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March 13, 2020

As the news of the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 continues to permeate our daily lives, we understand that it has increased the level of stress, fear, and anxiety for many within our College community. We understand that facing unknowns is difficult and want to assure you that our priority has and will always be your safety and well-being.

You have no doubt heard that many colleges and universities are acting to move courses online or to close campuses. However, what may not have been clear is that these are temporary, short-term moves centered around the institutions’ existing Spring Breaks, a time that many college students choose to travel. By moving courses online temporarily, these colleges are creating a 14-day period through the beginning of April to socially distance their students rather than attempting to isolate or quarantine large numbers of students who traveled both domestically and internationally as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rasmussen College’s academic calendar is already aligned with many of the recommended initiatives to address social distancing; with finals week next week and classes not resuming until April 6th, we have not deemed it necessary to make similar broad statements of cancelling courses or closing campuses at this time. Rasmussen College has taken a measured assessment of our online learning platforms to find a way to leverage them in the most effective way, not only for the short-term, but also to prepare for the uncertainty the future may hold as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. In addition to making modifications to the learning environment, Rasmussen College is implementing several social distancing protocols to minimize the number of people who are at the same place at the same time in an effort to reduce your risk of exposure. Please review the remainder of this update carefully to ensure you understand how these changes will affect you and check for communications from the College over the next three weeks as things may change.

We want each of you to know that we value you as a member of the Rasmussen College family. In the days ahead, we will undoubtedly experience various levels of apprehension and unease. But together, we will weather this trying time with the same spirit that has allowed Rasmussen College to flourish for 120 years.

What is not changing?

Completing the Winter 2020 Quarter (Today to March 21):

The Winter 2020 Term ends next week on March 21. All scheduled classes, labs, clinicals, practicums, and experiential learning opportunities will meet at their regularly scheduled times and in their regularly scheduled locations. Due to social distancing protocols implemented by many of the College’s clinical and practicum sites, it will be imperative for students to contact their instructors to determine if your clinical or practicum has been cancelled or moved to a simulation experience.

Quarter Break (March 22 –April 5):

During the quarter break, Rasmussen College encourages you to take this time to care for yourself and your family. Make smart choices with regard to your travels. Prepare your family and home. Protect your health. Resources to help you are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/protect/index.html.

Spring Quarter 2020 (April 6 –June 20):

  • Online Courses: If you currently take all of your courses online, there will be no changes to your course schedule for spring term.
  • Online Theory or Lecture-Based Course Components: If you are scheduled for courses where you take the lecture portion of your courses online and your labs on campus, your schedule will remain the same.
  • Law Enforcement Students: If you are enrolled in the Law Enforcement Associate’s degree, Law Enforcement Academic certificate, or Law Enforcement Skills certificate programs, your courses will remain residential.
  • Residential Lab Course Components: All residential lab courses will continue to be held residentially as scheduled at Rasmussen College’s campus locations.

What is changing?

Spring Quarter 2020 (April 6 –June 20):

  • Residential Theory or Lecture-Based Course Components: If you are scheduled for residential lecture courses, your schedule will change. We are moving all residential theory or lecture-based course components online for the entire quarter.
  • Clinical, Practicum, and Other Experiential Learning Opportunities: At this time, students enrolled in clinical or practicum experiences in the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences will continue to have clinical and practicum experiences, where available. Due to social distancing protocols implemented by many of the College’s clinical and practicum sites, some clinical or practicum sites are cancelling or suspending student placement. In these instances, academic leaders at each campus are working to find alternative sites. However, if alternative sites cannot be arranged within the next three weeks, some clinical and practicum experiences will be required to move to a simulation environment in accordance with Board of Nursing, Department of Education, or programmatic accreditor guidelines. This is the plan for now. However, things may change over the next three weeks as more information becomes available. Please monitor your Rasmussen College smail account during the break weeks for important announcements. Also note that some clinical and practicum sites are implementing travel screenings or health assessments every time a student enters the facility. Students will be required to comply with the facilities’ requirements in these circumstances.

Social Distancing Protocols

Effective March 13, 2020, the following social distancing protocols are in effect until further notice, unless specified below.

Graduation Ceremonies. One of the most difficult decisions we have had to make is the decision to reschedule all graduation ceremonies currently planned between today and April 30, 2020. This event, which is the culmination and celebration of your hard work, should be a light-hearted and joyous celebration, not one that is marred by unnecessary risk. All students who have completed their program and were planning to walk in a graduation ceremony will have an opportunity to do so at a later date. Rasmussen College will update each of you as these future events are planned.

Pinning Ceremonies. Equally difficult to rescheduling graduation ceremonies is the decision to cancel all pinning ceremonies scheduled in March and April. Pinning ceremonies are held quarterly and all students who were planning on taking part in upcoming pinning ceremonies will have the opportunity to participate in pinning ceremonies in June and July.

Exposure Reporting. All students and employees are required to remotely self-report any known or suspected exposure they have had to any individual who is presumptively positive or positive for COVID-19. To ensure your confidentiality to the greatest extent possible, this report should be made to your campus’s Local COVID-19 Lead identified at the bottom of this email.

College-Sponsored Travel. Rasmussen College is suspending all College-sponsored air travel through April 5, 2020.

