March 12, 2020 — COVID-19 Message to Students

From: Glena G Temple 
Sent: Thursday, March 12, 2020 12:17 PM
Subject: Viterbo University COVID-19 Update

Viterbo Students:

While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in La Crosse, the situation continues to rapidly evolve across the U.S. and the world. In the interest of the health and safety of all Viterbo community members and doing our part to limit the potential spread of COVID-19, several decisions have been made that I feel are in the best interest of everyone:

  • Traditional face to face classes on campus are suspended next week, March 16–20, and will begin Monday, March 23 in an online format through April 8th (reminder: April 9th-13th is Easter break).  We will re-evaluate the situation in early April.
  • Second half adult learning online courses scheduled to begin Monday, March 16 or other graduate or undergraduate online courses currently underway have not been suspended and will be held as scheduled.
  • Our approach to external internships/clinicals/practicums/field experiences/student teaching experiences will vary, in part due to accreditation requirements and the guidelines of our host organizations. Some will continue or begin next week at external sites.   Please see the specific section below related to these courses and majors. 
  • Our expectation is that students will remain at home as they work on their online courses and not stay in the residence halls. For students for whom this is not an option (for a variety of reasons) our residence halls will remain open for a limited number.  Please see the information below on how to appeal to remain in on-campus housing.
  • International travel, including study abroad trips, are suspended through May 31.
  • Athletic events, competitions and practices are suspended beginning immediately (with the exception of those teams currently finishing their spring break travel) through April 8. The remainder of the season will be evaluated at a later date.
  • All Fine Arts Center events are cancelled or suspended through April 8. More details to come on other campus events.

We understand and acknowledge many students have family members and friends both internationally and domestically who are impacted by COVID-19. All students are encouraged to use available campus resources and seek staff assistance and answers to any questions they may have. Information will be shared in the near future regarding housing options for those students wishing to stay in La Crosse over the summer months.

Viterbo webpage has been created containing links to various resources and an archive of university correspondence on the subject. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 and Viterbo University, contact Sue Danielson, director of health services, at 608-796-3806 or General academic related questions should be directed to Tina Johns, director of student success and retention, at 608-796-3085 or Contact your instructor with course-specific questions. Questions about internships should be directed to Alyssa Gostonczik at 608-796-3829 or Viterbo counseling services are also available for students experiencing stress or anxiety. Students should contact counselors LeeAnn Van Vreede at 608-796-3808, Alicia Hengel at 608-796-3810 or, or Chyan Johanningmeier at 608-796-3809 or

We continue to monitor the latest developments regarding this ever-changing issue and will share information as needed. Thank you for your understanding, flexibility, and commitment to the well-being of all Viterbo community members.

Glena Temple
Viterbo University President

03/12/2020  Current information about external internships/clinicals/student teaching/field experience

*Please check the website for updates
*Please contact your program for clarification, questions or concerns

We are working with our partners and placements sites, as well as seeking guidance from professional and governmental organizations. We will defer to protocols established by health care facilities, schools, school districts, and companies/non-profits where students have placements. If any of these sites impose restrictions on these placements, please know that we will be working with you regarding the options available to complete your assignments.  It is likely the situation will change in the days and weeks ahead in some sites.

  • Graduate clinical experiences in nursing and counseling will continue as appropriate. Post-Bac education experiences will continue.  Please contact your program director if you have specific questions.
  • Undergraduate nursing:
    • For nursing capstone students (NURS 482) your clinicals will proceed, as scheduled, on 3/16.
    • For all other nursing clinicals for Senior I and Juniors, there will be no clinical/lab/simulation 3/16-3/20.  Direct care clinicals at agencies will resume or start 3/23 with no on-site lab or simulations.
    • For Sophomore nursing clinicals, alternative learning opportunities will be communicated by your professor by March 19th.  These alternative learning experiences will begin March 23.
    • For our all other undergraduate nursing clinical questions: please contact Dean Martha Scheckel
  • Undergraduate education
    • For students currently student teaching:  Your student teaching will continue as scheduled.
    • Other course embedded classroom experiences will be postponed or modified. 
    • Student Teachers: please call Ron Johnson for Field Placements, Laurie Kessler for undergraduate placements, and Melinda Langeberg for Post-Bac questions about placements
  • Social work field experiences for seniors will continue.  All other course embedded experiences will be postponed or modified.  For social work students: please contact Dr. Janet Holter with questions
  • Nutrition and dietetics senior capstone students and dietetics internship students your embedded experiences continue.  All other course embedded experiences will be postponed or modified. For questions, internship students contact Dr. Maria Morgen-Bathke or Jamie Weber, for undergraduate coordinated clinical placements please contact Dr. Karen Gibson with questions
  • For all other internship placements: please contact Alyssa Gostonczik to discuss your particular situation and determine if you will continue or postpone your internship experience. 

Please note:  For students who live on campus, and are within commuting distance from their home, please consider remaining home and traveling to and from your clinical/practicum/field/internship site from home.  However, if this living arrangement is a barrier to your education, details about how to apply to remain in campus housing are found below.

3/12/2020:  Current information on residential housing on campus

University residential facilities present unique challenges during a pandemic as the number and density of students living, eating, and studying in close quarters increases the risk of rapid transmission of disease. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide for the safety and wellbeing of our students and our community, Viterbo University is significantly limiting all campus housing as part of our transition to online learning throughApril 8th. We recognize that some students may be unable to return to their permanent residence for various reasons and will need to stay in Viterbo housing during this time. Examples of these populations may include international students, students living at a prohibitive distance from the University, seniors participating in a field experience who cannot remain at home, or those who are financially dependent on La Crosse area employment. Students requesting approval to remain in on-campus housing are required to complete the application at THIS LINK by Monday, March 16 at 4 pm for consideration to remain on campus.  Dining Services will remain operational for those students approved to remain on campus. Students are welcome to retrieve any essential belongings, including academic materials and medications, at any point prior to March 20 at 4 pm; residential facilities will not be accessible after that point. Student Life will send a detailed message to all on-campus residents with more information later today.