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 Inquiry Form if you're a student, and the Employee Inquiry Form 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.
If I can’t attend lectures online because of a slow internet connection or computer problems, what can I do?
Please contact your professors to address this issue. You may also find help on the Blackboard site.
I’m unsure what to do if I need to miss more than a few classes.
Please contact your professors to address questions of attendance.
If classes are cancelled, will I get any tuition back? Any portion of my fees?
Classes are not cancelled at this time; they have moved to online and remote instruction. In the event that a class is canceled, the college will determine the policies regarding tuition refunds at that time. A letter was sent to students regarding reimbursement for fees; see the Communications Archive for details about spring 2020 refunds.
Will students be able to complete their internships or receive credit for them?
As of March 23, in accordance with Governor Cuomo's stay-at-home executive order, FIT onsite credit-bearing internships ended. If an internship sponsor and student agree to continue the credit-bearing internship remotely, FIT will support such decisions. For students to receive credit for spring 2020 internships, internship students must continue and successfully complete the online internship course. For additional information, email [email protected].
Will Health Services remain open?
FIT Health Services now offers a live chat feature, where FIT students can consult with Health Services health care providers and staff securely online. For more info, visit their website.
Is the Counseling Center open?
The Counseling Center is operating remotely and conducts sessions as needed via phone and video. Visit their site for more information.
Can I stay in the residence hall for the remainder of the semester?
Students were asked to move out of the residence halls by March 31. Residential Life staff are assisting those students with extenuating circumstances or significant hardships that prevent them from moving their belongings or moving out by this deadline. More information is available on the Residential Life webpage.
Can I get a refund on my housing costs?
If you lived in an FIT residence hall and were able to move out of your room by March 31, 50% of the housing fee that you have paid will be refunded. If you were unable to move out and are still either living in the residence halls or have belongings in your room, your refund will be prorated to the date that you vacate your room. A letter was sent to students regarding spring 2020 fees; see the Communications Archive for details.
I’m a Senior Learner. Will I still be able to attend classes?
FIT’s program for seniors has been cancelled for the fall semester.
Are Precollege Programs being held this summer?
All Precollege fall classes and workshops are being held remotely. Find fall program options here.
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 is closed?
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.
Are classes cancelled?
Classes at FIT have not been cancelled; all classes transitioned to remote instruction on March 23.
What student services are available at this time?
There are many remote services to help support you in your academics, such as advising, tutoring, and more. For other student services, see the Student Resources listed on the left-hand side of the Information for Students page.
I offer my class in person. How should I move it online?
Remote instruction means that faculty and students are not meeting in person at the same place and time. There are many different ways to teach in person; there are also a variety of options for teaching remotely.
Faculty members remain in charge of instructional decisions, and your particular solutions will depend upon the educational goals of your class. Technological tools enable you to continue lecturing, allow for interactions with and between students, and provide options for completing and submitting assignments. You will have to determine the exact balance.
You may provide some instruction in “real time” (synchronous), but you may also pre-record video instruction or voiceovers on PowerPoint. Likewise, students may interact in real time in a synchronous class over a tool like Blackboard Collaborate, or interact asynchronously (at different times) through Blackboard message boards or other tools.
While you may have to make some adjustments, the overall goals and course learning outcomes 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.
Do I have to use Blackboard? Do I have to use Blackboard Collaborate?
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.
Can I change my class time when I hold virtual classes?
If you use live video or audio conferencing, you should stick to the time when your class already meets. Otherwise, students may run into scheduling conflicts with other classes.
Don’t I have to maintain a certain number of contact hours according to state requirements?
For in-person classes, New York State uses “contact hours” to determine course credits. A contact hour is considered to be one hour of class time and two additional hours of work outside of class.
What is important, according to the New York State Department of Education, is that the amount of learning time should remain the same no matter what delivery method or learning activities are used. The total time should be “roughly equal to that spent on comparable tasks in a classroom-based course.”
As long as you are having students do comparable tasks, whether participating in video sessions, viewing lectures online, reading and writing in discussion threads, and completing assignments and projects, the remote instruction will be equivalent in terms of credit.
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.
It says that “essential employees” must report to work on campus. Am I an essential employee?
Essential employees are those whose job function is essential to the effective operation of the college, who must be physically present to perform their job, or others who are involved in the COVID-19 emergency response. If your position is considered essential, you will be notified directly by your supervisor.
What are the options for working remotely?
Depending on your position, remote work may be available. Please consult with your supervisor to discuss your options.
What factors are used to determine whether a job can be done remotely?
Office jobs that can be replicated at home or in another remote location may be able to be done remotely. Front-facing jobs that require in-person interaction may need to be done on campus. Consideration is given on how to limit the impact of remote work on students, your department, other departments, and other stakeholders.
I currently get a paper check. How will I get my paycheck if the college is closed?
Your paycheck will be mailed to you via USPS. Please consider signing up for direct deposit by filling out this form and emailing it to [email protected].
What if I cannot work and don’t have sick, personal, or vacation time?
You can find details about how to charge your leave bank by visiting Human Resources’ Communications page and locating your employee group (full-time staff, part-time faculty, administrative employees, etc.). If you have specific questions, please submit your inquiry through the HR Solution Center.
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.
- Copayments are waived for inpatient, in-network hospital admissions related to COVID-19.
- Copayments are waived for in-network behavioral health telemedicine (virtual care) “visits” until September 30, 2020 (includes over-the-phone care and live video conferencing).
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 processing?
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 through FIT?
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.
Can I still actively recruit for vacant positions in my department?
The HR department is continuing to operate and provide all services to the extent possible utilizing multiple technologies. Please contact your HR representative to discuss the status of searches and online options.
How are FIT's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems being maintained during this closure? What about other campus facilities?
FIT's facilities have been actively and thoroughly maintained while the buildings have been closed. The HVAC systems have been operational during this time, which includes regular flushing of the water lines. Restrooms are fully resupplied, and any areas entered by visitors on campus are thoroughly cleaned after each visit.
Is TechHelp (IT support) open?
TechHelp is operating remotely. If you require IT assistance, please open a ticket at TechHelp.fitnyc.edu.
Can I use the computers on campus in the Computer Labs or the FIT Library?
No, all computer labs are closed at this time.
Can I get the software I need for class on my personal computer?
Many of the most commonly used software is available for the FIT community, including Adobe CC (for eligible students), G Suite, Office 365. Additional software may be available from vendors for an extended trial in response to the COVID-19 emergency, such as Autodesk, Rhino, and V-Ray.
Please open a ticket at TechHelp.fitnyc.edu with additional software support questions.
Where do I go if I have more IT questions?
For more information, visit the FIT Information Technology website.
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)?
In New York State, as of April 17, people are required to wear face coverings, such as masks, scarves, or bandannas, in all public places where they cannot keep 6 feet away from others. Further, the CDC also recommends that people wear a cloth mask when they leave home. Please reserve surgical masks and N95 masks to health care workers and other first responder personnel. 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.
What events have been cancelled?
All FIT-sponsored campus events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice.
Is commencement cancelled?
Commencement has been postponed until October 2020. Find more details at fitnyc.edu/commencement.
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.