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March 21 Message to Students About Remote Instruction

Posted: March 21, 2020 — This message is intended to update you on academic continuity plans as FM switches to remote instruction after spring break. This remote instruction will continue through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term.

Although we know that you have many questions about developments over the past several days, this email is solely focused on plans for academic coursework. We understand that this situation is confusing and frustrating, and the college is working to provide you information as soon as possible.

Because this is an unprecedented situation that affects the entire SUNY system, a number of issues require external guidance. We will continue to provide more information as it is available to us. We apologize for the length of this communication, but it has important information to assist you.

The following outlines our current state of implementation in several core areas.

Remote Delivery of Coursework

FM is following Governor Cuomo’s direction to limit density on campus. This means that all courses, including lab, studio, and physical education activity courses will immediately transition to alternative delivery (not face-to-face) formats. Consistent with the most recent Executive Order from the Governor, the FM campus will be closed until further notice, but FM faculty and staff will be working remotely to continue the operations of the college.

We are expecting that faculty will begin remote instruction beginning April 1. You should monitor your FM email account and the Blackboard Learning Management System closely as your faculty members will reach out with specific instructions about their courses. Faculty are developing their alternate delivery plans using tools that best support their particular learning objectives, so there will not be a one-size-fits-all approach. We also know that some types of educational experiences will be challenging to convert to remote delivery. However, please be aware that we will be working with faculty during the next week to find solutions to ensure that the continuity of your academic programs, regardless of discipline, will be maintained.

Support for Remote Learning

We know that many of you have never experienced remote learning before and that there may be a period of adjustment as faculty set up courses and you begin to transition to this new delivery format. There may be unexpected snags, especially during the first week of remote instruction. We ask that you be patient during this transition period and reach out directly to your faculty if you have issues with access.

We will be sending out a survey to students shortly to assess where there may be issues with access to remote learning technologies.

Tutoring

College-wide tutoring, including the Writing Center, the Math Lab, TRiO and C-STEP tutoring will be maintained during the period of remote learning. Like other instructional activities, these services will be offered remotely and we will share information about scheduling appointments. All FM students also have access to NetTutor, an online, interactive tutoring service in many subject areas (available 24/7).

Accommodations

FM’s Office of Accessibility will continue to provide support to students with accommodations.

Advisement and Registration

Advisement and registration will continue as scheduled. The course schedule for summer and fall 2020 is currently available. Advisement will be conducted remotely, begining April 1. Advisors will be reaching out to students to set up meeting times, but if you have not heard from your advisor about scheduling a remote appointment, contact them directly. Students are encouraged to monitor their academic progress through DegreeWorks in making decisions about future classes.

Library Services

During the period of remote instruction, digital services through the Evans Library will be maintained. Access to digital journals and databases, research guides, and other online services will continue. Librarians will also be available for remote consultation. Check the Library’s website for more information.

Thank you for your patience as we transition to remote learning.

A decision regarding commencement will be made as soon as we feel it is appropriate. Students who order caps and gowns through the Raider Trader will be eligible for refunds. Students also have the option to order now and pay later. The bookstore manager is recommending that students choose that option.

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