Fall 2020 Guidance
In response to COVID-19, university courses and operations remain predominantly online for fall.
Megaphone logo with the words Welcome to Lesley! - gif with pulsing sound waves eminating from the megaphone. all in green.

We're glad you're here.

New students, we're excited to welcome you and your families into the Lesley community. To make the transition easier, we've created a series of short podcasts covering everything from financial aid to the school handbook (which we like to refer to as the holy grail). Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher so you never miss an episode or check back here for each installment.

  • Show notes and transcript: Student Handbook

    Show notes

    Will the Student Handbook unlock the secrets of Lesley University? There's one way to find out.


    Transcript

    Georgia Sparling: Hello, new students. This is the inaugural episode of Welcome to Lesley, a podcast where we will give you all kinds of useful information as you transition into college life. My name is Georgia Sparling, and I work in Lesley's Office of Communications and Marketing. Today, I'm here with Dean Nathaniel Mays. Hello.

    Nathaniel Mays: Hi, Georgia, how are you?

    Georgia: Great, great. It's good to talk to you today.

    Nathaniel: Pleasure.

    Georgia: Many students may have already met you virtually at orientation, but for those who haven't, or anyone who needs a refresher, who are you and what do you do at Lesley?

    Nathaniel: My name is Nathaniel Mays. I'm the Dean of Student Life and Academic Development at Lesley. I've been at Lesley now for 16 years. My responsibilities are with student life pretty much outside of the classroom. I oversee things like their Career Resource Center, Athletics, Residential Life, Student Activities, the Student Conduct Process, the Counseling Center, Student Health Services, Commuter Student Services, and a host of other things on campus, so, life outside of the classroom. It's all the fun stuff, all the fun stuff.

    Georgia: [laughs] Keeps you busy, I'm sure. [laughs]

    Nathaniel: It does.

    Georgia: Today, we're talking about the Student Handbook, which you told me offline that you think of as the holy grail of Lesley.

    [music]

    Georgia: Those are some big words. Maybe our students need a little convincing about that. What is the Student Handbook?

    Nathaniel: The Student Handbook is one of the documents that you have when you come to the university, that outlines a lot of important policies, both university policies, as well as conduct-related policies that are important for students to know about. It contains information regarding services that are available to students. It contains information regarding processes to have different issues resolved, that students might have during their time at the university.

    It's a really important document that students should become acquainted with so that if in the course of their time at the university, they need to address any aspect of their experience, more than likely they will be able to find a reference to how to have that issue addressed in their student handbook.

    Georgia: Where can students find this? Is it on the web somewhere? Do they already have it in their email?

    Nathaniel: By now, they should have already received it if they've experienced orientation. It is online. All they have to do is log in to the Lesley website. Go into Student Catalogs and Handbooks. The handbook for this academic year is there and available for students to see. One of the things that I strongly encourage each year is to focus on the policies aspect of the handbook before going anywhere else, because that's really the introduction to the Lesley community as far as student conduct is concerned, as far as community standards of conduct that we expect from everybody.

    The basic idea is that we're coming into a new community, we want everyone coming into the community to come in with the expectation that they're going to be respected, but also that they're going to respect others, and that they're going to make friends, but not everybody has to be your friend. If for a chance someone is at the university that you don't agree with, it's okay that you don't agree with them, but we do expect that all people, students, faculty, and administrators, will be respectful of all people at all times, whether you agree with them or not.

    The handbook helps provide some guidance on what we expect as for as a social contract, if you will, for students coming into the community.

    Georgia: How far-reaching are the policies that govern conduct? What happens if a student is found to have violated a policy?

    Nathaniel: The policies are very far-reaching, and they have a lot of implications for what could happen to a student if they're found responsible for violating a policy. For example, let's just start with the drug and alcohol policies that we have at the university.

    A first-time violation of either one of those policies will include a fine. We have an online alcohol and drug program that a student is required to do, and then they'll have a status. The status, if it's an alcohol violation, would be conduct alert, which simply means that now we know that you've been subject to the conduct process and you've been found responsible. If something happens in the future, the next status would be a probation and a fine and possible removal if you're a residential student from residence halls.

    If it's a drug violation, automatically, your status, if you're found responsible, is conduct probation, a fine, and you do the drug program as well. If you violate it a second time, if there's a second time, it could result in you being removed if you're a residential student from your residence hall, or if it's a severe enough violation, meaning you've been dealing drugs, you could be removed likely from the university altogether. Very far-reaching.

    The intent behind all of this is to make certain that we are providing a drug-free campus community. We're not an alcohol-free campus, we do allow for people of age to engage in alcoholic consumption with certain provisions in place. One being that if you're 21 years old, of course, and it's an official university function, we do allow for alcohol use.

    Georgia: What are some policies that, regardless of the pandemic, people really do need to make sure they're aware of come September right now?

    Nathaniel: It's a really good question, Georgia. I'll tell you why. Because our policies follow our students, whether they're on-campus or off-campus. That means that even though some students may not be on campus, if you're engaging in behaviors, for example, you're taking a class and the other students in the class that you're taking virtually, and the faculty member noticed that you're drinking something other than water or juice or soda during class, and your behavior starts to show that you're drinking something other than, that policy would still apply to you. Even though you're not physically on campus.

    It's interesting because I did have over the course of the spring semester when we left campus, one faculty member who contacted me because there was a concern that a student in class was drinking through class, although they were home, and it was noticeable and concerning for others who were watching what was going on.

    Georgia: Not all the policies are related to alcohol consumption or drug consumption.

    Nathaniel: No.

    Georgia: They are, thankfully.

    [laughter]

    Georgia: We have great students, very trustworthy. They are ultimately to create a community of trust and safety and--

    Nathaniel Mays: Exactly. Moving away from those policies, the alcohol and drug policies, the community standards of conduct policy is probably the one that I alluded to earlier that, I think, I want students most to focus on, because it really has to do with relationship building and community building and the kinds of behaviors that we expect from everyone. It's like I alluded to earlier, we don't expect that everybody coming into the university is going to make friends with everyone, but we do have an expectation and that's why we call it a community standards of conduct.

    We do have expectations that members of the community both faculty staff and students coming into the community will be respectful to other people at all times. That applies whether you're on campus or not, even during these times where we're working remote and students would be studying remote. We expect that you're in a class that's virtual and someone says something that you don't agree with. It's okay to appropriately not agree with them, but we don't expect people to in any kind of way target people, insult people in any kind of way. We expect them to be respectful, even in their ways of disagreeing.

    Georgia: Yes. That's great. That's a good point. Just to make sure that all of our new students are aware, the Student Handbook and the Academic Catalog are two different things. The Academic Catalog, is that where all the courses are found?

    Nathaniel: That's correct. The Academic Catalog is just that, it's that catalog of courses and academic policies that students need to be aware of. Very important for students to know that. The handbook is that guide of all other kinds of resources. There are some academic policies that we've included in there just as a courtesy. One of them, I can give you an example, has to do with religious observances. As it relates to absenteeism from classes, we will not penalize a student who is observant of their religious tradition if their tradition falls during the time that they have a class. We want them to know how to communicate with their faculty to let them know what's going on.

    We have those kinds of things in both places with the intent of making certain that students are aware of what the protocols are to communicate those kinds of things. Then, the academic integrity policy we also have in the Student Handbook as well as in the Academic Catalog, just so that if a student is brought up on charges of academic integrity, the expectation is that they will have looked at the Student Handbook or said that they looked at the handbook, which makes them responsible for the content in the handbook.

    Having that in both places then allows for faculty if they think there's academic integrity violations to say that's no excuse because it was in those places and you should've known better.

    Georgia: Students, they can be held responsible if they read it or not because they have been made aware of it. Is there anything that they have to sign to say that they read it, or is it just that like everyone's received this information?

