On July 27, 2020, Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab shared this update:
We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. We write to share Hunter’s plans for the Fall 2020 semester. As indicated in the memo sent by CUNY’s Chancellor, Hunter will transition most courses to an online format and continue to offer remote student support. As described below, we will have limited on-site courses and select on-site student support in Fall 2020. As we develop these plans, we will consult with faculty, staff and students and continue to work with our Focus on Fall Planning Committee. Please visit our Focus on Fall website, which includes additional information.
PREPARING FOR REMOTE INSTRUCTION AND SUPPORT
As we move the majority of classes to a remote format, we are working closely with our dedicated faculty to provide them with training and resources to support top-quality online instruction.
While Hunter works to develop the best online experiences, we ask you to prepare to become the best possible online student. Your first step should be to consult your fall schedule on CUNYFirst, which may now be revised, to confirm how your classes will be offered.
By July 31, students will be able to learn whether each class will be offered:
- Fully online;
- Fully in person; or
- Hybrid: select sessions will be held online while others will be in person.
You will also be able to check whether your courses are offered:
- Synchronously: At the time designated on your schedule
- Asynchronously: Your instructors will assign coursework and lectures that students can complete at their own pace. You will not see a time indicated in CUNYFirst.
Please review your course syllabi carefully. Faculty will include details about assignments, technology requirements, exams and proctoring software in their course syllabi. You should review the course delivery and testing methods for all your Fall 2020 classes.
Please consult your academic advisors for assistance. The transition to remote learning can be challenging. Your academic advisors are here to answer any questions you may have about your schedule and can offer guidance as you plan your Fall 2020 experience.
TECHNOLOGY AND OTHER SUPPORT
We understand that for many students remote learning will require adjustments to your usual study habits. Hunter faculty and staff are dedicated to assisting students during this transition and committed to providing support so that you can successfully participate in classes remotely. Please connect with us if you need a laptop, Wi-Fi assistance, or other technology support to complete your courses. We are aware that some courses may require materials and software that students would usually access while on campus. We are working with faculty to ensure that students can access these materials in an efficient and safe manner.
As we prepare for Fall 2020, we know that Hunter students can be highly successful remote learners. Throughout the semester, please visit our Remote Learning Tips and Resources page for online resources, webinars, and workshops that will give you the skills necessary to succeed.
OFFERING LIMITED ON-SITE INSTRUCTION
We are developing plans to offer limited on-site instruction particularly in the following three areas: 1) the lab sciences; 2) studio art, film and performance arts; and 3) clinical training. We understand that learning in these areas is especially enhanced when it takes place in person, and have developed plans to accommodate these limited courses on campus in a manner that meets all State and University safety and physical distancing guidelines. Students who register for fully on-site courses will be expected to attend classes on campus. Please be sure to consult your schedule and academic advisor to make sure you are registered for the correct course.
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY: CREATING A SAFE AND HEALTHY CAMPUS
As we plan for limited on-site instruction, we have instituted a number of new safety protocols that follow the strict guidance of the New York State Department of Health. For example, we have developed increased cleaning and sanitation procedures, and installed physical-distancing signage and hand sanitizers.
All staff, students and faculty who will be coming to campus will need to:
- Complete a one-time online safety training course; and
- Complete a brief health screening survey each day before arriving on campus.
These measures will ensure that all visitors are aware of new campus safety protocols. More information, including links to the trainings and daily screening survey, can be found on our Focus on Fall website.
We are grateful to our essential personnel, including our Public Safety Officers, Custodial Staff and faculty supporting animal facilities, for being on campus and maintaining critical operations since the Pause was instituted in March. As a limited number of faculty, staff and students return this fall, we will continually update these protocols to meet the current health standards and requirements and share this information with the Hunter community.
REOPENING SELECT STUDENT LEARNING AND SUPPORT SPACES
Our Focus on Fall Planning Committee and our Student Services team are making recommendations for limited reopening of select areas to offer student learning and support. Areas under consideration include sections of the library, computer labs, study spaces, the food pantry, music practice rooms, art studios and other areas supporting creative activity. Please note that any student coming to campus to utilize these spaces must complete the online safety training course and daily health screening survey.
We are working with the Student Government leaders as we determine which spaces should be reopened and ask that students share their ideas and feedback with Student Government and the Office of Student Services.
As you may know, select science labs on the main campus and in the Belfer building have reopened and have asked some of our graduate students to return and participate in research. In addition, we are currently working with the Art Department to reopen the art studios at 205 Hudson Street and will provide MFA students with further guidance, including an application. All graduate students who plan to return to Hunter laboratories or studios will be required to follow these guidelines.
RESIDENCE LIFE PLANNING
We are developing plans for the safe potential reopening of Brookdale dorm rooms, which will be done in accordance with State and University health and safety guidelines. If you are interested in renting a room, please complete and submit our Resident Life Interest Form. As our plans develop and are approved, we will provide updates to students who have completed the Resident Life Interest Form.
Our support of students remains a priority, particularly now as you navigate this stressful and challenging time. On July 1, we welcomed a new counselor to our team of mental health professionals. We have also introduced support groups specifically for students affected by COVID-19 and systemic racism. Our mobile food pantry is distributing food, feminine hygiene products, laptops and other supplies.
We know that for many students, COVID-19 has created financial uncertainty. All students should apply for financial aid now to ensure they receive as much assistance as possible. By filing an updated FAFSA that reflects your current financial situation, the Office of Financial Aid will be able to offer the appropriate support. We are also making more scholarship funds available to help students stay in school this fall and continue their studies.
We are preparing for a meaningful and productive Fall 2020 semester. While we won’t all be on site together, we are committed to supporting you as you continue your education and work towards achieving your degree during this challenging time. We hope that you are able to get some rest this summer and look forward to virtually welcoming you back to the Hunter community for the fall semester.
Jennifer J. Raab