Maria College is operating under site restrictions due to Covid-19. Prior to coming to campus, please complete the daily health screening form for Students/Faculty/Staff or Visitors.

Maria College’s Coronavirus Information and Response

Maria College is monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely and will communicate any changes to campus operations to our community via email (your mariacollege.edu account) and this website. As of this time there are no reported cases of Coronavirus in our campus community. However, there are some precautionary measures we are asking people to take. 

For information about Maria College’s participation in CARES Act funding, click here: https://mariacollege.edu/about-maria/consumer-information/cares-act

Further information about the virus can be found on the DOH’s Coronavirus website: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/

Maria College Communication Date Issued
7.29.20 COVID Testing Requirements July 29, 2020
7.9.20 Fall 2020 Return to Campus  July 9, 2020
6.9.20 Covid Update, For Faculty Staff Campus Access June 9, 2020
5.11.20 Covid Update, Work Remote Extension to June 7th May 11, 2020
4.29.20 Covid Update, summer sessions courses online April 29, 2020
4.7.20 Covid Update, government directives  April 7, 2020
3.27.20 – Covid Update, Clarification on Campus Access for students March 27, 2020
3.26.20 – Covid Update, Registrar Info on Course Withdrawals, Campus Access Update for Faculty & Staff March 26, 2020
3.21.20 – Covid Update, Clinicals Suspended, Campus Access Restricted & Admin Offices Working Remotely  March 21, 2020
3.18.20 – Covid Update, Staff Working Remotely, Campus Access Restrictions March 18, 2020
3.17.20 – CoVid Update, Technology Survey, Maria Cares Video, Student Financial Services  March 17, 2020
3.16.20 – CoVid Update, Maria Moving to Online Courses for Spring 2020 Semester March 16, 2020
3.13.20 – Spring Break Extension Guidance & CoVid Update March 13, 2020
3.12.20 – CoVid 19 Update March 12, 2020
3.11.20 – Spring Break Extension & CoVid19 Update March 11, 2020
3.10.20 – Update CoVid19 Task Force and Website_Email March 10, 2020
3.3.20 – CoVid19 Precautions_Email

March 3, 2020

  • Information for Students

    Students are advised to follow good preventative procedures and to stay home if exhibiting signs of illness. The college will be increasing scheduled cleaning of surfaces and faculty will be accommodating to students who have to miss class because of illness. Please communicate with your professors if illness is preventing you from attending course-related scheduled activities (labs, lectures, clinicals, etc.) and with Andrew Ledoux in student affairs. 

    Any members of the Maria College community who travel to areas on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 should observe a 14-day isolation period away from campus. Students returning from one of the areas on the CDC list should self-identify to Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Students, Andrew Ledoux.

    Employees and students are asked to self-identify if traveling to/from locations at higher risk for spread of COVID-19. To learn more about impacted areas, see here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

    Please take a moment to read and follow the social distancing guidance below. As a community, during this time, we’re asking that we all look out for one another and use good sense in managing our interactions.

  • Information for Faculty & Staff

    The CDC offers straight-forward guidance to slow the spread of respiratory infectious diseases, including staying home when sick, appropriately covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and washing hands often with soap and water. If you are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms, please talk to your supervisor about working from home or using sick leave. 

    Please watch this space and your mariacollege.edu email account for the latest updates.

    Any members of the Maria College community who travel to areas on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 should observe a 14-day isolation period away from campus. Students returning from one of the areas on the CDC list should self-identify to Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Students, Andrew Ledoux.

    Employees and students are asked to self-identify if traveling to/from locations at higher risk for spread of COVID-19. To learn more about impacted areas, see here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

    Employees who are ill or who traveled to the impacted areas should self-identify to Human Resources Manager, Rosalyn Vazquez and their supervisor. 

    Please take a moment to read and follow the social distancing guidance below. As a community, during this time, we’re asking that we all look out for one another and use good sense in managing our interactions.

