Dean Nathan Murata

August 21, 2020

The top priority of the College of Education (COE) is the health and safety of all our faculty, staff, and students. We encourage you to communicate with your instructors, cohort coordinators, program directors, or department chairs to express any COVID-19 related concerns. Here are some of the latest updates and important guidelines as we enter the 2020 Fall Semester. More information can be found at UH System COVID-19 Guidelines and Face Covering FAQs as well as our COE website.

  • A UH health screening check-in app is now available. Anyone who enters a UH campus or off-campus facility must check in using the LumiSight UH app.
  • All COE courses in the fall are being offered online or in a hybrid format. If a candidate is enrolled in a hybrid course that requires face-to-face meetings, the candidate may choose to notify the instructor of their health and safety concerns in which case online alternatives will be provided.
  • If attending a face-to-face class, please adhere to the distance and face covering guidelines. Classrooms have been reconfigured for social distancing with specified entry and exit points for flow of people.
  • Please remember that anyone coming to campus will be required to wear an acceptable face covering while on campus–indoors and outdoors. This includes all employees, students, and campus visitors. If you do not have a face covering while on campus, you will be sent home. Wear facial coverings or face masks when outside or inside any COE facility; this includes Wist Hall, Every Hall, FROGS, modular classrooms, UHS buildings, Castle Memorial, and the PE Complex.
  • Acceptable face coverings include:
    • Cloth masks, two-ply cotton with loops or ties on the side
    • Two-ply cotton cloth bandanas
    • Surgical-style and dental masks with straps
    • Plastic face shields, but only when used in combination with the above acceptable face coverings
  • Candidates are encouraged to seek support services for mental health needs and coping with stress. These services are available through UHM and COE OSAS (resources for support services will also be posted on signage throughout the COE facilities).
  • For more detailed guidelines about teacher preparation programs and field experiences, please see COVID-19 Updates for Teacher Preparation Programs:  Fall 2020 Field Policy.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. I wish you all the best in health, safety, and education moving forward.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata


July 3, 2020

The health and safety of all our faculty, staff, and students continues to be my top priority as Dean of the College of Education (COE). With that in mind, the college plans to resume Fall 2020 semester classes, as well as field and clinical experiences, adhering to the University of Hawai‘i (UH) COVID-19 Interim Guidelines for providing a safe, high quality education. The guidelines include an “aware approach” for new and returning students, faculty, and support staff at UH Mānoa.

COE Guidelines*

  • Require facial coverings when inside any COE facility, classrooms, common areas, and offices, unless in isolation. This requirement includes Wist Hall, Every Hall, FROGS, modular classrooms, UHS buildings, Castle Memorial, and the PE Complex;
  • Reduce or eliminate the number of in-person courses by using online and hybrid options while ensuring students can achieve the same learning objectives regardless of instructional format. Candidates will not be required to attend any face-to-face class sessions, upon notification to the instructor of their health and safety concerns, and online alternatives will be provided;
  • Ensure that cleaning/sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers are provided in each classroom and sanitizing dispensers are located at COE classroom building entryways;
  • Ensure that signage is posted in COE facilities promoting common recommended guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19, i.e. social distancing, frequent handwashing, stay home when sick, maximum classroom capacity based on physical distancing requirements, etc.;
  • Reconfigure COE classrooms and work environments to meet the recommended six feet of social distance and install physical barriers at public-facing counters/desks and where six-foot social distancing is difficult or not possible (some access to COE common areas may be restricted or denied);
  • Control the flow of people within COE buildings by adjusting entry and exit points (access to some areas may be restricted or denied);
  • Provide resources for mental health support, coping with stress, and assisting individuals in domestic violence situations (our OSAS will continue to provide support to candidates as well, and resources for support services will be posted on signage throughout the COE facilities);
  • Frequently communicate with department chairs, directors, and staff to provide continuous oversight of adherence to UHM and COE guidelines while adjusting as necessary; and
  • Consult with HIDOE mentors, clinical supervisors, and other community organizations on the ability to host our candidates in field and clinical experiences.

For fall semester, it is expected that most or all courses will be delivered online. The second preference is for hybrid delivery methods with limited (1–2 times per month) face-to-face interactions, practicing safety procedures at all times. Faculty may make a request to the Associate Dean to hold classes face-to-face by presenting a compelling justification for this delivery format, explaining why online or hybrid is not a valid option and how the faculty member will ensure the safety of all candidates.

Safety Procedures for COE Facilities and Classrooms

  • Six feet physical distancing locations for desks/chairs will be indicated on the floor.
  • For lecture halls or rooms with fixed furniture, seats and rows will be taped off to ensure 6 feet distancing between seats.
  • Regular cleaning and disinfection protocol will be followed by Facilities.
  • Cleaning/sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided by Facilities in each classroom for occupants to use.

