August 2020 // Class of 2022 Newsletter
Photo of Dean Newsham


Katelyn Newsham

Hours: M-F 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Hello Juniors,

My colleague came across this photo from your first week at Rensselaer, two years ago from now. While so much has changed since then, so much remains the same. I know for me, my commitment to students' success is still at the center of what I do every day. What hasn't changed for you?

As you begin the fall semester tomorrow, I hope you feel a continued excitement for learning. Best of luck and please don't hesitate to reach out if you need anything throughout the semester!


August 31

First day of classes


August 31 - September 4

All classes will be held online


September 7

Labor Day - No Classes

September 8

Follow a Monday schedule

In-person classes begin


September 11

Last day to add courses, change sections, or put courses on audit


October 12

Indigenous Persons' Day - No classes

October 23

Last day to drop courses

November 20

Last day to add/remove Pass/No Credit


November 25 - 27

Thanksgiving Break - No Classes

November 30 - December 11

All classes will be held online

December 12 - December 14

Online Reading Days

December 15 - December 21

Online Final Exams

December 22

Winter recess begins
Virtual Activities Fair Schedule
Upcoming Events
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to comply with Rensselaer’s health and safety protocols, the Rensselaer Libraries will be making some very positive operational changes for the fall semester. The key differences will be:
  • The presence of a Greeter upon entry to ensure that everyone is masked and to keep count of the number of people occupying the building at one time.
  • A new online library system that includes a To-Go pick-up service; Materials can be requested online and picked up Curbside by faculty, staff and students.
  • Seating dedensification throughout the Libraries to promote social distancing.
With these changes in place, the Libraries hours of operation are:
Beginning September 8th:
Monday – Thursday 9 am – 12 am.
Friday  9 AM – 6 PM
Saturday 12 pm – 8 pm
Sunday  2 pm – 10 pm
Monday – Thursday 9 am – 9 pm
Friday 9 am- 6 pm
Closed Saturday
Sunday 12 pm - 8 pm
After Thanksgiving until the end of the Fall Semester
Monday - Friday 8:30 -5
Closed Saturday and Sunday
During the Fall Semester, use of the Architecture Library during operating hours will be only through reserved time blocks. Please use the Library’s Room Reservation system to make your reservations.
To mitigate the reduction in operating hours, the Rensselaer Libraries will increase online services and collections. For specific details of the Library hours, visit the Libraries’ website.
RSVP via Handshake
Have you checked out Handshake yet? Student feedback brought about a new and improved platform that replaced JobLink. Create an account and check it out today!
Bookstore is now integrated within LMS to give you additional avenues to order and access your course materials.

One of the features is a ‘Shop by Student ID’ function. You can enter your RIN and the system will generate a shopping cart based on all the courses you are currently registered for.

From the Counseling Center...
Counseling Services (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.) 
No in-person appointments: phone and video appointments only. 

  1. Counseling Appointments 

  • Counseling appointments will be conducted via phone or video. To schedule an appointment, email or call (518) 276-6479 or (518) 276-6287. Indicate the best time and phone number for a counselor to contact you. 
  • Drop-in counseling in the Mueller Center, ECAV, and the Rensselaer Union is canceled. 
  1. Psychiatric Services 

  • Psychiatry appointments will be conducted via phone and/or video. To schedule an appointment, email or call (518) 276-6479 or (518) 276-6287. Indicate the best time and phone number for a counselor to contact you. 

  1. Crisis Intervention (24/7/365) – Follow normal procedures 

  • Call the Department of Public Safety (518) 276-6611 and request to speak with the Counselor-on-Call. 
  • If life-threatening, call 911 or the National Suicide Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255 
  1. Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19 


The Rensselaer Counseling Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Capital Region, and Active Minds are proud to announce a partnership to help expand counseling resources and services for students experiencing mental health issues. This will be a weekly Virtual Peer Led Support Group for students who have lived experience with mental health symptoms or who are currently living with a mental illness.    

The Peer Led Support Group will be held virtually every Wednesday from 6-7pm.  A start date will begin Wednesday September 9th.  Mark your calendar and stayed tuned for a Virtual Link to take you there! 

For more information on the benefits of Peer Led Support Groups: 

From ALAC...

  • Drop-In Tutoring for the Fall is being planned and set up. All tutoring will be virtual and have consistent times week to week. We will post this schedule on our website. 
  • We will still be accepting “requests for tutors” if we haven’t identified a tutor for a particular class. We will make every effort to find a tutor for a student who needs one. 

  • Students who need academic coaching or general advising will be able to make an appointment with an ALAC counselor/advisor either to meet briefly in person or to set up a virtual meeting.  Walk-in appointments will be limited in time and density and based on the institute’s regulations.  

  • We will continue to meet regularly with students who are Continued on Probation (COP) and student who may be on Financial Aid probation. Most of these meeting will occur virtually. 

  • Students should call the ALAC office at (518) 276-6269 or email with questions or if they are looking to make an appointment. 

Resources, Info, and More Events »

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