Meeting of The CSI Association, Inc.

A remote meeting of the Board of Directors of The College of Staten Island Association, Inc, has been scheduled for Thursday, April 2, 2020 from 2:30 – 4 p.m.  Individuals who would like to watch and listen in on this meeting are welcome to do so online.

Meeting ID: 282 847 777

Please download the Zoom app in order to join the meeting (It is free to download and is compatible with android/ios devices).

​By Marianne McLaughlin

AASCU Offers Free Trainings for Online Instruction

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the National Association of System Heads (NASH), the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) invite leaders, faculty, and staff across higher education for focused and practical discussions on Effective Online Instruction.

Higher education has made an astonishing national transition to online learning. Traditional classrooms may be closed across campuses, but class is still in session, as faculty have gone above and beyond to ensure that their students keep learning.

Yet, moving a course online—like being assigned to a classroom—is just the start.

Join nationally recognized experts in online teaching and learning for a virtual discussion on most effective methods in key areas to ensure quality online instruction for student success.

Confirmed experts include: Flower Darby, Kevin Gannon, April Mondy, Viji Sathy, Alyson Snowe, Michael Wesch, and more.

Webinar topics, dates, and times:

Welcoming Students to Your Online Environment: Thursday, April 2, 2020, 2:00pm ET

Managing Your Online Presence: Monday, April 6, 2020, 2:00pm ET

Organizing your Online Courses: Thursday, April 9, 2:00pm ET

Planning and Facilitating Quality Discussions: Tuesday, April 14, 2:00pm ET

Recording Effective Micro-Lectures: Friday, April 17, 2:00pm ET

Engaging Students in Readings and Micro-Lectures: Monday, April 20, 2:00pm ET


These one-hour, live Webinars will include Q&A with participants and will be recorded and hosted by ACUE. Additional open educational resources to support effective online teaching are being offered in conjunction with OpenStax. Implementation resources related to each topic are available from ACUE’s Online Teaching Toolkit.

Honoring Women’s History Month through Films

The Office of Student Life – Pluralism & Diversity hopes your transition to online classes is going well. We want to continue to celebrate the diversity of our campus and world through months of significance. Even though we are apart, we can continue to learn about one another and strive for a truly pluralistic campus. Celebrate Women’s History Month and Irish Heritage Month in March by learning more about one another through film.

From the Library: During the COVID-19 health crisis, we have canceled all in-person events. However, you can still view our Women’s History Month film online through our Kanopy streaming video database:

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed
77 minutes (2004) 

Directed by Shola Lynch  ​

We encourage you to watch this award-winning documentary online through our Kanopy streaming video database.

Please login using your SLAS/FLAS username and password to access this groundbreaking documentary on the life of Shirley Chisholm.

This film chronicles the political life of Shirley Chisholm, the nation’s first African American congresswoman who launched a campaign for the United States presidency in the 1972 election. Although she did not win, she won much support, despite running in an era of prejudices and racial injustices.

The film takes a look at her presidential run and offers various interviews from Chisholm herself, as well as many others who worked with her on her campaign. Chisholm’s bid for the presidency provoked strong opposition, yet her tenacity to run helped empower more women and people of color. This film was an Official Selection at the Sundance International Film Festival and at the SXSW Film Festival. 

We will continue to highlight months of significance by providing suggestions for movies through Kanopy.

By Jeremiah Jurkiewicz

Student Town Hall with the CSI Vice President for Student Affairs

I hope you and your families are safe as we all manage the new realities caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. I understand there is enormous uncertainty at this time and I recognize the anxiety this has caused many of you. 

To help address your concerns, I invite you to join me in a virtual Student Town Hall where you will have an opportunity to ask me questions. This Student Town Hall will be held on Wednesday, Apr. 1 at 3:00 p.m. Instructions for joining are at the bottom of this message. This is the first of a few events that we are planning throughout the spring semester to help you succeed. 

Student Town Hall Meeting Rules:

  • ​​Participant questions should pertain to their experiences with the College since in-person instruction ended on Wednesday, March 11.
  • All participants will be muted upon entering the Town Hall.​ 
  • All questions should be typed in the chat.  
  • Chat discussion and questions will only be viewable by the host(s). 
  • Questions will be answered in the order they are received.  
  • Dependent on time, not all questions may be answered.  
  • This Town Hall will be recorded. 
  • This is a Double CLUE ( 1PG and 1CC). If you want credit for the CLUE, please include your EMPLID in the chat question (you can do this even if you don’t have a question.)

​Log-in online:
Wednesday, Apr 1, 2020 3:00pm-4:30 pm: 

Meeting number: 799 783 777
Password: ZXdBS6vyB66
Join by phone: 408.418.9388 United States Toll; 844.992.4726 United States Toll-Free; Access code: 799 783 777

I look forward to spending time with you tomorrow.

