Spring 2020 Student Success FAQs

Spring 2020 Student Success FAQs

Check this page for updates. Last Update: 4/21/20
Academic Success
I have never taken online classes before. How do I get the most out of my classes?
  • Everyone, including your professors, is making a huge adjustment to the way we teach and learn. Give your new class format a chance. Just like the start of the new semester, it takes a little while to get settled. You can do this and John Jay College faculty and staff are here to help you.
  • Watch this video about succeeding in online courses. Be sure to communicate with your professors about anything that may interfere with your success in class, so they can work with you find a solution.  
What strategies should I use for managing the transition to online learning?
  • Create a schedule that includes time to study and complete course work. Use this basic template to develop a structure during this uncertain time. 
  • Log in daily: You are managing a lot: staying connected will help you to navigate all the information coming your way. Check your John Jay email, Blackboard course pages and discussions, and other course sites at least once per day.  
  • Connect with your classmates to discuss what you are learning and how to best use online tools. Even if you cannot attend a live class, you can create your own FREE Zoom account and host live video chats with other people in class. Create your account here: https://jjay-cuny.zoom.us
  • Use the resources available to you, including: digital library resources, tech tools, etextbooks and virtual advisement and tutoring.  Connect to succeed. 
How many hours should I plan to spend on each course, per week?
  • Your time management plan should account for the number of hours you were attending in person classes, plus the time you will need to complete your reading, assignments, and participate in optional supports, like tutoring or group study sessions.
  • Expect to spend a little extra time getting familiar with requirements and platforms in the first couple of weeks.
  • Do not wait to ask questions if instructions or assignments are unclear! 
I cannot find my course information online and I have not received any information from my professor. What should I do?
You should contact your professor first. If you cannot reach them, contact the chair of the department. If you still are stuck, email Undergraduate Studies at: undergrad@jjay.cuny.edu and you will receive a response in one business day. 
How will the Pass/Fail (Credit/No Credit) course option impact my GPA?
As part of The City University of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, during the spring 2020, to Credit/No Credit grading.  Read the CUNY policy  and the Memo to All John Jay Students Regarding CUNY’s Flexible Grading Policy for Spring 2020. More information about how to select the CR/NC option will be posted here when the procedure is finalized.  You will have until June 17, 2020 to decide if you wish to earn a letter grade or CR/NC for any course you are registered in this spring
  • If you decide to select a CR/NC option for a course, you should plan to continue participating in academically related activities, complete all assignments, and take the final exam or complete other final assignments.
  • A grade of CR has no impact on your GPA, but you will earn credits for the course. A grade of F will appear as NC on your transcript and will not impact your GPA. You will not receive credits for any NC grades.


Why would I want to earn a letter grade INSTEAD of a P/F grade?

  • If you are getting ready to graduate and your cumulative GPA or major GPA is below 2.0, you need to earn grades in your courses to increase your GPA. You will not be able to earn a degree with a GPA below 2.0 and grades of P will not count towards your GPA.
  • If you are preparing for a specific graduate degree program that requires you to earn a minimum grade in certain undergraduate courses. Check with an advisor or your professors to make an informed decision.
I want to access tutoring and academic support services for my courses. How do I access these services remotely?
  • You can schedule and attend appointments from home: use TutorTrac to schedule your appointment.  The college will also continue to offer workshops, recitations and supplemental instruction for the courses with these supports. 
  • Create your Office 365 account to participate in Alan Siegel Writing Center sessions:  log into office.com with your CUNYfirst username and password (e.g., jane.doe64@login.cuny.edu).
  • Create your Zoom account to participate in Math and Science Resource Center sessions with your John Jay email address (e.g. jane.doe@jjay.cuny.edu
If I decide to withdraw from a class, what might the consequences be for financial aid and progress towards my degree?
  • The withdrawal deadline for all courses is extended to May 14th.  Dropping a class now means you will have to complete additional credits in a future semester.
  • Take time to make your decision: consult with an academic advisor and your professor about your academic concerns.
  • Financial aid rules are evolving as the federal and state governments address Covid-19. Visit https://www.jjay.cuny.edu/tuition-financial-aid to review the most current policies.
I am participating in an internship this semester, but my site closed. What should I do?
  • If you are working as an intern, you should follow the internal protocols of their internship site. You may work if the site remains open and is allowing interns to report.
  • Inform your internship manager or CUNY program manager if their employers move to telecommuting/work from home policies.
  • Confirm that you have the tools they need to do this effectively and reach out to your internship manager or CUNY program manager with any questions or concerns. 
  • If you are enrolled in an internship course, discuss your plans with your professor. Check in with the Center for Career and Professional Development about your internship status: careers@jjay.cuny.edu 
I am working on a research project on or off campus. 
Check this FAQ from the Office for the Advancement of Research: http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/research/covid-19

Is spring break canceled?
Spring break is now scheduled for April 8 - 10th. Classes will resume on April 11th. Professors will make additional accommodations for religious observances. 

When can I register for summer classes?
Class registration for summer will begin April 1, 2020. As of now, all classes will be offered online for the summer semester.

