The University at Albany is committed to providing an excellent education for every student in an environment that maintains the health, safety and well-being of our entire campus community.
Students should review the Student Guide for Fall 2020 Return to UAlbany for important information and check this website frequently for updates.
If you are enrolled in a hybrid or in-person course, you will be spending some time in the classroom and you’ll need to follow the new protocols for classroom attendance.
Instructors will communicate attendance patterns for each of course and students will be expected to strictly adhere to that schedule, in order to maintain classroom safety.
If you are experiencing any illness, especially symptoms of COVID-19, do not attend any in-person classes. Please contact Student Health Services at 518-442-5454 and email your instructor(s) to inform them you are going to be absent due to illness.
Undergraduate students: The Office of Undergraduate Education will only request academic accommodations for prolonged absences (more than 5 days) or in exceptional circumstances. In all other cases, students should work with their instructor to address any missed classes and coursework.
Graduate Students: The Graduate School does not provide letters of excuse for student absences, except in extreme situations. Students and faculty are expected to work out any necessary accommodations.
Students should review the resources below and consult the New Student Guide to Technology at UAlbany.
All students are strongly encouraged to buy a laptop computer.
While tablets and smartphones can be used as secondary devices, a laptop is the best portable tool for students to successfully write papers, conduct research, attend remote classes and collaborate with instructors and fellow students.
Given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, having a laptop is an important tool for each student to be able to successfully complete their course work from school, home, residence hall or other remote location.
SELECTING A LAPTOP
Reasonably priced laptops will meet most students’ needs. For information on technology discounts, log into MyUAlbany and visit the Technology Resources section.
We recommend buying a laptop with a Microsoft Windows operating system, which works best with the various software programs that students may be required to use.
We also recommend:
- A minimum of 8 GB RAM (16 GB is preferred)
- At least 256 GB hard drive space
- A microphone and camera (built-in or purchased separately)
Some students may be eligible for financial assistance through one of the below two programs:
CARES Act Grant
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal effort that includes provisions designed to deliver emergency assistance to students and higher education institutions impacted by the coronavirus.
Universities must use at least 50% of the funds they received under the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus.
One type of eligible expense covered by CARES Act Grants is the purchase of technology — such as a laptop. To learn more about this program and your potential eligibility, visit our CARES Act Grant page.
One-Time Cost of Attendance Increase
Students who are eligible for financial aid may qualify for a one-time cost of attendance increase for the purposes of purchasing a computer (laptop).
This option is effective if a student has remaining aid to use or is able to secure another source of aid — such as a scholarship, private loan, federal Parent PLUS loan or federal Grad PLUS loan — to cover their increased cost of attendance.
From the Microsoft Office Suite to Skype for Business, software solutions are available to students.
To see what other software is available, please visit the Information Technology Services’ Software Catalog.
Blackboard is an online teaching platform used by the University at Albany. Each online and hybrid course will have a section on Blackboard prepared and managed by the instructor.
Through Blackboard, students will be able to receive resources for the course, interact with the instructor and peers through discussion posts, submit assignments and receive grades.
Each instructor will choose to what extent Blackboard is used based on the learning outcomes of the course. Students will be required to sign into Blackboard for each course.
Zoom is a video platform that allows multiple people to interact at once in a meeting and lecture format. Zoom offers video, audio, wireless screen-sharing, polling and breakout rooms.
The following resources are available to help you learn about zoom:
All UAlbany students will have access to a University Zoom account by using their Albany NetID and password credentials.
Navigating the “new normal” of the 2020-2021 academic year can be complicated. Your advisor is here to help you with these changes and will serve as a primary resource when you have questions or concerns.
While advisement may look different this year, with more virtual meetings and physically distanced in-person conversations, the commitment to you and your success remains unchanged.
If you are not sure how to contact your advisor, log on to MyUAlbany, click on the Academics tab and select “Advisor Information” under the Academic Summary section.
The Academic Support Center will continue to offer virtual advising to all undergraduate students from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday via Zoom.
EOP students should continue to work with their EOP academic advisors to navigate any concerns or transitional issues.
New students should contact the graduate director or advisor listed in your admission letter to select courses and obtain an Advisement Verification Number (AVN).
Returning students should work with their academic advisor to select and register for courses.
We understand that this situation holds unique challenges for our international students, and we want to reaffirm our commitment to you and your academic success during this time.
In addition to support from your academic advisor, the International Student Scholar Services (ISSS) continues to provide services and support to UAlbany’s international students. We will work individually with each student to ensure that their course schedules comply with U.S. visa regulations.
All international students are encouraged to read the letter from our Interim Vice Provost for Global Strategy and Dean of International Education to learn more about the work we are doing to ensure your continued engagement and success at the University at Albany.
Whether you are on campus or taking classes remotely, several University offices are ready to support you and your education.
Students with disabilities can request academic accommodations if they register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC). Staff members are here to ensure you have an accessible education.
We strongly encourage students with disabilities to register, even if they’re unsure whether they’ll ever need accommodations. It will help any future requests go faster and more smoothly.
Academic accommodations are determined by an interactive conversation between the student and the DRC. Staff then creates a letter listing reasonable accommodations, which the student can send to professors.
The DRC can also help students access other supports or assistance. Email DRC@albany.edu to schedule an appointment.
The University has significantly expanded the availability of online tutoring for the Fall 2020 semester. We have partnered with NetTutor and this option will be available to students through the Blackboard component of many courses.
Additionally, many of the University’s tutoring offerings will be available online. Students will be able to request tutoring using the A+ Tutoring website.
Information regarding the tutoring offerings for campus partners — including CARSS, IBASS, Economics and Math Lab — will be updated regularly on the Other Academic Resources page of the A+ Tutoring and Academic Support website.
Current students, faculty and staff will be able to physically access our libraries, if needed, during the Fall 2020 semester. (Please check online for the most up-to-date hours of operation.)
However, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to first contact the library to see whether the services they need can be accessed virtually instead.
Librarians are available to assist students with their research questions through chat, email and telephone. Students can even request one-on-one virtual research consultations.
The University Library also offers information literacy tutorials, in-depth subject guides and online workshops.