Here are answers to some of your frequently asked questions related to COVID-19's impact on operations at FIT. This page is updated as information changes and as new questions arise. If you need an answer to a specific question, use the Student Success Solution Center if you're a student, and the HR Solution Center if you're a faculty or staff member or an administrator.
For a list of frequently asked questions about The Museum at FIT, visit the museum's FAQ page.
Will classes be offered in person or remotely this fall?
Under FIT’s plan for reopening, all fall 2020 undergraduate classes are being offered in online and remote environments. Class sections listed as "online" are conducted in a traditional online environment, with students logging in on their own schedule to do the coursework. "Remote" classes meet via teleconference at scheduled course times when attendance is required; students will receive login information and instructions after they register. (Note: All remote classes are taught in Eastern Time (ET).) FIT is using a hybrid approach for teaching studio/lab courses in the School of Graduate Studies.
Use this link to search the list of fall 2020 course offerings.
1. Select Fall 2020 in "Search by Term" field.
2. Click Submit.
3. Select the Subject of the course you are searching for.
4. Enter the Number of the course you are searching for.
5. Click Class Search. The course listing will include the "attribute," and will indicate whether the course is to be offered remote or online. A few graduate studio/lab courses will be offered in-person and will be designated with an "in person" attribute.
In addition, faculty and students can find the most up-to-date section information by accessing their schedules.
Is the academic calendar the same?
The fall 2020 semester will run August 31–December 23 for all remote classes. Select classes offered in the School of Graduate Studies will be online only after November 24 when the campus closes.
Will Continuing Education and Professional Studies and Precollege courses take place
in the fall semester?
FIT’s noncredit courses and programs—both Continuing and Professional Studies and Precollege—will be remote this fall. For credit courses offered through the Center for Continuing and Professional Studies, students will follow the same plan as degree-seeking students.
Will study abroad programs take place in the fall semester?
All study abroad programs have been canceled for fall 2020. Additionally, all external events, field trips, and other student-related travel and activities will not be held.
Will physical education, dance, and team sports take place in the fall semester?
Dance, sports or any other physical education courses will not be scheduled as in-person classes for the fall semester. Additionally, all official and club sport team activities will not run in the fall semester. Student activities and athletics fees are waived for the fall semester; those who have paid them will receive a refund. Virtual opportunities are being developed in lieu of in-person events.
What student services are available at this time?
FIT continues to offer many remote services to help support you in your academics, such as advising, tutoring, and more (please see the Support for Students tab here). For other student services, please click on the following link.
When will the Gladys Marcus Library reopen?
The library will most likely remain remote through 2020. However, when directed, the library will implement a phased reopening plan. Notice of any reopening dates and services will be widely shared through the library’s regular communication channels, which include the FIT website, emails, newsletters, and social media platforms.
Does FIT still have the “S” grade option? What is the grading policy?
The Adjusted Grading Policy for Spring 2020 is no longer in effect. FIT has resumed its regular grading policy.
How can I get the materials and books I need for my classes?
FIT's Barnes & Noble Bookstore can ship books and course related materials to students through its website. It has also expanded the digital format availability of course materials which provides students access to materials immediately after orders are processed. Students will also be able to shop in-person. In addition, check the Gladys Marcus Library which has many textbooks and readings available virtually.
Can I participate in a credit-bearing internship in fall 2020? What are the guidelines?
Yes. Click here for information on the process and deadlines. Fall 2020 internship and career planning courses will be conducted remotely. FIT strongly recommends that all students intern in remote/virtual internships. Should you choose to participate in-person at an internship site, you must adhere to current state and local COVID-19 directives, plus CDC guidelines. All students who will participate in a Fall 2020 academic-credit internship must electronically sign the COVID-19 Internship Waiver no later than August 28th. For details click here.
How will I be teaching my classes in fall 2020?
Your schedule should indicate whether the section you are teaching is offered hybrid, remote (synchronous) or online (asynchronous). If you are unsure, contact your department chair.
In whatever format you will be teaching, the overall goals and course learning outcomes of the course should remain the same. There are many resources available from the Office of Online Learning and Academic Technologies as well as the Center for Excellence in Teaching to assist you in planning.
Do I have to use Blackboard for my remote and online classes? Do I have to use Blackboard
Since all FIT courses are set up in Blackboard, it is a useful place to serve as a kind of virtual home classroom. Many FIT faculty members already use this system as a way to email students, take attendance, share resources, and more.
