I hope you are having a wonderful summer and staying safe and healthy. I’m sure you have many questions about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect your classes and campus life this fall.
As I’m sure you realize, the pandemic has been a fluid situation and we continue to receive additional guidance. Our restart plan was submitted to SUNY and was approved and certified in late June. Since that time, we have received supplemental guidance and guidelines from the NYS Department of Health and SUNY. The information has been reviewed and discussed by our leadership team and restart planning committees, and upon careful consideration, it has been determined that the most prudent course of action is to transition the majority of our on-campus courses to real-time remote.
Please be assured that every decision made in regard to returning to campus has been guided by our commitment to offering an excellent education to each and every student while providing for the health and well-being of everyone in our campus community.
Fall Course Offerings
Fall 2020 classes will be delivered via a combination of traditional online (asynchronous where students log in and complete work on their own time), real-time remote (where students and instructors meet together as scheduled using Microsoft Teams), and a limited number of on-campus, in-person classes and labs that will incorporate social distancing.
The majority of on-campus, in-person courses will be transitioned to real-time remote. Real-time remote means the instructor will deliver their course lecture from a classroom on campus or another location (i.e. home office) via Microsoft Teams (similar to Zoom). The course will be “real-time” and all students enrolled in that course will be interacting with the faculty member and other students during the scheduled course time.
A limited number of in-person courses will be held on campus; determination is based on whether a hands-on component is required to meet course and/or program learning outcomes. The number of students in each course section delivered on campus will be limited in order to observe social distancing requirements.
In the near future, you will receive more detailed information and instructions regarding your fall class schedule.
Technology and Academic Support
We understand remote learning can be a challenge for many and we stand ready to help you be successful. Training will be offered for Office 365 and Microsoft Teams, as well as Generals Online (GO). Computer labs will be available to students to complete their work, and a limited number of laptops will be available for loaning to students in need. As always, our IT help desk and Internet Academy office will be available to support students with technology concerns.
Academic advisement, career services, and academic support services will be delivered both in-person and remotely. Advance appointments will be required for in-person services, and a variety of tools and flexible schedules are being implemented to provide additional remote services and expand accessibility to services.
On-campus housing will be open, and each student will have their own bedroom for the fall semester. If you have applied to live on campus this fall, you will receive a separate communication regarding move-in procedures, COVID-19 screening and monitoring, and other related housing details. All residential students will be required to sign a HERK Safe student pledge agreeing to follow procedures and protocols designed to minimize the risk to themselves and others in our campus community.
Many details and processes relating to how we reopen and operate this fall are still being finalized, and many will continue to evolve as necessary. Plans described in this letter, along with all restart plans and procedures, are subject to change depending on new information, guidance and/or direction received from the State of New York and the Governor’s Office. Please be sure to check your Herkimer College email account often. We will also post general updates and procedures in our dedicated restart web pages at www.herkimer.edu/restart.
We appreciate your ongoing patience and understanding. I look forward to seeing you on campus or virtually in the fall. In the meantime, stay HERK Safe.
Cathleen C. McColgin, Ph.D.