MCCA This Week: October 23, 2020


This Week
October 23, 2020

Two weeks ago, we dedicated this space to highlight various resources available to you in observance of World Mental Health Day. Today we're back talking about mental health because of two recent higher ed news stories.

The "traditional" mental health day is simply a day off that is specifically and strategically geared toward stress relief. Amid a worldwide pandemic, midterm exams, social distancing, and Zoom classes, Wayne State University recognized that the disrupted lifestyle is weighing heavy on its students. So, on October 30, they're pausing campus activities, including classes, for a mental health day.

In an email to students, Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson said, "the purpose of this day is to allow you time to focus on your health and emotional well-being during these challenging times, connect with fellow students, learn more about the resources available to help you cope and thrive, or close the laptop and dedicate the day to self-care."

Next, we travel to the University of Iowa, where the Tippie College of Business leveraged their Instagram Story to check in on students' mental health. Using the Emoji Slider, students were encouraged to rank their mental health: "I'm doing great" or "I'm doing poorly."

"We took a look at everybody who had ranked their mental well being quite low and we sent them a personalized direct message just to check in on them, see how they were doing. Let them know that we saw that they were struggling and made sure they had access to the resources that they needed to reach out for help," said Rebekah Tilley, director of communications.

Please share with us what you're doing on your campus for mental health and wellness during this time.

Today's This Week is 793 words, about a 6.3–minute read.

U.S. Education News

  • Community colleges haven't seen much of an uptick in students due to social distancing, but enrollment in online skills courses such as web development and financial analysis are up significantly. (USA Today)
  • The pandemic has pushed faculty office hours and staff advising meetings into virtual spaces. For students at some colleges, this seems to be more convenient and appealing. (EdSurge)
  • AACC's president and CEO discusses the status of community colleges during the pandemic on the new episode of the Harvard Business School's Managing the Future of Work podcast. (President & Fellows of Harvard College)
  • Community colleges throughout the country are creating contact tracing courses to meet the urgent demand for trained people able to track COVID-19 infections and thus slow the spread of the disease. (CC Daily)
  • Several two-year colleges are reporting record fundraising years and more individual donors than ever before. The pandemic seems to have boosted efforts so far -- but will it last? (Inside Higher Ed)

Missouri News

  • Missouri’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors this week in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions to high demand. Missourians buying cannabis products must pay their local sales tax in addition to a 4% tax. (St. Louis Public Radio)
  • Missouri health officials announced Thursday that the state has added more than 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths. (KTVI)
  • Missourians casting mail-in ballots must mail them via the U.S. Postal Service under a federal court ruling issued Thursday. Mail-in ballots must be received by Election Day to count. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

College Headlines

  • A new agreement between East Central College and Drury University is streamlining the path to a four-year degree for business and education students. (Phelps County Focus)
  • The Jefferson College Foundation recently presented its annual Outstanding Achievement Awards to honor the exemplary accomplishments of Jefferson College faculty and staff who were nominated from four employee constituent groups. (JC News)
  • Lindenwood University and St. Charles Community College are coming together to create a smoother and more seamless transfer process for students. (SCC News)
  • Diane Patterson, Coordinator of Testing Services at Three Rivers College, received the National College Testing Association (NCTA) President’s Award at the 2020 National College Testing Association Virtual Conference. (TRC News)

Stuff We're Clicking On

  • Did you know LGBTQ History Month was founded in 1994 by a Mineral Area College instructor? View a recording of the webinar we hosted with founder Rodney Wilson.
  • ACCT hosting a three-part webinar series focused on strengthening the federal Pell grant program to boost student access and success. Click here to learn more about the series and to register.

Upcoming Events:

  • Friday, October 30  |  VOTE »
    Last day to cast your ballot in the MCCA Advisory Board election
  • Wednesday, November 4 at 10:30 a.m.  |  REGISTER »
    [Webinar] What To Know Before You Go: MCCA2020
  • Wednesday, November 4  |  REGISTER »
    Last day to register for MCCA2020

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