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Eagle Family Connection

February 2018

Hello Parents and Family Members! 

Winthrop is buzzing with energy and excitement as the semester continues to move forward.

We have some important updates and insightful information for you in this edition of the Eagle Family Connection. The Department of Accreditation, Accountability, and Academic Services has provided salient information asking you to encourage your students to take a survey to see where Winthrop University ranks amongst the different colleges and universities in the nation. Although it might be hard to believe, interim grades are right around the corner. The Office of Records and Registration has provided information about the purpose of interim grades. Also, the Health and Counseling Services office has included imperative information about flu facts, prevention tips and recommendations if your student is feeling ill. Although spring break is over a month away, it is never too early to start planning. Residence Life has provided information pertaining to hall closures during the break.  

As always, the Office of New Student and Family Programs is here to keep you connected and informed. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

The Office of New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center
803/323-2387

NSSE
Your Voice…Your Winthrop
Calling all freshmen, sophomores, and seniors

Winthrop University is participating in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) during the month of February. The NSSE gauges the quality of students’ educational experience and the level of their engagement in campus life. Due to the quality of the data, three of the metrics in the Winthrop Strategic Plan are based on NSSE results.

The online survey asks students about their educational experience at Winthrop. The survey explores a variety of topic areas, including academic challenge, active and collaborative learning experiences, student–faculty interactions, enriching educational experiences, and the campus environment.

Since this is a national study, Winthrop is able to compare our students’ experiences with those of students from hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation. This is important information for WU, and is used to improve the quality of the undergraduate experience. Students’ responses from previous NSSE administrations laid the foundation for the university’s Global Learning Initiative. Global education allows our students to be involved global citizens, to understand their place in a global society, and to celebrate the rich cultures of their world.

Starting February 7, students will receive NSSE e-mails in their Winthrop e-mail accounts. The link to the survey is embedded in these e-mails. Completion of the survey takes about 10-15 minutes, and responses are confidential. All students completing the survey have the opportunity to win one out of seventy $10 Café Cash gift cards.

Please, encourage your student to have a “Voice in Winthrop.” By completing the survey, we will hear them.

Student data from previous NSSE administrations at Winthrop University is available to be reviewed as well as additional information about the NSSE.

Interim Grades

Winthrop is committed to supporting student success, and one way to do that is to communicate with students in an intentional way about their class progress.  In a few weeks, most students will be receiving interim grades (also known as “mid-term” grades).  These grades are a guideline to assist students and advisors in assessing where the student is at that particular point in the semester.  Students at-risk can be referred to the Academic Success Center.  High-performing students can be steered towards the Honors Program

Students can access their interim grades for classes that meet the whole semester through the online portal, Wingspan, beginning Monday, February 26.  Interim grades do not appear on a transcript (unofficial or official), and students should keep in mind that their grade is only reflective of the amount of graded work done in the class up to that point.  Most often, there is plenty of time to bring up a low grade.  If not, students have time to consult with the instructor, advisor, or other support unit about whether to withdraw from the class. 

Students with questions about their interim grades should confer directly with their instructors.

Flu Season

Flu Season is here! Is your young adult ready?

College life is a busy time for most students and living away from home is new for many.  Prior to being away at college, mom or dad was around if the child became sick.  You as the parent were the decision maker if your child needed anything.  Did Bob need to see the healthcare provider?  Should Sally try an over the counter, non-prescription cough and cold medicine for a few days? Wonder what Thomas’s temperature is?  How can you help guide and influence your child for a healthy lifestyle away from home? 

One of the first things for the young adult to know is how to be proactive in their health. Give them tips to try to prevent catching an illness and help them know what to do if they become ill.

  • Practice good hand hygiene: Handwashing is important so we do not spread germs to others but also so we do not pick up germs from others or objects. We all know we should always wash our hands after using the restroom, but it is also important to wash hands before eating. We can pick up germs from door handles, community computers in computer labs, grocery carts, etc.  Washing hands after playing outside, coughing, sneezing, and blowing nose, touching a cut or wound – these are all times we should wash our hands with soap and water.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective. Winthrop has placed hand sanitizers in numerous locations on campus where there is no access to soap and water and/or in high traffic areas. The flu virus can live 24 hours on surfaces and other viruses can live 7-30 days on surfaces.
  • Talk with your health care provider about whether your student should be vaccinated for seasonal flu. The CDC recommends the influenza vaccine for anyone over the age of six months.  The flu vaccine takes two weeks to become effective but the CDC predicts flu season to go on for 10 or so more weeks. The flu vaccine is not 100% but does provide some protection. Also, there are four strains in the vaccine. We are seeing predominantly A strain right now but the B strain will be coming! Health Services has the flu vaccine for $25 that can be applied to your student’s account. The local pharmacies also have the flu vaccine.
  • A third proactive step is to try to stay healthy. Not that our kids always listen to us but encourage them to get adequate rest. A college student’s life can be very hectic and sleep is often the thing that gets missed. With the semester just beginning, it is important for the students to get enough rest.  Also, they need to keep well hydrated. Having some juice, Gatorade, or soda in their room is a good idea in case they do become ill.   

