The Bridge: Fall Opening 2020

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We are excited to begin another year at Word of Life Bible Institute! Things may look a little different than they usually do, but we continue to remain dedicated to the spiritual, emotional, and physical care of our students at the Bible Institute.

Academics:

Incoming freshmen students should have received a letter from Dr. Weaver (Academic Dean). In that letter, they were informed about several essential items: 1) Logos Bible Software; 2) Canvas learning management system, 3) Office 360, and 4) our Respondus Lock-Down Browser. The best thing your student can do to ensure that they are well prepared for the beginning of the academic semester is to consult that letter and follow the detailed directions to download the necessary items before their arrival on campus. If they have not received that letter or it was lost, they can contact us at academics@wol.org for an electronic version.

If your student still does not have a computer and is trying to figure out what to do, visit www.wordoflife.edu/logos for some suggestions and other helpful information. They need to have an electronic device that allows them to download Logos and utilize Canvas.

We have sent out course syllabi for students who have been required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. These syllabi include the course requirements (required reading, assignments, etc.) for the first several courses. Please encourage your student to redeem their time. Below are the courses that they will be enrolled in during their first week of classes (asterisks indicate guest lecturer courses).

 If your student still needs one or more of these syllabi, they can request these by contacting us at academics@wol.org.

Freshmen

Old Testament Survey (Professor Strout)

Research and Writing (Professor Sewall)

Systematic Theology I (Dr. Davis)

Galatians (Dr. Ray Pritchard)*

Sophomores

Apologetics (Dr. Tom Davis)

Hermeneutics 2 (Dr. Weaver)

World Religions (Dr. Weaver)

Genesis 1-11 (Dr. Emmons)*

Student and Guest Experiences Update: 

Our Bible Institute team has been working diligently to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. It is our aim to provide a safe and distraction free environment for students to grow in their walk with Christ and with one another.

We have roughly 150 students on campus right now who are in precautionary quarantine due to their home state being on the New York State travel advisory list (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory). I am happy to report that everyone is healthy and symptom free. We have been monitoring each one’s health in conjunction with Warren County Public Health. The students have been finding creative ways to build community and relationships, even in a time of precautionary quarantine. Below is a picture of one of our students (not in quarantine) who is involved in the Summer Work Program having lunch with her friend who is in quarantine. Great spirits on campus!

Our Culinary Services team has been adapting to having to serve 95% of the student body “to-go”. Each meal is individually prepared for each student according to their dietary needs and lovingly delivered by a staff member while they are in quarantine. Below is a picture of Suzy Butler on our Culinary Services team prepping the Chef’s Line with to-go boxes prior to a meal.

All our Culinary Services are in-house, and our chefs are the best in class! I was recently meeting with the president of our main food purveyor, Sysco, and he was telling us that he has not met a more talented and capable food service team than ours at the Bible Institute. It is our team’s joy to serve your students as unto the Lord!  

Ministries:

Most years, our fall ministry plan relies heavily on large group events like Escape the Island, Harvest Jamboree, and Reverb. This fall will look completely different, as all large gatherings have been cancelled. However, we are excited about the potential of a new initiative that all our students will be a part of this fall, and we can’t wait to see how many people we reach with the gospel by utilizing this new format. We plan to take additional time in training and preparing each student to effectively share their story and use it to communicate the gospel, after which students will have the option to either make a social media video or record a podcast sharing their story. Students will then be able to use these videos and podcasts to personally share with friends from around the world, plus they will be shared  via Bible Institute channels online. The potential reach of this new opportunity is incredible, and we look forward to seeing how God uses it! 

Student Success:

There are various academic assistance programs in place at Word of Life Bible Institute to facilitate the success of all our students. Please encourage your student(s) to consider the following opportunities:

Incoming Students – Incoming students are enabled to voluntarily inform their admissions counselors of any learning disabilities and/or individualized education plans (IEPs). This information is given to the Academic Department so that such students may be provided with individualized academic assistance that is catered to their needs. Students and qualified parents/guardians (via FERPA) may inform the Academic Department of a learning disability and/or IEP at any time during the course of the school year.

