News Release, College of Southern Maryland
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces that it will transition to online instruction, effective Monday, March 16, as a preventative measure to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition, CSM faculty and staff have been briefed on the requirements for increased teleworking. CSM campuses will remain open.
“CSM leadership does not take this step lightly,” shared CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “We recognize the impact that the spread of COVID-19 can have on our community and see this as a preventative, reasonable, and compassionate course of action, while not disrupting instructional continuity. Moving instruction into a virtual environment limits the opportunities for transmission of the virus, which in turn eases the pressure on local healthcare providers and reduces the impact at the individual level for those who may contract COVID-19.”
In line with moving to virtual classrooms, CSM is also looking at issues surrounding conferences, ConEd courses, scheduled programs and activities (competitions and events scheduled for our campuses), as well as access to our fitness facilities. The college has also issued new travel guidance to faculty. The St. Charles Children’s Learning Center located at CSM’s La Plata Campus will stay open with normal operating hours.
Students and our communities are receiving specific information about this decision via email, CSM apps, social media and letters in the mail. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors if they have questions about online instructions.
The following guidelines apply immediately and until further notice:
- All college-related international travel is prohibited.
- All personal international travel is strongly discouraged.
- All college-related domestic air travel must receive prior authorization by the appropriate college division head.
- Employees are strongly urged to consider avoiding personal air travel or cruise line trips.
- Anyone who returns or arrives to a CSM location from a location with a CDC level 3 travel warning for COVID-19, must notify the college at least 48 hours prior to your return/arrival to the college and self-isolate using guidance from your local Health Department. Most self-isolation will last 14 days.
“We all share the same goals in this response to the coronavirus – we want to stay prepared, cautious, and healthy,” added Murphy. “CSM’s faculty and staff have worked tirelessly in the last few weeks to prepare to take their students into virtual classrooms. From the second we etched out this possibility, their passion for their students was evident. I applaud their efforts and commitment to navigating an unprecedented situation so that our students can continue to learn while we all serve in the best interests of our community.”
CSM is working closely with local, state and federal authorities, and will share information as quickly as possible when and if these new operating conditions change. All updates can be found at http://ready.csmd.edu/. For additional information about the status of COVID-19, Marylanders can call 2-1-1; text your zip code to 898-211 or TXT-211; or go line to 211md.org.