  • Information for Visitors to Campus

    Campus tours and visits can still be scheduled through the Admissions Office, but this is a rapidly evolving situation, and Maria will continue to monitor developments and provide updates to the community as they become available. 

    Events on campus are being reviewed and some events that are deemed non-essential may be postponed or cancelled out of an abundance of caution.  Please watch this space, and your email, for any information related to events. 

    Visitors who are experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms are asked to remain at home and to reschedule their visit to Maria College.  

    Please take a moment to read and follow the social distancing guidance below. As a community, during this time, we’re asking that we all look out for one another and use good sense in managing our interactions.

  • Information for Vendors & Partner Organizations

    Vendors and Partners – please review this communication: https://mariacollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Maria-College-Communication-to-Vendors-and-Partners-V2.pdf

    As noted above, maintaining a healthy community is very important to Maria College. Therefore vendors and partners who are sharing space on campus (or arriving on campus for work) are asked to follow the same protocols as other community members and to stay home if they are ill or experiencing symptoms. 

    Open communication is important, so please communicate to your contact on campus any pertinent information regarding your organization’s approach to Coronavirus, including: 

    • any known cases in your communities
    • workplace policies and procedures that may impact your time at Maria
    • Any travel to areas of concern
    • If you have traveled to areas on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Alert Level 2 or Warning Level 3 should observe a 14-day isolation period away from campus. Vendor employees returning from one of the areas on the CDC list should self-identify to Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Dean of Students, Andrew Ledoux.
  • Social Distancing Guidance

    Social Distancing is a good practice to remain healthy and we encourage all members of our community to use good virus prevention measures and to avoid, if possible, large crowds, crowded places, and contact with sick people. As the Coronavirus can live on surfaces it is a good idea to avoid places connected to known cases and to use good disinfectant techniques to clean surfaces in your homes and offices. Please try to maintain distance (CDC recommends 6 feet) between yourself and other people showing symptoms of illness. As a community we are in this together to avoid the rapid spread of a disease. Thank you for taking good precautions to keep yourself and our community healthy!

    Tips for preventing the spread of viruses:

    To prevent the spread of viruses, follow these healthy habits:

    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    • Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow if you do not have a tissue.
    • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze, and also before you prepare food or eat. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

    Please note! There is much misinformation out there about Coronavirus. As a community we reject, in the strongest way possible, any race-related or creed-related stereotypes, blaming, or prejudices surrounding this virus. We are a Mercy institution dedicated to the values of diversity and hospitality in all of our interactions. We will work together and get through this challenge without sacrificing our values or respect for the inherent dignity of each and every person.

  • What is the Covid-19 novel Coronavirus?

    The CDC’s website is a dependable source of information. We encourage everyone to support each other, and play their part in fighting social stigma by understanding and communicating the facts about COVID-19. 

    The New York State Department of Health’s website as well as the World Health Organization’s website are also resources.  

    The New York State Department of Health confirmed that exposure to COVID-19 of Maria College employees and students is minimal, unless the following criteria apply.

    Criteria Developed by the CDC on Available Information about this novel virus

    Clinical Features

    &

    Epidemiological Risk

    Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness

    AND

    Any person who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset

    Fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness requiring hospitalization

    AND

    A history of travel from affected geographic areas* within 14 days of symptom onset

    Fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g. pneumonia) requiring hospitalization and without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)

    AND

    No source exposure has been identified

     *Affected areas are defined as geographic regions where sustained community transmission has been identified. Relevant affected area will be defined as a country with at least a CDC Level 2 Travel Health Notice.

    Source: New York State Department of Health (2020)

    What is the Covid-19 novel Coronavirus?

    This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside of Wuhan and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States. There are ongoing investigations to learn more about this virus.

    Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their health care provider before seeking treatment in person.

