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Student Resources for Online Learning

Beginning March 18, 2020, all Saint Francis University classes moved online to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Here you'll find tips, tricks, and all the University resources you will need to make the move to virtual learning as simple as possible!

    • Online learning at SFU
  • Student Emergency Fund

    In response to the growing financial need demonstrated by our students, Saint Francis University has established a Student Emergency Assistance Fund.

    Apply for funding

  • Welcome to your virtual learning adventure with SFU! May this be an engaging and enlightening time for the University community and for you as a student.

    Thank you for your understanding and patience and your full engagement in the learning experience as we move all of our classes to virtual learning spaces.  Some you are confident and excited, while for others there is a bit of concern and ambiguity.  Rest assured your faculty have been working hard to support you and to create this opportunity for continuing your learning in a new modality.  As always when you have a question or concern regarding a class first and foremost reach out to your professor for that course.  In addition to your faculty, the rest of the University community has been meeting to support your success and are here to assist in supporting the continuity and quality of your educational experience now at a distance.  -Dr. Karan Powell, Vice President of Academic Affairs

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    Tech services

  • Internet Assistance

    Internet Options for SFU Students

    IT & Laptop Support: Help in a Flash

    24/7 Help in a Flash

    As a reminder, the Information Technology Help in a Flash help desk is the gateway for all students to access IT resources.  The Help Desk is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available via email, chat or phone. A link to Help in a Flash may be found on under the ‘Helpdesk’ icon.         



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    Academic tools

  • Academic Support

    The staff of the Center for Academic Success is ready to help provide students access to the same quality services found on campus.  Please don’t be afraid to reach out as the university community is dedicated to your success. Tutoring groups are available. Study groups will be forming and more information will be sent shortly. 

    Please reference the links below or log on to and click on the icon labeled ‘ConexEd Student Support Directory’  

    Google Hangout Study Sessions

    Are you struggling to manage your time? 

    Do you need help keeping on track with your coursework? 

    Do you have academic questions you aren’t sure how to get the answers to? 

    The Center for Academic Success now has open study sessions with faculty and staff from different areas of the University who are available to assist you with your general academic needs. They can work with you one-on-one during the session, or just be available to monitor that you're staying on task. (Other study groups for biology and chemistry specific are in the process of being planned too - more information will be forthcoming!)

    You can participate for any amount of time. We hope that you will set this up as a weekly study time for yourself, or you are welcome to jump into any session at any time to ask questions as needed. 

    Use the links below to join the virtual study session via Google Hangouts during these days and times:


    9:00am-11:00am - Diane Skoner

    2:00pm-4:00pm - Martha O'Brien 


    8:00am-10:00am - Michelle Beck 

    12:00-2:00pm - Bonnie Resinski 


    10:00am-12:00pm - Dr. Brian Burke 

    2:00pm-4:00pm - Sarah Dumm 


    9:00am-11:00am - Anne Heinzeroth

    2:00pm-4:00pm - Tabor Schilling 


    Don’t Forget! 

    Tutoring and Writing Center services have moved fully online through ConexEd’s Cranium Cafe. Please use the provided links below to view all tutor's availability, schedule a meeting, or "knock on the door" of a tutor who is online to chat with them. 

    Writing Center:

    Tutoring Center:


    Cranium Café: Support Communities for Students

    A message from Dr. Karen Srba, Dean of Francis Worldwide 

    Cranium Café is an all-in-one communication system used to connect students with the services they need while off campus. Cranium Café also helps create a sense of belonging to campus by connecting students to other students and members of the campus community. Specifically, the service allows students the convenience to:

    • Self-schedule meetings with the business office, registrar, financial aid, and academic success from any device.
    • Receive automated emails and text reminders
    • Remote chat, audio, and video meetings one-on-one or with a group
    • Ability to send in required forms and documents or use the collaboration tools to work on a schedule together.
    • Work with other students in a Café Meeting, Classroom, or Breakout room, or just hang-out with your fellow classmates.

