In the Loop

August 2020

A "Smart Start" at SPU

A new website debuted in August as the one-stop spot to find the latest information for Seattle Pacific University's hybrid 2020 Autumn Quarter.  

The SPU Smart Start website includes a cornucopia of information in one place, including the academic calendar, details about reopening campus buildings and offices, campus dining information, a COVID-19 FAQ, and more. This is where students, faculty, staff, and others in the SPU community will find  instructions related to health and safety expectations while on campus, as well as separate webpages for employees and students. More information will be added, so check the website often. 

Spanish Heritage minor fulfills requirements, makes career sense

Seattle Pacific University offers a new Spanish Heritage program to support and facilitate Spanish language skills and relevant cultural learning for students who are already fluent, or nearly so, in speaking Spanish. So, if students already speak Spanish, why would they take this new Spanish Heritage program?   

Often, such students may have good conversational skills, but may be limited in vocabulary, explained Patrick McDonald, professor of philosophy. One of the faculty members instrumental in developing the program, McDonald added that while many young people grown up speaking Spanish in the home, they may have little experience reading and writing in Spanish in an academic or professional setting. In today’s global economy, adding a more refined knowledge of a second language boosts future career prospects. In fact, since 2015, the number of U.S. job ads listing Spanish as a desired skill increased by roughly 150 percent, according to a New American Economy report.

At the core of the Spanish Heritage program are a series of Spanish courses designed for heritage speakers: SPN 2111, SPN 2112, and SPN 2113. The program also includes several required courses in the Common Curriculum, including 1000 University Colloquium, 2000 University Core, 3100 University Foundations courses, and 1100 Disciplinary Research and Writing Seminar. Classes in the program are primarily taught in Spanish.

See a list of the courses in this program. Student interested in registering for this program should speak to their academic and/or faculty advisor.


Resource Hub: The go-to portal for students

Whether students have questions about internships, aren’t sure which class fulfills a requirement, or need to know where to find help with a term paper, the Resource Hub can direct them to the office or department ready to help.

Brimming with information and links to campus offices and departments, the Resource Hub can help students find the academic support services they need;  steer them toward the student-life opportunities to fill free time; and connect them to wellness resources. Whether students are just beginning their academic journey at Seattle Pacific, or they are kicking off their final year, the Resource Hub saves valuable time by helping them find what they need all in one place.  

Healing notes: SPU’s music therapy program celebrates 10 years

SPU’s Music Therapy program, the first and only such program in Washington state, has just celebrated its 10th birthday. Across the country, a special group of SPU alumni work with people in hospitals, senior living homes, memory care facilities, schools, prisons, and private practices. They help their patients work toward mental and physical healing — through music. Read the story in Response magazine.

Info from Student Financial Services

Low interest rates on federal student loans

Is your student considering a federal student loan, or have you considered a Parent PLUS loan? Take advantage of the interest rate for this academic year. You’ll find it much lower than years past. Visit to learn more.

Autumn Quarter billing statement

Statements for Autumn Quarter will be delivered Sep. 9, with a due date of Oct. 1 (unless your student has signed up for a payment plan). All billing statements are sent to students’ SPU email address. In order to view or receive an electronic statement, please have your student set you up as an “Authorized Payer” in QuikPAY.

Student employment

The months of August and September are the prime time for students to begin their job search. If your student is interested in a work-study position, your student can check Handshake often for updates and listings of new positions. This year the annual job fair will take place virtually through Handshake on Thursday, Sep. 17. Students should monitor their SPU email address for additional information as it becomes available.

Upcoming events

Labor Day
Monday, Sep. 7

Campus offices closed.

New Student Orientation
Thursday–Sunday, Sep. 10–13

Find information for first-year students, transfer students, families, as well as move-in information on the Orientation website.

Returning students campus move-in
Saturday–Sunday, Sep. 12–13

Returning students living on campus must sign up for a move-in slot for either Saturday, Sep. 12, or Sunday, Sep. 13. Students should watch their email and check the move-in page later in August.

Autumn Quarter 2020 
Monday, Sep. 14

Class instruction begins.

Annual Job Fair
Thursday, Sep. 17
11 a.m.–2 p.m.

This year the annual job fair will take place virtually through Handshake on Thursday, Sep. 17. Students should monitor their SPU email address for additional information as it becomes available. On- and off-campus employers and work-study and non-work study employers will be there.

Academic calendars

SPU academic calendars, including important deadlines, final exam schedules, holidays, and academic highlights for 2020–21.