Healthy, safety, and our academic mission

The current international crisis which has led New York State to shut down public gatherings has been a shock to us. Every educational institution is finding ways to keep operations going when meeting face-to-face is impossible. We did not choose this problem, yet will face it together and overcome it.

Keeping you safe is our first priority. This means that the campus is completely closed. Paul Smith’s is fully committed to our mission to educate students, and the faculty are doing everything possible to ensure students complete their semester and obtain full academic credit. All courses will complete the semester using distance education. Since that is not our usual approach, there will be bumps along the way. Please be patient and forgiving.

We know this is a very stressful time with worries about academics, health and finances. Even when we cannot meet in person, we need to maintain the Smitty Spirit of caring for each other. Many people are facing big challenges right now. Please support and encourage others who are struggling. The college cares about you.

Academic Credit / Learning Online

  • Students have the opportunity to change assessment in a class from a letter grade to “pass/fail.” If you are considering this change, please discuss this option with your academic advisor or a CACS staff member. It is important to fully understand how this change will impact your GPA before moving forward.
  • Assignments that were due during the extended spring break have been re-scheduled with new due dates.
  • Log into Canvas as soon as possible to make sure you have connectivity. Contact Information Technology if you are having trouble logging in. Canvas is our main platform for all teaching. You can rely on this platform as your go-to hub for all course elements.
  • Assuming you complete your work as defined by your faculty, full credit will be awarded for completed classes. Everyone will be able to stay on track to graduation, and seniors will be able to complete their degrees.
  • Capstone courses will still take place and include a public presentation at the end, scheduled for May 8 and 9. Please work with your professor on planning.
  • As you know, like many other colleges, we lost a week of instruction due to the extended spring break. The State of New York requires a certain number of instructional hours. They have not yet told us if those hours will need to be made up. Right now we plan to end the semester as regularly scheduled.

Getting Help

  • Technology Support
    • The office is staffed remotely from 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday – Friday. Messages will be answered promptly, with academic support questions answered until 8:00 pm Monday – Thursday.
    • 518-327-6465
  • Note, to help you get started there are some excellent Canvas support materials posted. Our team is available to help you navigate this information.
  • Talk to your professors for guidance. Professors have modified their office hours to be as accommodating as possible. Office hours for individual faculty are posted in Canvas.
  • Our Faculty Office is staffed remotely to assist with making faculty connections and help with general academic questions or paperwork. Please contact:
  • The Center for Academic and Career Success, and all of its programs and services such as Tutoring, HEOP, TRiO, Career Services and Accommodative Services provide essential support for our students. All of our staff, including peer tutors and peer mentors, are available by electronic means to offer full service support to students and faculty. Please email if you have any questions.
  • The library staff are working remotely Mondays – Fridays from 8:00am – 5:00pm. You can reach us at, 518-327-6313, contact staff directly at their phone extensions, or chat online using Teams. Please check out our new Online Resources FAQ. Available services include:
    • Virtual reference sessions and research help, bookable via Starfish. These can be for any help you might need in terms of materials and information, please use them! We want to help you!
    • Screencast tutorials available on the library website and in Canvas (link to the tutorial in Canvas Commons)
    • eBook and digital journal lending
    • Interlibrary Loan to access digital materials our library doesn’t own

Add/Drop and Registration

  • Advisors can email after they and the student have agreed on a change, and those specific changes will be made without needing the traditional forms. For guidance email or telephone our staff at 518-327-6231. Messages will be answered daily.
  • Students enrolled in spring courses that included travel this summer to British Columbia and Denmark will not be travelling. You do not need to drop these classes! Students will be given an alternative way to earn credit. Details or refunds or re-scheduled trips will be provided once the situation clarifies itself.
  • The college has added several short one credit classes. Along with the campus internship class, which is still open for registration, these will give you some options if you need additional academic credit.

Your faculty and staff will do all they can to support you. This is a challenging time, but we will make it through. Hang in there, and see you back on campus in September.