Start of the Semester Checklist

Resources for New and Returning Faculty

curved bookshelves in library

Here are a few recommendations for new and returning faculty to help you get organized for teaching in the new semester.

Access your Blackboard course
  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Login” at the upper right.
  3. Click on “Blackboard.”
  4. Log in with your CUNY Login credentials.
If you can't access your Blackboard account or other QC accounts
Try one of the following

1. Ask your department chair ASAP to initiate a Person of Interest (POI) ePAF to help expedite account activation if:

  • You’re a new faculty member and your QC accounts haven’t been activated yet.
  • You’re an adjunct who did NOT teach at Queens College in the preceding semester. (QC adjunct accounts are typically deactivated during the semesters they aren’t teaching.)

2. If  the above doesn’t apply to you, contact the ITS Help Desk at  for assistance or join an ITS Virtual Help Desk Assistance Zoom session.

    If you can access Blackboard but your course isn’t listed

    Contact your department to verify your status in CUNYfirst. It’s possible that you weren’t correctly added as an instructor to the course in CUNYFirst.

    Exporting/importing Blackboard course content

    To reuse course content from another section or previous semester, export a course package and import it into another course. This brief video demonstrates the steps: Updated 2020: Blackboard Learn Export & Import of Course Content

    Make your Blackboard course available

    The default setting for a course shell is “not currently available.” To make it available, look for the red padlock icon in the upper right of the page and click to open it. This video shows demonstrates the steps:

    Instruct your students, via an email from CUNYfirst, to contact you if they cannot see their course in Blackboard.

    Don’t forget – you must use your CUNYfirst credentials to log into Blackboard.

    Merge Courses

    A Blackboard course merge can be a confusing process, not the least of which is the terminology. Please familiarize yourself with these terms before starting the Merge Course process.

    Source course (aka Child Course)

    • What is it? The course from which student enrollments will be copied into the Destination Course.
    • What happens after the merge? The roster from the Source course will show up in the Destination course. Be sure to make the Source course unavailable after the merge, so that students don’t log into the wrong course.

    Destination course (aka Parent course; Master course; Target; Merged Course)

    • What is it? The course into which student enrollments are copied from the Source Course. All course content should be posted here.
    • What happens after the merge? The roster from the Source course will show up here. Students must log into this course to access content. 

    For detailed instructions, please read How to merge Blackboard courses. Login is required.

    Adding new users to a Blackboard course

    Manual enrollments can only be processed by Blackboard admins.

    • To add a student, course builder, or grader to a Blackboard course, submit the form Request to Add User to a Blackboard Course
    • To add TAs and co-instructors, contact the department scheduler and request those additions in Coursedog/CUNYfirst. Once they’ve been added, email ITS at and include a screenshot of Coursedog/CUNYfirst showing the added users.
    Using CUNYfirst
    Submit Enrollment Verification Rosters (VOE)

    Enrollment Verification (VOE) Rosters will open Friday, September 1st. Submissions are due Thursday, September 14th. Rosters are available via the Faculty Center in CUNYfirst at

    All teaching faculty must verify that students who registered for classes are actually attending or participating. All students will be noted as having attended at least once by default; instructors only need to note if a student has never participated in their course. Any independent study, lab, thesis, dissertation, research, or similar course also constitutes a class and must be verified as well. Online or hybrid instructors need to note whether their students have commenced participation in any course-related activity.

    As you continue to call attendance in your courses, please make sure that all students present in your class are formally enrolled via CUNYfirst. Students who are not formally enrolled should be referred to the respective department for registration.

    To Submit Enrollment Verification Rosters:

    Inside your faculty center, you will have several tabs across the top of the page. Select the tab for “VOE roster.”
    Open the roster for the class you wish to verify.
    You will see a list of students in that class section. For each, you have a choice of either:
    Ø Yes, attended. (Select if the student has attended at least one session.)
    Ø No, never attended. (Select if the student has not attended any class meetings.)

    When all the students are marked, select “submit” at the bottom of the page.
    To exit without finalizing the roster, you may select “save” at the bottom of the page; remember to come back to this section, complete the roster, and submit it by the due date if you use this option.
    Every student you mark as “never attended” will receive a WN grade for the class.

