CUNY programs coping with challenges of remote education

The City University of New York decided to go almost fully remote for the fall semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 1% of the 50,000 courses offered are being held in-person.

"Those are mostly courses that are labs, some art courses, classes in which it is difficult to replicate the classroom experience," CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said.

After looking at the data and speaking with faculty and students, the chancellor decided that the safest way to proceed was going virtually.

Enrollment is down 4% this semester. The chancellor admitted that not all is perfect because of some challenges but for the most part he is satisfied with the outcome so far.

Last spring, CUNY came up with a plan to make sure faculty and students were ready.

"We began a program of giving over 30,000 computers to the students so they are able to be connected," Matos Rodríguez said.

CUNY also purchased 4,000 Wi-Fi hot spots for students with internet issues and invested in professional development.

"We've only had 11 cases in two months, and for a system that has a quarter of a million students, I think, knock on wood, the measures we have taken have provided safety to our entire community," Matos Rodríguez said. "That is the first goal here."

CUNY has also raised $9 million to help its students during the pandemic.

More than two dozen colleges and institutions in New York City make up the CUNY system.

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