FIT supports Blackboard Collaborate; Google Meet, which is part of G Suite; and Webex. There is no requirement that you use particular tools, as long as your students have access to them. Find tools that work for you and consistently utilize them; students find it confusing when tools change frequently.
Can I change my class time when I hold remote classes?
Please meet at the time scheduled for the course. Otherwise, students may run into scheduling conflicts with other classes.
How should I order books and materials for the classes I am teaching?
FIT's Barnes & Noble Bookstore is reopening and can ship books and course related materials to students. In addition, it has expanded the digital format availability of course materials to provide students with access to materials immediately after an order is processed. If you have not yet entered your information on texts required for the course(s) you are teaching in the Fall, please log into Faculty Enlight. Please contact the bookstore with any questions about classroom materials (212-217-5690). In addition, share your textbook and reading information with the Gladys Marcus Library and they will investigate options for students to access through the library. You may also consider adopting an OER textbook.
What other support is available to me for fall teaching?
Please see the Support for Faculty tab on Academic Affairs' Remote Teaching and Academic Support webpage.
What about grading? Can I use pass/fail grading?
Faculty should provide grades according to the traditional grading mode set for their class. The adjusted grading policy for Spring 2020 is no longer in effect.
I have additional questions related to teaching remotely and academic policies. Who
should I ask?
Please begin by asking your department chair, who will be an excellent resource at this time.
What is being done to ensure appropriate ventilation?
Engineering staff operate the HVAC system in accordance with the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) recommendations and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Increased filtration has been added and minimum outside air setting increased to maximize fresh air and exhaust.
How do we know that water systems are safe after not being used for months?
Facilities department employees have continued to operate water systems including periodic exercising of sinks and showers and flushing of toilets during the campus closure and reduced occupancy periods.
Is hand sanitizer available?
Alcohol–based hand sanitizer stations containing 60% or more alcohol can be found in building lobbies and near elevators on each floor of academic buildings, and in the lobbies of all residence halls.
Does FIT use any of the hand sanitizers that have been deemed dangerous per the FDA?
No, only alcohol-based hand sanitizers, containing either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, are in use on campus. These products do not contain methanol.
How often are restrooms cleaned?
Restrooms are cleaned once at night and twice during the day.
What cleaning and disinfection tasks are scheduled for completion each day? What is
the protocol for cleaning high touch points? Are there differences between cleaning
offices, classrooms, and common areas like lobbies or lounges?
Cleaning and disinfection protocols will comply with CDC and NYSDOH guidelines. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the campus facilities occurs daily. Particular attention will be paid to classrooms, restrooms, common use areas and frequently touched surfaces. FIT will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in common use areas of academic buildings and residence halls twice a day. Classrooms and common use areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily. Office spaces remain on a daily routine cleaning schedule.
What if my area needs additional cleaning?
Any cleaning needs beyond the regular schedule, as well as any requests for services related to repairs, lighting, plumbing, heating, cooling, or other maintenance issues should be entered via FIT’s online Facilities Maintenance work order system. All requests will be assessed for urgency and scheduled appropriately.
Will disinfecting wipes be provided?
Disinfecting wipes will be found inside classrooms scheduled for use this fall, as well as open labs and studios.
Are building service staff subject to wellness checks?
All building service employees receive a daily health screening including temperature monitoring at the start of every shift.
What particular training has custodial staff been given to clean to COVID-19 standards?
What about to how protect themselves when cleaning?
All cleaning staff participate in professional development that includes safety and skills training each month. Additionally, during the declared pandemic staff receive additional training on disinfection methods, use of equipment and chemical awareness.
How will spaces be cleaned and disinfected if someone who tests positive for COVID-19
was in the space? How do we know that the disinfectants used are effective against
The college will follow CDC guidelines to clean and disinfect exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19. FIT will use products found on the Department of Environmental Conservation list of products registered in New York State and identified by the EPA as effective against COVID-19.
How does FIT ensure adequate inventory of cleaning and disinfection supplies?
FIT is working within its procurement group, with its facilities management partner and with regional and national suppliers to ensure a consistent supply chain of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand sanitizer, disinfectant and paper goods. Additionally, par levels have been increased to ensure adequate stock is maintained on campus.
How are room layouts being modified to allow for maintenance of a 6-foot distance
between occupants? What about in spaces where seats or equipment are fixed in place?
