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FMCC moves to remote learning

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton-Montgomery Community College on Saturday announced that all classes, including labs, will move to remote instruction for the remainder of the spring semester following an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo restricting gatherings of any size for any reason meant to curb the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The FMCC campus was to reopen to students and faculty with all services and personnel available on March 30 following a two-week extended spring break that all State University of New York and City University of New York were to take before moving most classes to remote learning. FMCC originally planned to resume conducting labs, studio and physical education courses face-to-face on campus following the extended recess.

An executive order announced by Cuomo on Friday temporarily banning all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason effective Sunday at 8 p.m. forced the college to alter plans. In a letter to students posted on the college website on Saturday FMCC announced the campus will be closed to all non-essential personnel until further notice with remote instruction for all courses expected to begin on April 1 through the remainder of the spring semester.

“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,” the release states.

Faculty members are expected to communicate instructions for their individual courses to students via email and the Blackboard Learning Management System before remote instruction commences. Each staff member will develop their own alternate delivery plans with support from college administrators.

“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,” the release states.

Students will also receive surveys from the college to assess any potential issues surrounding remote learning during the initial transition period. Student support and access to accommodations, including campus-wide tutoring options and services through the Office of Accessibility, will continue to be offered in a remote format with scheduling information to be released in the coming days. All students will also receive access to NetTutor, an interactive online tutoring program.

Advisement and registration appointments for the summer and fall semester will be conducted remotely beginning April 1. Digital services will be available through the Evans Library to facilitate access to journals, databases, research guides and other online services.

A decision regarding commencement originally scheduled for May 20 at 7 p.m. at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady will be made in the future. A letter issued by SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson to colleges in the network posted on the FMCC website notes that SUNY will reschedule commencements if necessary to ensure students have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments while walking across the stage.

Additionally, Johnson stated that students will receive credits or refunds for the services they do not use this semester, including room and board or activity fees.

The release from FMCC notes that further information will be communicated in the future while asking students for patience during the transition to remote learning.

“We understand that this situation is confusing and frustrating, and the college is working to provide you information as soon as possible,” the release from FMCC states. “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.”

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