At the Governor's instruction, OCC courses will be transitioned from in-person meetings to a distance learning format. Depending on your professor, this could be over video conferencing, blackboard, a hybrid, alternative assignments, etc. until the end of the spring semester. In preparation for this change, here are things that we believe you should know.
New Grading Rules
We know how hard you have been working during the public health crisis to juggle academic and personal responsibilities and that some of you are worried about your grades. We want to reassure you that no student will be placed on academic warning or probation or academically dismissed this semester.
Further, we have extended the deadline to withdraw from spring semester classes until May 1, 2020 to give you a little extra time to consider a new grading option. Our faculty have adopted a special rule for Spring 2020 to allow you to change a letter grade in a course to a “P” (Pass) or “U” (Unsatisfactory). Grades of P or U will not affect your grade point average but may impact financial aid and transfer. This grading option must be selected with the assistance of your advisor by June 19, 2020. To learn more, contact the Advising Center or your School Office:
Advising Center: firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-498-2904.
School of Arts, Design, Media & Music: email@example.com or 315-498-7330
School of Business: firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-498-2435
School of Computing & Applied Technologies: email@example.com or 315-498-7300
School of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-498-2182
School of Health: email@example.com or 315-498-2458
School of Liberal Arts: firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Math, Science & Engineering: email@example.com, 315-498-7310
School of Public Safety & Community Service: firstname.lastname@example.org, 315-498-7320
Guidance on Pass/Unsatisfactory
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, OCC is allowing students to request Pass / Unsatisfactory grades for their Spring 2020 courses. Students can request this option for 30 days after the grade deadline of May 19th. The "Pass" grade indicates you finished the course and earned credits toward your degree, but it doesn't impact your GPA. The Unsatisfactory grade indicates you didn't complete, but it does not lower your GPA the way a failing grade would. Whether or not this is a good idea for you depends on a lot of things, so please talk to your program coordinator and advisor. Below are some general tips:
- If you earned a grade that you are happy with, the P / U is not a good option for you.
- If you passed the course but are afraid the grade will lower your GPA, the P / U option is probably worth looking into.
- If you failed a course, the P / U option is probably worth looking into.
- Some courses are not eligible for the P / U option (many in the health professions, for example). Please speak to your advisor for more guidance on this.
We acknowledge the diversity of our student population and work towards providing the best and most equitable education possible. It is recommended that if students have personal computers that they use them for this class transition. As mentioned above, computer labs will not be available at this time. Here is a list of recommended tools and practices for the next few weeks:
- Email - please be checking your email frequently for updates from your professors and the college
- Blackboard - ensure that you have access and are frequently checking your Blackboard. This tool allows professors to post course announcements, readings, assignments, and more
- Update your contact information - to make sure you are receiving all necessary communications it is imperative we have your most up-to-date information. Please confirm or make changes
- Computer Labs - At this time computer labs are closed until May 1st, if you have technology questions email the email@example.com or call 315-498-2999
- Laptop Loaners - Loaner laptops are available on a first come, first serve basis. To request one, fill out the online interest form.
- Internet Access/WiFi - Some Onondaga County libraries are offering free WiFi access in their parking lots. This includes Coulter Library on campus, wifi can be accessed in lot #18. Many companies are now increasing access for students during this time. For instructions, visit these:
Spectrum Grants Free Access to WiFi Hotspots, even for Non-Customers (includes interactive map)
Xfinity WiFi offers free access to WiFi hotspots (includes interactive map)
Spectrum Free Internet for 60 days for Students that do not have it: To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households
Empire Access Free Internet: for 60 days for Students that do not have it: To enroll call 844-502-7089. There are no contracts required for this service, and installation is free.
Low cost Spectrum Internet Assist for low-income qualified households
Due to the current events taking place, students have the opportunity to temporarily defer student loan payments. Please note this is dependent on your loan provider and other factors. If you are interested in taking advantage of this, please refer to the information provided by Federal Student Aid.
Student Fee Reductions for the Spring '20 Semester
These adjustments will be taking place throughout the end of this month and will hopefully be concluded by May 1.
|19-20 Approved Rates||19-20 Reduction|
|Student Activity Fee||
$47 - Full-time student
$25 - Part-time student
($10) - Full-time student
($5) - Part-time student
|Recreation & Wellness Fee||
$95 - Full-time student
$55 - Part-time student
($25) - Full-time student
($12) - Part-time student
As of March 17th at noon, facilities and services will be accessed remotely. This includes:
Many of the library resources can be accessed online. We encourage students who need these services to send an email to set remote appointments and continue utilizing them when necessary. Food service will be available for resident students. However, access to computer labs is no longer available during our containment efforts.
