School is — and will be — in at Algoma University, albeit with a different approach.
Algoma U has confirmed and finalized its plans relative to academic programming for the 2020 fall term.
And Algoma president and vice chancellor Asima Vezina said the method of operation is “a decision not taken lightly by the university.”
As Ontario starts to ease some restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by re-opening certain services across the province, Algoma U has announced that fall classes will not be held face to face at any of its three campus locations — Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Brampton.
The decision follows several weeks of consultation with and feedback from faculty, staff, students and administration, as well as a review of directives from public health, government and other authorities in the Sault, Timmins and Brampton.
Just last week, the Algoma University senate discussed possible scenarios for the fall term.
Members of the senate took into consideration feedback from employee surveys and prior consultations with various academic units, and formally recommended to university administration that no face-to-face classes be held this fall.
Ultimately, university administration accepted the recommendation from senate, recognizing that it is the responsible course of action, given public health advice from the regions and uncertainty about clear timelines for lifting necessary emergency restrictions currently in place.
“We are committed to the success of every Algoma student as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of all members of our university community,” relayed the aforementioned Asima Vezina.
Meanwhile, Algoma University faculty will continue to offer courses, degree programs and certificates of academic quality to students from around the corner — and around the world.
As well, Algoma staff will continue to provide student success supports virtually, including financial aid, tutoring, advising, the learning center, library and research supports, health and wellness, and academic accommodations.
Of note, Algoma U recently — and successfully — launched its spring term on June 1.
As far as fall courses, registration is open and further details will be provided later this month about course delivery, orientation, and program-specific information such as labs and experiential learning opportunities.
STATEMENT FROM ALGOMA UNIVERSITY
“The university has been preparing a gradual return to campus strategy for all three campuses as the (provincial) government slowly starts to re-open Ontario. The plans being developed will be a campus-specific, multiple phased approach with the ultimate goal to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire Algoma University community and the academic success of our students.
“While the pandemic has caused everyone to pause, reflect and do things a little differently, Algoma University looks forward to coming together again to study, work, play and live, and will move in that direction as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the university community looks forward to welcoming new and returning students to its virtual campuses this fall.”