    Nathaniel: Good question. We do expect them to sign for it. We're notifying them of where the handbook is. We will send them out a link so that they can access the handbook, and by doing so expect them to accept responsibility for knowing the content.

    Georgia: We can put a link in the show notes, too, just in case people can't find the Student Handbook, or have lost their emails, who knows. Thank you so much for explaining the handbook. Hopefully, everyone is else is now convinced that it is the holy grail for Lesley.

    [music]

    Georgia: We'll make sure and give it a read. [laughs]

    Nathaniel: Thank you. Thank you. I'm happy to have spoken with you. It's a very important document. I just like students to know what it is because along with the policies and things, there are resources available to them that are very helpful. The Academic Support Services, how to access those, the Career Resource Center, how to tap into the Counseling Center Services, or how to get involved with student activities and things like that.

    Beyond just policies, there are things that are in the handbook that can help make for a wonderful student experience, student engagement opportunity for all of our students. We just want them to be aware that it is a wonderful resource for them.

    Georgia: Great. Thank you so much.

    Thanks for listening. For our link to the handbook and a transcript of this episode, please see the show notes. Don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss our next episode.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Student Account Center

    Show notes

    The one about bills and where to find them...spoiler alert, they're in the Student Account Center.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Visit the Student Account Center page.

    Get questions answered online through the Lynx Solution Center or call 617.349.8760, Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

    Tuition Insurance is offered by GradGuard.
     

    Sound effect by copyc4t, used under Creative Commons License 3.0.


    Transcript

    Georgia Sparling: Hi, everyone. My name is Georgia Sparling, and I'm the host of the Welcome to Lesley! podcast, where each episode we talk about important stuff that you need to know as a new student. Today I'm joined by Dawn Marie Medina, Director of Customer Service Operations at Lesley. Thanks for coming on the show.

    Dawn Marie Medina: Hi, Georgia. How are you?

    Georgia: Doing great. We're going to talk about bills [scary music]. Do we really have to talk about bills today?

    Dawn: Yes, I know it's not something we want to discuss, but it is our necessary evil.

    Georgia: Yes. Okay, fine. First, what is the Student Account Center?

    Dawn: Lesley University and Student Accounts has partnered with Nelnet, and they're our third-party partner, and they provide access for our students and families to view their bill with a one-stop view of their student account. They can see current bills, they can see past bills, check pending financial aid. They can enroll in tuition insurance, possibly a payment plan, or just make a one-time payment. They can also set up refunding preferences if the student and the family is expected to get refunds.

    Georgia: Can you explain this a little more and how our students can log into the Student Account Center?

    Dawn: Sure. Once our students are registered for classes, student administrative services will send out an enrollment file to Nelnet. Nelnet will then upload all their contact information. What will happen is the student will start to receive emails from Nelnet alerting them that they need to register for the Student Account Center. What will happen is they'll get their temporary private password, and the student will need to log in, and then they'll be asked to create a new password, just like any other process. Once they set that password up, they'll be able to log in and see their account and start doing whatever they need to do to make the process better.

    One of the main perks of enrolling in the Student Account Center is that our students can set up family members as a viewee so that they have access to their account. We, in Student Administrative Services, actually use that information as a release to speak to maybe a parent or third-party person, a guardian, so that we know that you as the student have given us permission to be able to speak about your account.

    Georgia: Do students have to sign up for the Student Accounts Center, or is there another way that they can keep up with their tuition payments and all the other good stuff?

    Dawn: The Student Account Center is the one place that you'll be able to see all of this information. We don't really have another venue where you can actually log in and see your bill or maybe see pending aid. It is important that all of our students make sure that they follow the links on the email that they receive from Nelnet to set up their account.

    Georgia: How does the student know when they have a bill to view?

    Dawn: When we're ready to post bills, generally it's a few steps that take place. First, we start posting the information, and then Student Administrative Services will go ahead and send out an email to alert the student that it's time that they have a bill ready to be viewed. That's why it's so important that all of our students always check their Lesley email, because all of our communication will go to the Lesley email.

    Georgia: You mentioned a couple of things that students may need clarity on. What is tuition insurance, and what are payment plans?

    Dawn: Tuition insurance is what we consider to be a tuition investment. This is to help our students with a refund policy that makes more sense. Lesley University offers a refund policy, but generally you only receive 100% back on tuition if you withdraw within one week. This plan gives you a little bit more flexibility, and it will allow you to receive up to 70% even if you have to withdraw from the university four weeks prior to the class ending.

    I liken this to your car insurance. You may never need your car insurance, but if you do, it can be a lifesaver. The other thing is, I would probably tell you a little bit about myself and the fact that when I went to school 30 years ago, we didn't have this option. Sometimes you think, "Oh, I'm fine, nothing will ever happen to me." 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. For me, the first few months of finding out about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it was very difficult, and I had to take some time off from work. If I had to withdraw from school and didn't have tuition insurance, I would have lost all of my investment. It's really important to keep thinking about what the possibilities are. Again, you may never need it, but it's there when you do.

    Georgia: We hope students won't need it, but it is nice to have that safeguard there.

    Dawn: Absolutely, it's so important to keep that in the back of your mind.

    The other thing I mentioned was a payment plan. Generally, the students have options, and one of the options, obviously, is to pay in full, but we do offer a payment plan, and the payment plans can go up to at least six months. At this point, our payment plans for six months start in June, but we're in the beginning of July, families can set up a five-month payment plan, and this will allow them to spread their payments equally over five months. It would be June through November, and there is a $45 enrollment fee that the families would pay. It gives them that flexibility, and they can set up a payment plan where their payments come right out of their checking account, or they submit a payment directly to Nelnet. It really is a flexible option.

    Georgia: What if a student is having difficulty with logging into the Student Account Center or making payments?

    Dawn: Well, we don't want anybody to feel lost in trying to understand their account. We are always available in the Lynx Solution Center, and you can reach us either by submitting a case through solutioncenter.lesley.edu, or give us a call. We can be reached at 617.349.8760. We'll guide you through, and if we can't get that access you need, we have people that are in our office that are the experts in that area, and we will make sure that you're put in touch with those folks. We want this to be a smooth transition for you, and something that's easy and understandable.

    Georgia: Well, I think that answers all of my questions. Thanks so much for explaining all of this for us today, Dawn Marie.

    Dawn: You're welcome. I'm so glad we got to do it. A quick reminder, don't wait, reach out to us if you need help. We're here to do that. That's what we do best.

    Georgia: For everybody listening today, you can find the links, times, phone numbers that were mentioned today in the show notes, and we will also have a link to the transcript for this episode. Until next time.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Financial Aid Checklist

    Show notes

    To find your checklist, log into LOIS (Lesley Online Information System) and submit your credentials, click on students and your web advisor menu will come up. Look for the Financial Aid section where you will find the Financial Aid Checklist. Click on that link and you will find all the items that will require signatures, forms to complete or to review your financial aid award.

    Get questions answered online through the Lynx Solution Center or call 617.349.8760, Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. 


    Transcript

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: Welcome to another episode of the Welcome to Lesley! podcast, where we get into the nitty-gritty of what you need to know as a new member of our community. I'm your host, Georgia Sparling, and today I'm welcoming back Dawn Marie Medina, the Director of Customer Service Operations. This time we're going to talk about financial aid. Welcome back, Dawn Marie.

    Dawn Marie Medina: Hi Georgia, glad to be here.

    Georgia: Today we're talking about a financial aid checklist. There's just something so satisfying about checklists, isn't there?

    Dawn: Absolutely. I'm a huge fan of a checklist. I even have four planners for every aspect of my life.

    Georgia: Wow. [laughs] I don't quite have that level, but I do love a checklist. What is the financial aid checklist?

    Dawn: The financial aid checklist is where our financial aid office will list any documents or items that the students may need to complete in order to have their financial aid award completed. You will find this checklist on your LOIS account.

