College Announces Plans for Fall 2020 Semester
Officials from SUNY Schenectady today announced plans for the Fall 2020 semester, informing students, faculty, and staff about how the College plans to deliver courses and labs and continue to offer student support services. The plan was developed by the College’s Reimagining Fall Task Force and was approved last week by SUNY System Administration.
SUNY Schenectady will be moving this fall to a hybrid model, with the College continuing to conduct all lecture style classes in a virtual format, but also offering a limited number of labs to be held in-person, on campus. The College will adhere to social distancing measures and disinfecting/cleaning regimens, with those coming to campus completing health assessments upon entering buildings.
An update from Dr. Steady Moono, College President.
Virtual Classes: In mid-March 2020, SUNY Schenectady moved all of its courses to a virtual learning format due to COVID-19, with faculty and students utilizing online learning platforms, online discussion boards, videos created by faculty and video chats, Zoom meetings, and email to communicate. The College was well-positioned to transition to an entirely virtual learning model after offering online courses for several years. This fall, faculty will continue to teach their courses virtually again utilizing online learning platforms and technology.
Labs: SUNY Schenectady will have a limited number of labs held on campus in the fall semester within the School of Music, School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism, and the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health. Labs will consist of six to eight students at a time on a rotating schedule to allow for social distancing. Labs have been measured, template diagrams of lab spaces have been created, and laboratory work stations will be marked off.
Support Services: The College will continue to offer virtual online support services for students, from mentoring and advising to IT support and tutoring. There will be limited face-to-face appointments. The Laptop Loan Program will still be available for students who need laptops and the Food Pantry remains open.
In addition, the College will have four defined building entry/exit points. Individuals entering campus buildings will be required to complete a health assessment. All students, staff members, and visitors must use face coverings when in public areas and removal of face coverings will only be permissible in areas where individuals are greater than six feet apart from one another. Plexiglas barriers will be in place where face-to-face transactions occur and social distancing markers will be mapped out throughout campus.
Also, hand sanitizing dispensers are located throughout campus and Facilities Staff, who are trained on the use of PPE, will adhere to disinfecting and cleaning protocols for areas throughout campus.
Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady, explained the fall semester plans to students, faculty, and staff via a video message emailed to the College community and posted on the College’s website and social media platforms. “We understand that this may be frustrating to some students who were looking forward to a full return to campus, but this is the best approach for us to take in order to keep them safe while they focus on their academic studies,” he said. “Support services remain available for our students and over the past several months, our faculty and staff have shown an incredible commitment to helping our students succeed. We will use all of our means to help our students navigate the upcoming semester.”
Dr. Moono noted that plans are always subject to change depending on the course of the pandemic, with guidance from state and health officials continuing to inform the College’s plans.