Academic Calendar and Identifying Technology Needs for Students

In his latest memo to the campus, Chancellor Matos Rodriguez announced some further changes in the academic calendar. Starting this Friday, Mar. 27, we will be undergoing a recalibration period (not a break), which will give us additional time to get technology needs to students and (if sufficient devices are available) to faculty who need such support. It will also give faculty more time to implement technological changes related to the rollout of distance education. This period will go through Wednesday, Apr. 1, with instruction resuming on Thursday, Apr. 2. The University’s spring recess will now be shortened and will run from Wednesday, Apr. 8 through Friday, Apr. 10. 

I have received numerous requests from faculty and Deans regarding these changes in the calendar, most asking for exemptions from the recalibration period. Unfortunately, since this is the new CUNY calendar, we are not in a position to grant ad-hoc exceptions, since the goal of this recalibration interval is to allow students who have already been disadvantaged by a lack of access to technology to catch up. I understand concerns that this will interrupt the academic momentum that has been delicately established with the new modes of instruction, and that this is another perturbation of our academic schedule. 

I have also received questions about Friday classes, which will now have two fewer sessions available for instruction during the semester. I would offer the same guidance for this situation, as we normally institute for snow days–extending the length of class sessions if necessary, and offering asynchronous assignments wherever possible. In general, asynchronous instruction is more flexible, and will be affected less by these calendar changes than synchronous classes.

Numerous questions have emerged around testing mechanisms in the online environment, and CUNY is working on purchasing some solutions that will permit effective online proctoring. As soon as those are available, we will let you know.

We are also continuing to ask for your help in identifying students who have not been participating in classes since the move to distance education. If you can continue to supply this information to your chairs and Deans, it will help us in the process of allocating technology to students. The best way to ensure that a student is considered for eligibility for a device is to have them fill out the online survey​ for technology that IT has created by 5))pm tonight. 

I continue to be inspired by all that our campus has done and continues to do to respond to this unparalleled challenge to our normal modes of instruction. I’m sure many of you are experiencing fatigue as the changes continue to unfold, but please know how grateful I am to all of you for your commitment to our students.

By J. Michael Parrish

Mobile Device Survey Sent to Students

As part of our shift to distance learning in response to COVID-19, CUNY has obtained 25,000 iPads and Chromebooks that will be distributed to students who do not currently have access to technology. These should arrive by the end of the week, and another 25K are set to arrive the following week. In order to determine who should receive these, IT services sent out the email copied below, and Financial Aid and the Budget Office are determining which students with the greatest financial need should receive devices first if they need them. We anticipate having some devices available for faculty and staff needs, if the student demand does not exceed our allocations. Some of you have been assessing the needs of students in your classes who do not have access to technology–please continue to forward those to your Dean’s office so we can cross-check with the student survey results.

So far, our transition to distance learning has gone remarkably smoothly, and I deeply appreciate how all of you have pitched in–particularly those with previous expertise in these areas who have shared their knowledge with your peers. Thanks to all of you for your dedication to our students during this unprecedented and sudden change in the way we deliver knowledge.

By J. Michael Parrish

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Information Technology Services is inquiring about your technology needs as you continue to participate in distance learning. We have been informed by the University that CSI will be acquiring a limited number of devices that we will be able to loan to students in order to support your remote learning activities. In order for the College to get a gauge of your technology requirements, we are requesting that you complete the Mobile Device Loan Request Form. Please understand that due to a limited amount of equipment, we are unable to fulfill all requests. In addition, by submitting this form, there is no guarantee that you will be receiving a device. We will be following a methodology established by CUNY in order to determine who is qualified. Please return this survey by March 25, 2020; 12:00 Noon. Thank you as always for your continued support as we work together during this stressful time.

Information Technology Services 

CUNY Updates on Student Success, Equity, and Inclusion

Here is more information from today’s long updated guidance from CUNY, covering topics such as disability services, internships and clinical placements, and financial aid.

By J. Michael Parrish

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Student Success, Equity & Inclusion

Disability Services

During this transition to distance learning, CUNY’s faculty remain the University’s most vital resource in ensuring reasonable accommodations for our more than 11,000 students with disabilities. As our faculty prepare to deliver course content via distance learning modalities, I ask that they consider the following overarching principles and key resources:  

  • Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), CUNY colleges are still required to provide equal access to our University’s academic programs – even in a distance learning environment
  • Campus Offices of Disability Services (ODS) continue to serve as key sources of technical assistance and support to faculty in determining the best ways to reasonably accommodate students with disabilities in distance learning instructional modalities; please use this link to contact the ODS on your campus:http://cats.cuny.edu/reasonableaccommodations/COSDIDirectory.html
  • The barriers that exist at the intersection of a student’s disability and course design may be different from those posed by the original course format. Some accommodations students used before may no longer apply in distance learning formats, and some accommodations not considered previously may need to be considered now; we appreciate our faculty’s flexibility and collaboration with ODS staff and students with disabilities themselves to meet their accommodation needs in distance learning modalities.

To aid in these efforts, the guide Reasonable Accommodations: A Faculty Guide for Teaching Students with Disabilities resource was developed specifically for CUNY faculty to provide them with information and best practices to be most effective in meeting the needs of students with disabilities and achieving the goal of equal access. This guide includes helpful information in accommodating students with disabilities in distance learning, including the following two sections:

Technology in the Classroom and for Online Courses http://cats.cuny.edu/reasonableaccommodations/TechnologyintheClassroom.html

Alternative Text for Students with Disabilities http://cats.cuny.edu/reasonableaccommodations/AlternativeText.html  

Please know that our campus Offices of Disability Services will work closely with our CUNY Office of Student Inclusion Initiatives to ensure that our faculty have the support they need to successfully and meaningfully accommodate students with disabilities. We are grateful to our faculty and to our disability services professionals for their abiding commitment to the access, success, and wellness of students with disabilities.  

CS/MS and Adult Literacy and Language Immersion Programs

CUNY Start/Math Start, CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), and the Adult Literacy Program are all planning on moving their instruction online based on the conversion date for-credit classes next Thursday. The Central Office staff that support each program have been working with college teams to develop plans for this transition using both synchronous and asynchronous delivery via platforms like Blackboard, Dropbox, Zoom, and WebEx, and how to make use of video, discussion tools, chat, and other technology tools to deliver instruction. Each program will develop a plan, to be provided to the appropriate college leadership, that details how content will be delivered, multiple options for communicating with students, and how student work will be assessed to document learning outcomes have been met. Colleges are encouraged to make any local resources that are available to faculty to assist with this conversion available to these programs as well. CUNY CIS is also supporting assessment of technology needs for these programs if there is not a local college resource readily available. We will provide further guidance on any standardized testing that typically takes place in CUNY testing centers, which would also be developed for students in developmental education classes that require the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CAT-W) and CUNY Elementary Algebra Final Exam (CEAFE).    

Clinical Placements  

Clinical Placements – Education Programs.  A of Monday, March 16, education students who are participating in clinical placements for fieldwork or student teaching required by their academic program, and their faculty supervisors, were told not report to school/field sites until further notice. Education Deans and Chairs are receiving specific guidance and resources on conducting virtual fieldwork from Ashleigh Thompson via email and postings on http://www.cuny.edu/teachered. Nearly identical to what has been offered to DOE teachers, a new CUNY-specific instance of this remote learning website was set up for CUNY faculty use, free up to 50,000 users: https://learn.flglobal.org/courses/cucy-rtol-rapid-transition-to-online-learning  

In light of the DOE school closure, and plan for three-days of professional development for teachers at school sites this week, we have heard requests from schools, CUNY students and faculty about candidates attending these days so they can participate in training and assist with remote learning delivery for their school site.    

Upon careful review, CUNY will support clinical fieldwork placements that support schools’ use of remote learning, under the following conditions: 

  1. The principal invites/approves the candidate’s continued participation; 
  2. cooperating teachers can provide adequate supervision to students in the context of remote learning; 
  3. faculty are willing and able to support student placements, as required; and 
  4. students are aware of risks and willing to take the necessary precautions, as per available guidance, to participate in the school-based training during the crisis. 

The health and safety of our students and faculty remain a top priority, therefore considerations for placement may be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Please communicate with Ashleigh Thompson with any questions or updates on your decisions to continue with remote clinical fieldwork so we are aware of the student placements across programs and facilities. This update does not preclude colleges from engaging in virtual fieldwork, which was previously recommended. This policy, and its four conditions, pertains to social workers, therapists, counselors and other students with required school-based placements.  

Clinical Placements – HHS Programs. Previously, the Office of Academic Affairs has shared important information with campus HHS leaders about how to request and secure permission from NYSED to move clinical placements into alternative modalities (for more info contact, Dr. Patricia Simino Boyce (patricia.boyce@cuny.edu), University Dean for Health and Human Services.    

Recently, we received notification from NYSED OOP confirming alternative training models for several Nursing Programs, in addition to one Social Work Program’s request to reduce the field hours to the minimum required by NYS and CSWE for BSW and MSW programs. HHS programs are encouraged to confirm guidance from their accrediting agency on the delivery of program content and substantive change notification requirements during the crisis.   