    Please reach out to Dr. Srba, ( your School Dean, or department chairs to explore whether or how to set up groups.  Francis Worldwide staff will assist you in doing this.

    General Tips for Learning Online

    First a few words of advice and guidance for studying at a distance from Dr. Karen Srba, Dean of Francis Worldwide:

    1. Prepare your work environment – set yourself up for success by setting aside a work area in your home where you can be comfortable and free of distractions. Try not to use the bed as your area to do coursework. Your bed is for sleeping and mixing the two areas can subconsciously cause your brain to be less productive and alert.

    2. Online courses and virtual courses taken at a distance require discipline - be sure to login to your class daily or as required by your professor. If possible, try to set aside the same time each day to login, answer questions, obtain new lesson materials and readings or complete other activities and exercises. Getting into the zone or mindset to learn at a distance is important to your success so make logging into each of your courses a daily activity.

    3. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor or classmates – if you have a question about the material, an activity, a due date, a problem, be sure to ask. Most professors will provide you guidance for how and where to direct your questions. Also don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates as you did during the first part of this semester face to face.  The community of your classmates and continuity here are essential and important.   

    4. Be respectful of others and do not use all caps when responding to email or discussions – discussion forums where required.  Practice good online etiquette by being respectful of others comments and do not use caps to respond. CAPS IN WRITING makes it seem like you are yelling.

    5. Join the community – no need to feel isolated – most online and distance learning students and schools have Facebook pages or other social media just for students to interact with other students. Being virtual learners now may feel isolating, especially when you are used to being in a classroom and interacting with your friends and fellow classmates on a regular basis. So reach out to your department, your Dean, your social communities from campus to find out what communities are available to you now that you are studying at a distance and/or what communities you could create. Take initiative to stay connected!

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    Department support

  • Counseling Services

    Dear Students and SFU Community,

    I am writing to you to share updates and decisions relative to the Saint Francis University Counseling Center’s response to the global Coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to provide continuity of care and consistency of services during this difficult time, the Counseling Center has moved all counseling support to a remote format. 

    • At this time, all in-person counseling services have been discontinued. 

    • Telephone support services are available to all existing student clients.

    • Telephone consultation and referral services are available to all students who are not existing clients of the Counseling Center. 

    • If you would like to schedule a tele-appointment, please email or call (814) 472-3211 for assistance. 

    Please note that this approach is likely to change as additional formats and platforms become available. For updates, information, and resources, please check the University’s dedicated webpage

    For immediate assistance you may contact: 

    As always, your wellbeing is our primary concern. We are committed to do our best to provide the help and support necessary to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.  Please continue to keep the entire SFU community in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate this unprecedented situation together. Stay healthy and take care! 


    Laura Corbett-Contorchick

    Coordinator of Counseling Services

    Counseling Center Homepage

    Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office

    The Office of Financial Aid and the Bursar’s Office understand the importance of providing our students and parents with effective and efficient service at all times.  Support and all services will continue to be available.  Please review the guidance and information below:

    Both offices have extended service hours and will be available by phone, email, and Cranium Café.

    EMAIL: Please send all email requests to for Financial Aid questions and for Bursar’s Office and student billing questions.

    Cranium Café: Please visit and scroll down the page for “Student Billing” or “Financial Aid” to chat with online staff members and “Knock on the Door” to start the conversation.  You can use your Canvas credentials to log into the system.  Below is a screen shot of the Saint Francis University Cranium Café webpage.

      cranium cafe homepage screenshot

    SELF-GUIDED: Please review the attached documentation, "Student Billing and NetPartner," to navigate accessing your online student billing information on My.Francis; and, NetPartner which is the web-based secure financial aid portal for SFU students. 

    PLEASE NOTE: NetPartner allows you to view various award years so be sure to select 2019-20 for Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 information; or, 2020-21 for Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 information.


