West Virginia University is offering another haven via cyberspace to college students displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Fifteen online courses from toxicology to Web design will be offered for free in an accelerated, eight-week semester for students from schools in the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast, WVU officials said.

The courses are being presented through a higher education partnership with the 16-state Southern Region Education Board and the Sloane Consortium, an international association of colleges and universities committed to offering new avenues of online education.

WVU s newest offerings carry a lot of weight, WVU Dean of Extended Learning Sue Day-Perroots said, as they are helping traumatized students salvage their fall semester.

For one, the courses compliment WVU s other initiatives to help people impacted by Katrina,she said.And they exemplify the potential of higher education to serve students anywhere, no matter what.

Courses offered are: Survey of Finance, Injury Prevention and Control, Counseling Theory and Techniques, Principles of Educational Leadership, New Venture Creations, Planet Earth, Introduction to Mass Communications, Pharmacology, Introduction to Human Anatomy, Introduction to Nursing Research, Families Across the Lifespan, Sacred Places, Career Development and Job Placement, Ethics Counseling Surveys and Web Design.

More courses may be added later, Day-Perroots said.

The courses are funded by a $1.1. million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, visit online atwww.SloanSemester.org.

WVU , meanwhile, has admitted seven displaced students from Gulf State colleges in traditional fall campus classes.

The University is also continuing its medical outreach and fund-raising efforts for storm survivors:

  • Operation Safe Haven : WVU Hospitals, Health Sciences Center and University Health Associates are operating a temporary medical clinic from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. as part of Camp Dawsons Operation Safe Haven in Preston County. The National Guard training camp is sheltering some 200 evacuees, with more likely to arrive. Counselors from WVU s Faculty Staff Assistance Program are assisting with emotional needs of evacuees. Those wishing to employ evacuees or provide family placement may go towww.volunteerwv.orgor call 1-800-WV HELPS . Volunteers are still needed for shelter operations. For more information, contact the River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross at 304-598-9500. Volunteers are also needed to sort donations and fill orders. Call the Reedsville Volunteer Fire Department at 304-864-6741 to learn more. , lip balm, cleaning products, batteries (AA, C, 9-volt), play tents, fishing gear and rain gear (all ages), air fresheners, flashlights, hand soap in pump-bottles).
  • Dollars for DisasterDrive : The fund-raiser, coordinated by the WVU Student Health Advisory Board, Student Government Association and several Other organizations continues on campus. Financial donations are being accepted from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Friday (Sept. 9), Sept. 12-16 and 19-20 in the Mountainlair and Robert. C. Byrd Health Sciences Center (outside the HSC cafeteria). Checks made out to ARC Hurricane Katrina can also be mailed led to: SHAB /WVU Health Service, P.O. Box 9247, Morgantown, WV 26506 .
  • * WVU Hospitals* : Employee contributions will be matched up to $10,000. Call 304-296-7525 for more information. Financial donations may also be dropped off Friday, Sept. 9, at the following collection sites: 7-9 a.m.East lobby, Ruby Memorial Hospital; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.Cafeteria, Ruby Memorial Hospital; 2-4 p.m.East lobby, Ruby Memorial Hospital; 2-4 p.m.Lobby, Chestnut Ridge Hospital.
  • FanFest Fund-raiser : Members of the Student Health Advisory Board and Student Government Association will staff aDollars for Disasterfund-raising booth in front of the Mountainlair from 4-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9.
  • Gameday Fund-raisers : WVU student-athletes will ask for donations during Saturdays (Sept. 10) 6 p.m. WVU -Wofford football game at Milan Puskar Stadium. Collection points will be in place at the east, west and north areas of the stadium. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. WVU s Collegiate 4-H will also collect on game day forDollars for Disaster.
  • Campus groups interested in launching hurricane relief efforts are reminded to coordinate through the Office of Service Learning Programs . Contact Kim Colebank or Franchesca Nestor at 304-293-8761 ext. 4482.
  • Benefit concert : Local bands will plug in at downtown Morgantowns 123 Pleasant St. club to rock out for the American Red Cross, which will receive 100 percent of the door profits. Campus radio station U-92 is staging the benefit, along with Pronto Print, a Morgantown business.
  • Journalists for Katrina : Student groups from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism are planning a raffle featuring a football signed by the Mountaineer team and gift certificates to area restaurants and retailers.