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News Release, College of Southern Maryland
La Plata, MD- The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces that it will maintain a virtual learning environment through April 30. Access to CSM’s campuses remains restricted to pre-approved and authorized personnel and all CSM work functions will continue to operate remotely through April 24. These dates may be extended as CSM joins its fellow Marylanders in the battle against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Because there remains a great deal of unknowns, we are adapting to this new normal and working hard to keep our students and employees informed,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “We are taking every necessary step we can to support the continuity of our students’ education during these extraordinary times.”
On March 19, CSM closed its campuses just four days after taking all students to an online/virtual learning environment. At that time, CSM also launched a student survey to identify student concerns and provide support.
“The results came quickly and continue to flow in,” Murphy said. “So far, we have heard from more than 500 students, many who have lost their jobs and are struggling in some way. More than 65 percent of CSM students attend college part-time, work, and care for family members. Food insecurity and loss of income are major concerns for more than half of the students who responded to the survey. The students’ needs are great.”
To address some of the issues, CSM has connected students with technology resources and has extended all payment deadlines for the 1,437 students who are on a tuition payment plan. The college is also helping financially where appropriate and working with our partners throughout Southern Maryland to connect students with needed resources.
“Helping our students make frequent and rapid adjustments in response to this pandemic is not going to change any time soon,” Murphy shared. “Many in our community have reached out to ask how they can help. I join our CSM Foundation in asking those who want to help – to please keep CSM students in your thoughts and consider helping them through the CSM Hawks Student Emergency Fund.”
Students should make sure they are monitoring their CSM student email accounts, as well as the MyLearning course shells for their individual courses, and stay in close contact with their professors if they have any questions about their courses.
CSM remains in close contact 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/.