In response to the public health crisis of COVID-19, Seattle University is mobilizing to deliver our holistic Jesuit education via digital platforms while ensuring we continue to provide the highest quality educational experience to our students. As we make this transition, we are receiving questions regarding how we will charge for tuition and fees, particularly for spring quarter. The university will continue charging its published tuition rates. Some fees, including the recreation fee, the graduate activity fee and many course fees will be suspended.
I would like to explain the rationale for this decision. In brief, Seattle University’s response to these unprecedented challenges is grounded in our Jesuit character and our quality as a university. We commit to our students and their families that we will continue to deliver an education guided by our mission of educating the whole person, our vision of being among the most innovative and progressive Jesuit and Catholic universities in the world and our values of care, academic excellence, diversity, faith, justice and leadership. We approach this challenge in a different manner from other universities because of our Jesuit way of education.
Our faculty and staff are committed to creating digital learning environments and communities authentic to Seattle University and are equal in quality and character to our classroom learning. As our faculty mobilize to transition their courses to the digital environment, they benefit from the significant investments the university has made in recent years to incorporate instructional technology capabilities and methods into our courses. The university has outstanding training in these areas through our Center for Digital Learning and Innovation (CDLI) and many faculty participate regularly in trainings and have developed digital tools and content for their courses. Our Canvas learning management system, combined with quality conferencing and communications software, provides a highly effective platform for the student-faculty engagement at the heart of our rigorous Jesuit education.
Our advising and support services, including academic advisors, career engagement professionals and learning assistance and disabilities services staff, are supporting students through teleconferencing, phone and email. Our librarians have extended their reach to serve as digital facilitators, connectors and collaborators, making significant contributions to student academic success. Our student clubs and organizations will continue to cultivate the community and connection that help our students thrive in the face of these challenges. These critical elements of the holistic student experience at Seattle University are fully available to provide our students the services and support they will need.
The conditions that foster excellence in education are the same digitally as they are in-person. They lie in the quality, experience and commitment of the faculty, in small class sizes that allow meaningful engagement, and in providing the support, advising and services that help all students succeed. At Seattle University, our goal is not to make our education high-tech—it is to use technology as a tool to continue delivering an education that is high-touch, student-centered, academically excellent and transformative.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.