In light of the continuing COVID-19 challenge facing New York City, effective Thursday, March 12, in-person classes are canceled on both the Brooklyn and Manhattan classes. The new teaching and learning formats are meant to support student completion of the spring semester while protecting our community in the current situation.
For any questions, concerns, or recommendations not covered on this website, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pratt has decided to move to Pass/Fail grading for the spring 2020 semester:
Focus on Learning:
Our main educational goal must be achieving the learning outcomes of courses and ensuring our students earn their credits for the semester. A temporarily simplified grading system will enable us to focus on these overriding goals during this extraordinary time.
Our faculty are teaching in widely varied environments, many with additional family challenges. Our students, too, are learning in widely varied environments, some less secure and comfortable than others, some with challenges that may prevent them from reaching their full potential. Pratt’s faculty strongly feel that letter grading at this time would advantage the comfortable and disadvantage the less secure; this is not equitable or fair. A Pass/Fail system is more equitable under these emergency conditions.
A Pass/Fail system (versus the A / A- / I / F system that some schools have adopted) maintains the integrity of grading at Pratt. Awarding an A or A- to students who have completed B, C, or D work does not. How grades are awarded at this time must sustain Pratt’s reputation for academic excellence.
Impact on Students’ GPAs:
All evidence indicates that graduate schools and employers worldwide will be considering the impact of the 2020 pandemic when evaluating applicant credentials. More reading on this subject is provided below.
From an article entitled “With Coronavirus Disrupting College, Should Every Student Pass?” from the New York Times: “College students across the country are pushing to abolish grades, saying the only letters that matter now are C-O-V-I-D. … The concern that professional schools might look askance at a ‘pass’ grade from undergraduates might prove to be overblown. A Yale spokeswoman said the university’s professional schools would not hold pass/fail grades against applicants, whether the choice to forgo letter grades was theirs or the institution’s. And the medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, said it would accept pass/fail marks ‘without prejudice’ for classes taken during the pandemic.”
Students who feel ill should contact their medical provider. If they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exposed to someone who has been diagnosed, they should follow the directions of their medical provider and their local departments of health. After they have taken these steps, Pratt’s Health Services are available remotely to help answer student concerns during business hours at email@example.com or 718.399.4542.
The Pratt Office of International Affairs (OIA) is working to share the most up-to-date and accurate information with international students. However, this is an unanticipated and unpredictable situation. We rely on many external resources for guidance which may also benefit you. Reference: Coronavirus Critical Resources
OIA is providing remote services to international students until further notice. Scan your complete applications for immigration benefits or other services to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can mail you a new I-20 if needed. OIA will offer online workshops on topics like Practical Training via Google Meet, as well as remote individual phone and chat advising. As so much is changing so quickly, it is crucial to watch for email updates from OIA and read very carefully. Email email@example.com or call 718.636.3674 for questions during business hours.
Online Classes for International Students
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has temporarily approved remote learning to maintain international student status due to COVID-19 issues. It is not usually permitted to study online and have a student visa status at the same time, but DHS is assisting international students and schools by temporarily waiving this restriction.
