive that ask for sensitive information, especially emails saying they are related to the federal stimulus CARES Act. Use caution and, when in doubt, reach out to the University IT Help Desk for assistance. 

SCHOOLOGY, LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Some of you may have experienced issues with our learning management system, Schoology, this week. Please note that the issues experienced are not unique to Point Park but are occurring nationally. Schoology usage has increased more than 400 percent in the past couple of weeks with schools moving to remote delivery. We have assurances from Schoology that they are working 24/7 to make adjustments to handle capacity. If you are interested in learning more, kindly see the blog post from Schoology that explains the steps they are taking.

COMMENCEMENT

As stated earlier, the in-person Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, are postponed. The University will continue to work toward an appropriate, in-person commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 when it is safe. However, the University does want to honor the graduates this spring with appropriate, virtual ceremonies. Keith Paylo, Vice President for Student Affairs, is reaching out to the 888 students who have registered to graduate, as well as academic leaders, to solicit suggestions for a virtual ceremony.  

UNIVERSITY PASS/NO CREDIT OPTION INFORMATION

The Center for Student Success and Dr. Jonas Prida are hosting a webinar to answer questions about the University’s Pass/No Credit option. The webinar will be from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, April 6, 2020. Students can register for the webinar here.

Also, as a reminder, students can view a YouTube video that describes the process in more detail. That video can be found here.

Please take advantage of these opportunities to become more informed about this grading option.

SUMMER SESSION ONE ONLINE

All first-term summer classes that begin in May, which include our 6-week, 8-week and 12-week terms, will be delivered solely in an online format. The University will not run any on-ground courses that begin in May. 

We have not made any decision on summer classes that begin in June. Our goal is to make a decision as soon as possible in order to provide as much time for amendments to course schedules as needed.

Please consult with your CSS advisor and check course schedules regularly to get the most up-to-date information.

POINT PARK CONNECTING WITH NEW STUDENTS

Admissions counselors are working remotely and connecting virtually with ALL prospective students to ensure, for now, a virtual connection.

We’ve launched Admitted Students Day 2.0 to empower prospective undergraduate students and families to connect with us at their convenience. We’ve taken the essential elements of the on-campus Admitted Students Day program and delivered them remotely to visitors. This unique program helps academically admitted students and their families understand why Point Park University is the right school for them.

#POINTPARKTOGETHERAPART

Check out what’s going on at #PointParkTogetherApart on Instagram and Facebook. It’s a great place to stay in touch, get inspiration and see how the University community is doing while we all work and study virtually.

Stay safe. Stay home.

Thank you

Paul Hennigan

APRIL 1, 2020

Dear University Community:

Following are some important announcements for today:

UNIVERSITY PASS/NO CREDIT OPTION INFORMATION

The Center for Student Success and Dr. Jonas Prida are hosting a webinar to answer questions about the University’s Pass/No Credit option. The webinar will be from 11 a.m. to noon Monday, April 6, 2020. Students can register for the webinar here.

Also, as a reminder, students can view a YouTube video that describes the process in more detail. That video can be found here.

Please take advantage of these opportunities to become more informed about this grading option.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RELIEF ACT

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Federal government approved the CARES Act, providing $14 billion for Higher Education in an Emergency Stabilization Fund. At this time, there are no clear guidelines on when the money will arrive at schools and exactly how it can be spent. Point Park, along with many schools, are working hard to get clear guidance on exactly how this money can be used and how it may assist students. We will keep you posted as information becomes available. 

#POINTPARKTOGETHERAPART

It’s always a great time to share how you are doing while we are all away from campus. If you wish to share how you are adapting or want to see how others are taking on the challenge of working remotely, check out #PointParkTogetherApart on Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you

Paul Hennigan