Signage is in place to indicate 6-foot distances. For rooms with movable furniture, some furniture may be relocated to allow for 6-foot distances. For rooms with fixed furniture, signage is being installed to indicate which seats and equipment can be used.
Has FIT installed Plexiglas or other physical barriers at the welcome desk in the
Feldman building? What about in Admissions, Bursar, Registrar, dining hall and bookstore?
Clear partitions have been installed at the welcome desk in Feldman, and additional partitions are being installed in high-traffic locations where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart, such as transaction counters, cash registers, lobby security desks and reception desks.
Will FIT provide masks?
FIT will supply each faculty, staff and student with two reusable masks for the fall. Disposable masks will also be available at the Feldman Building main campus entrance for visitors if needed.
What signage specific to COVID-19 has been posted on campus, in the restrooms and
elsewhere? What about decals or other visual aids on the floor or other surfaces regarding
directions and spacing?
Signs have been posted at campus entrances indicating the need to wear a mask inside FIT buildings and reminding all to maintain social distancing. Hand washing signs have been posted in all public restrooms.
Additional health and safety signage requiring face coverings, promoting hand hygiene, adhering to social distancing, staying home when sick, reporting of COVID-19 symptoms, and following respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette has been posted campuswide. These include:
- Directional and wayfinding signage at building entrances, main corridors, and stairwells.
- Decals in elevators cabs, escalator and stair landings, and waiting areas to maintain social distancing.
- Capacity signage in elevator cabs and restrooms.
- Signage to mark which seats are available for use in so that individuals are at least 6 feet apart in all directions.
- Signage in areas to mark queuing protocols near transaction counters.
How do we use the elevators and escalators and maintain safe distances? How often
are elevators sanitized? What about elevator buttons and other high-touch surfaces
like door handles?
Capacity signage has been posted in elevator lobbies and cabs. Decals will be installed on escalator landings indicating the number of steps to keep apart to maintain social distancing. Elevators and escalators are disinfected along with other high touch surfaces a minimum of four times per day.
Has there been a change in Public Safety services?
FIT’s Department of Public Safety has maintained its presence and responsibilities on campus throughout the pandemic. As essential personnel, Public Safety officers continue to provide services to the campus community and are prepared to do so throughout the academic year.
Can I live on campus even if all my classes are remote this fall?
Priority for housing will be given to students who need access to studios and labs for their coursework and to those with extenuating circumstances.
I’m not taking any in-person classes, but I already paid my housing deposit. Can I
get a refund?
Yes. Contact the bursar. You may either request that your deposit be applied toward your spring housing application or request a refund.
Will there be new restrictions on visitors to the residence halls?
Yes. To ensure the health and safety of our residential community, no overnight or day guest visitation is allowed, nor are residents able to visit other residence halls. A dedicated delivery area will be set up in the lobby of each residence hall, and lobby furniture will be removed to discourage lingering.
Have the Fall 2020 Technology and Health fees been waived?
No. Those services will continue to be provided, primarily remotely.
I don’t think I should pay as much for classes taken remotely. Can I get a refund
or reduced tuition?
Tuition will not be refunded for remote courses based on the strict guidelines from the State University of New York (SUNY). Appeals for reduced tuition will not be considered.
How will students and faculty in remote classes get access to specialized software
IT will implement FIT Remote Labs, powered by a platform called Leostream, which allows faculty and students to remotely access on-premises computers at the scheduled class times.
What is FIT Remote Labs?
It is a new service launching in the fall to allow faculty and students remote access to critical educational software only available in FIT’s classrooms and labs. FIT Remote Labs is powered by Leostream, and coupled with Duo for phone authentication, is an easy-to-use and fully secure method to access educational software that would otherwise be “trapped” on campus.
Whether you have a PC, Mac, or Chromebook at home, FIT Remote Labs allows a fast connection to your “trapped software.” All you will need is a reliable Internet connection, a web browser (like Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari), and a secured login. Once connected to your assigned classroom or specialty lab, you are virtually sitting at that computer, in that now “virtual” classroom, on campus. For more information on FIT Remote Labs, visit the Teaching and Learning Technology Resources page.
Which employees will return to campus?
A Work Location Analysis by division is in process, which includes the following criteria: Do the functions of the position require face-to-face interaction to serve clients/students? What percentage of the job is required on campus? Is the decision to bring employees back based on legitimate, non-discriminatory business reasons? Once the analysis is complete, leadership for each division will determine how to proceed.