    Georgia: What types of documents would be needed?

    Dawn: When the student submits their FAFSA form, the university will receive a report and begin pulling together information to submit an award for the student. Some students will need to provide additional documents to substantiate the information that they've provided on their FAFSA worksheet. We may ask for independent verification forms, marital status, citizenship, and there's several more. The other items that might be on the list will be entrance counseling for federal loans and signing a Master Promissory Note.

    All of these items can be found on this list by clicking on the links that are provided within the list. Some students will just probably need to accept their award and sign the award letter, but other students must complete other documents before their financial aid award is complete.

    Georgia: You mentioned that the checklist is on LOIS, so what is LOIS? Because I remember when I started college, there were so many acronyms, I couldn't keep them straight, so it's always good to remind them.

    Dawn: Right. I always start off with my joke that LOIS isn't just a lovely lady at Lesley University, but the acronym stands for the Lesley Online Information System. This is your hub for information that you'll need to complete certain items or maybe even register for classes. To find this checklist or to find LOIS you would log into lesley.edu and then slash L-O-I-S, and then you would have to submit your credentials there. When you're in, you'll click on your student WebAdvisor menu, so that you can see all the information there. It will have items such as registration, demographic information, if you need to change your address, the financial responsibilities agreement. All of that can be found on LOIS.

    Georgia: Is there anything else students need to know about the checklist?

    Dawn: What I can tell you about the checklist is if you don't complete it, your award will not be complete. Just like everything else with federal aid, student loans will have deadlines to sign documents, or the loan could be canceled. This just provides all kinds of panic for our students if it does get canceled. What I would say again, and I've said it in our other podcast, watch your Lesley email. It's so important. They will tell you when you're missing documents. Another thing I would suggest is check your LOIS account every now and again. Check to see if you have anything that you might need to complete.

    Georgia: Thank you so much for coming on. I love how short sweet and to the point it was. As a reminder, all of the links that were discussed here will be in the show notes along with a link to the transcript for today's episode. If people have other questions, where should they go?

    Dawn: I'll say it again, and I will say it often, we love to be able to help you out. If you need help, reach us at solutioncenter.lesley.edu. You can submit a case, you can view our numerous knowledge-based articles that are out there, and maybe find your answer without even reaching us, or give us a call. We're here Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our phone number is 617.349.8760.

    Georgia: Thank you so much, and we'll be back with another episode soon.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Student Health Insurance

    Show notes

    The one where we talk about health insurance.

    From this episode:

    Visit Lesley's insurance page.

    Need to file a waiver or enroll? Visit Gallagherstudent.com/Lesley.

    Get questions answered online through the Lynx Solution Center or call 617.349.8760, Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Sound effect by deleted_user_5405837, used under Creative Commons License 3.0.


    Transcript

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: This is the Welcome to Lesley! podcast, where we're filling you in on everything you need to know as you join our community, one episode at a time. I'm Georgia Sparling. Today, I'm speaking with Dawn Marie Medina, the Director of Customer Service Operations at Lesley. We're going to be talking about insurance and why you really, really, really need to make sure you've got it all sorted out. Hence the title of this episode, When Health Insurance Becomes a Big Mistake.

    [background noise]

    Georgia: Welcome to the show, Dawn Marie.

    Dawn Marie Medina: Thank you, Georgia. Happy to be here.

    Georgia: Great. I should say, "Welcome back to the show," because you've been on before. Let's jump right into our discussion on insurance. What exactly does it mean when you say health insurance can become a big mistake?

    Dawn Marie: I try to use this as a little bit of humor so that it may stick in the students' and families' minds. It could be a bad joke, you might remember, or something is important as I need to make sure I complete this so we don't have any unexpected charges. We also want to make sure we do it before it becomes too late. Student health insurance can be very confusing. As a new student, we want to make sure you avoid these mistakes so that you're not paying for something that you don't need.

    I've said it before in other informational pieces, and I'll say it again. Your Lesley email is so important, make sure that you're checking that so that you know when health insurance has been charged to your account. Don't let this become your mistake. Let's talk about it and why you see the charge and why you need to waive it and if you don't have insurance, how you should go about enrolling in the plan as soon as possible.

    Georgia: What is the student health insurance plan, and where can I find information on it?

    Dawn Marie: According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Lesley policy, all undergraduate students that are enrolled in nine credits or more must be covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan. This includes our students that are associated with Bunker Hill Community College and the DeMello International Center. It also includes our graduate students that are registered for six or more credits. Lesley has partnered with Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk, that we have set up a plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield. This plan is one that is accepted by the standards issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The current enrollment begins on August 15th of this year, and it will run through August 14th of next year. There's tons of information that you can find regarding the plan. If you start with lesley.edu/insurance, you should be able to find the information you might need to follow up on what the plan offers.

    Georgia: What if students have their own insurance plan? Can they waive the Lesley insurance?

    Dawn Marie: Yes. This is where I say that you can avoid that big mistake. If you have your own insurance plan, and most of our undergraduate students are covered by either a parent or a guardian, you may have your own plan and it could be one that's through the Massachusetts Health Connector. It could be Mass Health. What you would do is you would submit a waiver by logging into gallagherstudent.com/lesley. It's pretty simple, but it can take you about 15, 20 minutes to complete this process.

    Make sure you bring your patience and your health insurance cards. Don't worry, you've got this. It takes time, but you'll get through it. As a first-time student at Lesley, when you log in, this will require you to submit a username. Your username is your Lesley email, and it's your full email.

    For example, jsmith@lesley.edu, and then your password would be your ID number proceeded by two zeros. Our ID numbers are seven digits. It would be zero, zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. You definitely need to have your insurance card or cards depending on your insurance plan. I know some plans have a separate prescription card that will have all the information related to prescription coverage. You'll need to have both of them in order to complete your plan, your waiver form online. The big thing is, make sure you click on that submit button at the end so that you can have your reference number for proof in case it ever comes up that you didn't submit a waiver.

    Georgia: That sounds like a lot of stuff that you need to have before you sit down at gallagherstudent.com/lesley, but there-- Is there a checklist online somewhere?

    Dawn Marie: Sure. We do have a lot of information online on our website. We also have information on the knowledge base that you can find in the Solution Center. I'll mention that-- Link is solutioncenter.lesley.edu. You can check out our knowledge base there, but also once we start charging the student account with health insurance, we send out a series of emails, and they're all details of how you go about submitting the waiver. Then, Gallagher will also send out emails to try and help the progress of waiving or enrolling in the plan.

    Georgia: Just so people know, you don't have to be jotting down furiously all of these links, they will be in the show notes. What should students do if they do need the insurance that Lesley offers?

    Dawn Marie: That's a great question. If you don't have health insurance, you want to make sure that you enroll in the Lesley-sponsored program. You also want to do this as soon as possible. Again, you're going to log into gallagherstudent.com/lesley. Right on that site, you'll either waive or enroll, if you need the insurance, click on Enroll, and get yourself set up as soon as possible. One of the great things that Gallagher also offers is that if your card isn't available, there's options on the left-hand side of their webpage, and you can actually click on one of them to receive a letter that will include all your policy information to use for either prescriptions or doctor's visits.

    Georgia: What about international students? Do they also need to sign up for insurance?

    Dawn Marie: They do. All international students need to enroll in the university-sponsored plan, but there's one caveat. That caveat is, unless their plan is a US-based carrier. What that means is that their plan is a US plan or a domestic company. Regardless of where their policy is purchased, their claims are processed in the United States. Generally, our international students wouldn't have that type of plan, but we'd be surprised at how many might have a Blue Cross plan that is offered overseas as well. Then, in that case, they can waive it, but in most cases, all of our international students need to enroll in our plan.

    Georgia: What if family still has questions, who should they contact?

