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As SUNY schools shift to online learning, students, faculty, and staff are adjusting to a different approach to education. As a student, you may be mourning the loss of the community you have called home for years. At this point you are probably wondering how to find that same sense of community online.  

The transition will totally take some time to adjust to. We are here to make that process easier. I promise it is still possible to forge a sense of community within your online platform. There are hundreds of thousands of students adjusting alongside you. Allow this process to bring you closer together. Remember, you are not alone!  

Participate in class  

You already know this is important for your grades. Did you know that participation also plays a huge role in your sense of community? Many courses offer discussion boards and messaging functions that support conversation between classmates. Discussion posts allow you to share your thoughts about the content while learning from others. An added bonus is that you get course credit for your conversations as you get to know your peers!  

I personally find it a lot easier to “participate” in a class when I can write it all out before sharing!  

Stay in contact with your professor  

Find out what your professor’s preferred method of communication is. If you’re used to catching up with your professor after class, you can do so virtually, too!  

It is vital to keep the line of communication open with your professor for two reasons: 

  • You can remain successful in the course with clear expectations 
  • You have a stable sense of guidance throughout the transition to online study. Remember: your professors are adjusting, too! 

Engage with your classmates

Although your learning is now virtual, you can still stay in touch with your classmates! Between social media and instant communication, it is easier than ever to connect with your peers. Use discussion posts to ask questions (your classmates may have the same ones!) and discuss the material. You can also communicate with your classmates outside of class through email or social media.  

Remember you are not alone  

We can’t say it enough: you, as a student, are not alone in this transition. We are here to support you throughout this process and welcome any questions or concerns. We are all learning together, and your safety and success are our top priority.