A special case facility is the Southwest YMCA. As of March 16, 2020 at 8:00 PM, they will be closed in accordance with the Governor's newest orders.
Learning Center Operations
Q: Is the Learning Center open?
Virtually, YES. Physically, NO. Per the Governor’s instructions, the Learning Center staff have been asked to work remotely until at least April 30th. You can still reach our staff by emailing the Learning Center team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tutoring will still be available online! Students should continue to schedule appointments with tutors using the MyWCOnline scheduling system. We have cancelled appointments on our old schedules to make way for new schedules that expand our online capabilities. These new tutoring schedules are posted on MyWCOnline and with appointments starting on Monday, March 23, which is the first day of instruction following Spring Break. Our tutors are new to online tutoring and we ask for your patience as we all learn to use these new technologies.
Q: What Types of Tutoring Services Will Be Offered?
All tutoring will be conducted ONLINE until at least April 30th. We will follow the SUNY guidelines and the Governor’s recommendations and hope to make in-person tutoring available once it is feasible and safe to do so. In the meantime, please take advantage of the online tutor appointments that are available on MyWCOnline. You will find several different online tutoring options to choose from, but not all options will not be available on every schedule. Here is a brief overview of each option:
eTutoring (electronic paper drop off). If you select eTutoring you will upload a document for your tutor to review. The tutor will look at your document and make comments and answer questions you have, and then upload them back to the appointment. If you choose this option, be sure to include a copy of the assignment as well.
Online Tutoring, with video and shared white board - YOU NEED A CAMERA AND MICROPHONE - In this type of tutoring, you will be online at the same time as the tutor, using a shared whiteboard, and looking at the same document while talking about your work.
Online Tutoring, without video and shared white board - In this type of tutoring, you will be online at the same time as the tutor, using a shared whiteboard, and looking at the same document while typing in the chat pane to discuss your work.
Online Tutoring, video only - YOU NEED A CAMERA AND MICROPHONE - in this type of tutoring, you will be sent a link to join a video conference through Microsoft 365's Teams app. You will be able to have a conversation with a tutor but cannot share documents or use a white board online.
Tutoring by phone - A tutor will call at the stated appointment time. Please note that the tutor’s phone number may be blocked.
Students Registered With OAR: If one of these methods of tutoring does not meet your needs, please contact the OAR office and we will work with them to try to find a way to help you.
Q: What will be available when the Learning Center staff return to campus?
This will be determined as we get closer to April 30th. At that time, we will revisit our policies and plans to ensure we are adhering to the most current and up-to-date protocols in place.
Q: I am a faculty member. How do I request help for one of my students?
If you see that a student is struggling in class, please refer the student to the Learning Center using the Tutoring Referral flag in Lazer Success. The Learning Center staff will be monitoring those referrals daily. When we receive your referral, we will reach out to the student to offer our assistance.
How to join your classes remotely
On a desktop or laptop you can join a Zoom or Teams meeting by opening the email that your professor has sent to you and click on the link (or copy and paste it into your web browser). You have an option to download the app or use the internet version. Either is fine, the app is a little smoother to use.
Please note we have found that Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge work best for these applications. We have had problems with Firefox.
If you are joining from a mobile device (phone, tablet, iPad, etc.) please go to the Google Pay Store or the App Store to download the app to your device to join the meeting/class.
Box of Books
Spring 2020 Box of Books rental return date is now 6/15. To return your book, please visit our webpage and print out a free UPS label. If you are having issues with obtaining a label, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Tips for Staying on Track During COVID-19
- Professors want to be there for you and support your needs during this time. If have questions or need extra help, be sure to reach out to them.
2. Stay Organized
Set a Schedule
Setting a schedule and getting into a routine will help you keep on track with your online coursework. If you don’t already keep a weekly or daily calendar, try something like the example below to organize your time. Include time for exercise and self-care. Breaking it down by the hour can help you better manage your time:
8 a.m. - Eat Breakfast
9 a.m. - Attend Geology Class
10 a.m. - Take a walk in your neighborhood
11 a.m. - Complete Geology Lab Assignment
12 p.m. - Attend Math Class
Develop New Habits
Your old habits have likely been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. Try developing new habits based on your old ones. For example:
- If you usually study in a lounge with a coffee, try to recreate that environment at home. Ask yourself what about that environment helped you to study. Maybe it’s studying in a chair, rather than on your bed or couch. If you feel you need background noise, consider a white noise app.
- If you study in groups, try and use Microsoft Teams to connect with your study group.