    Dawn Marie: Our students and families are always welcome to contact the Solution Center. We can be reached at solutioncenter.lesley.edu. The students can use their login credentials, and parents and families can log in as guests. If we have the information that you are looking for, that's great. We can just reply out in our cases and let you know what your next steps might be. If we don't have the current information that you're looking for, we have specialists within the office that can make sure that they connect with the right people to provide you with what you're looking for.

    We can be reached also by telephone. We're open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach us at 617.349.8760. We look forward to helping everybody. We also want to make sure that you're right on top of this. Let's not make that big mistake.

    Georgia: Health insurance might be a pain to set up, but it's a bigger pain if you don't have it, for sure.

    Dawn Marie: Absolutely.

    Georgia: We want our students to be safe and healthy. Yes, thanks so much for coming on the show today. As a reminder, students and families, you can subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss any future episodes. We've got lots of important information that you need to know. You can also, as a reminder, find the links, times, phone numbers that were mentioned today, in the show notes. We will also have a link to the transcript for this episode. Until next time.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Career Resource Center

    Show notes

    You don't need to have your major declared, your resume written, or your career path chosen to make an appointment with the Career Resource Center, and it's never too early to talk with one of our counselors or check out the extensive resources available virtually.

    Mentioned in this episode

    Visit our online resources at Handshake and the Community Resource Center.

    Email the Career Resource Center at crcjobs@lesley.edu.

    Sound effects obtained from https://www.zapsplat.com.


    Transcript

    Georgia Sparling: This is the Welcome to Lesley! podcast. A show for all of our new students. I'm your host, Georgia Sparling, and I'm welcoming Alice Diamond today. Alice is the Associate Dean for Career and Community Service, and she's going to talk about something that you may not think you need to know about just yet, the Career Resource Center.

    Sound effect: Cowboy sayingYee-haw!’

    Georgia: Welcome to the show, Alice.

    Alice Diamond: Great to be with you, Georgia.

    Georgia: What is the Career Resource Center?

    Alice: The Career Resource Center is a comprehensive service that works with all students and alumni at all stages of their career. For new students, often you'll come into the Career Center to meet with a career coach for help with updating a resume, setting up your LinkedIn profile, beginning to apply for student employment positions on and off-campus, and anything else related to figuring out what your next steps are. We also work a lot with undecided students who are trying to figure out a major program, career path, and pretty much everything and anything related to careers.

    Georgia: When do you recommend that students usually first set foot in the Career Resource Center or now will contact you online since we're going to be virtual in the fall?

    Alice: We say it's never too early and it's never too late. One of the things that often bring students into the Career Center is money because they need it. Even applying for student employment positions on and off campus usually requires a resume. Sometimes it's as simple as, "Just update my resume. I didn't put my summer job on it, help with a cover letter." We often encourage students, "You don't necessarily have to have a particular reason to start with a career coach, and we work with you throughout your entire time at Lesley."

    The other thing is students can use the services of the office without meeting with a coach. We have a tremendous amount of resources available on our website and through Handshake, which is our career platform for job postings, and it's also a great resource for information about all topics related to careers. A great resource we have is a handout called What Can I Do With This Major? Because even if you're not really thinking about long-term what you want to do with your career, most students in undergraduate programs as they start, are thinking pretty seriously about, "Is this the right major for me?"

    Georgia: That all sounds really great. How have your services changed due to the coronavirus?

    Alice: It's been actually a really interesting process. We now do all scheduling of career coaching online through Handshake, and that has been absolutely wonderful. We had a very old-fashioned method where you called in the Career Center and you spoke to someone at the front desk, we went over the schedule, now it's very simple. Students can go online 24/7 and schedule their appointments. We're doing appointments over Zoom. That has worked really well because Zoom has a great function where you can share documents. It makes reviewing resumes and cover letters, looking at job postings together really, really easy.

    I think hopefully when the day comes when we come back and can meet with students in person, I think we're going to have a tremendous interest in doing Zoom appointments, just because the travel time and the convenience factor. The other thing is that we've had some really wonderful opportunities to connect students and employers virtually. We invited five Lesley alumni who are Human Resources Directors to share advice for job-seeking during COVID, and that was a really well-attended event.

    Last week, we did a great workshop with employers giving interview tips, and that was also really useful. We ran a couple of virtual career fairs. Of course, we miss being able to meet with students in person, and we're excited to do it as soon as we can, but a lot of the services we deliver translated to virtual format surprisingly well.

    Georgia: Are students meeting with you throughout the summer? Our new students are just coming on. They may still be getting oriented, but can they start booking appointments now?

    Alice: New students can start mid-August. That's when we upload all their information to Handshake. They can just contact us at crcjobs@lesley.edu or go onto Handshake. The way they can get onto Handshake, the website is lesley.joinhandshake.com.

    Georgia: Is there a page specifically on the lesley.edu site where people can go to access resources for the Career Resource Center?

    Alice: Yes. Some of our resources are at www.lesley.edu/crc. A great deal of our resources are password-protected. They're just for Lesley students and alumni, and those are the resources that are under Handshake. We have a couple dozen handouts on topics from everything like avoiding scams in your job search, video interviewing, alternatives after college. Those are ones that are under Handshake.

    Georgia: You had mentioned that you have resources and that you offer counseling for students who don't know what they want to major in. Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like or what some of those resources might be?

    Alice: Sometimes students are clear about what they want to do after college and not clear about the route to get there. Some students are clear about what they want to major in and not clear about what they want to do with it, and a lot of students are unclear about both. They're not sure what they want to major in, and they're not sure what they want to do when they're done this degree.

    We work with students in all those situations. We collaborate really closely with academic advisors. The academic advisor is helping with course selection and which major may work in terms of interest, and the career coach can help in terms of figuring out, "What's the best major given the things that I might be interested in?" We use some self-assessment instruments which can be really helpful to help students figure out, "What am I good at? What am I interested in? What's important to me?"

    We also help students figure out the complex relationship between majors and careers because we often think that the major leads very directly to a career. For example, a psychology major can certainly become a psychologist, and numbers of Lesley students have had that route, but a psychology major can work in business, can work in nonprofit, could work in fundraising. Often, figuring out what's the right major, which most often is the thing that you're truly the most interested in, and how can you apply it? As just one example, psychology as a major, it's the study of the science of human behavior. It relates to almost every sector of the economy.

    The career coach can help students figure out what's the root that makes sense. We also work a lot with students as they move on in their program, figuring out, "Do I want to go directly to work? Do I want to think about graduate school? Do I want to think about fellowships?" I also want to mention to graduate students, we work tremendously frequently with Masters and Doctoral students often helping them figure out, "What's the right population? What's the right setting for me?" For anybody who's working while they're in school, we are often helping people figure out, "What work makes sense given where I want to go with my career?"

    Georgia: That's a good point because a lot of our undergraduates as well are working, some of them full time, some of them with one or two part-time jobs. They can get a lot of great resources and help from you guys.

    Alice: Often people are changing. Even if they're working part-time, they may change the job they're in while they're in school because they need a job that really supports their education. That the schedule works, the location works, the flexibility works. We're seeing students now who are coming in looking for things that they can do remotely, given everything going on in the world. We are helping in all those variety of ways.

    Georgia: That's excellent. Another question that I have for you. I know that we have students from all walks of life, lots of different ages, races, abilities, how do you make sure that you have resources that are applicable to every student so that everyone has great opportunities and great support?

    Alice: One of the most important foundations of the Career Center is that we truly believe that students bring questions related to their identity and identities to their careers. Career and the workplace is part of the real world. Racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, international students status, undocumented status, first-generation student learning differences, visible and invisible disabilities. I think that the most important thing that we do in the Career Center is connect with a tremendous range of students and also help them manage some of the complicated things in the workplace.

    We work with students, for example, who share their-- who may be changing their chosen name and pronouns. I just worked with a student who reached out for career coaching as they change pronouns and how to navigate what name goes on the resume, and what about references and how to negotiate that whole process. We work with students with a variety of learning differences and ability differences.

