The Arch/CCPD

With continued compliance of our health and safety policies and protocols, including a comprehensive testing and tracking process, and an increasing rate of vaccinations within our community, we are looking forward to an on-campus Arch summer experience. Therefore, we are planning to have all eligible students living on campus to completely engage with the services, courses, and opportunities provided this summer. Below are important reminders and frequently asked questions.

  • All remote exemptions expire on May 12. 
  • Remain acquainted with the academic calendar. 
  • Save the date for the start of in-person classes for The Arch summer semester, which takes place on Monday, May 24.
  • The Arch online orientation will become available on Monday, May 17, in Percipio.
  • The Guidebook app download provides an overview of co-curricular experiences scheduled this summer.
  • Continue using the The Arch Feedback form for any inquiries or thought contributions to making the summer a more enjoyable experience.

If you have any questions, email the We look forward to seeing you back on campus this summer.

Summer 2021 Semester FAQs

Q. How do I contact Financial Aid about concerns regarding The Arch summer semester? 

A. Email Financial Aid at and a staff member will respond as quickly as possible. 

To expedite the processing of documents during this time period, do not send mail through the U.S. Postal Services. Whenever possible, all documents should be uploaded online at or via fax at (518) 276-4797. 


Q. How do I apply for a summer payment plan?

A. Sign into your Rensselaer e-bill through CASHNET and click on the white bell at the top righthand corner to bring you to the pay plan site. If you need a pay plan for the summer, you must sign up by May 31, 2021.


Q. If I have not done so already, is it too late to file my 2021-22 FAFSA?

A. No. The FAFSA can be completed online at It may take up to two weeks for the Office of Financial Aid to receive and review your forms.


Q. I filed my FAFSA but I have not yet received my aid package. What can I do?

A. Log into SIS to determine if you have any outstanding financial aid requirements. If you have any outstanding requirements, you’ll need to address them as soon as possible. If you do not have anything outstanding, email and request that your account be reviewed.

Q. Will classes be offered in person and online this summer? 

A.  Classes will be a mix of in-person, hybrid, and online. Due to social distancing requirements, large lecture courses will be offered online, while smaller laboratory classes will be offered in person. Visit the course schedule for the modality of your courses. All courses will be recorded.


Q. The summer course I need is not showing up in the summer course schedule; what should I do?  

A.  Contact your adviser to find a replacement course.

Q. Will the Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) be available as a resource during The Arch summer semester?

A. Yes. The OUE remains a resource for students throughout the summer term. If you need assistance, email


Q. Can I participate in an ILE-Self Design opportunity instead of taking summer courses? 

A. No. The ILE-Self Design opportunity is a semester-away option based on a comprehensive plan that must be reviewed and approved by the OUE. It does not replace a full summer semester of coursework.

Q. What services will the Archer Center for Student Leadership Development (ACSLD) be offering this summer? 

A.  The ACSLD will be offering the following courses:

Summer 1 (May – August)

  • Seven sections: Introduction to Engineering Design (IED)/Professional Development I (PD1)
  • Two sections: Inventor’s Studio I (IS1)

Summer 2 (May – June)

  • Section One: Professional Development III (PD3)

Summer 3 (July – August)

  • Section Two: Professional Development III (PD3)

Q. What virtual services will the Advising & Learning Assistance Center (ALAC) have available for the summer term?

A.  ALAC will offer virtual drop-in tutoring for many science, engineering, and math classes. The drop-in times will be offered primarily in the evening, with one weekend session. Visit the ALAC website for specific times for each class. On a weekly basis, ALAC will also provide academic counseling to students who continue on probation and for any student who requests assistance with time management, planning, study skills, and test-taking strategies. Appointments will be conducted via Webex, Monday- Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Q. Will Junior Learning Assistants be available?
A. No.

