Update from the Dean-August 20, 2021

Dear Social Work Students --

 I hope this finds you all well as you finish the summer and prepare for the start of the fall semester. You should have all received the following note from the provost earlier today. I wanted to follow up on this to clarify how this affects the School of Social Work.  As always, our priorities are to provide the best possible educational experience in the safest way possible. In line with these priorities:

  1. The School will be providing all courses via remote instruction until Monday September 13. Each instructor will provide a Zoom link for their class session.  All classes will be held synchronously, so they will occur via zoom at the same time that they are currently scheduled.
  2. Campus is open 
    1. Hence, assigned classrooms will be open, so if it is better/easier for you to participate in the Zoom classes from the classroom, you are welcome to do this. You are also welcome to participate from home or any other preferred location. If you decide to participate from the classroom, please bring headphones with a mic, because sound will need to be turned off to prevent feedback during the session.
    2. The Dean's Suite and Student Services Office (21st floor of the Cathedral) will be open during normal weekday business hours.
    3. Individual faculty members will be accessible as they describe in their syllabus -- please check with them for specifics on how/when they can be reached.
  3. Field Placements are not affected by this shift. Your field placement and activities will proceed as planned. 
  4. As we move forward, we will keep you as updated as possible. We expect to resume in-person classes on Monday September 13
    1. If you have a health condition or other reason that will make it impossible or unwise to be in the classroom on September 13, please submit an accommodation request to Disability Resources and Services ASAP (https://www.diversity.pitt.edu/disability-access/disability-resources-and-services/accommodations).

The health and safety of our school, campus, and community depend on everyone doing their part to be safe and to protect our collective health. This includes wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands, and following other public health and university recommendations. 

  • If you have not yet been vaccinated, the Pitt Co Vax Center in Nordenberg Hall is offering all three vaccines. Walk-ins are welcome, and you can register at https://vaccine.powerappsportals.com using the access code panthers.
  • If you have been vaccinated, please make sure that you upload your proof of vaccination, so that the university can plan appropriately to reflect the proportion of our community that is vaccinated. 

I thank you all for your understanding and patience. This is not how I was looking forward to starting the semester, and I know that some of you will be disappointed. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to make this a very temporary shift and look forward to being with you in-person soon! As social workers, we are always thinking about the health, safety, and well-being of our communities, and this is our way to prioritize this as we start the fall semester. 

Take care! I look forward to seeing you all in the not-too-distant future!

All the best,

  Betsy