Update From William James College President Nicholas Covino, March 25, 8:30 PM:
Dear William James Community,
I will write with a longer update about this week’s activities on Friday. Tonight, I wanted to share the link to the new Resource Hub that I mentioned in my last email. This online space offers a collection of materials curated or created by William James College Faculty and community members. It is accessible via the College’s homepage or directly via: https://www.williamjames.edu/resourcehub.
Through the Resource Hub, we aim to provide much-needed training tools for mental health practice in this critical time. We plan to share these resources with our Field Site partners; educators and leaders in school districts; parents seeking ways to engage and educate children at home; and, of course, provide mental health resources for the general public. It will be regularly added to and updated, and your suggestions are welcome. As I type this, the team is building a page on culturally responsive practices; this crisis has offered yet another window into the state of healthcare disparities, income inequality, racism and discrimination in this country, and to people who are impacted in significant ways by these inequities and disparities in ways far beyond the physical health threat this crisis has created. We are fortunate to have Dr. St. Louis and her colleagues in CMGMH who have created some thoughtful and useful resources for us on this topic.
I would also like to extend my thanks to Dean Josh Cooper, his team in the Dean of Students Office, and the Student Government ACES for hosting today’s midday forum, and for welcoming my participation in it. I look forward to joining the conversation for a bit this evening, as well. My thanks to Dr. Bruce Ecker for his excellent overview of Telementalhealth practice on our Resource Hub. Dr. Jason Osher and his colleagues have been creating resources and training to advance the online education skills of our faculty. Dr. Lambert, the Department Chairs, our Directors of Field Education, Registrar Sonja Paige and others have been reviewing the academic and proficiency status of our pending graduates to determine what must be done to ensure their successful matriculation.
Thank you all for this work and to the community for your commitment to learning and service, as we manage our worry and our sequestration.
A couple of quick notes:
We will reschedule our Commencement ceremony to be held the fall. Our graduates have invested significantly in their education at WJC, we want to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments with a special day. Degrees will be awarded upon completion of coursework, but we will party, formally, in the fall. A date to come soon.
The College has asked our Legislative Agent (Lobbyist) to appeal to the Commission that manages the Board of Licensure in Psychology to provide, immediately, the same clarification on supervision for Telementalhealth and a ruling on the number of supervised hours of practice required for licensure, as other states have already produced.
The College will keep the April Vacation. While some thought it beneficial to just continue with coursework, there are Financial Aid restrictions that impact this decision as well as the sense that many students and faculty could use the break.
My thoughts remain with all of you and your families. I hope you are staying well. You have my continued gratitude for your work and your service to others during these difficult days.