Q. Will Disability Services for Students (DSS) be available as a resource during The Arch summer semester?

A. Yes. DSS will remain a resource for students this summer. To schedule an appointment or inquire about the process for requesting accommodations, email: or visit


Q. Will my accommodations change during the summer term?

A. All of your accommodations that are currently in place will remain the same this summer. For questions related to adding or changing your accommodations, email

Q. How do I schedule a counseling appointment with the Student Health Center this summer?

A. Counseling appointments will be conducted via phone or Webex, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. with some evening appointments available. Psychiatry appointments for existing clients will also be conducted via phone or Webex. To schedule an appointment, email or call (518) 276-6479 or (518) 276-6287.


Q. How do I schedule a medical appointment with the Student Health Center this summer?

A. Medical appointments will be conducted via phone, Webex, or in-person, as appropriate Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, email or call (518) 276-6287. 

Q. Will I remain in F-1 status if I am not able to come back to campus for the summer term?

A. Per current SEVP guidance, if you are registered as a full-time student for classes during your Arch summer term, you will maintain your F-1 status and will be registered in SEVIS.


Q. What if I cannot return to the United States for The Arch summer term?

A. If you are not able to return to the United States for The Arch summer term, contact your academic adviser to determine if your classes will be available in an online format so you can maintain a full-time course load and your F-1 status.

If you are unable to take a full-time course load, contact ISSS to determine what other options are available. To schedule a virtual advising session online, visit, email, or call +1 (518) 276-4966.

Q. Can I still apply for a career-related exception to The Arch 2021 summer semester?

A. The career-related exception process is closed for the summer 2021 term. Students who receive an opportunity that meets the criteria for a summer 2021 career-related exception can still use the form to submit an experience for review, but they need to plan on attending the summer 2021 Arch program should their experience be denied. The Arch is a required academic program that students are expected to fully participate in.


Q. What CCPD services are available to help students find an internship, co-op, or civic engagement experience for their fall or spring semester away experience?

A. Custom career counseling appointments are available to help each individual student succeed in locating, preparing for, and securing their preferred semester away experience this upcoming fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.

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


Q. My semester-away opportunity has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. What should I do?

A. Contact the CCPD directly for personal assistance by visiting their website at or by accessing your personal account in Handshake. Each situation is unique and the CCPD staff is positioned to work with students on an individual basis to provide support. 

Q. Will fall 2021 study abroad programs take place? 

A. A decision regarding fall 2021 study abroad and exchange programs will be made in May 2021.


Q. What factors could influence the status of fall 2021 study abroad programming? 

A. For details, review the communication sent from the Office of International Programs.


Q. How can I apply for spring 2022 study abroad?

A. The application portal for spring 2022 will open on June 1, 2021. Students can login with their RCS ID and password. Detailed application instructions are posted in the portal.


Q. Will study abroad information sessions take place this summer?

A. Study abroad information sessions will be scheduled throughout the summer. Details will be publicized.


Q.  Why should I consider study abroad for my semester away?

A. Studying abroad allows you to grow your network, boost your career opportunities, get outside your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and enhance your global view. Watch the video to hear firsthand from Rensselaer students about their study abroad experiences. If you are interested in learning more, visit the Office of International Programs website or email or to arrange a virtual advising session.

Q. Where is Arch-designated housing?

A. Student Living and Learning will announce Arch-designated housing at the end of spring term. Every student will be in an air-conditioned room. We anticipate the majority of students will need to relocate into a new residence hall for The Arch experience. Procedures for transitioning will be communicated.


Q. What is the move-in date for The Arch summer semester?

A. Arrival, testing, and move-in for The Arch is currently scheduled for Sunday, May 23. More information will be provided at the end of the spring term.


Q. For students who need to relocate to a different residential building, when will this occur?

A. The majority of Arch students will move out completely from their spring housing assignments no later than May 12, 2021, the last day of the spring term. The move-in date for The Arch is currently planned for Sunday, May 23.


Q. Will a parent (or one person) be able to assist with move-in?

A. Yes, we will continue to allow one person to assist with moving students out of and into residential halls, while following health and safety protocols.


Q. Will storage be available for students unable to take their belongings with them at the end of the spring semester?

A. Students with concerns about storage between spring move-out and Arch move-in should email A daily rate may be assessed for students storing their belongings on campus.


Q. Will students who live a long distance from Rensselaer be allowed to stay on campus between the spring move-out and The Arch move-in?

A. Students with concerns should email Each situation will be reviewed individually. If approved, students will need to relocate to interim housing and will be billed a daily rate for housing and dining during their stay.


Q. Will there be a quarantine period at the start of The Arch summer semester?

A. The quarantine period will be determined mid-May by an assessment of state, local, and campus public health conditions as we near the start of The Arch summer semester. We may reduce the length of the initial quarantine period based on a smaller on-campus residential cohort and an increase in student vaccinations, leading to a higher rate of herd immunity.


Q. Will the testing schedule remain the same during The Arch summer term?

A. We expect that twice weekly COVID-19 testing will be required at least through July 1. We may reduce the testing frequency based on a smaller on-campus residential cohort and an increase in student vaccinations, leading to a higher rate of herd immunity.

Q. I did not use all of my Flex Dollars during the spring 2021 term, will they roll over to the summer term?

A. Flex Dollars for all students (except graduating seniors) will roll forward and be available for rising juniors this summer during The Arch and next fall for all returning students.

Spring 2021 Semester FAQs

Q. During my spring 2021 semester away, will I be billed by the Institute?

A. Rensselaer does not bill student tuition during the Arch semester away. Students may have charges on their account if they participate in the Rensselaer health insurance plan. If you have questions regarding your student bill, email the Bursar’s office at


Q. When will I be billed for The Arch summer 2021 semester?

A. Student accounts will be updated with summer 2021 charges beginning April 1, 2021.

Q. When can I expect to hear from the Institute regarding my Arch exception submission?

A. The Arch exception process is open from Dec. 11, 2020 through Feb. 19, 2021. Based on the category of submission (career-related, academic, athletic, or ROTC), you will receive a decision letter once your submission has been reviewed. All decisions will be released prior to summer term registration on March 1, 2021.

Fall 2020 Semester FAQs

Q. As a junior taking remote classes during the spring semester, will a range of courses be available?

A. Yes. Juniors who are scheduled to take courses remotely in the spring will have course availability. As the spring schedule of courses becomes available during the fall term, students should connect with their faculty adviser/HUB with questions related to spring registration (This applies to students with Arch exemptions and those who secured an approved fall away Arch experience).


Q. When will students who were designated for the fall-away term receive time tickets for registration this fall?

For students with a current fall-away designation who do not submit fall semester plans into SIS by July 24 will be issued a time ticket for fall registration and your semester-away designation will be changed to spring 2021. No time tickets will be issued prior to July 24, 2020. Should you have any questions regarding this process, please contact

Q. Can I still participate in an Arch fall-away experience? 

A. If you have secured a fall-away internship, co-op, civic engagement, or off-campus research opportunity, please email your offer letter and resume to and log into SIS to record your away-semester plans by July 24.

Your offer should be on company letterhead or from an official company email and contain the name and location of the employer, start date, end date, number of hours per week you will be working, hourly rate, name of your supervisor, and a brief description of the work you will be doing.

The CCPD will respond via your student email account once the opportunity has been verified and approved to begin the registration process. You will also be enrolled in an LMS course during your away semester, which will be covered in the required Away Semester Briefing found in Skillport.


Q. If I am still looking for an Arch fall-away opportunity, what resources are available? 

A. For resources to assist with your semester away search, visit:

Q. Will students exempted from Arch due to winter/spring athletic programs take classes remotely? What if by then they are technically seniors by credit; will they take in-person classes?

A. Any juniors who were given Arch exceptions will take courses remotely in the spring.


Q. As a sophomore who participated in early Arch, am I required to be remote during the fall semester and on-campus during the spring semester? 

A. Yes, you will spend the fall semester taking remote classes and spring semester on campus. Any early Arch student who has secured a semester away for the fall 2020 or spring 2021 term should pursue the opportunity and return the next semester following the pandemic parameters for their entering class year.

Summer 2020 Semester FAQs

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