    The 2019 novel coronavirus is a new virus and shouldn’t be confused with other coronaviruses that have been around for many years causing upper respiratory symptoms, like the common cold. If a routine test ordered by your health care provider and done at a local hospital or lab, is positive for coronavirus, that means that you have one of the common coronaviruses. The only way to test for 2019 novel coronavirus is through specialized testing at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are unsure which kind of virus you are being tested for or what the result means, be sure to ask your health care provider. This is a rapidly changing situation. Please regularly check this site and the CDC’s Novel Coronavirus webpage for updates.

    Symptoms

    The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

        • cough
        • fever
        • trouble breathing and
        • pneumonia

    CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

    How Does Novel Coronavirus Spread?

    Most of the early reported cases had contact with a seafood and live animal market, suggesting an animal source of the outbreak. However, most cases are now likely to be spread from person to person by droplets when coughing. Since this virus is very new, health authorities continue to carefully watch how this virus spreads.

    Prevention

    While there is currently no vaccine to prevent this virus, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

        • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
        • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
        • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
        • Stay home when you are sick.
        • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
        • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • IT / Remote Learning Information

    Internet Access for Students: 

    Spectrum says it will offer free internet access to Capital Region households that have students sent home due to the coronavirus outbreak, including both college students and K-12 students.

    The 60-day offer is only available to households that aren’t already Spectrum customers. The deal includes free WiFi access. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees are also being waived. The deal starts Monday 3/16.

  • Student Support Center Information

  • Accessibility Services

    Accessibility Services is coordinating with faculty and staff to ensure that all reasonable accommodations will be maintained remotely.  Students registered with Accessibility Services can expect to be offered the appropriate additional time when completing assessments online. Those who utilize text-to-speech software will also be able to download Read &Write Gold for free to their personal computers.  (Instructions on how to download the software free of charge will be emailed to students who have it listed as an accommodation.)

    First-time registrants will be asked to complete paperwork electronically and submit all necessary medical documentation via email or fax (518-730-9628).  In-Take Interviews will be conducted via phone (518-861-2502) or video conference.

    All students and faculty concerns should be directed to Jon Coller-Takahashi, Assistant Dean of Students (jcoller@mariacollege.edu).  Current Student Accommodation Agreements can be reproduced and sent electronically if they are required.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Would registration be affected by a campus closure? All necessary forms can be transmitted to students via email and returned via fax or scanned pdf.  Furthermore, an In-Take Interview would be conducted by phone.
    2. How do I register for Accessibility Services? Simply complete THIS FORM and you will be contacted by email regarding the next steps in the process.
    3. What is required for registration? Aside from completing all necessary application paperwork, students will also need to present medical documentation from an appropriate healthcare provider identifying their disability and providing recommendations on academic adjustments and accommodations.  For more information on the criteria for appropriate medical documentation, please visit mariacollege.edu/student-support/academic-support/accessibility-services .
  • Counseling Services

    Counseling Services will still be available to students remotely.  If a student is in need of mental health support they should contact Michael Washco, Mental Health Counselor, via email (counseling@mariacollege.edu) in order to schedule a phone or video conference.  If faculty have an immediate concern regarding the safety or well-being of a student, they should call 518-416-7293.  If no response is received, faculty should contact Jonathan Coller-Takahashi, Assistant Dean of Students at 518-795-7518, who will assess the situation and refer the student to the appropriate resource.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How do I make an appointment? An appointment can be made by emailing the counselor at counseling@mariacollege.edu . Once your email is received, the mental health counselor will be in contact to arrange a phone or video conference.
    2. Are there any forms I need for my first appointment? There is no charge for these visits but when you make an appointment by email the counselor will contact you and send you a link to an online form you will need complete before your session. This information is important for assessment purposes and will be kept in a confidential file separate from your school records.
    3. What happens at my first meeting with a counselor? The counselor will want to know what attracted you to counseling and what types of services you are looking for. He or she will also ask some questions about your background and family situation as well as some standard questions. During the first meeting, you and your counselor will develop a plan together for the type of treatment that will best fit your needs, preferences and resources.
  • Tutoring Services

    One-on-One Tutoring via WCOnline & Teams

    WCOnline, our scheduler and data tracking tool for the Tutoring Center, is equipped with videoconferencing tools, such as video and audio feeds, a whiteboard tool, and the ability to upload documents (but only in plain text format).  To augment WCOnline, we will also be using Teams, which allows tutors and clients to view/work simultaneously on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

    Additionally, we will be implementing a stringent protocol for our asynchronous tutoring.  Limited only to the professional tutors, students will be able to submit their completed drafts to WCOnline (referred to as “e-tutoring” in WCO) for tutors to review, comment on (via tools provided by Word).  Professional tutors will have a 72-hour turnaround time, responding first to global concerns (e.g., lack of thesis statement, underdeveloped paragraphs, etc.) and then local concerns (e.g., grammar, syntax, style concerns).  APA format will be considered a local concern. 

    Virtual Learning Labs via Blackboard Collaborate & Teams

    Blackboard Collaborate, in conjunction with Teams, is the best approach for operating learning labs remotely.  Blackboard Collaborate provides the usual tools to operate a virtual, synchronous classroom:  videoconference, chat, sharing materials. We are currently testing the tools provided by Blackboard with a pilot course, “Tutoring Center Learning Labs.”  Beginning with the Nursing Focus Groups, our aim is to provide group tutoring via Blackboard Collaborate, with supplemental help from Teams.  Students with access to a Blackboard course will have access to the Collaborate tool.  As our peer and professional tutors already have access to the appropriate Blackboard course, the next step is training personnel to use the tools (see below).

    Future Seminars

    Future seminars and workshops, including those on TEAS prep and career services, will be conducted through Teams or Blackboard Collaboration, which will allow the sharing of PowerPoints as well as virtual instruction through video and voice over. The seminars will still be held at specific dates and times to allow for direct instruction and student questions.

    Surveys & Data Collection

    Peter Bocala, our Senior Peer Tutor, is already working on a solution to ensure that the tutoring surveys are accessible to all clients.  Using Microsoft Forms, we are building One-on-One, Opportunity Programs, and Learning Lab Surveys that can be embedded/emailed to students at the end of conferences, learning labs, and seminars.  With Forms, the clients can complete the surveys while the tutor is still online, rather than waiting for an electronic survey to be emailed via WCOnline.

    Communication with Tutors via Teams

    We will be communicating to tutors via Microsoft Teams, and when necessary, phone calls.  We hope that Teams will be a one-stop for communication, information, and instruction (see below), as well as reduce the amount of phone calls we will undoubtedly receive.  A Team site is currently in development.

    Instructions, Protocols, & Training for Using Virtual Services

    To initiate this form of remote tutoring, we will be providing directions that include directions on preparations and best practices for the students. The WC Online interface will work best for documents such as papers, writing responses, and discussion board posts. WC Online will also be useful for tutoring situations requiring explanations that can be delivered through verbal discussion or text explanations in the whiteboard space. If WC Online does not meet the needs of the student due to the limitations of the interface with regard to images and PowerPoints, tutors will offer directions about how to move the session to Microsoft Teams.

    Prior to beginning to accept tutoring appointments, all peer tutors will receive instruction from Colleen or Jason about expectations regarding conducting remote tutoring through WC Online and MS Team. This instruction will include data tracking, professional expectations for remote tutoring, and technical requirements.  This will help ensure that all tutors are trained before their first conference and assist their clients as well.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What are the potential limitations of this form of support? Although there is no substitute for face-to-face tutoring, synchronous tutoring can facilitate many of those features provided that both tutors and clients are prepared for the conference. This means having materials available in digital format for easy sharing and logging into the software at least ten minutes before the scheduled conference.
    2. What are the anticipated technological glitches for this form of remote support? Devices often fail at the most inopportune times. To minimize disruptions, tutors and clients will be encouraged to update their passwords & contact information, check the reliability of their Internet, updated all devices, and perform a function check prior to the tutoring conference.
    3. Where can a tutor or client go for technical help? If a student cannot access their Blackboard or Maria email, they should reach out to the IThelpdesk@mariacollege.edu. For help with WCOnline, students should contact Jason Coley or Colleen Reilly.  Although phone consultations are available, we will direct tutors to our Team site.  We will email/distribute instructions and sources to all students and staff, but perhaps we can also post links to our website.
  • Opportunity Programs

