The following message was sent to Mines parents and families on 4/10/20:

Dear Oredigger families,

We have consistently found Mines students to be resilient, hard-working, innovative, and caring individuals. These admirable characteristics reflect you – the parents, guardians and family members who raised such remarkable students. Thank you for all that you have done over the years and for all that you are doing now to support your student while they are engaged in online learning.  Please know that all of us at Mines are invested in their ongoing care and education during these uncertain times.

As working professionals and parents, we too are aware of the disruptive, confusing and substantial impacts COVID-19 has presented to our campus community. We are working hard to bring students the support and guidance they need through thoughtful and effective programming, tutoring, coaching and community efforts.

As family members, you play a critical role in your student’s continued success and engagement at Mines, even from a distance.  We are reaching out to you today to remind you of our student support offerings and to continue our partnership with you.

Student support services

While much has changed with regards to our instructional approach, the academic rigor has not. Our students remain busy, future-focused and in need of resources and support. This is where our Division of Student Life plays an integral role, and this where you can also help support your student.

Although our physical doors may be closed, our offices are open and working hard to provide support and connect students to resources. Nearly all of the support services – including, but not limited to advising, counseling, academic coaching, tutoring, career support, disability support, and student programming – have transitioned to a virtual approach. Even E-Days has moved online: Virtual RealitE-Days commences next week.

Students are receiving daily updates on the various opportunities to seek support and engage with our Mines community. We encourage you to review many of these efforts listed under the “Student Resources” section of our Mines Coronavirus Website: Mines Climbs Together

If your student is struggling in any capacity, please help by encouraging them to seek support. If you or your student are unsure of what support is needed, we encourage you to utilize the Raise Your Hand website. If there’s a persistent issue with technology, a struggle to stay engaged, or any other issue you can’t seem to surmount, please let us know. Raise Your Hand is here for you to help you stop searching and get the assistance you need.

Supporting your student

As we said at the outset of this letter, our students clearly have parents, families and communities that have prepared them well for Mines and life. As your partner in helping them succeed at this stage, and in answer to some questions we’ve been fielding from some of you, we’d like to share a few thoughts related to how you and your student might navigate these new realities.

First, it may take time to adjust. Your student is in a new environment, whether they are home again or just learning without set class periods. This is a big adjustment for all. We encourage you to be patient, and to give them grace. In many ways, our students are learning some challenging life lessons and developing skills to be successful – i.e. how to succeed in school while balancing many competing demands. This will take time and the learning curve is steep. For parents with students who are home again, remember that they have likely grown accustomed to their own schedule and little oversight. While this is hard, we encourage you to resist the urge to structure their day or their studies.

Second, please remember that your student will be busy. Whether they are living at home or not, a virtual instructional model does not ask less of your student, and they need to be focused on school. A typical student at Mines may spend 30-40+ hours a week on their studies. It is similar to a full-time job, week after week.

Last, our students are accustomed to a tight-knit community. It should be expected that students will miss their friends, and it is likely that they will seek ways to connect with friends, including late night virtual conversations or other technological-aided gatherings. Please support your student in staying connected to their Mines friends through safe options such as phone and digital platforms. Encourage them to practice social distancing and discourage them from gathering in person with their college and high school friends.

Balancing all of this may be difficult for your student as well as your family. No one expects you to be perfect or to know how to handle every situation.  It is okay for you to have additional expectations of your student to help out around the house or to engage with family. Try to consider how you can give your student freedom to manage their time and prioritize their academics and friendships as well as family time.

Staying in touch

At this time, we expect to welcome students back to campus in person for Summer II and the Fall 2020 term. This is encouraging…we miss your students! That said, we remain committed to your student’s safety and transparent communication with you. Accordingly, we will distribute timely and thorough updates in the coming weeks and months, as more information becomes available about our calendar and plans.

If any of us here at Mines can be of assistance to you or your student, please let us know.

We are in this together and grateful for your partnership. As we said before, our students are resilient, hard-working, innovative, and caring individuals. In this way, they are the best examples of what our society needs during these uncertain and hard times. Let’s do all we can to support their future.