Lastly, we are receiving requests from CUNY programs, as well as industry partners, to ask if students may continue field placements if the sites are not cancelling services and communicating that students should continue with their hours.    

In addition, we have heard from public health agencies and local health and human service partners asking about potential roles for CUNY students to address anticipated workforce needs. Upon careful review, CUNY will support field placements, under the following conditions: 

  1. placement facilities can provide adequate supervision to students at their sites; 
  2. faculty are willing and able to support student placements, as required; and 
  3. students are aware of the risks and willing to take the necessary precautions, as per available guidance, to participate in the field placement during the crisis. 

The health and safety of our students and faculty remain a top priority, therefore considerations for placement must be addressed on a case-by-case basis with documentation of these conditions by all parties. Please communicate with Patricia Simino Boyce with any questions or updates on your decisions to continue with clinical and field sites so we are aware of the student placements across programs and facilities. In the meantime, we will continue to explore options for student roles in response to COVID-19.     

College Now Courses

NYCDOE schools are implementing a remote learning model beginning March 23 through April 20, 2020. NYC DOE schools are in recess the week of March 16 as staff prepare for remote learning. Students should not report to school buildings for instruction during this time. No in person instruction can take place in DOE high schools beginning March 16, through April 20. We recommend any courses enrolling current NYC DOE students, including those taking place on CUNY campuses, follow this model.  Early College High schools will fully implement NYCDOE’s remote learning plan beginning on Monday, March 23 – April 20, 2020. Students should not report for instruction during this time. Students are not in attendance from March 16 – 20.  From March 17 – March 20, students who need technology in order to access remote learning can report to thei rschools to get it – they will receive communication from their schools regarding plans for this. All students will begin receiving information on remote learning plans during this time. Remote learning begins March 23. 

UAPC/Admissions

Office of Admissions staff at 42nd Street and UAPC/Kingsborough CC will continue to assist applicants, process application and provide recommendation per published calendar. Majority of staff is telecommuting but maintaining regular business hours. We will have few staff members coming to office for mail deliveries. Admissions staff is available via phone/email to answer questions from applicant/counselors/college staff. Applicants can also review their application status via CUNYfirst self-service.  

Internships  

Guidance for CUNY Students Working in Internships. CUNY students working as interns, whether with private or public sector employers, should abide by the internal protocols of their internship site. They may work if the site remains open and is allowing interns to report. In addition to the work site’s coronavirus policy, students who are sick or have knowingly been in contact with anyone who is sick should notify their internship manager and CUNY program manager or contact immediately. We ask that all students and supervisors touch base to work on a course of action. Some students may be working with individuals in vulnerable populations, so we ask that supervisors and students use their best judgment. Companies or organizations may institute telecommuting or work from home policies that apply to students. We ask students to inform their internship manager or CUNY program manager if their employers move to telecommuting/work from home policies. Students should confirm that they have the tools they need t do this effectively and reach out to their internship manager or CUNY program manager with any questions or concerns. 

Guidance for Campus- Based Internships.  Similar to the guidance for public and private sector internships, students and supervisors should abide by the protocols and policies set by the institution.

Guidance for credit bearing internships. Student will maintain enrollment in spring 2020 campus-based academic internship courses at their discretion and the discretion of college faculty with whom they are registered. Students and faculty will continue to meet in seminars via online/distance learning tools once they are introduced at the campuses. Students and faculty will work together to redesign any assigned internship deliverables, to ensure that learning outcomes reflected in course syllabi are met and measured at the conclusion of the semester. Where permissible, academic internship responsibilities given to students by outside organizations at the beginning of the semester will continue to be carried out via remote. In cases where internship responsibilities cannot be carried out via remote, campus faculty will develop and assign alternative experiential learning responsibilities and goals to students enrolled in credit-bearing courses.  

International Programs

The University has already provided internal guidance to ensure maximum academic continuity to all CUNY students currently enrolled in study abroad programs that cannot be completed as planned, including coordinating with program partners and providers, replacing course content and assessment of programs abroad through independent studies, facilitating credit-bearing internships for affected students, and considering late registration at LaGuardia Community College or Kingsborough Community College via EPermit in cases of students with low numbers of earned credits.  

Recently we announced that effective immediately, CUNY was cancelling or postponing all CUNY-sponsored student international travel during the spring 2020 semester (including spring break). This directive holds for all study abroad programs as well as non-CUNY credit-bearing programs and non-credit travel under the auspices of CUNY or any CUNY college or student organization. This measure is taken out of an abundance of caution given the uncertain and unique challenges students would face when crossing borders at this time and builds upon the previous decision to suspend study abroad and nonessential travel to CDC Level 3 countries and to suspend CUNY study abroad programs listed as Level 2 or 3 by the CDC.   

