Coronavirus Updates

COVID-19 Academic Policies Guidelines and FAQs, Spring 2020

The faculty and staff of Touro GSE are sensitive to challenges brought on by the current conditions of COVID-19. In alignment with the policies established by the leadership of Touro College and University System, the following guidelines are effective for the spring 2020 academic term. We ask that candidates consult with their academic advisor(s) and/or University Supervisor(s) for academic success and the completion of all spring 2020 academic coursework.

We remain committed to your ongoing well-being and successful academic progress. We ask that you monitor your Touro email regularly for faculty communications and that you are proactive in discussing any concerns you might have. As always, you may submit questions to the Touro GSE team by way of the email. For those candidates completing their programs this academic term, we ask that you complete the End-of-Program survey spring 2020 to provide feedback for ongoing program improvement. An invite email will be sent to you separately.

Stay safe. Be well.

Final Grades Pass/Fail

Touro College has issued a “Pass/Fail Policy Spring 2020 Only” to address the current and the unknown future conditions of COVID-19. As such, all Touro GSE candidates are afforded the option to request a final grade of Pass or Fail for individual spring 2020 courses. In order to request Pass/Fail in place of a traditional grade, candidates must complete all course assignments within the current academic term. At the time of the submission of the final course exam/assignment, candidates may submit a Pass/Fail Request Form to the instructor of record. We ask that you carefully read the provisions on the Pass/Fail Request Form, as grade appeals are limited for courses chosen for Pass/Fail.  The Pass/Fail request form will be made available to you during the final weeks of coursework.

Please note that a grade of Pass/Fail will affect your overall GPA and a grade of Pass will count towards credits required for program completion. For candidates who need to improve their GPAs, consideration must be given to these limitations.

In accordance with the current Touro GSE policies published in the catalog, a grade lower than D- automatically constitutes a grade of “Fail” for the Pass/Fail option. 

Clinical Continuity

On March 16 we announced new guidelines for clinical experiences (i.e., fieldwork, practicum, and internships) in an effort to mitigate any restraints within our control to ensure that all state requirements for clinical experiences can be met in a manner that is least disruptive to your academic success. We said that:

We ask those affected by a school closure touch base immediately with her/his University Supervisor for a plan of action and stated that candidates will need to report on the documented hours and clinically based assignments completed to date. All other assignments that do not require observations or directly working with students and or school personnel should be completed as scheduled.

We ask those affected by a school closure touch base immediately with her/his University Supervisor for a plan of action and stated that candidates will need to report on the documented hours and clinically based assignments completed to date. All other assignments that do not require observations or directly working with students and or school personnel should be completed as scheduled.

Should schools providing virtual instruction or programming permit you to do so, we expect that you will abide by the school protocol for training for continued progress toward meeting clinical requirements. You must receive expressed permission from the school to participate in virtual activities and discuss with your University Supervisor whether or not such actions are appropriate for your program. If deemed appropriate, a plan must be developed between the candidate, University Supervision, and the P-12 school site to organize virtual supervision. The University Supervisor will fill documentation of all approvals and plans for the Office of Clinical Practice.

At this time, it is not realistic to seek new placements for candidates based on a school closure. More information will follow as we learn more regarding the New York State protocol and those of our partnering school districts. Should you have questions regarding clinical practice beyond the assistance of your University Supervisor, please feel free to contact the Office of Clinical Practice (

Touro GSE is as committed as ever to high quality programming that prepares each candidate for day-one readiness upon program completion and certification. We believe that clinical practice is the central keystone that links theory and practice. In an effort to ensure ongoing program quality, as well as candidates’ continued progress toward program completion by meeting GSE learning outcomes and New York state regulations, new alternatives are provided for clinical practice.

The following questions and answers are provided to guide continuity:


Q: If I elect for my spring 2020 courses to be graded as Pass/Fail, will my application for NY certification be negatively effected?

A: For candidates completing an NY approved educator preparation program like yours and receiving institutional recommendation for certification, a course grade of Pass will not not negatively affect state certification.

Q: Will summer courses be offered and what will be the delivery model?

A: Currently, all summer courses are scheduled for online delivery.

Q: I want to register for clinical courses this summer. May I complete my clinical hours?

A. Touro GSE is prepared for candidates to continue clinical hours through alternate means for summer 2020. Should NYSED provide guidance indicating otherwise, your summer schedule will be altered before the beginning of coursework. You do not need to contact your program, as you will be notified.

