BY SADIE JONES
With a predicted crest of 42 feet, a flood is likely. MSUM has a plan to keep students moving forward with their education.
In 2009, five faculty and five deans developed an emergency instruction system to help instructors and students communicate and hand in assignments if there was an H1N1 epidemic at MSUM. Tim Borchers, dean of arts and humanities, explained that the plan was also suitable for use with the 2011 flood.
â€œWeâ€™re still planning to have the expectation that learning will continue,â€ Borchers said. â€œIt might be youâ€™re sandbagging during the day and going home and writing a paper to send to your instructor that night. But some kind of instructional activity will happen.â€
Instructors should be providing information to their students in the upcoming weeks
about how their specific class will continue. Options such as Desire to Learn, Moodle and even the Postal Service have been cited as some of the ways instructors may choose to stay in contact with students and continue the learning experience.
â€œThe federal government has rules for how long we will teach,â€ Borchers said. â€œSo if we donâ€™t make that, for some reason, and I think the chance of this happening is minuscule, they could take all the financial aid from students. So if you get any kind of federal financial aid they could say â€˜oh you didnâ€™t learn enough this semester so weâ€™re going to take that,â€™ so we need to avoid that. So thatâ€™s one reason a faculty member canâ€™t just say â€˜weâ€™re done.â€™â€
By not trying to find an alternative way to continue instruction, MSUM would also violate policies that have been set in place by MnSCU. Borchers also thinks it would leave students unprepared.
â€œFor most classes, if the students just stopped learning, theyâ€™re not going to be ready to go to the next semester so theyâ€™re going to be at a real disadvantage,â€ Borchers said.
Borchers remains optimistic and feels that preparation will be a big advantage in this yearâ€™s flood fight.
â€œI think the chances are good that weâ€™re not really going to see much break at all in our actions,â€ Borchers said. â€œBecause I think the city of Moorhead has done a lot to prepare, the city of Fargo has done a lot, theyâ€™re already making sandbags. So I think itâ€™s going to be a lot different than it was in 2009.â€
To read more from this writer, view her blog at sadielizjones.blogspot.com