Requests for exceptions to this policy will continue to be reviewed by the Office of Global Education and Initiatives and the Office of Risk, Audit and Compliance, but will also be elevated to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, who will make a final recommendation to the Chancellor after proper consultation with the New York State Department of Health. Please note that CUNY’s International Travel Guidelines apply to all travel outside the United States, including Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories and Protectorates.  

Additional details regarding the scope of this policy and the corresponding implementation plan has been shared with all campus Study Abroad Offices/International Education Liaisons and to all campus Offices of Students Affairs, who were encouraged to survey their campus community to identify any and all student international travel plans, regardless of whether or not they sought approval from the corresponding campus authorities, to suspend pending trips and programs, and to support impacted students abroad who opt to return to New York.    

Until we can restore international travel for our students, we will work to reinforce global learning and teaching opportunities on our campuses. For more information, please contact Dr. Kimberly Holland (kimberly.holland@cuny.edu), University Director of Global Education and Initiatives, or Dr. Ian James (ian.james@cuny.edu), Special Assistant  to the Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost, Office of Academic Affairs/Enrollment Management.  

Continuing Education

Campus presidents and professional school deans are authorized to make local decisions regarding the teaching modality of their continuing education programs.  The Office of Academic Affairs will be available to answer questions and describe best practices as campus leaders make decisions regarding specific program offerings that are already in progress or scheduled for future dates. While President’s have the discretion to hold small ACE classes using social distancing etc., in light of the new guidelines for virus spread, we encourage campuses to continue to push on making distance learning the priority, rather than continuing with in-person classes that may put students at risk during their commutes and transit to/from campus.

Financial Aid

The University has communicated with campus financial aid directors regarding USDE Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HESC guidance related to the effect short-term and long-term school closures would have on student financial aid regulations. The expectation is that beginning March 19, students will successfully transition to distance education, and the guidance provided below is for the exception, not all students.  

The USDE guidance addresses the following five scenarios among other important matters, such as Satisfactory Academic Progress, Federal Work-Study payments in the event of a closure, etc.:  

  • A student was enrolled or was supposed to begin a travel-abroad experience and either the student has been called back to the U.S. or was never able to begin the travel abroad experience;
  • A student was enrolled in a program and met the requirements for full-time enrollment; however, due to the COVID-19, one or more classes – such as an internship, a clinical rotation, student teaching or fieldwork – have been cancelled and now the student has fallen below the 12-credit hour minimum and is no longer considered to be a full-time student;
  • A student is quarantined and misses class, or a student is incapacitated due to COVID-19 illness;
  • A campus temporarily stops offering ground-based classes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • A foreign school that serves U.S. students who participate in title IV programs temporarily suspends operations due to COVID-19.

To date, HESC has indicated that it will work with colleges to ensure “continued eligibility for awards under all circumstances related to the Coronavirus.” Below is a summary of information provided in recen webinars convened by HESC on March 11 and 12., This information has already been shared with campus financial aid directors: Federal Aid Key topics discussed:  

  • Supplementing the Professional Judgement form for COVID-19-related reasons
  • Federal Work-Study for students who are unable to continue working due to closure or inability directly due to the crisis.
  • If a student is appealing SAP on a COVID-19-related circumstance

Additional guidance for the treatment of Federal Aid can be found here:https://ifap.ed.gov/electronic-announcements/030520Guidance4interruptionsrelated2CoronavirusCOVID19  

A Central communication was sent yesterday to all 19-20 FWS students, whom accepted their award and were enrolled, providing guidance on job locations, working remotely, closures, and the location of the FA COVID-19 Form. FA Offices were provided with a copy of the template communication and a list of the students communicated to.  

New York State Aid HESC has allowed for COVID-19 impacted students who are adversely affected by the crisis to be held faultless for the term. They must be documented individually and retained in the student file. HESC will accept the designation by the school’s determination. Such instances are:  

  • Excelsior failed to earn 30 credits by the end of the term.
  • HESC Scholarship GPA requirement not met. 
  • Failed Progress and Pursuit making them ineligible for Fall 2020 TAP award.

These students can only be certified online at HESCWeb and must have the Impacted by COVID-19 Check box selected. Students who were previousl certified and then later report a negative impact, may be recertified b program to have the designation on the term. Documentation is mandatory. HESC will be releasing an FAQ as well from last week’s webinar shortly. The form can be found here: https://www.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/page-assets/financial-aid/financial-aid-forms/common-forms/COVID-19-Financial-Aid-Documentation-Form2-003.pdf  

Central Office of Student Financial Assistance will participate this afternoon in a webinar by the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators, which should offer guidance to be disseminated to the campuses.  

As always, for more information, please contact Ms. Elaine Pimentel, University Executive Director of Financial Aid: elaine.pimentel@cuny.edu.  

Veterans

VA is preparing guidance for schools that have changes in instructional modalities and operation statuses due to COVID 19. However, Congress has introduced legislation that, if enacted, will alleviate the impact to GI Bill beneficiaries for a switch to pursuit solely through distance education. In order to avoid confusion and the need to make multiple changes to enrollments, VA is asking all schools to temporarily refrain from making any adjustments to enrollment certifications if training has changed due to COVID-19.

For more information, please contact Lisa Beatha, CUNY Director for Veterans Affairs, at lisa.beatha@cuny.edu.​

Guidance from CUNY #3 – Distance Learning and Resources

This is the third of four messages providing recent academic affairs guidance from CUNY.​

By J. Michael Parrish

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More on the Scope of Distance Learning  

As we have indicated before, the objective of an academic continuity plan is to help safeguard the academic term from the standpoint of our student’s academic progress and their financial aid and support our faculty and students’ research efforts as we work to address the challenges posed by COVID-19.  As far as distance learning is concerned, the U.S. Department of Education has indicated that at a minimum, our faculty must be able to “communicate to students through one of several types of technology – including email – … and [that] instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis.”  As an example of this, the USDE offers that “an instructor could use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in his or her class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.” All of these minimal levels of interaction are supported by the CUNY licensed software solutions itemized in previous guidance (see thread below) and identified in our www.cuny.edu/coronavirus portal. The most important thing is for faculty to confer with their students to get a sense of what the most effective and EQUITABLE way to move forward with distance learning should be, considering both faculty and student readiness, accessibility to devices and reliable internet access, and phone capabilities. Ultimately, faculty and colleges should ask themselves how they can create optimal conditions for students to meet their learning outcomes.

Update on Distance Learning Resources  

Access to Devices and Internet Connections

Pe current guidance, campuses will remain open, including facilities such as libraries and computer labs. This will allow faculty and students who may not have access to adequate Internet devices and connections to fulfill their distance learning obligations on site. Additionally, the University is in early conversations with the city about having internet service providers grant access to CUNY students, faculty and staff to their hotspots across the City and about the possibility of securing loaner laptops that could be distributed through our campuses. We also expect individual service providers to step up in this difficult time. A recent example of that is Charter Communications who just today, March 13, 2020, has announced that it will ” offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.” Please note that Charter Communications is not a CUNY vendor and CUNY is not endorsing or requiring the use of such services. Nevertheless, CUNY is appreciative of Charter Communication’s support in making such services available to our students and faculty.

Cisco WebEx Access

As campuses think about the additional tools needed to support distance learning, CIS has been working with Cisco to enable Webex services for all CUNY faculty, staff, and students. Cisco’s Webex Meetings and Webex Teams platforms will help with online learning and meetings for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Faculty and staff can go to ConnectCUNY Webex.com and use their @login.cuny.edu username and password to begin using Webex Meetings now. Student accounts are being loaded over the weekend. In addition, CIS has also enabled the Webex Education Connector in Blackboard to integrate Webex Meetings within Blackboard for classroom collaboration, online meetings and virtual office hours for courses within Blackboard.  As of now, the Webex Education Connector Learning Tools Interface, which is provided by a third party service, is seeing an enormous amount of use from across the country.  We expect the service will stabilize as all this testing is completed. Those using the Webex platform independent of the Webex Education Connector are having no performance issues to report. Webex, Blackboard Collaborate, and Microsoft Teams are three ready-to-go solutions for the colleges to use for virtual classrooms and distance learning. Presidents are given the latitude to consider other solutions with the understanding that CIS has limited resources to be able to integrate or support the local decisions. Of course, when the intensity of the work stabilizes, we can revisit any requests for additional support.  

Cloud-Based Adobe Licenses for Students

To supplement the previously released (see previous guidance in thread below), locally generated list of available resources to facilitate a move to distance learning, we wanted to present some resources that bring together additional perspectives from across the country.

We are pleased to state that CIS has been working with Adobe on how the University can take advantage of their recent announcement that would significantly reduce the need of students who have access to adequate computing devices at home to visit campus labs:  

  • Adobe is making temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud available until May 31, 2020 for universities who currently have only lab access for students, at no additional cost.
  • Adobe provides a student asset migration portal that enables graduating students to transfer the assets associated with their assigned school account to a personal account.
  • Adobe will be sharing a curated set of resources soon on the Adobe Education Exchange Website to help faculty with their transition to online instruction.

CIS is working now with Adobe to enable student access through the CUNY Login page using their @login.cuny.edu credentials. Faculty already have home use of these tools under our current CUNY licensing agreement. College CIOs can assist in activating faculty access, if needed. Both Adobe and CIS are now working to enable these additional student accounts by March 19th.  

Efforts to Secure Additional Blackboard Help Desk Support

Anticipating thousands of additional faculty and students who may now require Blackboard 24/7 helpdesk support, CIS is working with campus CIOs on the possibility of securing third-party services that will complement our in-house capacity in issues related to “navigation within Learn, how to use Blackboard Collaborate,” among other common Blackboard issues that our CUNY community may need help with. Services we are exploring will include a person that will answer off hours inquiries and provide assistance with Blackboard issues. If the issue relates to navigation within Learn, how to use Blackboard Collaborate, replaying a recording, as an example, the support agent will guide the caller through the challenge. If the support agent cannot resolve the callers needs at the time they will capture the question in an email and forward the matter to the appropriate service desk at the college or central office.   

Testing Options and efforts to Secure Proctoring of Distance Learning Exams

CIS is currently consulting with CIOs and Provosts about opportunities to procure a distance learning exam solution for proctoring services and share the licenses with the colleges. Of course, specific requirements need to be developed in consultation with campus leaders. We will do our best to identify solutions that can support the greatest common needs. Questions remain as to whether this should be a centrally led effort of a campus-based effort. In addition, campus testing offices may be open if campuses are open during the final exam period and be able to administer University exams such as the CEAFE and CATW exams for developmental courses. Additional information will be forthcoming.​

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Guidance from CUNY #2 – Student Grades

This is the second of four messages providing recent academic affairs guidance from CUNY.

By J. Michael Parrish

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Student Grades


Student Grades

Acknowledging that many of our students may feel uneasy about a move to distance learning and how that could affect their academic performance, the University has authorized the University Registrar to make the following changes to CUNY’s academic calendar, effective immediately.  

1)       Last Day to File for Pass/No Credit/Fail Option –For eligible students that meet the requirements of our “Pass/Fail/No Credit Option” policy,  Page 5), the University will move the deadline to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22), and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020). See note below on possible financial aid impact on students.

2)       Course Withdrawal Period – Last Day to Drop with a Grade of “W.” The current deadline date listed on the calendar is Wednesday, April 1, 2020. We will move that date to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22) and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020).

3)       Incomplete Grades – Students who receive an INC grade in the Spring 2020 term would generally be required to submit outstanding work, according to a deadline established by individual colleges of the University but no later than the last day of the following semester.” (Page 4). The University will allow students to submit incomplete work to faculty for resolution of INC grades for courses taken in Spring 2020 through the Fall 2020 semester, and the new deadline for faculty to submit Incomplete to Grade forms to the Registrar’s Office for resolution will be Wednesday, December 23, 2020. This date coincides with the “Final Grade Submission Deadline” for Fall 2020 courses. 

[Note on Pass/No Credit/Fail Option: Students should consult with their academic and financial aid advisor to confirm if such election will still allow them to count the course towards their major/degree requirements, if credit is earned with a grade of P. In order to receive this grade, a student needs to continue participating in academically related activities, complete all assignments, and take the final exam/culminating experience. If a passing letter grade is earned, the student will receive a grade of ‘P’ and credit for the course with no impact on GPA. If a failing grade is earned (F), the student will receive a grade of NC/NP, which does not affect the GPA. Students must remain in compliance with Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.]​  

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Acknowledging that many of our students may feel uneasy about a move to distance learning and how that could affect their academic performance, the University has authorized the University Registrar to make the following changes to CUNY’s academic calendar, effective immediately.   1)       Last Day to File for Pass/No Credit/Fail Option –For eligible students that meet the requirements of our “Pass/Fail/No Credit Option” policy,(https://www.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/page-assets/about/administration/offices/registrar/resources/CUNY-Uniform-Grade-Glossary-and-Guidelines-08012018-1.pdf – Page 5), the University will move the deadline to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22), and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020). See note below on possible financial aid impact on students. 2)       Course Withdrawal Period – Last Day to Drop with a Grade of “W.” The current deadline date listed on the calendar is Wednesday, April 1, 2020. We will move that date to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22) and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020). 3)       Incomplete Grades – Students who receive an INC grades in the Spring 2020 term would generally be required to submit outstanding work, “according to a deadline established by individual colleges of the University butno later than the last day of the following semester.” (https://www.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/page-assets/about/administration/offices/registrar/resources/CUNY-Uniform-Grade-Glossary-and-Guidelines-08012018-1.pdf – Page 4). The University will allow students to submit incomplete work to faculty for resolution of INC grades for courses taken in Spring 2020 through the Fall 2020 semester, and the new deadline for faculty to submit Incomplete to Grade forms to the Registrar’s Office for resolution will be Wednesday, December 23, 2020. This date coincides with the “Final Grade Submission Deadline” for Fall 2020 courses.   [Note on Pass/No Credit/Fail Option: Students should consult with their academic and financial aid advisor to confirm if such election will still allow them to count the course towards their major/degree requirements, if credit is earned with a grade of P. In order to receive this grade, a student needs to continue participating in academically related activities, complete all assignments, and take the final exam/culminating experience. If a passing letter grade is earned, the student will receive a grade of ‘P’ and credit for the course with no impact on GPA. If a failing grade is earned (F), the student will receive a grade of NC/NP which does not affect the GPA. Students must remain in compliance with Federal and State Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines.]​

Guidance from CUNY#1 – Teaching Evaluations and Faculty Reappointments

Good Evening. We recently received an extensive set of guidance memos from CUNY Academic Affairs on a variety of topics related to how we will maintain academic continuity under the current modifications predicated by COVID-19. All are important, but are probably relevant to only some of you. For that reason, I broke them up into four different sets of topics. This will be the first of four emails sent out in quick succession.

By J. Michael Parrish

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Teaching Evaluations and Faculty Reappointments

The University is gathering questions coming from the field regarding contractual issues, including, among others, teaching observations and evaluations, the ability adequately evaluate adjuncts for three-year appointments, and meeting reappointment notification deadlines. Please know that the University will work toward a negotiated agreement with the PSC, where required, on these matters — one that will meet the needs of both the faculty and the administration as we navigate these difficult times. We will keep you apprised with guidance on an ongoing basis.

Guidance from Cuny #4 – Internships, Continuing Ed, and Clinical Placements

This is the final of four memos providing Academic Affairs guidance from CUNY. ​

By J. Michael Parrish

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Update on Clinical Placements  

Clinical Placements – Education Programs

As of Monday, March 16, education students who are participating in clinical placements for fieldwork or student teaching required by their academic program, and their faculty supervisors, should not report to school/field sites until further notice.  Individual school sites and cooperating teachers should be notified. CUNY will continue its consultation with NYSED and DOE, and resources regarding alternative methods for clinical preparation will be made available to colleges. In instances where college requirements exceed state requirements for certification, colleges should consider waiving college requirements above those of the state, if academically appropriate. College deans and chairs should contact Dr. Ashleigh Thompson, University Dean for Education (ashleigh.thompson@cuny.edu) for questions or guidance.  

Clinical Placements – HHS Programs

Previously, the Office of Academic Affairs has shared important information with campus HHS leaders about how to request and secure permission from NYSED to move clinical placements into a distance learning modality (for more info contact, Dr. Patricia Simino Boyce (patricia.boyce@cuny.edu), University Dean for Health and Human Services (see thread below). 

Today, I wanted to call your attention to exciting work being done out of the School of Professional Studies.  Specifically, the school has followed previous guidance about submitting a plan to NYSED for which they received quick approval.  Their plan included the following options, among others:

For graduate students SPS is employing some of the above in addition to 

They have also reached out to their faculty to identify free online resources and activities and building a resource site in our CUNY SPS Nursing Faculty blackboard site for faculty to utilize. The School is advising clinical faculty to “meet” with their students weekly online via Collaborate, or other video chat sharing means, with the understanding that the University is also going to make WebEx access available for faculty. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about these opportunities to contact Dr. Marge Reilley (Margaret.Reilly@cuny.edu), Academic Director for Nursing, School of Professional Studies.

Internships  

Guidance for Private Sector Internships

CUNY students working as interns with private sector employers should abide by the internal protocol of their internship site. In addition to the work site’s coronavirus policy, students that are sick or have knowingly been in contact with anyone who is sick should notify their internship manager and CUNY Program Manager or contact immediately. If the site remains open and is allowing interns to work they can do so. We ask that all students and supervisors touch base to work on a course of action. Some students may be working with individuals in vulnerable populations, so we ask that supervisors and students use their best judgement regarding this. Companies/organizations may institute telecommuting/work from home policies that apply to students. Students should confirm that they have the tools they need to do this effectively and can reach out to Brandi Mandato, Director of Sector Innovation, at Brandi.Mandato@cuny.edu with any questions or concerns. 

Guidance for Campus- Based Internships 

Similar to the guidance for public sector internships, students and supervisors should abide by the protocols and policies set by the institution. If not already established, each campus should identify a contact person for questions related to campus-based internships. 

