For some, it was supposed to be the culmination of years in college, and a celebration of the final few months with classmates before graduation. But now colleges are online, and instead of in-person camaraderie, students are completing coursework on computers at home.
Wright State University is trying to replace some of that personal connection. The university says more than 200 faculty and staff volunteers are making personal phone calls to thousands of students. The effort, called the “RaiderStrong Outreach,” has each volunteer calling 25 to 30 students.
In a news release, Wright State Chief Information Officer Craig Woolley says, “We know people are lonely. We know people are not having a lot of human interaction.”
Sheri Stover, Director of the Instructional Design for Online Learning program, says she made 25 calls. “Those students that I talked to were so, so, so, so grateful to get a call from Wright State to check on their well-being and progress in their remote courses,” she said in the release.
The organizers had hoped for 50 volunteers, but that quickly grew to more than 200. The university says students who don’t answer are left voicemails and e-mails with how to call back and connect with someone. If students have questions about issues like housing or financial aid, they are referred to offices that can help.
Like most universities, all in-person classes at Wright State will be remote through at least the end of the Spring semester. Many of the Summer classes have also been moved online.
View the original story at whio.com