Entry/Exit Points for COE Classroom Buildings

  • Wherever practical, have one dedicated entry point and one dedicated exit point identified for every classroom building.
  • Wherever practical, direct flow of movement in common areas.
  • Facilities will provide hand-sanitizing dispensers at classroom building entryways.
  • During normal business hours, and where feasible, keep dedicated “entry” doors open.
  • Facilities will work with the units to post signs in every classroom, building entrance, and restroom that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs.
  • High touch areas in classrooms, common areas, and restrooms (e.g. elevator buttons, door handles, restroom counters, faucets, etc.) will be cleaned by custodial staff three times per day, including general office buildings.

*For more detailed guidelines about teacher preparation programs and field experiences, please see COVID-19 Updates for Teacher Preparation Programs:  Fall 2020 Field Policy.

I look forward to seeing and serving each and every one of you in the safest environment possible.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata


May 1, 2020

This week marks one month of sheltering in place. With another two weeks before the Spring Semester 2020 is done, our faculty, staff, and students continue to persevere and excel in virtual classrooms, conferences, and events. We are bearing witness to a collective creativity and positive can-do attitude like never before. Our Technology and Distance Programs are providing the necessary drop-in support to keep faculty members in the COE and across the UH Mānoa community engaged in their work. The university faced a major fiscal challenge in 2008–2009; however, because of the perseverance and strong leadership of the administration and fiscal office, our COE weathered the storm and continued to operate with adjustments.

While our current fiscal outlook will certainly be more dire this coming fall, I am confident that with the support, leadership, and ingenuity of our chairs, directors, and faculty, we will adapt to the new normal.While Hawai‘i continues to grapple with an unprecedented unemployment rate, even with assistance from the federal government, the narrative is changing. From the reduced number of new COVID-19 cases to the prospect of reopening certain aspects of our economy, progress and small gains are being made towards our future.

A similar methodical approach is being used by UH Mānoa in its efforts to reopen our campus. As we all know, Summer Session I will be strictly online, but Summer Session II may see certain classes held on campus. Stay tuned for more guidelines and details on what types of exemptions will be approved.

Please continue to stay safe and healthy and know how immensely grateful I am for all of your continued support and efforts.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata

 


April 17, 2020

Shifting from a robust economic forecast to discussions of possible furloughs and massive unemployment, COVID-19 has altered the landscape of not only UH Mānoa, but the world. I wanted to take this time to let you know that the College of Education (COE) is here and thinking about you, hoping that you are well, safe, and healthy.

As another week of social distancing and sheltering in place draws to a close, faculty and students are fully engaged online and on track to complete the spring semester. There have been a few hiccups to be sure, but the overall feedback from faculty and students has been positive. Our Technology and Distance Programs continue to provide virtual “Drop-In Zoom” support, security best practices and strategies, and other technical support.

Looking forward, the COE has submitted an “Authorization to Plan” for both the Doctor of Physical Therapy and School Counseling programs. While our fiscal outlook appears bleak at the moment, we cannot pause on certain areas of growth and innovation. In order to emerge from this crisis stronger and more efficient, we will continue to press forward. I expect the COE to be a major player in the post-pandemic rebuilding, leading the way in which teaching, learning, and research occur.

I cannot express my gratitude enough. MAHALO to the faculty, staff, students, alumni, community partners, and families for your perseverance, commitment, and support. Please continue to be vigilant and steadfast in maintaining your health and safety for yourself and loved ones.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata


April 10, 2020

Dear COE Students and ‘Ohana,

I just wanted to reach out and let you know that we, at the College of Education (COE), are thinking of you every day as we navigate this global COVID-19 pandemic here in Hawai‘i. My continued hope is that everyone remains safe and healthy so that we may return to work, school, and “regular” life soon. We truly are in this together, and I offer my sympathies and support to all impacted by the virus.

As I have expressed in previous messages, THANK YOU to the faculty, staff, students, and families for your perseverance, commitment, and flexibility. For some of us, the switch to online learning and working is business as usual; for others, it has been a steep learning curve. No matter where you are on this continuum, know that the COE and University appreciate your efforts to adapt and overcome.

Using online video and web conferencing tools, such as Zoom, has provided faculty and students with a safe “face to face” instruction option. Interactions, questions and answers, debriefing, evaluating and assessing can all be done in a remote environment where everyone remains safe and healthy while practicing social distancing.

Looking forward, please know that the University will be part of the post-pandemic rebuilding of the economy. President Lassner and Provost Bruno have made it abundantly clear that UH Mānoa is a major player in this endeavor and that our students, faculty, and staff are the priorities. Our commitment is to ensure that your academic and workforce goals are being met. Our dedicated faculty and staff will be a part of your successful outcome.