Additional Tips from
Health and Counseling Services

  • Help them be prepared for an illness. Not all congested noses, coughs, and upper respiratory infections need antibiotics. In many instances, antibiotic risks can outweigh benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is unnecessary or inappropriate. Most upper respiratory infections are viral. If they are sick, they need to hydrate well, rest, and practice respiratory etiquette by covering their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue isn’t available, the cough or sneeze can be done into their shoulder or elbow, not into their hands. Remind them to avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of the flu:  The flu is usually sudden onset with fever, chills, body aches, cough and/or sore throat, fatigue, and possibly nausea. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering. You may want to get your student a thermometer to have in their own medicine kit.
  • If your student gets sick and thinks he/she might have the flu, have your student contact Health Services and speak with a nurse (803/323-2206). The student may call or come in.  If your student has ongoing health issues like asthma, diabetes, sickle cell, etc. – he/she might benefit from starting an antiviral medicine early so definitely be seen by a healthcare provider – Nurse Practitioners are in Health Services in Crawford.  The antivirals should be started within 48 hours of symptoms.
  • We are asking students to stay home or self-isolate if they have the flu or flu-like illness. They should not return to class/work until they are fever free for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen.  If they are on the campus meal plan we can provide them with a dining pass so a friend can go pick up a meal and bring to them from Thompson Cafeteria during regular hours. We ask them to not have friends hang out but actually self-isolate themselves!

If your student has concerns or questions, have them come see the staff in Health Services.  Have a healthy, happy 2018!

Residence Life

As with every extended break, residence halls will close for Spring Break at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 9 and will reopen at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 18. Students will not be allowed to enter their residence hall room after the 6 p.m. closing. The last meal on Friday, March 9, will be dinner from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

As students depart, residence hall staff will check every room for general health and safety. These inspections are plain view searches. Staff will be checking for prohibited items including fire hazards (extension cords, candles, etc.) and will also check the general cleanliness of the room and suite bathrooms. Residence hall contracts state that health and safety inspections periodically occur.

Special arrangements for students to stay can be made for those students who are student teachers, participating in an internship, athletes whose names have been submitted by the Athletic Department and complete the online process, students with Rock Hill area jobs, and students that live more than 300 miles from the Winthrop campus.

A Break Stay form, which is available online with instructions, must be submitted via Wingspan and the Eaglesnest Housing for review and approval. Students who are staying for Spring Break must make their own arrangements to stay in Lee Wicker, Phelps, Richardson, Roddey or The Courtyard, if not currently assigned. All other halls will be closed. 

All approved students will be able to print a permission form that they must keep throughout the break and each time they enter the hall. Students are not allowed to have room guests during the break. Students are able to call their Residential Learning Coordinator (RLC) or Residence Life at 803/323-2223 with further questions.

Parent Portal

The Parent Portal allows Winthrop students the ability to grant access to their information to parents, guardians, or another third party. Depending upon the level of access granted by the student, authorized users may view addresses, grades, unofficial transcripts, class schedules, financial aid, and emergency contacts.

Only students can grant access or remove access at any time. This does NOT take the place of your signed Permission to Release Records form. That form is still needed to allow parents/guardians to talk with instructors or to obtain copies of academic records.

More information and instructions on how to set up a proxy are available online. There is also a quick-link to this page through the Office of Records and Registration website

Winthrop Inn

For your lodging needs please contact the Inn at Winthrop located in the heart of campus in Joynes Hall.

The Inn at Winthrop features 12 elegantly-appointed suites and is certified by the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance as a Two Palmetto facility for green practices that protect and preserve the environment.

Contact Amanda James (jamesa@winthrop.edu) for more information.

IN THE HEART OF THE CAROLINAS
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