    The OP Team is currently coordinating with all OP students to provide advisement over the phone or via FaceTime.  With a transition to a remote learning model, advisement sessions will be conducted through Microsoft Teams.  (Students will be sent instructions on how to download and utilize this software on their personal computers.) Furthermore, Opportunity Programs is currently coordinating with Academic Support Services to offer one-on-one tutoring through WCOnline.  Similarly, all Scholars meetings will be hosted virtually through Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate, while academic workshops have been temporarily suspended.  Finally, systems are currently being developed to ensure that all OP students are maintaining regular study hall and tutoring hours during extension of Spring Break see Tutoring Services for more information.  This will include the development of a Virtual Resource Room accessible to all OP students within Blackboard.

    OP will also continue to actively recruit students for the 2020-21 academic year in coordination with the Admissions Department.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How will student be trained on the use of Microsoft Teams, WCOnline and Blackboard Collaborate? Opportunity Programs is currently collaborating with Academic Support Services to produce guides to the features of Teams, WCO and Collaborate.  These will be emailed to students within the next week to ensure they are able to navigate each platform.
    2. How will students maintain contact with their OP Advisor? Appointments will continue to be tracked via WCOnline and students will “meet” regularly with their advisor via phone or video conference.
    3. How will OP students maintain mandated study hall and tutoring hours? Students will be required to log their study hall hours into an online form to be reviewed by the Director on a weekly basis.  Students will also be required to meet with tutors virtually via WCOnline, Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate.  (See Tutoring Services below for further details.)
  • STAR Initiative

    STAR will continue to monitor the progress of the student population and faculty should continue to file STAR Reports via the Faculty Portal and Early Warnings via MyMaria.  Emails providing guidance on how to identify at-risk students within an online environment will be released should the college transition to fully online classes.  The STAR Case Management Team will continue to meet on a bi-weekly basis to address high priority cases via Microsoft Teams.  Students will be able to meet with the STAR Coordinator for Student Success Coaching via phone or video conferencing.

    The STAR Initiative is currently working to identify students who do not have access to a personal computer and/or reliable internet. A survey is under development which will be sent out to students already identified as at-risk.  It will ascertain their current technological capabilities at home and allow the institution to develop appropriate supports. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is the STAR Initiative? The STAR Initiative is an early alert and support program designed to identify students who may experience difficulties during their course work. The primary goal of the STAR Initiative is to provide preemptive academic support and holistic care to students so they may achieve academic success.
    2. How does the STAR Initiative work? The STAR Initiative is coordinated by the Department of Student Affairs. The Assistant Dean of Students monitors the progress of all students and works directly with faculty and staff to identify students who are experiencing academic difficulties or other hardships.  If a faculty or staff member is concerned about a student, he or she is encouraged to file a STAR Report through the Student Support webpage. 
    1. What if a report is filed on me? If a faculty or staff member files a STAR report, the Assistant Dean of Students will carefully review the provided information to determine if any action is necessary. This usually involves gathering more information from faculty and staff who are familiar with you.  If action is deemed necessary, you will be contacted by the Assistant Dean to schedule a Student Success Planning Session via phone or video conference.
    2. What is a Student Success Planning Session? This is a phone or video conference with the singular purpose of ascertaining what challenges are impeding your academic success and developing a practical strategy to overcome them. A typical meeting will involve one or more of the following:
    • An overview of the STAR Initiative and introducing all available resources on Maria College’s virtual campus.
    • A review of local community resources available to students near their residence.
    • Development of an Individualized Student Success Plan.
    • Identification of the student’s Academic Advisor.