Q: May I meet the requirements for clinical practice by continuing in my current clinical placement through virtual/telecommute engagement?

A: If your school/district leader has provided your University Supervisor with written permission that you have access to the virtual/telecommute P-12 environment, and access has been granted for your University Supervisor to observe you in the virtual/telecommute environment, indeed, you may meet your clinical requirements by continuing in your current placement.

Q: I do not have access to a virtual/telecommute clinical placement. How might I meet the required hours for clinical experience?

A: For candidates who do not have access to their clinical placements, written confirmation from the school/district administrator is needed. Once written confirmation is received by the University Supervisor, alternate assignments may be arranged.

Q: What are examples of alternate assessments for meeting the required hours for clinical experience?

A: Alternate assignments will largely consist of indirect services, whereby the candidate does not have direct contact with P-12 students and personnel. Programs may require video analysis, simulations in which candidates develop instructional/counseling/leadership plans and execute the plan for an audience of peers, or other assignments. Instructions will be provided during clinical course work.

Q: Might I combine alternate clinical assignments for indirect services with those achieved during prior and ongoing access to my clinical placement in person or via the virtual/telecommute P-12 environment to meet clinical requirements for spring 2020?

A: Yes! Assignments completed during your clinical placement, along with those alternate assignments for indirect services may be combined to fulfill clinical requirements for spring 2020. Consult with your University Supervisor for further guidelines for assurance that combined assignments are appropriate.

Q: How will I manage the documentation and submission of my assignments and time logs?

A: All assignments are expected to be submitted through Canvas. Individual faculty may require assignments to be submitted through Chalk and Wire. Do follow the directions of your instructor. Candidates are expected to document the hours for their clinical practice activities, whether indirect or direct (i.e., those activities that require direct contact with P-12 students and stakeholders).

Q: What are my options, should I not fulfill the requirements for clinical practice by the scheduled last day of coursework?

A: For candidates who do not complete all requirements for clinical practice by last day of coursework, the option of an Incomplete Contract should be considered and discussed with the instructor of record. 


Q: My initial, conditional, or provisional certification is set to expire by August 31, 2020. May it be extended?

A: Yes. Initial, conditional, and provisional certifications set to expire August 31, 2020 will be extended to August 31, 2021.

Q: I am requesting a certification exam voucher from GSE, but the exam is not being offered. What should I do? 

A: Requests for certification exam vouchers are still being accepted. However, vouchers will not be issued until further guidance from NYSED is shared regarding the continued administration of exams.

Q: There is a likelihood that certification exams may be waived. Should the administration of exams not resume before May 1, 2020, should I continue to prepare for my exam(s)?

A: You should continue to prepare for your exam(s). There is no guarantee the administration of exams will resume prior to May 1, 2020.

Q: What if I am not able to complete nor submit my edTPA portfolio for national scoring?

A: Candidates enrolled in Practicum/Student Teaching spring 2020 may take and pass the ATS-W in lieu of the edTPA.

Q: What if I have taken the edTPA but did not pass and am currently enrolled for practicum/student teaching spring 2020?

A: You may take and pass the ATS-W or apply for edTPA waiver through multiple-measures review.

Q: How do I apply for an edTPA waiver?

A: Eligible candidates enrolled in Practicum/Student Teaching courses for spring 2020 do not need to register for a waiver. Touro GSE will submit your names to NYSED as the approved list of candidates eligible for a waiver. Your TEACH account will be updated. Check your TEACH account for an update after May 30, 2020. Should the timeframe for the TEACH account update change. You do not need contact the certification office, as information will be provided here on this web page.

Q: I completed the program prior to spring 2020. Will the current NYSED guidance for certification examination waiver or ATS-W in lieu of edTPA apply to me?

A: No. The provisions for certification waiver and the ATS-W option in lieu of edTPA are limited to candidates currently enrolled in practicum/student teaching/internship courses with the expectation that all program requirements will be met by the end of spring 2020.

Q: I have an internship certificate that will expire when I complete all program coursework. Will may certification be extended?

A: Your internship certificate expires after two years of issuance, at the completion of one's program (excluding workshops required for certification), or at the time one leaves his/her program. Eligible candidates whose internship certificate has expired may apply for an Emergency COVID-12 certificate (see the Emergency Certificate and Summer 2020 page).



Jacob Easley II, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate School of Education