Travel-Based Restriction. All students and employees of Rasmussen College are required to self-disclose recent travel to the Local COVID-19 Lead at their campus prior to returning to any Rasmussen College campus or central/regional office if the travel meets any of the following conditions:

  1. The travel included any time in a country identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a Level 3 Warning or Level 2 Alert for COVID-19.
    (See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html)
  2. The travel included any time in a country identified by the United States Department of State with a Level 4 or Level 3 Travel Warning for COVID-19.
    (See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html)
  3. The travel included any time aboard a cruise ship regardless of destination ports

Rasmussen College will impose a 14-Day Travel-Based Restriction on any student or employee meeting any one of the above conditions regardless of whether the individual is symptomatic or asymptomatic; and the 14-day restriction will commence the day following return from the qualifying-conditioned travel. A Travel-Based Restriction will prohibit the student or employee from participating in any Rasmussen College activity that requires in-person presence at a Rasmussen College campus or central/regional office or that requires in-person presence at off-site events sponsored and controlled by the College.

Live ATI NCLEX Review. Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) has implemented its own social distancing protocols preventing its employees from traveling. As a result, the Live ATI NCLEX Review sessions scheduled for March and April will be delivered live in the online environment at the same date and time as originally scheduled. Please check your Rasmussen College smail account for more information and a link to the online session(s) if you are a pre-licensure nursing student in your final quarter of study.

Proctored TEAS Exams. The proctored TEAS exams will continue to be offered residentially at Rasmussen College’s campuses. However, testers are subject to a travel screening and will be subject to the Travel-Based Restrictions noted above. Rasmussen is implementing enhanced hygiene protocols applicable to all testers. Testers must visit the restroom and wash their hands prior to entry into the testing room. Hand sanitizer will also be available outside of the testing room. Each testing session will have limited seats as each tester must be separated from other testers by a minimum distance of 6 ft and no testing session will have more than 50 testers at a time even if space allows for more. Some scheduled testers may need to be rescheduled as a result of this tester limit, which will be based on date and time of registration.

Nursing Information Sessions. Nursing information sessions will be moved online at the same date and time as originally scheduled.

Nursing Orientation Sessions. Nursing orientation sessions will be moved online at the same date and time as originally scheduled.

Admissions Advisor Interviews. Admissions advisor interviews will be held over the phone rather than through a face-to-face meeting.

Community Use of College Facilities. Rasmussen College is suspending all community-based use of its campus facilities and limiting use of its facilities to College-sponsored activities only through April 5, 2020.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19? For current information about this evolving public health situation, Rasmussen College recommends the following sources:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Florida Department of Health:
http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/index.html

Illinois Department of Public Health:
http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

Kansas Department of Health and Environment:
http://www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/index.htm

Minnesota Department of Health:
https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

North Dakota Department of Health:
https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

Wisconsin Department of Health Services:
https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm

How can I protect myself? There is currently no vaccine to prevent infection. The best way to prevent illness and to help avoid spreading the virus further is to take basic, precautionary measures, including the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Exercise social distancing by limiting handshakes (bow, nod instead). If you do shake hands, wash/sanitize your hands. Maintain a 6-foot distance from someone who is coughing.

Who can I contact at Rasmussen College if I have a question? Please contact your campus’s Local COVID-19 Lead.

Campus Local COVID-19 Lead 
FL - Fort Myers Tracie Steed, Academic Dean
Deanna Wolfskeil, Dean of Nursing
FL - Land O'Lakes Brenda Garcia, Academic Dean
Mary Kohler, Dean of Nursing
FL - New Port Richey Brenda Garcia, Academic Dean
Kara Walls, Dean of Nursing
FL - Ocala Laurie Harmon, Academic Dean
Karen Guty, Area Dean of Nursing
FL - Orlando Lauren Ramirez, Assoc. Academic Dean
Karen Guty, Area Dean of Nursing
FL - Tampa/Brandon Lynette Barcewicz, Academic Dean
Stephanie Yackel, Dean of Nursing
IL - Aurora/Naperville Julie Lawrence, Academic Dean
Laila Torres, Area Dean of Nursing
IL - El Centro de Aprendizaje Claudia Lule, Assoc. Campus Director
IL - Mokena/Tinley Park Julie Lawrence, Academic Dean
Jeanine Haberman, Assoc. Dean of Nursing
IL - Rockford Caroline Gulbrandsen, Academic Dean
Laila Torres, Area Dean of Nursing
IL - Romeoville/Joliet Andy Binanti, Academic Dean
Laila Torres, Area Dean of Nursing
KS - Overland Park & Topeka Jay Buchholz, Campus Director
MN - Blaine Tracy Tepley, Academic Dean
Rayette Heise, Dean of Nursing
MN - Bloomington Tracy Tepley, Academic Dean
Kris Kallies, Dean of Nursing
MN - Brooklyn Park/Maple Grove April Ray, Academic Dean
Kathleen Smith, Dean of Nursing
MN - Eagan Andy LaMere, Academic Dean
Angela Christian, Dean of Nursing
MN - Lake Elmo/Woodbury Andy LaMere, Academic Dean
MN - Mankato Donna Wenkel, Academic Dean
Cheryl Pratt, Dean of Nursing
MN - Moorhead Robert Neuteboom, Academic Dean
Shantelle Smith, Dean of Nursing
MN - St. Cloud Laurie Larson, Academic Dean
Sandra Bogenrief, Dean of Nursing
ND - Fargo Robert Neuteboom, Academic Dean
Audrey Charchenko, Assoc. Dean of Nursing
WI - Green Bay Jenn Endries, Academic Dean
Julie Williams, Dean of Nursing
WI - Wausau Jamie Kahon, Academic Dean
Jennifer Koback, Dean of Nursing
Graduate Studies Joy Henrich, Dean of Graduate Education
Bachelor Completer Venus Fisher, Academic Dean
National Online Shadd Piehl, Academic Dean

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