    PHONE: Staff members are not currently on campus but frequently checking voicemails should you choose to leave a message.  At this time, email or Cranium Café are the preferred methods of communication.  Please call (814) 472-2884 for Student Billing or (814) 472-3010 for the Office of Financial Aid. Please provide the student ID and an email for the office to provide a response.


    All Saint Francis University communications, information and resources related to the Coronavirus can be found at  Specific questions and concerns that may arise should be directed to


    Thank you for all of your patience and best wishes on the completion of this semester.


    Office of Financial Aid

    Bursar Office & Student Billing

    Faith-Based Support

    A Community of Faith and Prayer

    Counseling Services

    The Office of Counseling Services is available to all community members virtually. 

    We understand the on-going changes related to the global pandemic may cause stress and anxiety.  Know that resources exist, including resources available through SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress is available by phone at  1-800-985-5990, text “TalkWithUs” to 66746, or by logging on to

    Course Withdrawal Extension

    A message from Jacob Taylor, Registrar:

    The Office of the Registrar understands the importance of providing our students, faculty and staff with effective and efficient service at all times.  Support and all services will continue to be available.   Please review the guidance and information below:

    We have extended our service hours and will be available by phone, email, and Cranium Café.  Please send all email requests to instead of individual staff members.   

    IMPORTANT! – Last day to withdraw from a course for spring 2020 has been extended to April 9, 2020

    Please refer to the Academic Policy section of the University Catalog for additional information.

    If you need a form signed, please note that for all forms, faculty and staff are asked to complete, save, and attach the form to an email for further processing.  You may be asked to initiate this process by your faculty advisor.  Students and faculty may print, complete, take a picture of the form, and then attach it to an email for processing.  Please review the form/request, email it to your faculty advisory who will review it and if approved, forward it along to the next approver for review and approval. 

    CETL Hours, Workshops, & Tools

    A message from your friends at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL):

    1. We will continue to offer the workshops that are scheduled to date.  They will be delivered through Google Hangouts.  When you send your reservation to me, I will respond with a Google calendar invitation to the session.  Accept the invitation to add it to your calendar.  A few minutes ahead of the session time, open the appointment from your calendar and select the conference link for the session.  You will need speakers.  A microphone and webcam are recommended, but not essential.
    2. We will hold our regular center hours virtually, 7:30 to 4:00, and you can reach any of us directly at our office numbers or leave a voicemail there if we are busy with another individual.  (Theresa 472-2799, Briana 472-3207, Ryan 472-3548, Megan 472-3933) 
    3. We will also be monitoring the technology help desk at Help in a Flash during its operational hours and will follow up with any requests for assistance that come via that channel.   
    4. We will continue to add support material to the CETL Website based on the types of questions we receive.  Currently you can find helpsheets for virtual conferences, Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, and a variety of Canvas tools on that page.
    5. We will continue to send CETL Updates when there is critical, or an accumulation of, information related to your virtual teaching.  For example, Canvas has been experiencing delays and page errors this afternoon. About 5 minutes ago, I received a message that a fix has been implemented and the results are being monitored.  For your peace of mind, here is the link to the Canvas status page.  If you are experiencing issues and wondering, "Is it me or the system?" now you can check it out.  Canvas is really good at communicating!
    Bookstore (free textbooks!)

    Staying true to our mission of supporting student success, Barnes and Noble and the Campus Bookstore are excited to announce that we have joined with VitalSource to provide free access to available digital textbooks through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term. 

    Before you can begin searching for and reading ebooks, you will need to log-in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address.


    24/7 Library research assistance is available via the library home page and select the chat button at the bottom of the screen.

    Career Services

    A message from Beth McGregor, Director of Career Services

    Career Services is open and offering our services virtually to all students while Saint Francis University courses are operating remotely.  

    Contact us at or on Cranium Cafe ( for career assistance, including career counseling, resumes/cover letters, job/internship search and strategies, interview assistance, graduate school advising and all career-related questions.  

    Online resources are also available on including Handshake (  and 
    Careershift ( for job and internship search, and 
    Big Interview ( for interview practice. 

    Let us know how we can help you!