For Immediate Release
May 4, 2020

Students Pivot to Online Learning

Emily Conboy, Christine Clyne and Ernesto Sosa
Emily Conboy, Christine Clyne and Ernesto Sosa

Suffolk County Community College students shifted to online learning in March.  A few students shared their experiences, including one who suffered the loss of three jobs because of the pandemic, and inspired to start her own business using skills acquired in her classes.

Emily Conboy
Hometown: Babylon
Major: Childhood Education
Graduation: May 2021

At the beginning of this difficult time, many people worried about how online learning would work. I was worried because of my anxiety. I am very thankful to have amazing professors helping me. One of my professors helped his students by providing food to the those in need and making sure all of his students were ok physically and mentally.

The beginning of online learning was extremely nerve-racking. Each professor helped with the transition to online. One way was by using the Zoom platform. Zoom provided a bit of reality while still practicing social distancing. The ability to communicate with my classmates helped me through the pandemic. Many students are going through the same struggles and feelings. It is good to know I’m not alone. Professors also helped students transition by communicating by email and Blackboard; allowing students to directly communicate with professors. Although this time has been extremely stressful and scary, I am thankful for my amazing professors and classmates to help ease the transition. 


Christine Clyne
Hometown: Seaford
Major: Occupational Therapy Assistant Program
Graduation: May 2021

I was always quiet and shy. Public speaking was one of my biggest fears and I was never a student to raise my hand to answer a question. I just kept to myself. Before online classes started, I was working three jobs and attending college full time. Once the pandemic hit, I lost all three of my jobs.

I decided I could take either of two routes. I can go day by day and just get through classes and stay home or I could use the extra time to make something of myself.

I was able to build a network marketing nutrition business and make a full-time income from it.

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without public speaking course I was taking at Suffolk. The course was meeting on Zoom and it provided me with a schedule to start my day. The chapters in PowerPoints are helpful to look back on and the questions related to the textbook help verify what I learned in class. But it wasn’t just learning the material, it was how I applied the material to my everyday life.  The course taught me to be a good listener. I learned that non-verbal communication is more telling than words, and I learned how to speak with confidence. 

Because of what I learned in class, I was able to speak to my business clients confidently and provide a nutrition system for them. I was able to host Zoom calls to provide demonstrations to clients and I was able to earn an income because of the skills I learned in my class.

Yes, I’d rather be in a classroom setting because I learn easier that way, but my professor designed the online class the same as it was in the classroom. 


Ernesto Sosa
Hometown: Riverhead
Major: Radio and Television Production
Graduation: May 2021

I'm coping well with the shift to online studies. At first it was overwhelming with the clutter of work and no schedule. I had to sort through my classes and create my own schedule containing due dates and class times. For getting work done, I'm lucky to have access to programs that we regularly use in class. The biggest downside is that I don't get as much hands-on experience, which my major revolves around. But, on the bright side, the world is getting better and spring is here. It's up to us to make the best out of these situations!

Ernesto's News Program, home produced: