Arch Summer 2020

The Arch Summer 2020
The Rensselaer community has worked tirelessly to successfully deliver the full graduate and undergrad curriculum online. Now, we are planning for our summer semester.

Currently, faculty members are making the necessary adjustments to create a learning environment that is as robust and experiential as possible. There is some curricular content that requires hands-on learning in the laboratory, and for which simulations or demonstrations may not be an ideal substitute. The academic deans are working closely with the faculty to determine what adjustments in course scheduling are required to ensure that a full slate of junior-level courses is taught in the summer and the required experiential coursework deferred to a later semester.

Current Arch Students
Any student currently on an Arch away term within the U.S. should follow the protocols of their current employer, site supervisor, etc., as set forth by their employment contract. If there are any specific concerns for a student in their Arch away experience, please email We will respond with further directions and/or necessary resources available.

Rensselaer recommends that any domestic Arch student who is abroad should make plans to return to their home immediately. According to the U.S. Department of State, students abroad may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, and challenges in returning home or accessing health care while abroad. They must also follow CDC guidelines by self-quarantining for 14 days away from campus and contact The Arch office at (518) 276-6655.

General FAQs

While one intent of The Arch program is for students to live and learn on campus together, The Arch summer semester is an integral component of the Rensselaer academic experience. Taking courses remotely during the summer semester will help students complete degree requirements in four years and still graduate on time. We realize that we cannot completely replace the community-building elements in an online environment; however, our faculty and staff intend to build in many meaningful elements of connectivity and engagement through Arch classes, as well as through our ongoing virtual Student Life activities. We will see our full community together again soon, but for now being separated is essential for everyone’s health and safety.

During the summer term, the ACSLD is offering online professional development courses. Refer to the course catalog for details. They will also be collaborating with a variety of community partners (e.g., Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Success, Student Living and Learning, Undergraduate Education, etc.) to support The Arch online experience.

Academics FAQs

The Arch at Rensselaer is a required summer term semester of instruction for rising juniors, followed by a semester away. It is not optional due to the pandemic concerns. Students who do not enroll in summer courses or drop all courses prior to the start of the summer semester will be placed on an administrative leave of absence and will need to go through the readmission process to re-enroll at Rensselaer.

Students should be able to work with their advisers to enroll in another course that might serve as an appropriate substitution.

Yes. The Office of Undergraduate Education will continue to be a resource for students as they navigate the summer semester and strategize to develop plans for the fall and spring semester away. To schedule an appointment, contact (518) 276-3142 or email:

No. The ILE-Self Design opportunity is a viable semester away option based on a comprehensive plan that must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Undergraduate Education. However, It does not replace a full summer semester of coursework students will engage in this summer.

Faculty are planning to provide pop-up courses as extended learning opportunities. The courses will be promoted to Arch students when the list is finalized.

ALAC tutors will be available via Webex. To schedule an appointment, go to They will also be coordinating TA office hours with the associate deans for students who need assistance. Office hours will be available closer to the beginning of the summer term.

For more information on LOAs and withdrawals, visit the Office of Student Success website.

Career Center FAQs

Students should contact the CCPD directly for personal assistance by visiting the website at or by accessing their personal account in JobLink. Each situation is unique and the CCPD staff is positioned to work with students on an individual basis to provide as much support as possible.

In collaboration with the other offices throughout the Institute, the Office of Undergraduate Education remains to be a resource to students as they strategize to develop plans for the fall and spring semester away. Call (518) 276-3142 or email

All CCPD career development services have been moved 100% online. Students can access postings, make appointments with career counselors, and practice interviewing in a completely virtual environment via JobLink.

In addition, the CCPD is offering a special, free encore edition of The Arch Prep Course this summer. The online course will focus entirely on how students can market themselves, locate and use resources, and interview in an online environment. Students can self-register for this online class in mid-April. Registration instructions will be provided on the CCPD website when the courses are available. All Arch students seeking away opportunities for fall 2020 and spring 2021 are highly encouraged to enroll.

We recommend following the guidance of the employer in this situation and leaving the worksite. The employer has deemed it a necessary step to protect their employees and provide a safe working environment. CCPD also recommends that the student inquire if there are any additional projects they could work on remotely for the organization even if the assigned task does not match the job description that the student was hired to do. Once on the payroll, it is much easier for a company to keep the student employed and assign new tasks as opposed to hiring new remote staff to complete projects.

As of March 13, spring semester students may have completed enough hours on the job to fulfill away experience hourly requirements as described in the CCPD Internship/Co-op handbook. This information, and additional broader guidance, is communicated to the students via the LMS Co-op and Internship course they are all enrolled in for this spring. For additional or specific questions, please contact your course instructor via the LMS course or email the CCPD at

CCPD offers micro-internships that are designed to be completed remotely and may be an option for students who are financially impacted by any position or organization closures. These micro-internships generally pay between $400 and $500 per assignment and are with major corporate partners including Microsoft, Boeing, and Corning. Please contact the CCPD for more information or log into JobLink for access to the Parker-Dewey Micro-Internship portal.

All career development services that were formerly in-person have moved to remote mediums (e.g., resume critique and development, opportunity searches for Arch and outside of Arch, interview prep, and professional correspondence).


Financial FAQs

Yes. In light of the circumstances, we are reducing some of the fees students will be charged.

Non-Adjusted Fees:

The student health center fee will not be reduced. Health and wellness services will be available all summer. This includes medical, counseling, health promotion, and disability accommodation/advocacy services. Medical and psychiatric appointments will be offered by both phone and telemedicine visits. Prescription medications, as needed, will be electronically transmitted to a pharmacy local to the student. Counseling services will be offered by phone and video conferencing with counselor staff who have undergone requisite teletherapy training through the American Psychological Association. Virtual counseling support groups will be offered based on student interest. Health promotion and disability services will also continue in the virtual format throughout the summer. This includes specific well-being and health promotion events targeted specifically to The Arch student cohort. In addition to these services, we will put in place health and safety initiatives related to COVID-19 and the return of students to campus. This will include addressing mandates associated with COVID-19 testing, equipment, supplies, cleaning services, and remediation that are health and safety-related.

The class council fee will not be reduced in order to support the efforts of the class council throughout the year.

Adjusted Fees:

The student activities fee will be reduced by 50%. We continue to be deeply committed to creating a number of virtual, community-building initiatives to be offered over the summer through collaborated efforts within the Division of Student Life including the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development, Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD), Mueller Center, and Student Union, to name a few. We are also working closely with Rensselaer student leaders and organizations to arrange additional activities.

The athletics fee will be reduced by 25%. This percentage corresponds to the reduction of summer activities associated with some intercollegiate athletics.

Bills for The Arch were processed on April 9, 2020.

Yes. The cost of the residential education is shared between a student and Rensselaer, therefore, Rensselaer financial aid will be proportionately reduced to reflect the decrease in the cost associated with The Arch. The proportionate sharing of cost between a student and Rensselaer will remain unchanged. Revised financial aid packages will be distributed as soon as possible. These changes will not impact federal financial aid eligibility.

The students’ total gift aid from Rensselaer is being adjusted based on the consideration that room and board costs will not be charged to the student during The Arch summer 2020 online semester. The adjustments will reflect the proportionate amount of room and board costs had the students lived in residence halls for the summer. This award adjustment will not impact federal or state funded gift aid awards received by the student.

Both need-based and merit awards are included in the total gift aid amount. In most cases, the adjustment will be made from programs such as the RPI Leadership Award, Rensselaer Grant, Garnet Baltimore Endowed Scholarship, or Medalist Scholarship.

The Institute is reducing total Rensselaer gift aid received by the student in an amount proportional to the reduced cost of enrollment resulting from the elimination of summer housing and dining charges. The reviews considered both need-based and merit awards. Merit awards were reduced when the amount of the proportionate adjustment was in excess of the student’s need-based grant.

This was determined to be an equitable approach to use across the full population of students, and with consideration for the wide variety of Institute-funded award types.

At the present time, this adjustment applies only to the summer 2020 term.

Student Health and Wellness FAQs

Yes. DSS remains to be a resource for students as they navigate the summer semester. To schedule an appointment or inquire about the process for requesting accommodations, email: or visit

Counseling appointments will be conducted via phone and video conferencing, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, email, or call (518) 276-6479 or (518) 276-6287.

Psychiatry appointments will be conducted via phone and video conferencing. To schedule an appointment, email, or call (518) 276-6479 or (518) 276-6287.

An array of online health and wellness activities will be hosted by the Mueller Center, which will be available throughout the summer semester. To learn more, visit

For details on remote Student Health Services, visit the COVID-19 Student Health Services FAQs

All accommodations currently in place will remain the same. For questions related to adding or changing any accommodations, email:

International Services for Students and Scholars (ISSS) FAQS

The summer 2020 session will be considered students’ “annual vacation.” Therefore, taking all online classes will not affect their F-1 status if they are enrolled for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Note: Students must be enrolled full time for the fall 2020 semester or have a semester away experience approved by ISSS for fall 2020 in order to maintain their status.

Students seeking approval of their experience by ISSS should choose their semester away experience in SIS, then submit the required documentation (based on their experience) to the appropriate department AND to ISSS via email. ISSS will follow up regarding next steps for approval.

Because the summer term is considered their “annual vacation,” they can leave the United States and it will not affect their visa status.

Contact the ISSS office via email at, phone at (518) 276-4966, or schedule a virtual advising session online, at

Study Abroad FAQs

In order for fall study abroad to proceed, several things must happen:

  1. Rensselaer must lift its current ban on all university-related domestic and international travel.
  2. Current national health and travel restrictions must also be lifted. Rensselaer does not support travel to any region where there is an active U.S. State Department or CDC Travel Advisory of 3 or above.
  3. Our study abroad and exchange partner institutions must be fully operational.
  4. Our students must have the ability to obtain the proper immigration documentation. This will require that passport and consular services are operational and that students are able to travel within the U.S. for visa appointments as necessary.

May 1, 2020

Students may contact OIP staff via email at or call (518) 276-3411 to arrange a virtual advising session. Visit for more information.

Yes. Details will be shared with Arch students once they are finalized.

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