Local college joins Harvard University initiative

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LA PLUME, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Colleges and universities in the region have joined a Harvard University initiative.

That initiative is called “Student Self-Care Pact”. It falls under Harvard’s “Making Caring Common Project,” and it’s offered nationwide to provide stress relief for students and caregivers.

Keystone College is collaborating with 360 colleges and universities’ admission leaders to collectively clarify what it values in each applicant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Sekol, admissions’ director of Keystone College, tells Eyewitness News, “It was a way for us to send a message that we’re not holding them at a disadvantage for all the things that might be missing from their college application because of the pandemic.”

She says the college will not take away the fact applicants may have had SAT and ACT tests canceled, even though the college does not require them.

Plus, grades that slipped due to the switch to online learning or students who now have an extra responsibility to look out for love ones.

“We really don’t want to penalize them for that. It’s important that they take care of those that they love in their life so that they can focus on that and so the colleges joined together to send that message,” says Sekol.

Bucknell Univeristy and Lycoming College are among schools to join the “Student Self-Care Pact” initiative.

In any case, once students are accepted, Keystone College will encourage self-care, help students with academic challenges they may face and value service and contribution to others.

Fran Calpin, senior director of college relations at Keystone College, exclaims, “Looking at what each student needs and when they need it and we’ll be very flexible in working with everyone.”

Keystone College is still planning how classes will be held this fall. As of now, they are planning to hold in-person and online learning. It will be up to the student and the classroom size.

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