    Right now, we're planning a networking opportunity to connect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color students with alumni. I think it's a real important piece of the Career Center that recognizing who you fully are as a person, and how you can bring that to your career, into the workplace is an essential piece of what we do. We also recognize some of the harsh realities of the workplace. There is bias in the hiring process. There's discrimination of different kinds, and I think working with those hard realities is also an important part of what we do.

    Georgia: That's excellent. Yes, I hope that students are hearing that and that they avail themselves of these resources that we have.

    Alice: It was great. All of us in the Career Center, myself, Alice and Angel, Jessica Courtney, and Laryssa Feliciano, we all look forward to working with incoming students and meeting you in person as soon as we can. Thanks so much, Georgia.

    [music]

    Georgia: Thanks for listening to the podcast. I hope that you're all now convinced of how important the Career Resource Center is to you if you're starting out in your career, if you're starting out as a student here, there are tons of resources for everybody. We have some really amazing career counselors who are ready to talk to you. If you missed any of the links that were mentioned, those are all in the show notes and make sure that you hit the subscribe button wherever you're listening to this so that you don't miss an episode. We'll be dropping new ones all summer. You can also find all the links and all the episodes at lesley.edu/podcasts where there's a link to the Welcome to Lesley! podcast.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Community Service at Lesley

    Show notes

    Community service and social justice are foundations of Lesley, and they're not going away just because we're remote this semester. Find out what our of Office of Community Service does and how you can get involved now.

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Caring for Our Communities Guide

    OCS on Instagram

    OCS on Facebook

    Sign up for the OCS newsletter by emailing Jamie Willer, jwiller@lesley.edu.

    Suggest a topic for a future episode by emailing news@lesley.edu.


    Transcript

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: This is the Welcome to Lesley! podcast, and I'm your host, Georgia Sparling. Up to this point, our episodes have focused on the nuts and bolts of starting your time at Lesley, like financial aid, the student handbook, and insurance. Today, we're going to talk about something that's a very important part of life at Lesley, and that's community service. To tell us about it, I'm joined by Jamie Willer, our Office of Community Service Coordinator, and Graduate Assistant, Corrine Mina, who is in our Master’s of Expressive Therapies program. Welcome to the show, everyone.

    Corrine Mina: Yay, thank you.

    Jamie Willer: Excited to be here.

    Georgia: Let's start off with what the Office of Community Service does and how that fits in with Lesley's sort of tradition of social justice and community service.

    Jamie: Yes, absolutely. In the Office of Community Service, we're really about educating students about the social and political issues that are affecting Cambridge as well as our surrounding neighborhoods, and then we look at what impact that these issues are having on people and communities, and how are community-based organizations working towards solutions.

    In order to do that, we're dedicated to connecting students with a wide range of opportunities to engage in the community, and we often utilize this tool called "the social change wheel" to reflect the multitude of strategies that are needed to work towards social change. We're doing that in partnership of broader local community.

    We really believe that collaborative relationships, both on and off campus, provide opportunities for students to engage in these different strategies and to learn about community-led initiatives. Some examples are, we engage students in conversations and action opportunities that are related to voting, advocating to their elected officials, direct service opportunities like tutoring and mentoring. We also have done some artistic responses about social justice issues impacting our local community, as well as in-kind donation drives that are in partnership with local community organizations.

    Some of the other exciting work that we're doing are dialogues around different social justice issues and looking at the work of mutual aid, and how that has impacted COVID-19.

    Georgia: That's great. That's very timely. Corrine, I'd love to hear from you about how and why you became involved with OCS, which is our abbreviation for the Community Service Office?

    Corrine: Yes. I am a graduate assistant and a student worker there. Honestly, I needed a job-

    [laughter]

    -at Lesley, as a student who is on scholarship, but also I'm broke, I just needed to work there-

    Georgia: Yes, you're a college student.

    Corrine: I'm a college student, yes, working while in school is a very common thing for a lot of college students at Lesley, and luckily, the Office of Community Service was one of the places that was hiring. I saw what kind of work that it was already doing in Lesley. My friend Patricka had been working there for about a year. She said that it was a great place to work and agreed with some of the missions that the OCS had. I decided to apply.

    After meeting Jamie and after our first interview, we shared a lot of similar sentiments and ideals about, not only social justice but also how to run an office. I just started working there and I love it. We have a quote that is in our office, it was one of the first things to come up on the walls.

    It's by this poet and writer named Eduardo Galeano; he's from Uruguay. He said that, "I don't believe in charity, I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person." That kind of gives the idea that we all have a lot to learn from other people, and we're not an office that has all the answers of how to achieve social justice in the whole world.

    I think, especially in the current time, social justice has been thrown around. It's kind of a buzzword right now in the world, and in the United States of America after George Floyd's murder, racial justice and racial equity has been on the forefront of a lot of institutions, especially educational institutions.

    I think something that people don't really think about is, okay, yes, we do believe that Black lives matter. Yes, we do believe in social justice, but the dirty work is the hard work, the actual work is some of the stuff that you don't see on Instagram or Facebook or the news, and that's people coming together and strategizing and educating each other, and learning and knowing that we don't have all the answers, we don't know everything, but it's a space where learning and growing and mutual aid and not this top-to-bottom type hierarchy is had.

    Also, Jamie's one of the only people in the whole university who has never misgendered me. I do use they/them pronouns. I feel safe when I'm at the OCS, it's also a space where students can come; we have a microwave.

    [laughter]

    It's an open office for students to come and hang out if they'd like to learn more about some of the initiatives that we're doing and to learn more about community partners, not only in Cambridge but around Boston as well. It's also a safe space for people like me and students who might not want to go to the Student Center. It's just kind of this cool little office where it has been like a safe space for us.

    Georgia: That's awesome, and let's talk about some more of the things that OCS does. I know that we're not in a "normal year," but what are some of the things that normally that you all would participate in?

    Corrine: There's a lot of initiatives that are yearly. One of them is Alternative Spring Break, and this year I was fortunate enough to be the student assistant for that trip. Alternative Spring Break is pretty much during the academic spring break, students go on a service trip and go to a different community. This year we went to Saco, Maine, to work with a community partner named Seeds of Hope. Before the trip, we did a lot of preparation on learning about housing and homelessness and learning about the area, learning about the land.

    Another thing that Patricka and I worked on, with Jamie, is Hunger and Homelessness Week. In November, we dedicated an entire week to learning, to volunteering, to creating different initiatives on campus and off campus to raise awareness about homelessness and housing, not only in Cambridge but in the entire world. Some of the things we did, during that week, were direct service, there were some Lesley folks who went to a food shelter and dedicated some time to helping the women and children at that shelter. Another thing we did was a movie screening of the series actually, and it was called- oh my gosh, Jamie, what was that?

    Jamie: The North Pole.

    Corrine: North Pole, yes. It's an amazing miniseries called The North Pole that identified and examined gentrification in Oakland, California, but a lot of those themes also relate to Boston and other big cities that are victims of gentrification and unfair housing. Something that I'm kind of the most proud of, that Patricka and I worked on, was an event called Art for Change.

    I am in Music Therapy and Patricka is a Dance Therapist. We use our creative minds and our creative expression to raise more awareness about hunger and homelessness in Cambridge. There were a lot of students that came that were able to draw and make art about it, express their feelings about it, there were students that wrote poems and were able to perform at it.

    Patricka and I did like a dance and music performance. I don't think anything like that had been done at OCS before. Another cool thing that I love about it is that Jamie and the OCS use the students’ strengths and use the resources that we already have to create awareness about an issue, instead of just reading about it, which is great, or reading a book about it, we were able to express through how we felt and different strategies of how we can combat homelessness in the area. Those are just two things that we worked on, but throughout the year we'll provide service opportunities and volunteer opportunities for students.

