- By Native News Online Staff
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Haskell Indian Nations University announced today that its administration has decided to shift exclusively to online/distance learning courses for the fall 2020 semester.
“We are planning to support our students’ academic progress and success in the most effective means available to us until the imminent threat of the spread of COVID-19 passes,” the announcement reads. ”Haskell has strategically used CARES Act funds to create the physical and personnel infrastructure to build a high-quality user experience and online learning system for just this situation. We are now well-positioned to introduce a robust distance learning platform for the fall semester.”
The announcement discusses how Indian Country has been affected dramatically by the COVID-19 virus and how Haskell wants to avoid at all costs the serious effects that would result from in-person classes during a health crisis at a higher learning institution.
Haskell officials said the decision to exclusive online/distance learning decision was made with the following criteria:
- What would provide the greatest safety measures and educational/professional progress of Haskell students, faculty, staff, and tribal communities they represent, many of whom are categorized as being high risk?
- How would enrollment be affected by the availability of low-cost and high-quality education alternative for those students who cannot attend Haskell in the traditional in-person setting?
Haskell’s faculty and staff are spending this summer preparing for the new academic year, ensuring the student experience is rich, rewarding, and memorable.
“As a result of this cautious, well-planned strategy, academic progress will be assured to all students, safety and health will be preserved among our tribal communities, and Haskell will continue to meet its mission to serve the needs of Indian Country,” the announcement concludes.
Haskell is a federally operated university. Haskell was originally an Indian boarding school when it was established in 1884. It now has a student population of 1,000 each semester with American Indians from over 140 enrolled.
Notable Haskell alumni include multi-sport athlete Jim Thorpe, Olympian Billy Mills, Congresswoman Sharice Davids and National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernest Stevens, Jr.
To learn more about Haskell online offerings this fall, go to www.haskell.edu.