By Jennifer S. Borrero

Pre-Law Advisement and Information at CSI During the Coronavirus Crisis

Pre-law advising and mentoring services remain available during the Coronavirus crisis.  

To make an appointment to talk with a Pre-Law Advisor by telephone, send an email message to Professor Michael Paris,, or to Professor Elena Cohen,

For up-to-date information on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), the law school admissions process, and pre-law resources, go online. Scroll down on the right side of the home page to subscribe to the blog by entering your email address. Posts with announcements and updates will then arrive in your inbox.

Please stay safe.

By Michael Paris

Student Refunds and Credit/No Credit Grading Policy

As we have transitioned to remote learning, many students have submitted questions on whether some financial consideration would be given for Dormitory Fees and Student Activity Fees. Last night, the CUNY Board of Trustees addressed both of these issues.  ​

Dormitory Fees

·        For continuing students a credit for dormitory fees will be given, on a prorated basis from the move-out date, provided the students are, (i) are in good standing at their institutions; (ii) have paid their bills in full for the spring 2020 semester; and (iii) have vacated the University dormitories as part of the University’s efforts to protect students from the spread of COVID-19. The credit may be applied to either the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 semester.

·        For students who are graduating, a refund of dormitory fees will be given on a prorated basis from the move-out date, to students scheduled to graduate who, as of the date hereof: (i) are in good standing at their institution; (ii) have paid their bills in full for the spring 2020 semester; (iii) have vacated the University dormitories as part of the University’s efforts to protect students from the spread of COVID-19; and (iv) are scheduled to graduate at the end of the current spring 2020 semester.

Student Activity Fees

·        For all students, the Board resolved to waive (i) twenty-five percent (25%) of the Spring 2020 Student Activity Fee for students enrolled on a fifteen (15) week calendar; and (ii) fifty percent (50%) of the Student Activity Fee for students enrolled in those University schools and colleges on twelve (12)- or six (6)-week calendars, in recognition that some services relating to such Student Activity Fees could not be performed by the University due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

·        The portion of the Fee that supports the activities of the University Student Senate will not be waived.

Credit/No Credit Grading

In addition to addressing these Fees, the Board adopted a policy on Credit/No Credit grading.

During the Spring 2020 semester, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, to Credit/No Credit grading. The policy provides:

·        Students shall be able to make this decision up to 20 business days after the University’s final grade submission deadline. Once selected, the CR/NC option cannot be cannot be reversed.

·        If a student chooses to exercise this option, a passing letter grade (A, B, C, or D) will convert to ‘CR’ with credit for the class being awarded, while a failing grade (F) will convert to ‘NC’, with no credit awarded. Credit/No Credit grades will not impact the student’s GPA.

·        Courses taken for a letter grade will continue to be included in the semester and general GPA, while courses taken for a Credit/Non-credit grade will be excluded, just as is the case with such courses taken at a student’s home institution.

·        If a student exercises the option of Credit/No Credit, the Credit (CR) grade will not negatively impact the student’s satisfactory progress toward degree completion.

·        Students with Credit/No Credit grades will be able to transfer those courses across colleges within CUNY, per current CUNY policy.

·        The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall apply to coursework completed on Permit and will not affect Board of Trustees Policy 1.14 – Policy on Coursework Completed on Permit.

·        Students placed on academic probation by their institution at the start of the Spring 2020 semester shall not be penalized with academic dismissal based upon their grades earned this semester.

·        The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall not affect the University standards of student retention and progress in accordance with Board of Trustees Policy 1.26.

·        Before choosing this grading option for one or more of their classes, students shall consult with their academic and financial aid advisors regarding potential impact to their financial aid, licensure requirements, and graduate school admissions.

By Jennifer S. Borrero

Faculty Center/Blackboard Support Update March 30, 2020

The Faculty Center team (Fausto Canela, Michael Castelli, Kristen Lindtvedt) will now be focused on providing ongoing technical support and troubleshooting for Blackboard, as well as additional training in online pedagogy and advanced Blackboard topics. We are anticipating a significant increase in support and training needs as the College community moves deeper into teaching and working in a fully online environment. Therefore, we have scheduled several dedicated Q & A sessions, in addition to training in more advanced topics.

To date, we have completed 48 virtual training sessions covering both introductory and advanced Blackboard training and have responded to more than 2,000 faculty support requests.  Additionally, we have created 115 new Blackboard organizations to support academic departments, administration, and tutors.

Please make sure to frequently check the 

By Michael Castelli and Ralf Peetz​