    Log in/technical issues should be referred to the ITS Help Desk (

    You are encouraged to test your CUNYfirst login credentials and resolve any issues in advance of reporting your grades. If you cannot log in, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

    If you have questions about attendance policies or procedures, please contact Denise Saunders in the QC Hub at You may also contact the QC Hub via email at

    CUNY Microsoft Office 365

    Visit Microsoft Office 365 for Education to log into your CUNY Office 365 account and for links to training resources.


    To access your CUNY Zoom account,

    1. Go to
    2. Click on the blue “Sign in” button.
    3. Log in with your CUNY Login credentials.

    Check in with the online book store to confirm that the books you have ordered for your class are available. Use your CUNYfirst credentials to view your selections, or mark your course as “no books required.” Textbook information entered through the bookstore will automatically update your course in CUNYfirst. Consider having the library place a copy of the book on reserve for your class. Information on requesting reserves can be found at Reserves Information for Faculty

    Your campus classroom

    Make sure you have access to your classroom. Contact your departmental office to ascertain how to access your assigned classroom (card swipe or key). If the room has card swipe access, make sure your QC ID card is activated. For key access, contact the Main Gate Security at 718-997-5912.

    Content for your syllabus

    Required by CUNY and Queens College, the following components should be included in your syllabus. You may copy and paste the following in your syllabus.

    Remember to give a copy of your syllabus to your department for its assessment files. Keep a copy for your own files, and maybe post it on your professional website or course website.

    CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity

    The CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity, as adopted by the CUNY Board of Trustees, is available to all students. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in the City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. Academic Integrity Policy.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Syllabus statements often require students to acknowledge any use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the composing of their assignments. You can see examples of policy statements on the use of AI at Generative AI Resources.

    The resource page also includes suggestions for incorporating AI into your teaching and strategies for detecting the use of AI in student assignment submissions.

    Use of Student Work

    All programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies. For these purposes, samples of student work are occasionally made available to those professionals conducting the review. Anonymity is assured under these circumstances. If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class. Thank you for your cooperation.

    Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

    Students with disabilities needing academic accommodations should register with and provide documentation to the Office of Special Services, Frese Hall, Room 111. The Office of Special Services will provide a letter for you to bring to your instructor indicating the need for accommodation and the nature of it. This should be done during the first week of class. For more information about the services available to Queens College students, contact the Office of Special Services by phone at 718-997-5870 or visit their webpage at Special Services

    Course Evaluations

    During the final four weeks of the semester, you will be asked to complete an evaluation for this course by filling out an online questionnaire. Please remember to participate in these course evaluations. Your comments are highly valued, and these evaluations are an important service to fellow students and to the institution since your responses will be pooled with those of other students. Please also note that all responses are completely anonymous; identifying information is erased once the evaluation has been submitted.


    Please maintain a professional demeanor when posting online. You can be respectful even when you have a difference of opinion. Treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself. Don’t type in all caps, as that is the online equivalent of shouting. If you need to emphasize a word or phrase, use italics.

    Queens College Academic and Grading policies

    A complete guide to the Queens College’s grading conventions is available at Academic and Grading Policies.

    For in-person classes

    For detailed guidelines, visit the QC Current Semester Guidelines

    Prepare for the unexpected

    There are a few circumstances that may require you to suddenly pivot from in-person to remote teaching: inclement weather prevents access to the campus; or a medical condition requires you or some of your students to quarantine. At minimum, you and your students will need:

    • Laptop or desktop computer with built-in microphone or a usb port for a headset
    • Headset (such as the Logitech H390) if your device does not have a built-in microphone
    • Access to High-speed internet
    • Ethernet or strong wi-fi connection
    • Access to your CUNY accounts:
      • Zoom for virtual classes and office hours
      • Blackboard for file sharing, assignments, quizzes, discussions
      • Office 365 for file sharing from OneDrive, Teams for communication and collaboration
      • DropBox for file sharing

    Be sure to tell your students where to look for information about emergencies. Encourage them to sign up for CUNY A!ert, and remind them that the QC website will post updates on the front page and on its Emergency Preparedness page, as well as via QC Facebook and QC Twitter.


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