Strategies for Online Learning
Do you have any tips on how to approach and manage taking classes online?
Yes! Please see our Strategies for Online Learning page for helpful advice and resources on how you can create a plan for online study.
Why is Iona offering a pass/fail option?
In moving classes to online delivery, we are asking faculty and students to stretch beyond the ordinary learning dynamic they are used to. For some, this adjustment will be challenging. It will likely increase anxiety making it difficult to focus on the content of our courses. In order to counter some of the challenges that will arise as a result of this change, students will be able to elect out of the regular grading system and convert to a course pass/fail grading option. Faculty will grade student work as they have always done. Students will have until one week after final grades have been determined at the end of the semester to decide if they want a letter grade or a pass/fail grade recorded on their transcript. In addition to helping students focus on the content of their courses, this approach ensures that student GPAs can improve, but cannot fall as a result of the alternative delivery system we are using to compete the semester.
By what date will students have to decide if they want to take the class pass/fail or for a letter grade?
Students will have until one week after final grades have been determined at the end of the semester to decide if they want a letter grade or a pass/fail grade recorded on their transcript.
Will students be allowed to see their grade first and then decide whether to take the grade vs the credit?
Yes, students will see their letter grade, and will have one week after final grades have been determined at the end of the semester to decide if they want a letter grade or a pass/fail grade recorded on their transcript.
How will students indicate whether they want the grade or pass/fail credit? Who will they tell?
Further details will be provided in the coming weeks.
Do students have to decide whether ALL classes are pass/fail or can they choose a letter grade for some classes and pass/fail for others?
For each class, students may choose a letter grade or pass/fail option.
Does the same pass/fail option policy extend to graduate students and undergraduate students?
Yes, both graduate students and undergraduate students can choose either a letter grade or a pass/fail grade. All students should check with their Major or Graduate Adviser to assess any certification or licensing requirements that preclude pass/fail options.
For business school graduate students, does the policy apply to the current trimester or the next one?
The pass/fail option policy applies to both the current and next trimester for graduate business school students.
Does the pass/fail policy apply to graduate business students taking the online MBA, too?
Yes, this applies to online MBA students for this trimester and the next one, too
Are there any free or low-cost internet options for students taking online courses?
Some internet providers are offering free or special pricing to students who have been affected by college closure due to COVID-19.
Learn more about free and low-cost internet access here.
I left some of my books on campus. Can I access them online?
In light of the ongoing disruption to on-campus learning, we’ve partnered with our digital course materials platform, VitalSource, and leading publishers to launch VitalSource Helps, a program offering free access to ebooks for students who may have lost access to course materials with the rapid move to distance learning.
If you previously accessed textbooks via the library, shared a book with a classmate, or left your books on campus, visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com to access free ebooks through May 25. VitalSource Helps provides access to tens of thousands of ebooks, but some content may not be available. To access free materials, you must use your Iona email address to log in or create an account. Before you get started, we encourage you to review this student FAQ.
Moving Classes Online
Why is the College moving classes online?
The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff will always be our top priority. While there remain no confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus at Iona College at this time, eliminating in-person classroom instruction is an important step we can take to minimize potential pathways for the spread of COVID-19 within our community. To that end, all undergraduate and graduate classes will move online for the rest of the semester. Students will not return to campus after the extended spring break.
How will online instruction be taking place? How will I “attend” class?
All undergraduate and Arts & Science graduate courses will begin online on Monday, March 23, and will continue online through the scheduled last day of classes on May 8, 2020. Faculty members will contact students with information on how classes will be structured. Attendance will be taken. Interim Dean Richard Highfield will contact LaPenta School of Business graduate students and faculty regarding classes continuing online. Our Blackboard Learning Management Systems will be used for most classes, assignments, course materials, requirements for tests/exams, and student-faculty collaboration. Students should be logging into their Blackboard courses and viewing their respective courses for the most updated faculty directives and course-related materials. Faculty may also choose to hold class at their regularly scheduled time using Zoom, Iona’s web conferencing tool. The course delivery mechanism will be determined by each individual faculty, based upon their requirements.
How will I complete lab or clinical work or student teaching online?
On a case by case basis, directors and department chairs will assess the feasibility of allowing our students to continue with clinicals and field work as long as the clinical agencies/hospitals/sites will continue to support our students. Program leadership will manage this according to their accrediting body, professional requirements and state regulations. We will be evaluating this on a rolling basis. Students must contact their department chair, program director or dean’s office for specific instructions. In the event that you are not able to continue with clinical practical experiences, your program leaders will work with you to personalize a plan. Laboratory experiences will be managed individually by each program. We are committed to helping students through this transitional time as we seek to ensure that your clinical experiences meet requisite criteria.
I have never taken an online course before. Who will help me transition?
Libraries and Information Technology staff will remain available via phone, email, Zoom or other on-line support. For technical assistance please contact the Help Desk. Tickets placed in the online help desk system will continue to be processed. Help Desk staff will continue to remotely answer (914) 633-2635 during posted hours. On-line resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here. The librarians are available virtually to assist with your research questions, to help find online resources and all online databases are available. Visit the Library webpage for more information.
I have accommodations to support my learning and now that we are moving to online classes, I need help. Where should I go?
Anyone needing accommodations can find assistance by emailing the Office of Student Accessibility at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a phone number for the best number to reach you.
If I don’t have a computer to do online learning, what are my options?
Moving to online learning will be a transition for everyone. If the transition presents a hardship for anyone because they do not have access to a computer, they may email Joanne Steele at email@example.com.
How can I return the books I've rented from the bookstore?
Barnes and Noble has extended the return date of rented books to May 31, 2020 and are offering free shipping to the bookstore. Please follow these instructions to print a free UPS shipping label. Note that although the return date has been extended to May 31, you must print the shipping label no later than May 15, 2020.
Since we aren’t living on campus, will we be reimbursed for housing and/or meal plans we paid for but can’t use?
Since the school will not reopen, in most cases, the college will issue credits or refunds for housing. The net amount will depend on each student’s individual situation based on many factors including class level (Senior, Junior, etc.) outstanding balances, financial aid awards, residential housing award, loans and payment plan balance.
For any unspent meal plan points/dollars, in most cases, the College will roll over meal plan points for current students to the fall semester. For graduating students, the College will issue credits or refunds. The net amount will depend on each student’s individual situation based on many factors including class level (Senior, Junior, etc.) outstanding balances, financial aid awards, residential housing awards, loans and payment plan balances.
The credits/refunds can only be applied to students who were charged and paid for Room and/or Board for Spring 2020. In cases where the student received Iona funding to cover all or part of Room, Board, or both, the credit/refund/points rollover will be reduced or eliminated. The College is developing a plan and will provide more information on how this will be rolled out in the coming months.
Any specific questions about balances and refunds can be directed to Student Financial Services. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 633-2497.
Will I be able to continue my student employment?
Some student employment, including work study and graduate assistantships, may continue if the job can be performed remotely. Students should contact their supervisors for more details and receive confirmation in writing approving working remotely. Hours will still be required to be entered into the NextGen system and approved by supervisors.
RESIDENCE HALLS AND CAMPUS OPERATIONS
How can I gather my belongings from the residence hall?
All College housing is closed as of noon on Friday, March 20. Residential Life will contact resident students with additional information about move out procedures. All college housing will remain locked to safeguard students’ belongings.
Please contact us at email@example.com or (914) 633-2336 during regular business hours with any questions or concerns.
Will campus facilities such as student supports, libraries and the gym be open?
The LaPenta Student Union, Libraries, Fitness Center and Gym are closed immediately.
Iona College remains committed to student success. While all Iona employees will be working from home or in staggered shifts, as a reminder the following offices are available to continue to support students:
Libraries and Information Technology staff will remain available via phone, email, zoom or other on-line support. For technical assistance please contact the Help Desk. Tickets placed in the online help desk system will continue to be processed. Help Desk staff will continue to remotely answer (914) 633-2635 during posted hours. On-line resources are available on the IT Resource page. Zoom and teleconferencing information is available here. The librarians are available virtually to assist with your research questions, to help find online resources and all online databases are available. Visit the Library webpage for more information.
Are there any specific guidelines for canceling or postponing College events and activities?
Campus events including admissions tours, information sessions and Accepted Students Days have been canceled or postponed.
We recognize the significance of end of the year events such as GAEL Awards, Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement. It is too early to decide whether to cancel or postpone these events. We will continue to monitor the facts and will provide updates as soon as decisions are made.
DIPLOMAS FOR JANUARY CONFERRALS
I graduated in December 2019 and expected to pick up my diploma in person. How will I receive it now that the campus is temporarily closed?
As a result of the current pandemic, we will be mailing all diplomas for January conferrals. Please ensure that we have your correct mailing address. You can request transcripts here.
We realize that there will be additional questions. Colleges across the country are all grappling with the same challenges, and we are working hard to provide answers as quickly and clearly as possible. As we continue to closely monitor this rapidly evolving and fluid situation, we ask that you stay connected to your email for updates. Information will also continue to be posted on our website at www.iona.edu/healthupdates
. If you have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will be sure to respond promptly.
For additional information, please refer to the following reliable resources:
Novel Coronavirus Hotline: 1 (888) 364-3065
CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
World Health Organization Coronavirus COVID-19