The University continues to update everyone on the availability of services and operational hours for essentials like computer and library access. More recently, UH System provided details on the Credit/No Credit grading option for this semester. Please stay informed of the latest COVID-19 news and remember to report any of your own updates to coedcovid19@hawaii.edu.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata


April 3, 2020

Dear COE Students and ‘Ohana,

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. As COVID-19 news continues to grow and develop, we are taking every precaution to prevent community spread by maintaining social distancing and offering all courses online until the end of the semester. Most recently, President Lassner announced that the delivery of online courses will continue through Summer Session 1 and possibly into Summer Session 2. While our efforts are meant to keep everyone safe, I understand the difficulty of these uncertain and rapidly changing times. I would like to applaud all of you for your patience, compassion, and flexibility as we continue to work through this semester. To our Technology and Distance Programs team, we are beyond grateful for your assistance and support at a time when your expertise is most needed. Our college is thriving in the online teaching and learning environment due to your collaborative efforts.

As UH Mānoa grapples with this unprecedented global crisis, impacting social, economic, and educational outcomes, everyone’s collective understanding and cooperation will keep us moving forward together. Buildings across campus have been closing as the university is requiring everyone, except essential workers, to work from home. Following suit, the college has closed Everly and Wist Halls as well as the Andrew In College Collaboration Center. UH Mānoa leadership and the faculty senate are collaborating on a pass/fail, credit/no credit grading option for this semester. Details of how this will be implemented are in progress and coming soon. I want to reassure you that your academic programs will not be disrupted or delayed. As we progress into another week of online delivery, I hope everyone is becoming more and more at ease with this way of instructional delivery and learning. Remember to stay in close communication with your instructors, advisors, and/or supervisors. Continue to be vigilant and take good care of yourselves.

Should you want to report or update the college on COVID-19, please feel free to send an email to: coedcovid19@hawaii.edu.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata


March 27, 2020

COE ‘Ohana,

I hope this message finds everyone safe and healthy. While spring break has come and gone, the University will continue with its online instruction format for the duration of the spring semester, and maybe even into first summer session. This, along with the decisions to “shelter in place” and “stay at home/work from home” will undoubtedly help curb the spread of COVID-19.

To the entire COE family, thank you for your flexibility and optimism in moving to an online teaching and learning environment, ensuring that all of our students’ and partners’ needs are being met and complying with the daily updates from UH Mānoa. I am appreciative of our Technology and Distance Programs (TDP) staff for their continued expertise and support of not only our COE faculty and staff, but of those across our campus. While not everyone may be comfortable teaching online, the TDP staff has helped to make the transition a smooth one. Thanks to them, our college is leading the way in online teaching.

To our students, I want to assure you that your academic program will not be disrupted. Faculty and staff are working diligently to create alternatives for you to complete your coursework on time. Adjustments and accommodations are also being made for those of you who have field or clinical experiences in schools, community organizations, and private sectors since you are not permitted to complete these requirement in the actual facilities. Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we work through this crisis.

UH Mānoa has cancelled all on-campus activities, including athletic events and commencement, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, we would all like to minimize further cancellations of events if possible. In the meantime, we can look forward to our COE Convocation being held virtually, largely due to the support and assistance of our Learning Design and Technology (LTEC) faculty. We are working on moving our job fair to a virtual format for our graduates too.

There continues to be good news and inspirational stories from the COE, including faculty members who have set up donation stations to assist our Kūpuna in need. So many of our faculty and staff continue to go above the call of duty to assist others. The COE is here, even if online, to serve our students, faculty, and staff. I plan to have continuous communication with all of you. Please also college, university, and community news for updates on COVID-19.

Thank you to all and please stay healthy, vigilant, and safe.

Dean Nathan Murata


March 13, 2020

Dear COE Students and ‘Ohana,

As you are receiving information from the University of Hawai‘i (UH) on COVID-19, I wanted to take this time to provide a College of Education (COE) update. President Lassner has announced that beginning March 23, 2020 all courses will be delivered online until April 13, 2020. UH Mānoa will remain open for business, including the libraries, food establishments, some computer labs, and the Warrior Rec Center.

Our faculty have been engaging in online and distance education programs for some time, and I am confident in their ability to transition seamlessly during the upcoming weeks. Along with our faculty, the COE also has an excellent Technology and Distance Education (TDP) program with highly experienced and respected staff members who can provide technical support as necessary.

Until further notice, the COE’s Andrew W.S. In College Collaboration Center (CCC, Wist Hall 134) will be open after the break with strict guidelines on seating distance as well as sanitizing wipes for computers, table space, keyboards, mice, and other objects that you may use. Due to the fluidity of the current situation, these plans may change.

I wanted to reassure all of you that our academic programs will not be disrupted. There may be some adjustments needed on both sides, so please be patient. Remember to stay in close communication with your instructors, advisors, and/or supervisors. Please be vigilant and take good care of yourselves. Have a nice and safe Spring Break.

Should you want to report or update the college on COVID-19, please feel free to send an email to coecovid19@hawaii.edu.

Sincerely,

Dean Nathan Murata

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