    I know that, at the very beginning of the year, there were volunteers at Fluff Fest, [laughs] which is Somerville's greatest creation, fluff, the marshmallow alternative for your sandwiches. They range from fun activities where you're helping them directly engaging with folks in the community like that. There's also educational forums and student-led meetings in the office where we talk about things like the unfair prison industrial complex. We'll talk about things like racism and how we know we experience racism in our classes even sometimes, and it's not talked about, so those are just a few of the things that OCS has been involved in just this past year.

    Georgia: Yes, you guys really are active all year, and we love seeing all the events and the ways that you guys participate in the community and just encourage people towards social justice on campus. This year, or at least this semester, we won't be in person, unfortunately, but I know that OCS is still going to be active. What kinds of activities do you guys have in the works, while we are socially distanced?

    Jamie: Yes. As I hope everyone on this podcast knows, the 2020 election is coming up real quick, and it's really, really important, especially with COVID-19, that people understand how to vote safely, and how to address voter suppression. This fall, a huge initiative that we are working on with people across campus is the Lesley Votes 2020 Initiative. A core part of that is just ensuring people understand how to vote by mail, they understand how to register, they understand important deadlines, so a lot of that is voter education.

    We also want to have some really critical conversations around voter suppression. We're going to be doing a screening of the documentary Suppressed about the work of Stacey Abrams, and we'll be having a panel as well with civic leaders on voter suppression and the importance of locally-elected officials in racial equity work. We're hoping to invite some members of Boston and Cambridge City Council to engage with students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members around conversations.

    We also will be developing an education action toolkit that's going to be available on the website, which is both about the election, but it's also about beyond that, the work of racial justice and everything that we have been doing on campus and in the community. It doesn't stop after November 3rd. We want to make sure that students, faculty staff understand how to contact their elected officials about issues they care about, and how to feel empowered to get involved with community-based organizations that have been doing this work for decades.

    We also will hopefully be doing, virtually, a community leadership education action program, which- Patricka has been a huge thought partner with me in creating this program. It's really about learning about community-engaged leadership by exploring the work of Black, Indigenous, People of Color community leaders locally, and then supporting students with understanding how to complete social action projects.

    Then, we also have a Caring for Our Communities Guide, which is a way for people to find out about advocacy opportunities, volunteer opportunities, both virtual and in-person, educational resources, and so that's a document that's available on our Instagram. If you go to @lesleyocs, the link is in our bio. Then, another thing that I just want to offer if you're an incoming student, or if you've been a student at Lesley for a while, we are very open to having one-on-one meetings with students to discuss your interests and your passions and connect you with community organizations that are the right fit for you.

    I think that there are a lot of really cool ways to do virtual volunteering that can develop your skills and your passions, while also supporting the collective community work that's happening. Then, there's also student organizations in the OCS that I highly recommend. If you're interested in student leadership opportunities, you can definitely reach out to me, and I'd love to talk more with you about that.

    Georgia: This all sounds really great. I'm glad you guys have got a plan. You sound like you've pivoted really well during this kind of odd time that we're in. You mentioned Instagram is a good way to connect with the Office of Community Service. Is there also a website, or where else would you direct people if they want to look up some more information or contact you?

    Jamie: Yes. I would say, to be able to stay updated regularly, the best ways are Instagram, like I said @lesleyocs. We also have a Facebook that is also updated: Community Service at Lesley University. During the school year, we have an weekly e-newsletter that goes out, so if you would like to be signed up for that e-newsletter, you can email me at jwiller@lesley.edu. To stay updated, and that contains information about programming, we have coming up different community events we want to highlight, volunteer opportunities, just a wide range of resources related to civic and community engagement that we send out this summer. We've been doing that monthly, but we'll go back to weekly once the school year starts.

    Georgia: Excellent. Thank you so much, Jamie and Corrine, for coming on today. I hope all of our students who are listening will sign-up and really become involved in this. All the links to the community service information that you mentioned are in the show notes today. If you're a new student or parent, please do subscribe so you don't miss an episode. We're on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and the Lesley website among other places. Thank you so much.

    Jamie: Thank you so much for having us.

    Corrine: Appreciate it, and we hope to see new students, we're here to serve you.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Career Resource Center

    Show notes

    You don't need to have your major declared, your resume written, or your career path chosen to make an appointment with the Career Resource Center, and it's never too early to talk with one of our counselors or check out the extensive resources available virtually.

    Mentioned in this episode

    Visit our online resources at Handshake and the Community Resource Center.

    Email the Career Resource Center at crcjobs@lesley.edu.

     

    Sound effects obtained from https://www.zapsplat.com.


    Episode notes

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: This is the Welcome to Lesley! podcast. A show for all of our new students. I'm your host, Georgia Sparling, and I'm welcoming Alice Diamond today. Alice is the associate dean for Career and Community Service, and she's going to talk about something that you may not think you need to know about just yet, the Career Resource Center.

    Sound effect: Cowboy sayingYee-haw!’

    Georgia: Welcome to the show, Alice.

    Alice Diamond: Great to be with you, Georgia.

    Georgia: What is the Career Resource Center?

    Alice: The Career Resource Center is a comprehensive service that works with all students and alumni at all stages of their career. For new students, often you'll come into the Career Center to meet with a career coach for help with updating a resume, setting up your LinkedIn profile, beginning to apply for student employment positions on and off-campus, and anything else related to figuring out what your next steps are. We also work a lot with undecided students who are trying to figure out major program, career path, and pretty much everything and anything related to careers.

    Georgia: When do you recommend that students usually first set foot in the Career Resource Center or now will contact you online since we're going to be virtual in the fall?

    Alice: We say it's never too early and it's never too late. One of the things that often bring students into the Career Center is money because they need it. Even applying for student employment positions on and off campus usually requires a resume. Sometimes it's as simple as, Just update my resume. I didn't put my summer job on it, help with a cover letter. We often encourage students, "You don't necessarily have to have a particular reason to start with a career coach, and we work with you throughout your entire time at Lesley."

    The other thing is students can use the services of the office without meeting with a coach. We have a tremendous amount of resources available on our website and through Handshake which is our career platform for job postings, and it's also a great resource for information about all topics related to careers. A great resource we have is a handout called What Can I Do With This Major? Because even if you're not really thinking about long-term what you want to do with your career, most students in undergraduate programs as they start, are thinking pretty seriously about, "Is this the right major for me?"

    Georgia: That all sounds really great. How have your services changed due to the coronavirus?

    Alice: It's been actually a really interesting process. We now do all scheduling of career coaching online through Handshake, and that has been absolutely wonderful. We had a very old-fashioned method where you called in the Career Center and you spoke to someone at the front desk, we went over the schedule, now it's very simple. Students can go online 24/7 and schedule their appointments. We're doing appointments over Zoom. That has worked really well because Zoom has a great function where you can share documents. It makes reviewing resumes and cover letters, looking at job postings together really, really easy.

    I think hopefully when the day comes when we come back and can meet with students in person. I think we're going to have a tremendous interest in doing Zoom appointments, just because the travel time and the convenience factor. The other thing is that we've had some really wonderful opportunities to connect students and employers virtually. We invited five Lesley alumni who are human resources, directors to share advice for job-seeking during COVID, and that was a really well-attended event.

    Last week, we did a great workshop with employers giving interview tips, and that was also really useful. We ran a couple of virtual career fairs. Of course, we miss being able to meet with students in person, and we're excited to do it as soon as we can, but a lot of the services we deliver, translated to virtual format surprisingly well.

    Georgia: Are students meeting with you throughout the summer? Our new students are just coming on. They may still be getting oriented, but can they start booking appointments now?

    Alice: New students can start mid-August. That's when we upload all their information to Handshake. They can just contact us at crcjobs@lesley.edu or go onto Handshake. The way they can get onto Handshake, the website is lesley.joinhandshake.com.

