Lower Residential Tuition Cost for Spring and Summer Terms at USAHS Across All Campuses

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Lower Residential Tuition Cost for Spring and Summer Terms at USAHS Across All Campuses

This petition made change with 3,653 supporters!

Dianna Chhay started this petition to University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences and

In light of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) global pandemic, the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) administration has decided to convert all classes and instruction remotely beginning 6:00 p.m. PST on Monday, March 16th and will continue until at least July 5th.

USAHS Residential DPT, MOT, and OTD students across all campuses (San Marcos, CA; Austin, TX; Miami, FL; St. Augustine, FL) are entitled to a partial refund for tuition for Spring Trimester 2020 and a decrease in tuition for Summer Trimester 2020. USAHS students are no longer able to benefit from most of the services offered on campus. These services include but are not limited to the use of cadavers, use of high-low/massage tables, open lab hours, the Wellness Center/Crunch gym membership, etc. Consequently, the costs of providing students with such services most likely have decreased significantly. Many services have since been transitioned into virtual avenues, which has resulted in the cancellation of open labs (loss of wages for many student workers), guest speakers on campus, networking events, career fairs, and reduced face-to-face time with professors and colleagues. The services that have been made available to us include tutoring, advising, ComPsych support, and financial aid via online means. Although we appreciate the resources that have been adjusted to meet the students' needs in the current situation and the strong efforts of some of our professors to provide us with the best education possible online, there is a larger void due to the resources we are missing. Therefore, we are respectfully seeking a reduction in our tuition from this current Spring Trimester 2020 and Summer Trimester 2020. A partial refund of this trimester's tuition and a reduction in tuition for next trimester would greatly assist students by alleviating the financial stress and uncertainty of this situation. If the administration decides against this, we would appreciate a complete breakdown and explanation of how our tuition will be better utilized to help the students, professors, and faculty during this global pandemic. However, we highly encourage the administration to consider granting us a monetary return and a reduction in tuition.

DPT student (San Marcos campus) fees per trimester (not including all fees):

Tuition: $14,770 -- We ask for an adjustment to the tuition for Spring and Summer Trimester 2020 in order to account for the decline in the quality of education. Students are pursuing our degree through an accelerated program with a heavy course load of classes which includes those with lab-intensive courses.  Therefore, paying full tuition for online courses seems unjust. Due to the lack of precedent, the faculty who are not familiar with teaching a lecture, let alone a lab course, online affects the quality instruction. It is seemingly taking more time for us to learn the course material online. Although we highly appreciate some of the faculty for going above and beyond to help us learn, it is simply not the same as having face-to-face meetings with the use of our resources/equipment.

Campus Access Fee: $160 -- We ask for an adjustment to the campus access fee for Spring and Summer Trimester 2020 because students are unable to access/use the special equipment and technology, such as cadavers for Gross Anatomy, dry lab models from the library/Gross Anatomy Dry Lab, high-low/massage tables, Center for Innovative Clinical Practice (CICP), and assistive devices. 

Student Activity Fee: $20 -- Due to the regulations (shelter-in-place and social distancing) set in place, this fee should be subtracted from our school expenses as there most likely will not be any student activities planned this trimester and next trimester.

Room and Board: $8,000 (estimation) -- Regardless of the amount paid for room and board, we again ask that there be a reduction in tuition and fees paid in order to ease any financial stress that may have been brought on by the nature of this global pandemic. There are many students who have moved to San Marcos or the surrounding area to attend school physically. We desired to enhance our higher education with hands-on learning and interactions with our professors and classmates, which is why we have chosen to go through the Residential program instead of the Flex program. To continue, due to the rigor of this program, many students are unable to work and those who do may have been financially impacted by COVID-19.

 

We, the students, completely understand that this situation was unexpected and out of anyone's control. We are aware that these are very challenging times and require patience and diligence from all parties involved. It is critical to uphold regulations of social-distancing and shelter-in-home guidelines, which is why it is impossible for the students to be provided with the entirety of the academic experiences we are paying for. Although this was a wise decision on the administration's part, something must be done to compensate for the change in the quality of education. The resources and opportunities for health professional careers taught at USAHS are diminished. Our learning primarily stems from being able to interact with our peers and professors, as well as our interprofessional colleagues, rather than from the lectures themselves. Being able to physically apply the information we have learned in a clinical aspect is what we need in order to progress in our careers as health professionals. 

The USAHS Residential students are most concerned about the effects of this time period of online learning and how it will impact us further down the road as therapists as well as taking our board exams. Due to the lack of hands-on experience we are receiving, we do not believe that we are adequately learning these skills. We would appreciate information on what the institution and professors are able to do in order to help us master the skills that we are currently learning virtually, i.e. extension of open lab hours and attendance of professors during open lab hours to assist us or to re-continue holding office hours in the Blackboard course rooms. In regards to our lecture material, we request for collaborate sessions to replace any face-to-face classes on campus. Some professors have chosen not to hold virtual collaborative sessions, which has made learning the material more difficult since we are unable to ask questions in real-time. In order to decrease the number of emails received on both ends, it would be helpful to be able to discuss the material, assignments, or confirmation of skills as a class. We extremely appreciate those who have started using the Blackboard collaborative sessions as it has been imperative to our learning.

Any other feedback the institution is able to provide will be greatly appreciated. Many students are strongly considering taking a leave of absence due to all of the uncertainty surrounding these tough times. The students with these fears would greatly appreciate more clarity as to how the university will be handling these concerns to make more sound decisions. We thank the faculty for all of their dedication to providing students with the best quality education possible and know that you have our best interest in mind. After all, the first core value of USAHS is "student first", meaning "[s]tudent success comes first [... and the institution] strives to provide [them] with support and services that they need to be successful". That being said, we hope the institution strongly considers what has been said and continues to put their students first. 

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