Update for Graduate Students 4

To: Graduate Students

From: Marc d'Alarcao, Dean, College of Graduate Studies

SJSU Graduate Students,

I hope that you and your loved ones continue to be well as the summer draws to a close and we prepare for the fall semester. Since my last update the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has not improved as much as we had hoped that it would, but SJSU has developed very robust plans to adapt and to allow us to continue our key mission of education and research as the public health situation evolves and eventually, as we fully repopulate our campus. As always, the most up-to-date information about the SJSU response to the health crisis can be found at the SJSU Health Advisories website. This message is intended to summarize some of the information relevant to graduate students.

Welcome to Graduate School Virtual Series

This fall our new graduate students will be participating in an online orientation event called Welcome to Graduate School, which consists of a series of modules within a Canvas shell. Some modules will be entirely asynchronous while others will also contain live (synchronous) webinars. Because of this format, we are able to include much more valuable content than would fit into our traditional orientation. A list of topics is available here. We are making much of this content also available for continuing students to view. Even if you are not new to graduate school, you may benefit from a refresher about SJSU resources available through eCampus, the MLK Library, the Writing Center, and others. To request access to the Canvas shell for continuing students, please register here.

International Students

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences have been hard on all members of our academic community, our international students have been especially affected. From international travel restrictions to frequently changing federal requirements, international students have had to endure much uncertainty and stress. First, I would like to express my strongest support for our international students. You are an essential part of our Spartan community and we will support you in any way we can. Please contact us or our International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office if you need help.

As of now, here is the situation regarding federal guidelines. Current students with F-1 visas may continue with their full-time (9 unit) studies as usual, whether they are in the U.S. or not and whether their classes are fully online or hybrid. An FAQ for current international students has been prepared by our ISSS team. For new international students (both initial and SEVIS transfer) outside the U.S. with a fully-online course schedule, we are recommending that you stay in your home country while taking your fall 2020 courses remotely. Otherwise please contact ISSS at international-office@sjsu.edu so they can advise you accordingly. If you are a new international student inside the U.S. (transfer or change in educational level), then you may take a full-time courseload in fall 2020 regardless of whether the classes are fully online or hybrid. For more information, please see the FAQ for new international students.

San Jose Provides Internet Hotspots

The City of San Jose has announced a new plan along with AT&T to provide 11,000 wireless hotspots to families with K-12 students and low-income households in need of internet access. This will be a huge help to members of our greater community. This could also help some of our students who live with younger family members. Of the 11,000 hotspots, 8,000 have been donated to the Santa Clara County Office of Education, which has already identified K-12 students in need. The remaining 3,000 hotspots will be available through the San Jose Public Library System, which would be available for our students. You can find more information from the Mercury News and San Jose Spotlight.

Job Opportunity—Writing Tutors

If you are a strong writer in English and willing to undergo a training program at our Writing Center, then please consider applying for employment as a Writing Tutor. This is a chance to earn some money and to help your fellow graduate students develop better writing skills. Please contact the Writing Center Director, Michelle Hager for more information.

Virtual “Travel” Awards

Since we had to suspend our Graduate Student Travel Awards due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, we have instead launched a virtual event award program. Any matriculated graduate student may apply for a virtual event "travel" award to collect data, present at an online conference, or attend a webinar. Awards are limited to $500. More information about the travel program can be found here.

Interesting Virtual Events

We’ve compiled a page of virtual events that are potentially of interest to graduate students from any discipline. We will continue to update this page. Many of these events are really intellectually invigorating and refreshing. For example, you could see a lecture by Prof. Birgette McDonald about how marine mammals can stay underwater for so long, or join a Spartan Success Series webinar, to name just two examples.

SJSU Cares

If you are facing financial challenges, including homelessness or food insecurity, SJSU Cares is there to help you. Graduate students are welcomed to use this service.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Anxiety and fear about health emergencies can take a toll on our well-being. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that there are people on campus that care and want to help. Our Counseling and Psychological Services unit can be reached at 408-924-5910 and counseling.services@sjsu.edu.

If you need help or have any questions, please reach out to us. Please take care of yourselves!


Marc d’Alarcao, Dean
College of Graduate Studies