    Georgia: Is there a page specifically on the lesley.edu site where people can go to access resources for the Career Resource Center?

    Alice: Yes. Some of our resources are at www.lesley.edu/crc. A great deal of our resources are password-protected. They're just for Lesley students and alumni, and those are the resources that are under Handshake. We have a couple dozen handouts on topics from everything like avoiding scams in your job search, video interviewing, alternatives after college. Those are ones that are under Handshake.

    Georgia: You had mentioned that you have resources and that you offer counseling for students who don't know what they want to major in. Can you talk a little bit about what that looks like or what some of those resources might be?

    Alice: Sometimes students are clear about what they want to do after college and not clear about the route to get there. Some students are clear about what they want to major in and not clear about what they want to do with it, and a lot of students are unclear about both. They're not sure what they want to major in, and they're not sure what they want to do when they're done this degree.

    We work with students in all those situations. We collaborate really closely with academic advisors. The academic advisor is helping with course selection and which major may work in terms of interest, and the career coach can help in terms of figuring out, "What's the best major given the things that I might be interested in?" We use some self-assessment instruments which can be really helpful to help students figure out, "What am I good at? What am I interested in? What's important to me?"

    We also help students figure out the complex relationship between majors and careers because we often think that the major leads very directly to a career. For example, a psychology major can certainly become a psychologist, and numbers of Lesley students have had that route, but a psychology major can work in business, can work in nonprofit, could work in fundraising. Often, figuring out what's the right major, which most often is the thing that you're truly the most interested in, and how can you apply it? As just one example, psychology as a major, it's the study of the science of human behavior. It relates to almost every sector of the economy.

    The career coach can help students figure out what's the root that makes sense. We also work a lot with students as they move on in their program, figuring out, "Do I want to go directly to work? Do I want to think about graduate school? Do I want to think about fellowships?" I also want to mention to graduate students, we work tremendously frequently with masters and doctoral students often helping them figure out, "What's the right population? What's the right setting for me?" For anybody who's working while they're in school, we are often helping people figure out, "What work makes sense given where I want to go with my career?"

    Georgia: That's a good point because a lot of our undergraduates as well are working, some of them full time, some of them with one or two part-time jobs. They can get a lot of great resources and help from you guys.

    Alice: Often people are changing. Even if they're working part-time, they may change the job they're in while they're in school because they need a job that really supports their education. That the schedule works, the location works, the flexibility works. We're seeing students now who are coming in looking for things that they can do remotely, given everything going on in the world. We are helping in all those variety of ways.

    Georgia: That's excellent. Another question that I have for you. I know that we have students from all walks of life, lots of different ages, races, abilities, how do you make sure that you have resources that are applicable to every student so that everyone has great opportunities and great support?

    Alice: One of the most important foundations of the Career Center is that we truly believe that students bring questions related to their identity and identities to their careers. Career and the workplace is part of the real world. Racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, international students status, undocumented status, first-generation student learning differences, visible and invisible disabilities. I think that the most important thing that we do in a Career Center is connect with a tremendous range of students and also do help them manage some of the complicated things in the workplace.

    I just recall, we work with students, for example, who share their-- who may be changing their chosen name and pronouns. I just worked with a student who reached out for career coaching as they change pronouns and how to navigate what name goes on the resume, and what about references and how to negotiate that whole process. We work with students with a variety of learning differences and ability differences.

    Right now, we're planning a networking opportunity to connect Black, Indigenous, and people of color students with alumni. I think it's a real important piece of the Career Center that recognizing who you fully are as a person, and how you can bring that to your career, into the workplace is an essential piece of what we do. We also recognize some of the harsh realities of the workplace. There is bias in the hiring process. There's discrimination of different kinds, and I think working with those hard realities is also an important part of what we do.

    Georgia: That's excellent. Yes, I hope that students are hearing that and that they avail themselves of these resources that we have.

    Alice: It was great. All of us in the Career Center, myself, Alison Angell, Jessica Courtney, and Laryssa Feliciano, we all look forward to working with incoming students and meeting you in person as soon as we can. Thanks so much, Georgia.

    [music]

    Georgia: Thanks for listening to the podcast. I hope that you're all now convinced of how important the Career Resource Center is to you if you're starting out in your career. If you're starting out as a student here, there are tons of resources for everybody. We have some really amazing career counselors who are ready to talk to you. If you missed any of the links that were mentioned, those are all in the show notes and make sure that you hit the subscribe button wherever you're listening to this so that you don't miss an episode. We'll be dropping new ones all summer. You can also find all the links and all the episodes at lesley.edu/podcasts where there's a link to the Welcome to Lesley! podcast.

    [music]

  • Show notes and transcript: Help Desk

    Show notes

    We may not be on campus, but we've still got tech support help for you! Find out how to get the Microsoft Office Suite, who to call if something is malfunctioning, and where you can get laptops for less.

    Mentioned in this episode:


    Transcript

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: Hi, my name is Georgia Sparling, and I'm the host of the Welcome to Lesley! podcast, where each episode, we talk about important things that you need to know as a new student. Today, we're talking about technology.

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    I thought it would be important to bring on Charles Cooper, our Director of Technology Support to talk about what services and help are available to you this semester while classes are remote. Welcome to the show, Charles.

    Charles Cooper: Thanks for having me, Georgia.

    Georgia Sparling: First off, explain what your role is in the IT department.

    Charles Cooper: I oversee our technology support services team, and our team provides the technical assistance to all students, faculty, and staff.

    Georgia Sparling: What exactly does that look like for students, maybe in a regular year? [chuckles] What kind of support do you guys offer?

    Charles Cooper: Well, IT provides the technology that students need to be successful. We have team members who work tirelessly, both behind-the-scenes, building and administering systems, and on the frontlines answering questions and technical issues. If you forget your password to login to your email, that our team is there to jump in and save the day.

    Georgia Sparling: Do you guys also provide support if their computer breaks down or there's some sort of malfunction, are you guys on call for that?

    Charles Cooper: We do have a laptop program where students can purchase a laptop through this program. One of the advantages of this program is that they get a warranty for that computer. We work with this vendor that provides three years of accidental damage coverage. If you spill liquids on your computer, the screen gets cracked, you can send it in for repair. If you have an existing laptop with no warranty and it needs to be repaired, the technology partner can help with that as well.

    Georgia Sparling: Nice. Someone did spill coffee on my computer freshman year. [laughs] I think it was the first week—It was definitely the first month of class, and I did not have that protection, so that would have been welcome. School is back in session very soon, what is the IT department doing to prepare for remote learning in the fall and helping students through that?

    Charles Cooper: Well, we've been really busy this summer. We have a number of initiatives that we're working on. The first one is single sign-on. It's been an enormous project that will connect all of our Lesley services into one username and password. Last semester, students would have had to login to various online resources with a separate password for those services, but with single sign-on, you login once, say, to your email, and when you go to myLesley, that password is passed over to that service without needing to login again. With everyone working remotely, it makes sense to have a smooth transition between services that are in the cloud.

    We've recently renewed our Microsoft Office license. Some students won't have access to the on-campus computer labs. It'll be important that they download their free copy of Microsoft Office to their computer. That can be done by going to office.com and logging in with your Lesley email address. For students that are in the Lesley Art & Design program, we worked in collaboration with academic computing to procure a virtual labs product, which will allow students with the most basic of computing power to use resource-intensive applications, such as 3D animation software, or Adobe Creative Cloud applications right from within their browser.

    Georgia Sparling: That sounds awesome. What about if students don't have the most reliable Wi-Fi or the newest laptop? How are you guys going to be able to help and support them so they can get their online coursework done?