SEVIS I-20 AND VISAS
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed students should remain in active SEVIS status with a valid I-20, even if the student is departing the US and engaging in remote study abroad due to COVID-19. Right now, current students are in valid immigration standing no matter if they stay in the US or go home. DHS has clarified that students departing now and returning for the fall semester will not be subject to any “five-month out of the country rule” about termination of status. Your entry visa, if valid on the face, should also still remain valid for the fall, so long as you complete the spring semester remotely. Reference: ICE Guidance on COVID-19
I-20 travel signatures are valid for 12 months for current students and six months for OPT, for multiple entries. If needed, OIA can provide you with a personalized travel signature letter in place of a travel signature on your I-20. Request the letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduating students should apply for OPT while present in the US. Some students are choosing to leave the US after their application to USCIS, with the intent to return to engage in OPT this summer if entry policy permits re-entry. Care must be taken in this circumstance to ensure successful processing and receipt of your OPT approval; some moderate risk exists for complications including loss of your OPT benefit. Reference: ICE Travel (OPT Questions)
Travel for International Students
Amidst this dramatically changing environment, some students have traveled home to their permanent residence abroad, while others remain in New York or other areas of the United States. The decision of where to stay at this time is a deeply personal choice. Personal circumstances vary widely with unique priorities and needs. You are free to choose to travel where you feel is best for your safety and your support network, and where it is possible. Many countries are issuing restrictions on travel and suspending flights, and the information is changing quickly. Reference: Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
Information regarding return to the US is also rapidly changing. Foreign nationals are banned from entering the US if they have been present in designated countries with high COVID-19 levels in the past 14 days. US Embassies are suspending consular (visa) services. It is far too early to speculate about concerns with re-entry for the fall, as the situation will change over these coming months. Reference: COVID-19 Restrictions on U.S. Visas and Entry
We know you have many excellent questions and concerns and we understand them fully. Our advice is to focus on your health, safety, and loved ones at the present time, as well as the remote completion of your spring semester, and not to worry about the unknown for the coming months. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has notably and quickly responded thus far in relaxing regulations that would negatively impact international students in this scenario (ex: online classes, five-month out of country rule). We are hopeful for further accommodations for international students and are advocating for them. Reference: NAFSA Letter to DHS on Regulatory Issues and COVID-19
Pratt Health Services is now closed. Instead, the health services staff will provide telehealth services to our students. The preferable way for students to request a virtual appointment is by email at email@example.com. Phone messages will be intermittently retrieved at 718.399.4542.
Pratt has a Social Distancing Guide on Guidebook for desktop and mobile with advice and resources on staying connected while staying apart, from practices for mindfulness and health, to links to recipes and online entertainment.
Pratt Recreation and Wellness is posting daily at-home workouts on Instagram at @prattrecwell. Mindful Pratt is hosting virtual breath breaks for the entire community and a stress reduction series for faculty and staff.
Here are some alternative resources around New York City for meeting your healthcare needs. In most cases, we recommend calling ahead to check on insurance coverage and appointment availability and hours.
Students using the Aetna Student Health plan can find information on remote telehealth services on the Aetna website. Aetna is waiving all telehealth copays for the next 90 days, starting from March 6, 2020.
Students on other insurance plans should consult their provider about covered telehealth options.
Hospitals Near Pratt Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Hospital Center
121 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11201
NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull
Brooklyn, NY 11206
New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
506 Sixth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Urgent Care Centers Near Pratt Brooklyn
MedRite Urgent Care
504 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
NYU Langone Health-Cobble Hill
83 Amity Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
457 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Mount Sinai Urgent Care
300 Cadman Plaza West
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Walk-in Clinics Near Pratt Brooklyn
156 Henry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
341 Ninth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Pharmacies Near Pratt Brooklyn
446A Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
379 Myrtle Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
Online pharmacy with same-day delivery in NYC
We encourage students who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed for any reason to contact the Senior Student Advocate and Care Coordinator, Martha Cedarholm, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will work with you.
Pratt’s Counseling Center is available by phone at 718.687.5356 and email at email@example.com. While the Center’s physical location is closed, video sessions are being offered through a secure platform.
Due to recent Health Advisories from New York City and State the Title IX Office will be conducting all parts of the Title IX process remotely through videoconferencing. You can send any reports and/or inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an emergency and/or are concerned for your physical safety please contact 911.
Commencement exercises scheduled for Saturday, May 16, at Radio City Music Hall are canceled. Students who have completed all the requirements of graduation will still earn their degrees and receive their diplomas. Related year-end events, such as the Graduation Fair and Awards Convocation, have also been canceled. An online Celebration of the Class of 2020 will be held on Saturday, May 30.
Pratt is no longer requiring all offices to remain open during normal business hours and is asking offices to fully implement their work-from-home operations. If you are regularly scheduled to work on campus, please check in with your supervisor to make arrangements for continued work. Should the nature of your work need to change, you may be assigned other relevant work to support your department. The same conditions apply for all student employees regardless of type, including graduate assistants.
If you no longer would like to work or have returned home and cannot work on campus, please let your supervisor know. If you will have financial hardships due to not being able to continue your work, please contact Nedi Goga, Executive Director of Student Financial Services, at email@example.com.