Bay Path University Recognized for Supporting Students Throughout Pandemic
LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announce it was selected as a winner of the Virtual Innovation Awards: Excellence in Delivering Virtual Student Services hosted by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Bay Path is among 10 schools recognized across the nation for exemplary virtual student support services, and one of only three schools to receive the top award of $50,000.
The award highlights the effectiveness of the work being done to support both Bay Path’s traditional undergraduates and adult students enrolled in its online undergraduate degree program, the American Women’s College. These best practices will serve as case studies to inform the field at large.
“Student-support services are essential to students’ progress in college,” said Maura Devlin, associate vice president and dean of Undergraduate Studies at Bay Path. “These supports include advising, orientation, emergency aid to help with textbook costs and other essentials, clubs and activities, academic and learning supports, and health and well-being programs.”
As Bay Path’s online program for adult women, the American Women’s College has been continually developing and enhancing its virtual support services since 2013. At the onset of the pandemic, university staff were able to put these supports into overdrive to ensure campus-based undergraduate students could easily access services despite the abrupt move to remote.
Some of the virtual services that have allowed Bay Path University to be responsive to its diverse student body, whether in person or online, include a virtual career-services hub; UWill, a telecounseling service; and Tutor.com, which provides access to online tutoring services 24/7. Similarly, programming related to orientation, peer-to-peer engagement, community building, and multi-cultural affairs was provided by a support team that was able to quickly pivot to virtual platforms and social-media tools.
“We are so honored to be the recipient of this award. Our focus is fully on the students we serve and how we can continue to meet them where they are, in even the most trying of times, to help them to achieve their educational goals,” said Anne Chapdelaine, Bay Path’s dean of students and director of persistence. “This award will allow us to continue to pilot new, responsive tools and expand our resource availability, to make sure that we can flex and bend with the complex lives of our students.”