    Charles Cooper: We're currently working in collaboration with the Dean of Students, Nathaniel Mays, to address these needs. Students who have such challenges can actually email Dean Mays at nmays@lesley.edu. What he'll be doing is working with the various groups on campus to get the resources that they need. If someone doesn't have a reliable internet connection or they can't afford internet at home, then we have solutions in place that we can work with them to get them what they need.

    Georgia Sparling: That's great. I'm sure that's a stressor for some students. We want to make sure that they do have everything that they need. If students have questions for IT, who do they contact, what was the process for contacting IT, and when are you guys available?

    Charles Cooper: All right. Well, we work hard to provide some of the services and make them available 24/7. First and foremost, our knowledge base is full of information that our staff has compiled based upon frequently asked questions and challenges that people have encountered. You can find this resource at support.lesley.edu. A quick search can provide many of the answers that you're looking for. Another service that we have available 24/7 is our password reset tool. If you've forgotten your password, you can use this resource to get back into your account quickly. When all else fails, our staff is available via phone or email, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. through 5 p.m., but we can make special arrangements to help in the evenings if necessary. People can reach us at 617-349-8770 or via email at it@lesley.edu.

    Georgia Sparling: It sounds pretty easy and straightforward. I know I've used you guys when I've had computer problems, and you guys have always been very, very helpful. I definitely appreciate all that you do. Are there any other things that you feel like students need to know?

    Charles Cooper: Well, we launched Zoom last semester when we transitioned to off-campus. Students will continue to have access to Zoom. It's a really great new resource, not only for academic collaboration, but students can use it to keep in contact with friends and family. We also have Microsoft Teams and Blackboard Collaborate to facilitate online meetings.

    Georgia Sparling: Excellent. There are lots of resources out there, lots of information on our website, so students can be ready for the start of classes. Thanks so much for coming on the show, Charles. We'll have all that information and links for phone numbers and websites and email addresses in our show notes. Thank you for coming on the show.

    Charles Cooper: Thanks, Georgia.

    Georgia Sparling: We have more episodes coming soon, so don't forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or Spotify. If there's a topic you want us to cover that we haven't yet, feel free to email news@lesley.edu.

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  • Show notes and transcript: Counseling Center

    Show notes

    Every Lesley student gets 10 counseling sessions a semester, with no extra fee. Find out how to get started with our Counseling Center from Associate Director Deborah Levans.

    From this episode:

    Counseling Center website - find resources, learn more about the center, and more.

    Email our counselors to set up an initial appointment: counselingcenter@lesley.edu.


    Transcript

    [music]

    Georgia Sparling: Welcome to the Welcome to Lesley! podcast. I'm your host, Georgia Sparling, and for this episode we're introducing an important service that we provide our students: the opportunity to meet with professional licensed counselors. There are many reasons students may want to meet with a therapist and we want to make sure you know how to do that. Today I'm speaking with Counseling Center Associate Director Deborah Levans. Thank you for joining me, Deborah.

    Deborah Levans: Hello.

    Georgia: To start off, what services does the Counseling Center offer?

    Deborah: We offer individual therapy as well as group therapy, and we also offer referrals to both other therapists and other offices. If somebody comes with a concern that touches other offices then we would help connect them to that office within Lesley.

    Georgia: What's an example of that?

    Deborah: Sometimes people come with academic concerns, so we would help connect them to the Office of Academic Achievement.

    Georgia: What is the process for a student who wants to begin counseling with Lesley?

    Deborah: If someone wanted to start counseling with Lesley, they would send an email to counselingcenter@lesley.edu, and then we would set up a phone triage with them. In about that 15-minute call we would try to get a sense of what services would be the most helpful to them and how to best connect them to a therapist. From there we would start therapy.

    Georgia: That sounds pretty easy and straightforward. As I've said in pretty much every episode of the podcast, we will be remote this semester due to the coronavirus. How will counseling sessions work since you will be remote?

    Deborah: We've been working remotely and holding sessions remotely since April. The delivery's different, but the format is pretty much the same. We've been using Zoom and Doxy to connect with students online. Like I said, the content of the sessions is similar, but the delivery method is a little bit different.

    Georgia: Some students might have a little bit of concern about confidentiality just in general, but also with it being through Zoom or Doxy. Are Counseling Center sessions confidential and how do you keep them that way?

    Deborah: Counseling sessions are confidential. Of course, it's challenging with technology to assure 100% confidentiality. Thee things that we do to try and make sure the sessions are as secure as possible online are to have passwords and waiting rooms to lock the sessions after the students enter. To date, I'm not aware of any Zoom bombing that has occurred in the Counseling Center with our sessions. And then of course the information that's told to us within the limits of confidentiality stays confidential.

    Georgia: That's great. Yes, I'm sure that is comforting for students to know. I know some students might hesitate to seek counseling, like thinking that whatever they're going through is too small or it's just not the right thing for them. What do you recommend to a student who is unsure about whether or not to schedule a session?

    Deborah: Well, the first step, as I mentioned, is about 15-minute telephone call. If somebody's uncertain about counseling, that call doesn't require a commitment. That would be the opportunity for a student to chat with a licensed professional to be able to share some of their concerns and to hear from them and decide together to talk together about whether it would make sense to proceed.

    Georgia: Is there a limit to the number of sessions a student can have?

    Deborah: Yes, because of the number of counselors on campus and the relative popularity of the Counseling Center, we do have a 10-session limit in place, but what we typically do are, as the end of the sessions draws near, as we're getting to the seventh, eighth, ninth session, we have already initiated a conversation with the student about their future counseling needs, whether or not they would like to pause counseling or be transferred to an outside therapist and the goal is to make that transition as smooth as possible. There are also a few exceptions where we have seen students beyond that 10-session limit.

    Georgia: You mentioned recommending another therapist. If a student is interested in finding somebody, maybe who's in their own hometowns since we will be remote, how do you help them through that?

    Deborah: A lot of that depends on the nature of the concerns being presented. Sometimes there are specific organizations, particularly for trauma, if somebody has survived trauma, but that's not the only kind of organization, but a lot of times there are specific organizations in different places. Usually, that conversation about where do we go next involves some variables, including a conversation about what aspects the student may have enjoyed about counseling with their Lesley therapist and what things that they might find helpful in the future. That piece of it is very collaborative with the student in trying to determine how best to connect them to local resources. There have been times when that moment comes and I think that's one advantage of being online where I can share my screen and we're looking together at potential future therapists.

    Georgia: I'm sure a lot of people are wondering, what does it cost to schedule a session with Lesley?

    Deborah: The cost has already been paid in student fees, so there's no additional costs for students. We don't need or require any insurance when students come to access our services. I would say free, except for it's calculated in the student fees.

    Georgia: You won't pay any extra.

    Deborah: Exactly.

    Georgia: This is a podcast specifically for new students. When can new students begin scheduling appointments with you?

    Deborah: Oh, I like that question. Some students have reached out. August is getting further and further along. In terms of September, I would say any time in the last week of August, if you are eager to get an appointment or starts counseling early in September, that you can start reaching out in the last week of August.

    Georgia: Excellent. Can you repeat how people can reach the Counseling Center if they have questions or if they want to go ahead and make sure they start scheduling appointment?

    Deborah: Sure. For that initial step, the email is counselingcenter@lesley.edu and from there we respond to questions and also set up that initial phone triage that I mentioned.

    Georgia: Is there a website, too, on the Lesley page that has any information or resources?

    Deborah: There is a website of a Lesley page with information and resources for the Counseling Center.

    Georgia: Okay, great. I can link to that in the show notes, as well as the contact information that you provided. Thank you so much for answering these questions. I know this is such an important service that Lesley provides, and we really want to make sure that our students know how to make use of it and how to access the Counseling Center.

    If you didn't catch the contact information, it's in the show notes where we've also linked to our podcast page, where there's a transcript of this episode and all the other episodes from the series. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast, so you don't miss an episode. More will be dropping soon, and feel free to email news@lesley.edu if there's a topic that you would like to hear about.

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