I am at high risk for complications from COVID-19. Can I continue to work remotely?
Please use the HR Solution Center online intake process, and an HR representative will contact you to determine options available. Other considerations for not returning under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act include COVID-19 illness or quarantine and child care issues.
What if I cannot come into the office and cannot work remotely?
FIT acknowledges that it is a community of individuals with different abilities and personal situations. If you have been instructed to return to work and have concerns about doing so due to a medical condition or you are in a high-risk category, you may request an ADA reasonable accommodation related to returning to the workplace. If it is confirmed that you are required to work on campus, and you need an accommodation or leave of absence, please complete the online ADA Accommodation or COVID-19 Leave Request process and an HR team member will contact you to privately discuss your needs.
How will social distancing be accomplished for employees?
Social distancing will be accomplished via scheduling. For example:
- Staggered start/end time
- Staggered lunch/rest breaks
- Staggered days in the office and at home
- Staggered weeks in office and at home among team members
- Part-time remote work on alternate weekdays
- Day and evening shifts
Will offices be modified?
The Office of Facilities Management is sourcing clear Plexiglas panels for possible installation in offices that deal with a large number of visitors or clients. The college will follow recommendations based on a workspace analysis by Environmental Health and Safety staff.
Whom can I contact with further questions?
Classroom faculty and staff should work with their department chairs to clarify their fall teaching schedules. They may submit additional questions to [email protected] All other employees should direct questions on fall reopening to their supervisors. All employees may contact HR with issues, questions, and concerns.
If I am covered by an Aetna health care plan offered by FIT, are there costs for testing
or related services? Is Aetna offering additional helpful services to both members and non-members?
If you are covered by one of FIT’s Aetna health care plans, please note the following:
- No cost sharing - COVID-19 testing for tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detect SARS-CoV-2 or diagnose COVID-19, serological tests to detect antibodies against the virus and also other tests awaiting FDA emergency use authorization, developed in and authorized by a state that has notified Health and Human Services (HHS), or determined appropriate under HHS guidance. “No cost-sharing” means you can’t be charged a deductible, copayment or coinsurance however the new regulations do not prohibit balance billing which may occur in certain instances.
- No cost sharing - COVID-19 testing-related items and services which are defined as relating to the furnishing or administration of the test or the evaluation of an individual’s need for the test. This includes COVID-19 testing-related items and services provided in-person or in a virtual setting. “No cost-sharing” means you can’t be charged a deductible, copayment or coinsurance however the new regulations do not prohibit balance billing which may occur in certain instances.
Resources For Living (RFL), Aetna’s employee assistance program, is offering support and resources to both Aetna members and non-members. RFL provides:
- In-the-moment phone support to help callers cope with the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Community resource referrals, including support services in the local area.
Contact RFL at (833) 327-2386 for more information.
Can I continue to submit claims to FIT’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Plan for
Yes, claims will continue to be paid. We do recommend that you use your benefits card so that you don’t have to submit claims. If you are submitting claims by mail or through Flexible Benefit Administrators’ (FBA) online portal, we suggest setting up direct deposit through the online portal so that payments will go directly into your bank account. Contact [email protected] with further questions.
If I participate in the Commuter Reimbursement Program (TransitChek), how do I change
or suspend my contributions?
In order to make a change, please log in to your TransitChek online account to modify or suspend your contributions. (Important: Do not select “cancel.”) Changes made through April 30 will impact your June benefit month. If you suspend your contributions, don’t forget to log back into your account when you are ready to resume your contributions.
How do I submit my Tuition Exemption form?
Hold onto all request forms until on-site operations resume, as the education offerings may have changed.
How do I make contribution changes related to a voluntary retirement plan offered
In order to make changes, please follow the instructions below. Please note that your change will be reflected in the first available/allowable paycheck; in most cases your change will be reflected within two paychecks after the change is made; in some instances it may take three paychecks for the change to be reflected.
- SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan (formerly the SUNY Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan)
You may change your contribution amount by logging into [email protected]. For assistance, follow the instructions in the "Making 403(b) Deferral Changes" section of the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf). If you are not yet registered at [email protected], please refer to the “First Time Users” information in the guide in order to register and make changes. For additional assistance, please contact a [email protected] representative at (866) 271-0960.