Guidance for Public-Sector and Non-profit Sector Internships

All CUNY Internship Programs interns are expected to work as normal at their internship locations until further notice. If the site remains open and is allowing interns to work they can do so. Some students may be working with individuals in vulnerable populations, so we ask that supervisors and students use their best judgement regarding this. In addition to the work site’s coronavirus policy, students that are sick or have knowingly been in contact with anyone who is sick should notify their internship manager and CUNY Internship Program, Program Manager or contact immediately. If agencies move to telecommuting/work from home policies, we will update you on procedures. Also, please inform us ASAP if any of these policies are officially instituted at your agency.   

Guidance for credit bearing internships

In order for students to maintain enrollment in their spring 2020 academic and not lose credit(s) toward their majors or graduation, below are some guidelines campus faculty may wish to employ:  

  1. Students and faculty confer via email, phone, or conference regarding remaining assignments for spring 2020 academic internship placements
  2. Students and/or faculty confer with placement site supervisors and discuss the following:
    1. If placement sites continue to operate, what measures in place to guarantee the health and safety of student interns, as well as substantive internship assignments for students while they serve and learn?
    2. If placement sites are not operating or are no longer hosting staff/interns, how can/will work assignments delegated to students?
  3. Suggestion for completion of academic internships given the distance learning approach at CUNY, in case of closure of placement sites, which include but are not limited to:
    1. Remote academic assignments: In addition to remaining syllabus based academic assignments, students enrolled in credit bearing internships may be asked to complete and submit a 5 to 10-page double spaced paper that will address the following student experiences:

   i.      Provide a complete summary and explanation of the organizational structure and functions of their internship placement site (through March 13)                       ii.      Details the organizational goal(s) of the internship placement site                       iii.      Provide details on how the placement site works to achieve its goals                       iv.      Explain whether or not the existing organizational structure of the site enables the outfit to achieve its goals

v.      Students provide accounts of how their academic internship experiences (to date) lend support to their efforts to achieve career success in the organizational environment where they have served (to date).

  1. If available on campus, faculty can use Learning Management System (LMS) platforms to assign weekly professional development training with a reflection write up assignment at the end of each training.
  2. In addition, the guidance tools above may be applied to CUNY Service Corps students, who can be given the opportunity to complete their 240 hours via remote assignments in cases in which partner organizations suspend operations and students cannot perform on site service. Likewise, if students are unable to complete their internships under the existing guidelines for CUNY RF and tax levy employees. Options may include remote work on projects that benefit partner organization missions, or internal Service Corps program/mission.  Specific guidance provided by each campus may vary depending on the unique situation of that school, however, students’ health, safety, and experiential learning should be prioritized so that students can continue to earn both their academic credential and funding via paid programs such as Service Corps.

Update on Continuing Education

As campuses think through their continuing education portfolios, please know that CIO Brian Cohen and his team have been working with our Office of Adult Continuing Education on the possibility of making Blackboard tools widely available for those considering moving some of their offerings to distance learning.  Specifically, yesterday, CIS met with Blackboard’s Vice President for North America Education and raised the ACE and adult literacy needs as one of the University’s highest priorities. They will get back to us regarding options and any technical and contract issues related to the increased need.  Please understand, that there will be challenges in moving this quickly and in this direction since continuing ed programs across the university are not standardized on heir data.  In addition, there is no central place where we can retrieve course and student data to enable courses and users in our enterprise Blackboard system. Nevertheless, CIS is actively engaged to help.  Under these circumstances and in light of urgent need, CIS is also exploring independent solutions for each college where they will have to enable courses and students locally. While not the best solution this approach may be the fastest with an understanding that the colleges will have to consider support concerns.​

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COVID-19 Update

The situation with COVID-19 continues to develop rapidly. At this point, several regional campuses have announced closures of a few days to a few weeks – principally institutions with credible records of campus members being exposed to the virus. At this point, no CSI or CUNY students, faculty, or staff have been confirmed as carrying or having been exposed to COVID-19, but this could change at any time. At the moment, operations should continue as normal on our campus until further notice, and faculty should not be cancelling instruction or moving to remote instruction without consultation with their Chairs and Deans. Our guidance from CUNY and the New York State Department of Education is that we should be flexible regarding student participation in instruction regarding issues such as missed classes, makeup exams, or turning assignments in late. If students are quarantined, including those who returned from study abroad, we need to come up with ways to provide for continuity of instruction. 

For now, large campus events will go on as planned. Rest assured, if this changes, we will notify you all promptly.​

By J. Michael Parrish