Study Hours – The most practical program in place to promote student success is required study hours. Study hours take place from 7pm to 9pm on Mondays through Thursdays and are required for all incoming freshmen on-campus students as well as all other students with a GPA of less than 3.0. The Academic Department assesses student GPAs at the midterm of the first semester and those students with a 3.0 or above are not required to attend study hours. Those with GPAs from 2.0-2.99 are required to study in either the library or their rooms. Those with GPAs from 0.0-1.99 are to study in their rooms. Study Hours are enforced by the dorm RAs.The study hour program is unique to WOLBI and is the optimal time for students to complete all their classwork. Students who diligently leverage this study hour time generally perform very well in our academic programs and may find that they do not need to study much outside of the study hour time period.

Tutors – The Academic Department maintains several student tutor positions each year. Any student can request to meet with tutors at least once weekly in a group setting or one-on-one by reaching out to daskau@wol.org. Tutors can provide specific and personalized academic assistance. Generally speaking, WOLBI policy requires students with a 1.8 GPA or lower to work with a tutor in effort to improve their GPA to at least a 2.0.

Study Intensives – Student tutors host study intensives each week to cover material for upcoming exams and explain different assignments. All students, regardless of academic standing, are eligible to participate in these sessions. Intensives for the freshman class are normally held from 8PM to 9PM on Mondays and Thursdays, while those for sophomores are held on Mondays from 7PM to 8PM (students will be notified of any changes to these dates and times).

Research and Writing – In the fall semester of the freshman program, students are enrolled in a Research and Writing course. The first three weeks of this course focus on skills to help students transition and succeed in their college experience. The professors cover subjects such as email communication, creating and using study guides, essential study skills, time management, utilizing the library, Canvas training (our Learning Management System), and researching using our Logos Bible software.

Extended Test-Taking Time – Students may request extra time for completing exams. Such requests should be submitted to the Academic Department either in person at the Page Center for Student Success or via email at academics@wol.org. Requests are reviewed by the department and, upon approval, the department will work with students to schedule extended time.

In addition to the above-listed programs for student success, the Academic Department regularly reviews test and assignment grades, noting those who are struggling. As the WOLBI program is three-faceted—study, life, and ministry—the Institutional Effectiveness Coordinator (IEC) coordinates student success efforts across Academics, Student Life, and Ministries. School personnel, often the IEC, meet with struggling students as deemed necessary to provide assistance, encouragement, and help identify available tools and programs to facilitate student achievement. All students are welcome to reach out to the Academic Department at academics@wol.org or to the IEC at jplough@wordoflife.edu with questions, concerns, or to request assistance. In-person meetings can easily be set up upon request. Please encourage your student(s) to proactively ask for help if they feel that they could use assistance! We do our very best to assist any students that ask.

Campus (Quarantine) Life:

The Campus Life team is currently dedicated to supporting and entertaining all of the students who are completing their New York State mandated two-week quarantine. The team has launched a daily “Quarantine Cast” live web show, played games on zoom, passed out care packages, hosted video contests, and this week, they began a contact-free coffee and food delivery service. 

Florida:

Our Florida campus had an outstanding Opening Weekend, welcoming 107 students from 21 states and 6 countries. The spirit on campus was upbeat and positive despite the many added health precautions, and the understanding and cooperation of parents and family members on registration day was a huge encouragement. As God’s Word was opened throughout the weekend, students were challenged to commit themselves to DO the will of God and to trust in Him. At Sunday evening’s dedication campfire, the great majority of the student body responded to the invitation to surrender their plans to the Lord and to let Him guide their steps wherever He may lead. Classes began Monday morning with Mark Strout teaching Genesis 1-11. This first week will also feature additional orientation sessions and the start of Systematic Theology classes with Dr. Tom Davis. The Student Life team has already begun taking steps to provide discipleship opportunities to every student in the days ahead. Pray that they will adjust well to new routines and that their fellowship will deepen as they adjust to living in community and learn to prefer one another.

If you are the parent of a Bible Institute student, we would like to encourage you to join The Bridge Facebook group to stay connected with us as we navigate this year with your student(s).
You can join the group here: wol.is/parentgroup

We covet your prayers as we do our best to honor God and protect our students, staff,  faculty and community during this time. Thank you for your continued support!

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