When can I register for the fall 2020 semester?
Registration date information for the fall 2020 semester is under review as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.  


Technology Access & Use
This information was provided by DOIT and DOES. Effective as of 3/17/20.
How can I learn more about using BlackBoard?
How can I create a Zoom account? I need it for some of my classes. 
If you receive an invite to a Zoom meeting, you can access it without an account. However, you should create an account so you can create your own group sessions. Claim your account, register using your John Jay email and password at  https://jjay-cuny.zoom.us
My internet service is unreliable.  How can I make sure that I am able to complete my coursework this semester?
I need to use Microsoft Office to complete my coursework, but I don’t have access to Word, Powerpoint, Excel, or other programs at home.  What should I do?
  • Students can access Microsoft Office 365 via the internet. This provides a full suite of productivity applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Office 365 can be accessed by logging into the Office 365 site at http://office.com using your CUNYfirst username and password (i.e. jane.doe64@login.cuny.edu)
  • Certain specialized student applications are also available from off campus. ArcGIS, SPSS, SAS, Mathematic, Maplesoft and Matlab can all be accessed from home. These applications are available in the CUNY Virtual Desktop. More information about the CUNY Virtual Desktop can be found here.
I do not have a computer at home.  Do I have to complete all my work on my smartphone or find a computer outside of my home?  
  • Students who do not have a home computer should contact the DoIT helpdesk immediately to request a computer for long term loan.
  • You should also inform your professors that you are seeking assistance in obtaining a computer to complete coursework.
  • DoIT cannot guarantee that every student who requests a computer will receive one immediately, but your name will be added to a waitlist if needed.


Planning for Next Semester
I need to register for the fall semester. How can I get advised?
Starting Thursday, March 19th, you'll be able to make appointments with the Academic Advisement Center via AdvisorTrac and can choose from three options:
1. Phone appointment
2. Email appointment
3. Online platform (Zoom) appointment
(ACE, SEEK, HONORS/McCauley students - please contact your departments directly)
I need to speak to my major advisor about my course plan for next semester. How can I reach them?
Please access the Major Advisement and Resources page for important contact informaton and frequently asked questions about major and minors.
I need information about how and when to register.  Where can I get that information?
  • Please check the "Enrollment Dates" section of your CUNY First Student Center page (bottom right) for your assigned date and time to register.
  • Don't forget to click the "details" link for the exact time of your appointment. Watch videos about registering for classes here. 


Student Concerns 
I have a question you have not answered. 
How can I contact Jay Express to submit forms or address other matters?
Email jayexpress@jjay.cuny.edu or call 212-663-7867. The call center is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am - 3:00 pm and Fridays from 9:30 am - 12:45 pm.
I am registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. How do services and accommodations change now that classes have moved online?
  • Any student registered with the Office of Accessibility Services has the right to the accommodations identified for them.  Your accommodation needs may change now that the learning environment has moved online.
  • Contact Nadia Griffith-Allen to discuss any concerns at ngriffith@jjay.cuny.edu
I have concerns about my mental and emotional well-being during this uncertain time.  Who can help me?
I am a reservist. What happens with my courses this semester if I am called to active duty?
I am a veteran. Will the shift to distance learning affect my eligibility for the G.I. Bill?
  • The U.S. Congress has introduced legislation that, if enacted, will alleviate the impact to GI Bill beneficiaries for a switch to pursuit solely through distance education. The VA should release guidance soon. While we await more information, reach out to Military and Veterans Services to stay connected.


I’m an international student/scholar. Whom should I contact about maintaining my visa status, travel plans or course withdrawal form for Spring 2020?
International students and scholars should contact Inga Mezale, Deputy Director, ISSS, via e-mail imezale@jjay.cuny.edu or via phone at 646-781-5214. 

I am parent or a caregiver for young children. How can I possibly complete coursework when everyone is at home and needs my attention?
I need to access the food bank on campus. Is it open?
The food pantry will remain open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please contact maclarke@jay.cuny.edu or nacevedo@jjay.cuny.edu with any questions.
I need to apply for Emergency Funding. 
Learn about the process here. Contact Malaine Clarke at maclarke@jjay.cuny.edu for more information. 
I am supposed to graduate this spring.  What is the status of graduation plans?

What should I do if I exhibit symptoms of Covid-19?

  • Students and faculty should consult with their doctors if they have:
    - Fever, cough, shortness of breath or other cold or flu-like symptoms that get worse or do not go away after three to four days.
    Mild symptoms and are age 50 or older or have any of other health conditions, such as chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes or a weakened immune system. 
  • Students and faculty should reach out to their doctor from home: Use telephone, text, telemedicine or a patient portal to reach out to your doctor rather than going to their office in person. People only need to be tested if they are admitted to the hospital for severe illness like pneumonia. If you need help finding a health care provider, you can call 311 to find a NYC Health and Hospitals provider. NYC Health and Hospitals provides care to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, insurance status, or ability to pay.
  •  If you suspect you have the virus, or have a positive test result for COVID-19, please notify the campus Covid-19 coordinator, Malaine Clarke at maclarke@jjay.cuny.edu .


Other inquiries related to distance learning and Covid-19 can be found here: