A Guide for CUNY Instructors

Should New York City experience widespread quarantine or should CUNY campuses shut down to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is crucial that all faculty and staff realize the massive disruption these decisions would visit upon the lives of our students, and approach any efforts to continue instruction with a sense of flexibility and understanding.

Courses cannot easily shift instructional mode mid-stream, and students cannot be expected to have the same level of connectivity they have when they have access to campus. At the same time, it is possible to maintain our connections with students, and to complete the work we’ve begun this semester without relying extensively upon synchronous communication. 

If campus is shut down, it’s likely that many other aspects of students lives have been upended. We cannot assume that all students will have reliable internet access when off campus. Therefore, instructors should not rely exclusively on synchronous communication during class times. Rather than requiring all students to be online at the same time, instructors should develop plans to complete the work of their course asynchronously, meaning students can engage in the class and complete work at any time throughout a delineated period.

This site offers guidance for faculty members in anticipation of campuses closing during the Spring 2020 semester. This guidance applies both to faculty teaching at the Graduate Center and to Graduate Center students teaching on other CUNY campuses. Community members who are teaching at other CUNY campuses should look for local support on those campuses in addition to what is offered here. CUNY’s campuses support a range of platforms and will have varying approaches to supporting instruction should a shutdown occur. 

Should longer interruptions become possible, additional support measures will be developed.

Things to Do As Soon As Possible

Things to Do if CUNY Closes Campuses

Tools for Teaching Online


Additional Resources