As the province starts to ease some restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, re-opening certain services across Ontario, Algoma University has recently finalized plans regarding academic programming for the Fall.
Following 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 our communities, Algoma University is announcing that classes for the Fall 2020 Term will not be held face-to-face at any of Algoma’s campus locations; Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins.
On Friday, June 5, 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. University administration accepted the recommendation from Senate, recognizing that it is the responsible course of action, given public health advice for the Algoma, Peel and Porcupine regions and uncertainty about clear timelines for lifting necessary emergency restrictions currently in place.
“This decision was not taken lightly by the University,” shared President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina. “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.”
Dedicated Algoma University faculty will continue to offer courses, degree programs and certificates of excellent academic quality to students from around the corner and around the world. Committed Algoma staff will continue to provide student success supports virtually, including financial aid (scholarships and bursaries, OSAP), tutoring, advising, the Learning Centre, library and research supports, health and wellness, and academic accommodations.
“We successfully launched our Spring Term on June 1, after an intense period of training, development and design work supported by the renowned expertise and leadership of two partners: Contact North | Contact Nord, and PowerEd by Athabasca,” noted Provost and Academic Dean, Dr. Donna Rogers. “We look forward to continuing and building on those partnerships into the Fall Term—Algoma University is well-positioned to deliver the engaged, student-focused academic experience that our students have come to expect from us.”
Registration for fall courses is open; further details will be provided later this month about course delivery, orientation, and program-specific information such as labs and experiential learning opportunities.
The University has been preparing a gradual Return to Campus strategy for all three campuses as the 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.