- The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)
You may change your contribution amount by logging into your account at nysdcp.com. For additional assistance, please call the NYSDCP Helpline at (800) 422-8463.
- FIT Foundation Retirement Plan
Please send an email to [email protected] if you would like to make a contribution change and a benefits representative will provide you with the required form.
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses; some cause illness in people, others only in animals: some animal coronaviruses can infect people. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease caused by a coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus (severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).
How does an individual become infected?
Research is ongoing, and developments are evolving, but presently it is believed people can become infected via the following modes of transmission:
- by being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person; or
- by touching a contaminated surface or object that has the virus on it, and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. (Research suggests that the virus can remain active on surfaces for several hours to several days: up to 24 hours on cardboard and wood, and up to 72 hours on stainless steel and plastic.)
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe respiratory illness and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. On April 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added six additional symptoms to its official list of possible signs of infection: chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headaches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
Symptoms may begin between 2 to 14 days after exposure. Some individuals infected with the virus experience no symptoms (are asymptomatic), but can still transmit the virus to others, especially the elderly and those that have immunocompromised systems.
Is there a vaccine?
Presently there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19.
How can I protect myself?
Here are some things you can do that will help you avoid contracting COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often and with soap, for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing with soap and water is significantly more effective than using hand sanitizer. To avoid the spread of COVID-19, hand sanitizer is not a sufficient substitute for handwashing and should only be used as a last resort. Hand sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol.
- Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet. Avoid groups of 10 people or more.
- If possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you cannot avoid contact with people who are sick, do avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, using regular household cleaning supplies.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Sick individuals should not leave their home unless to receive medical care and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interests of their health.
Should I wear personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Face masks (properly covering both the mouth and the nose), whether accompanied by a face shield or not, is the required type of protection to be worn on campus. In the case of legitimate concerns, such as articulation to a class or an underlying health condition, a face shield without a mask may be used. Remember, wearing masks is not a replacement for social distancing—it is in addition to social distancing.
What are impacts on the food supply?
Federal health officials say the risk of contracting the virus from packages and grocery items or the mail is very low. According to the CDC, the virus is spread primarily from person to person in close contact with one another. However, it would be a good idea to wash hands after opening any package and rinsing any fresh produce with water before using.
Is the potable (drinkable) water supply safe?
Yes. Local water districts must use chlorine to disinfect and kill bacteria and other pathogens. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has said that the virus has not been detected in drinking water.
If you have received the pneumonia vaccine, are you better protected from COVID-19?
No. The World Health Organization (WHO) says vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, do not offer protection against COVID-19.
Where can I find additional information?
The NYSDOH has established a toll-free coronavirus hotline, (888) 364-3065, and has posted an information webpage at health.ny.gov. The CDC is also regularly updating its website, CDC.gov, with new information.
Will the coronavirus affect my admission to FIT for fall 2021?
New applicants who have completed their application with all required supplemental documents (transcripts, essay, and for Art and Design applications, a portfolio) by Feb. 1 will receive a decision letter by April 1. Applicants completing their applications after Feb. 1 will be notified beginning April 1 as their applications become complete.
A small number of applicants will be placed on a wait list. You will have an opportunity to express your interest in remaining on the wait list. If space is available, wait-listed applicants will be offered admission between the middle of June and the beginning of August. We will make every attempt to notify wait-listed applicants as soon as space becomes available.
Can I still send materials to complete my application? What if my high school or college
Graduates of FIT’s associate's degree programs can visit the Current Students page for detailed information on submitting an application.
If your prior school is closed or otherwise unable to provide records, the Admissions Committee will accept an unofficial copy of your transcript for review while we await an official one. Based on current projections, we are requiring official transcripts prior to the start of the fall semester.
Can I still apply for admission?
Both first-time and transfer students may visit our main Undergraduate Admissions FAQ page for details on the application process, including documents required. From there you can continue to the SUNY application portal to see which FIT undergraduate programs are still accepting applications for admission.
Space permitting, the Admissions Committee will continue to review applications up to the beginning of August. We strongly encourage applicants to make every effort to complete their applications with all supporting documents and transcripts.
How can I help students or faculty during this time of crisis?
Supporting our students and faculty is our number one priority. You can help by making a donation to the FIT Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) organization that provides financial support to the college for scholarships, emergency aid, expanded learning tools and resources, and innovation. You can donate here.