Update on College Plans and Activities

Posted April 6, 2021

Dear students, faculty and staff:

I hope you are all staying safe and well. As the spring semester progresses, I want to update you on our current plans for the remainder of the term, as well as tentative plans for the summer and fall. As you know, public health and safety guidance from New York State, SUNY and the CDC continues to evolve, but as more people become vaccinated and rates of positive cases trend downward over time, we are looking ahead with a cautiously optimistic approach as we make plans for the coming months.

COVID-19 Response Plans

First, I’d like to thank everyone for complying with ongoing safety protocols related to COVID-19. Each week, the college tests more than 1,600 students and employees who study or work on campus, and our campus community has also done an excellent job of cooperating with mask usage, social distancing, and other protocols designed to keep one another safe. I ask that you all keep up the good work as we finish up the semester and head into summer.

Vaccine Eligibility

As you know, New York State is working to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all who are eligible. As previously announced, all in-person college faculty and staff now qualify to be vaccinated, as well as those age 30 and above. Beginning tomorrow, April 6, state residents age 16 and over can begin to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine as well. This is encouraging news, and while the college does not mandate that students and employees be vaccinated, it is strongly encouraged in order to protect the health and safety of our campus community going forward. Please visit the state’s vaccine registration webpage to learn more and make an appointment if you are eligible.

Additionally, the college is working with SUNY, the New York State Department of Health, and Rensselaer County on plans to make COVID-19 vaccines available to Hudson Valley students at the county’s vaccine Point of Distribution on campus. More information will be shared as plans are solidified. In the meantime, we encourage students interested in getting vaccinated to make an appointment wherever and whenever they can get one.

College Staffing and Services

At this time, all college offices remain open and ready to serve our students, with both in-person and remote appointments available and walk-ins accepted. As we continue to monitor the impact of the virus on our community, region and state, plans are being developed to safely bring additional staff back to campus to allow for more in-person office visits and events over the coming months.

With the end of the spring semester approaching, it’s more important than ever that students know where to find any help or support they may need. All academic support service offices, as well as online and remote learning support services, remain fully operational and ready to help students finish the semester strong. If you’re struggling and need assistance with mental health, food insecurity, basic necessities, technology accessibility, or other special circumstances, we are here to support you.

If you would like to speak with a college staff member about a particular concern, you may call (518) 629-7800 or complete the Question Related to COVID-19 Situation web form to be directed to the services and resources that can help.

As always, anyone in need of assistance from any college office may use the “Where Do I Go For…” webpage or college employee and office directory to get in touch with that office; they will be happy to let you know how best to proceed at this time.

Summer/Fall Registration and Course Delivery

Registration for summer sessions and the Fall 2021 semester is now underway. The college plans to continue to offer a comprehensive mix of online, remote, in-person and hybrid course options.

Summer: The college will offer more than 500 course sections, with one-third of those sections offered in person/on campus or in a hybrid format. Many online and remote courses will again be offered as well, and additional options will added as we assess student interest as the enrollment period progresses.

Fall: Our hope is to be able to transition to holding the majority of our courses in person/on campus again for Fall 2021, and plans are being made to safely accommodate that shift. We also plan to continue to offer a robust selection of online, remote and hybrid courses to accommodate all students’ learning needs and interests.

Commencement and Other Events and Activities

This year’s commencement will be unique, in that we are planning to hold a virtual celebration for all graduates, as well as an in-person component on campus on May 15. We are currently reviewing New York State’s latest event guidelines and consulting with SUNY, state and county health departments as we finalize our approach to an in-person event. We will share details later this month on the college’s Commencement webpage and via college email. Thank you for your patience as we work to provide our graduates with the best possible experience while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all involved.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR GRADUATING STUDENTS: A degree/certification application must be completed and signed by an academic advisor in order to be eligible to graduate. Applications are due by April 7 to be listed in the Commencement program and publicity materials, but will be accepted through May 3 for spring graduates and August 2 for summer graduates.

Events and Activities: Though the format has shifted this year, our Student Senate, student clubs, cultural events and lectures continue to offer plenty of opportunities to participate in virtual and socially distanced events. Please continue to take advantage of these opportunities, and check the events calendar to find out about upcoming activities. Also, feel free to contact the Student Activities office to share your ideas for future programming as well!

Athletics: I’m pleased to share that all of the college’s athletic programs have been actively recruiting for full sport seasons for the 2021-22 academic year. The college and athletics department is planning to move forward with all 20 NJCAA intercollegiate sport offerings in the Fall of 2021.

Closing Thoughts

This past year has certainly presented plenty of challenges, and I am very proud of the way our Hudson Valley community has navigated the circumstances we have been faced with. Though there is greater hope on the horizon as things continue to improve, the unfortunate fact is that the pandemic is still ongoing, and we must remain patient and vigilant for a bit longer in order to keep protecting ourselves and one another as we strive to reach the end of this chapter. Thank you for your continued dedication to your studies and work, and as always, please stay safe, stay healthy and stay smart!

Sincerely,

Roger A. Ramsammy, Ph.D.
President, Hudson Valley Community College