Missouri S&T has launched a fund to help students build resiliency during the COVID-19 crisis through emergency assistance, online outreach and technological support.
The Miner Resilience Fund will help students meet basic needs with short-term financial assistance, allow the university to expand counseling and wellness programs online, and ease technology difficulties for students in remote areas where internet access can be a problem. The fund will also help the campus weather the challenges and economic disruptions triggered by the pandemic.
“The Miner Resilience Fund is a safety net for our students during this troubling time,” says Dr. Mo Dehghani, Missouri S&T chancellor. “We have implemented extensive safety measures for our students and campus community, and now it is time to look toward our next challenge — helping our students and campus community build the resiliency required to weather this storm and recover from it.”
In addition to supporting emergency needs, the Miner Resilience Fund will help S&T move student services such as counseling and wellness programs online. The fund will also help students in areas without reliable internet service to access the Wi-Fi hotspots. A number of internet service providers have stepped up to offer hotspots free of charge to students throughout the University of Missouri System, but additional funding may be needed to ensure that these connections are maintained.
In addition, the fund is likely to support the expansion of a text messaging chatbot program launched this fall for first-year students. The program connects students to resources in real-time through data analytics that identify needs and risk factors. The university plans to expand this service to all students.
“We must continue to look for new ways to better serve our students, not only to support their academic success but also to encourage their resiliency and well-being,” says Dehghani. “The Miner Resilience Fund will support a number of programs and initiatives, but all of them share one goal: building a bridge between the uncertainties of today and a stronger tomorrow.”