3. Ask for Help If You Need It
We're all here to help you succeed at OCC! If you need help in a particular area, ask for it. OCC provides a wide variety of services including:
- Tutoring Services through our Learning Center
- Accomodations for students of all abilities through our Office of Accessibility Resources.
- Technology Support through our Helpdesk.
- & more services depending on all your needs
Tips to Manage the Transition
Some students have experience with alternative course formats, but we know that many may be nervous about this change. We encourage both students and faculty to embrace flexibility and be understanding of potential challenges each other may be facing.
SUNY has offered a variety of resources to assist students at this time. They have expanded their resources for managing the transition.
- Drop-in Support for Students Available Now
We have organized live, drop-in, sessions via Collaborate to assist students with the transition to remote course instruction. The goal of these sessions is to provide students with another resource to go to for questions about the basics of online/remote course delivery, successful strategies for participation, encouragement to engage, and even to address fears/concerns.
Sessions will be staffed by SUNY personnel familiar with how to quickly address common student questions about participation in online/remote courses, connect students with technical support for remote access to their courses, and point them to appropriate campus resources. We have worked with your Student Affairs officers to ensure that we have appropriate campus contacts and resources to refer students to as needed.
Staff are available, live, now to assist! Staff will continue to be available at the days and times listed below:
- Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 12:00AM Midnight EST
- Saturday 10:00AM - 5:00PM EST
- Sunday 1:00PM - 9:00PM EST
To join a live session, visit:
OR Dial in: +1-571-392-7650 PIN: 258 129 3907
- A New Student Focused Website
A website has been put together by the SUNY Online team that includes: Resources for Success in Your Online Course; Resources for Active Military and Veteran Students; Mental Health, Nutrition, and Technology Resources; as well as links to the Support Guides for Working with Blackboard, brightspace, Canvas, and Moodle.
Access the website at: https://innovate.suny.edu/covid19/students/
Please know that with everything going on, struggling is normal. If you feel you are having more difficulties than usual and would like some assistance, please call Counseling at (315) 498-2675 or email Counseling Administrative Assistant Kimber Gadaleta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are articles detailing different techniques for you to use to adapt to the new format:
- 5 Tips to Succeed in an Online Course
- 6 Habits of Highly Effective Online Students
- Getting the Most Out of Your eLearning Course: 10 Study Tips for Online Learners
As a stress-reliever, many museums, zoos, and more are offering virtual tours and exhibits. Here is a list of 30 major virtual tours that are happening now: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/a31784720/best-virtual-tours/
Due to ongoing public health concerns, the College is offering limited in-person services for the residence halls through April 30th. Full services are available via telephone and online. Prior to attempting to return to the residence halls, students are requested to contact us to discuss their individual needs. Students who need access to the residence halls to pick up their belongings are welcome Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment. Use the email email@example.com or call (315)498-2351.
As of March 17th at noon, the Lazer Line will not be making regular trips. Please contact Campus Safety and Security if you need to utilize this service.
As of March 19th at 5 P.M., guests will not be permitted in residence halls to observe social distancing rules.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities, existing medical conditions, and students that are pregnant may need to change their accommodation requests due to the change in the provision of class instruction. You may contact your OAR staff person to request a change. We are all checking our email frequently and phone messages as well. The main OAR phone number is 315 498 2245.
Students who are immunocompromised may have additional needs as well as students who become ill. We will make every attempt to meet your needs but may need to follow the best advice offered by your medical support team. If you are new to OAR our email is OAR@sunyocc.edu. Your information will be confidential.
We are also providing information and support to faculty as they move to alternate mean of class instruction. If you have a specific need that is not being met, or do not have access to technology again please let us know. We realize this is a stressful time and want you to know that you are supported. If you just need to talk we can do that too!
- From the OAR Team
Student Workers & Interns
If you are a student that works on campus, you will not be working. We are currently developing a plan for you to receive extra hours at a later date to make up for this time. If you have an internship with an off-site location, please confirm with that employer their attendance requirements.
Questions are only natural, and we understand you may have them regarding the updates you have been receiving. We would like to emphasize the use of your email to receive prudent, up-to-date information. If you have questions about your courses and how they will be instructed, please contact your professors or department. If you have questions about the available facilities or residence halls, please contact the applicable one.
Additional Health Related Resources
The college is basing its decisions off of guidance from SUNY Board, the NYS Department of Health, and Onondaga County Health Department. Please refer to Advice on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to learn more about prevention methods and view expert information from the CDC, Onondaga County Health Department, and more.
We would like to remind everyone to please practice good handwashing and social distancing.