Message to all students from the Dean 4/23
Dear Moody College Students:
These past few weeks have been remarkable in the Moody College of Communication. Against a backdrop of uncertainty and crisis, we are inspired by your perseverance and ability to adapt. Your small acts of resilience and courage are collectively generating the energy and ingenuity that will lead us forward into the next phase of teaching and learning during this pandemic response.
Registration for Summer and Fall 2020 begins on Monday, April 27, and we remain committed to helping you continue your studies toward your degree. We know that many questions remain about the Fall semester, including whether classes will be in-person, online, or a combination of both; whether we can safely access our academic facilities and equipment; whether we can hold in-person events; and many more.
Although many of these questions cannot be answered until closer to the start of classes, it is important to remember that Moody College remains fully committed to offering the highest quality courses and educational experiences that is possible to offer. We will adapt to whatever challenges we will face as a community and we will “Keep Moody Moody” this Fall whatever happens. We expect the university to release more plans for the Fall semester by the end of June.
As you plan for Summer and Fall registration, please continue using the STAR system for undergraduate student advising and graduate students should continue working with the graduate advisor in your specific program. Many academic procedures and policies have been updated for undergraduate students and graduate students, so please check these pages often for updates.
We regret that many summer employment and internship opportunities have been lost due to the pandemic, and we will do everything we can to help you seek new experiential learning opportunities in the future. As an alternative, we encourage you to take online courses this summer through UT Austin (or elsewhere) to continue progress toward your degree. The university has increased the number of available courses and reduced summer tuition for most undergraduate students. Moody has many excellent online courses available this summer and you can learn more about them here. There are also resources for pursuing internship and job opportunities through our Career Center available here.
Please note that we are seeking applications for the Fall 2020 Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) program. This is a paid position working 10 hours per week supporting a specific class and is a great opportunity to gain experience mentoring students and developing leadership skills. The deadline for applications is April 29 and more information can be found in the job description.
We know that many students and families are facing extreme strain and hardship as a result of the pandemic and we want to do everything we can during this challenging time to help you achieve your academic goals. If you are in need of some help, there is funding available from the UT Student Emergency Services Fund (SES), and we strongly encourage you to apply for assistance. To date, more than 3,000 students have applied for assistance and more than $1 million dollars have been awarded.
To provide additional support to Moody College students in need, we are launching our own Moody College Student Emergency Fund and we encourage students who need financial support beyond what they have already received from the UT SES fund to apply here for additional help. Details about the amounts and types of financial support available and the application requirements are available on the application form.
If you are concerned about paying for Summer or Fall enrollment, the University can also help you remain enrolled. If you or your family have experienced a recent reduction in income or financial resources, and you have already completed the FAFSA, please complete the income reduction appeal for the appropriate academic year. If you need funding for this summer to graduate, you may be eligible for a Completion Grant. Contact the Graduation Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the highlights each year for our graduating students is the UT and Moody College Commencement Ceremonies, and we share your sorrow that they cannot be held in person for the Class of 2020 due to the pandemic. The university is holding a virtual Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 23, at 9 p.m., and Moody College will hold our own virtual Spring Commencement ceremony for graduating undergraduate and graduate students on the same day, Saturday, May 23, at 2 p.m. Please be sure to respond to the email you will receive soon from MarchingOrder to sign up for the commencement ceremonies. If you have not yet applied for graduation, please remember to apply here by May 1.
Finally, and most importantly, we encourage you to reach out to your professors and advisors, or any department, school or college administrator, if you are in-need of any assistance that we can provide. There are many resources available for health and counseling concerns, housing issues, food insecurity issues, or other issues and please do not hesitant to seek help if you need it! Our thoughts are with you and your families and we will do whatever we can to help you during this challenging time.
In closing, I want to reiterate how incredibly proud I am by how our students, faculty, and staff have responded to this crisis. We remain strong as a college and community thanks to your dedication and perseverance. I hope that you are able to finish the Spring Semester as strongly as possible, while remembering that you are not alone. Our Moody Family is here with all of us, helping us get through these hard times and preparing us all for a brighter future.
Take good care, and Hook ‘em,
Jay M. Bernhardt, PhD, MPH