NAIT's Response to COVID-19

Information for NAIT Students

Posted: Mar 13, 2020 7:49 PM   |  Updated: May 20, 2020 8:56 AM

Frequently asked questions

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New Students and Applicants

Can I defer my admission to a future term?

If you encounter study permit restrictions, other significant barriers due to the pandemic, or feel apprehensive about learning in a virtual environment, we are here to help. We’d love to have you join our NAIT family this fall, and encourage you to contact us to understand your options, including admission deferral.

You can reach us at 780.471.6248 or via our webform.

My school is closed and I can't get my transcripts. Can I get an extension to submit these?

Please submit any documents you have, whether they are official or unofficial. Documents can be uploaded via your myNAIT portal and will be considered unofficial.  At this point in time, we will accept unofficial documents to ensure we can continue to process applications.

Conditional admissions may be granted based on unofficial documents with a deadline to submit official documents by July 31, 2020. If you have already received a conditional offer, we will extend your deadline to submit official documents to July 31, 2020.

All other applicants can contact Registrar@nait.ca if they are concerned about meeting deadlines as posted in their myNAIT portal.

At this time, NAIT will accept electronic copies of documents sent directly from the school to Registrar@nait.ca as official documents. Documents that are not transcripts must be on school letterhead. We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as necessary. Please check back on this page for updates.

I have international documents and I cannot get a notorized copy due to COVID-19. What are my options?

If your documents are in English, please upload a scanned copy of your documents to your myNAIT portal.

If your documents are not in English, please get your documents translated into English by a certified translator and upload the translated copy to your myNAIT portal.

These documents will be considered unofficial. At this point in time, we will accept unofficial documents to ensure we can continue to process applications. Conditional admissions may be granted based on unofficial documents with a deadline to submit official documents by July 31, 2020. If you have already received a conditional offer, we will extend your deadline to submit official documents to July 31, 2020.

If my class has not started, can I get a refund if I cancel?

NAIT is not cancelling upcoming classes at this time; therefore, the refund policy still applies.

Students enrolled in a future credit or non-credit course can also change their registration by logging into the myNAIT portal. Regular fees and deadlines apply. Students enrolled in a future apprentice course can change their registration by logging into MyTradesecrets.

Will courses moving online change my fees?

For the Spring and Summer term, classes that are delivered online will have a lower NAITSA fee.

NEW - Will tuition be different this fall, depending on how it's delivered?

No, all students will pay the same tuition fees that were announced in March 2020.  We are working hard to ensure the value of a NAIT education will be the same, and will deliver the same learning outcomes, regardless of how it is delivered.


Current Students

Classes and Programs

NEW - How will classes be delivered?

Online courses will continue as scheduled for Spring and Summer 2020 terms. The majority of classes scheduled are able to be delivered virtually; however, some will need to be cancelled or postponed until in-person delivery resumes.

This fall, courses will be delivered virtually wherever possible. As the provincial government phases in each stage of its relaunch plan, we will assess our ability to transition NAIT’s operations and will do so as we are ready. We anticipate we will be able to deliver limited in-person learning in labs and shops in the fall, as provincial guidelines permit. While we expect most courses will continue this fall, we recognize that it may not be possible to deliver some courses because of current health restrictions.

Program chairs will communicate to all new and continuing students to let them know more about when they expect to have decisions about whether their classes will be able to continue in the fall. They will communicate decisions as they are finalized, with most students hearing by the first week of June. NAIT is collaborating with AIT about how to resume apprenticeship programs in the fall and apprentices will hear from NAIT and AIT as soon as these decisions are made.

NEW - What are you doing for students whose studies were disrupted in March due to COVID-19? 

We are focused on providing as many students as possible the opportunity to catch up, beginning as soon as possible. This includes students who had their work-integrated learning (WIL) placements suspended due to health restrictions and business closures. Program areas will decide how to best support their students to resume their learning, in consideration of public health restrictions, and will communicate with students as soon as possible.

NEW - Will the mode of delivery be shifted mid-way in the fall term as restrictions are relaxed?

As we work to take advantage of reductions in public health restrictions as they occur, we will make decisions that minimize the impacts on students, particularly those who may not reside close to campus.

NEW - When will NAIT have a decision for Winter 2020 term?

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will assess each term as it approaches and make timely decisions about how to safely deliver our unique polytechnic education to students.

Will courses moving online change my fees?

For the Spring and Summer term, classes that are delivered online will have a lower NAITSA fee.

NEW - Will tuition be different this fall, depending on how it's delivered?

No, all students will pay the same tuition fees that were announced in March 2020.  We are working hard to ensure the value of a NAIT education will be the same, and will deliver the same learning outcomes, regardless of how it is delivered.

How do I report my absence?

If you need to miss a class because you are ill or need to self-isolate, follow the current process for reporting absences in your program: either contacting the instructor of the class or your program assistant.

I am currently in a practicum or WIL placement. How will this impact me?

NAIT is following the direction of Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, who has indicated that work-integrated learning, clinical, and practicum placements should continue in order to minimize the impact on student learning and to fulfill competency requirements.

There is no greater priority than the safety of our students and staff. We will continue to monitor our various WIL environments and make decisions in collaboration with the experts at Alberta Health Services, Advanced Education and other post-secondary institutions to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.

Alberta Health has implemented public health orders restricting mass gatherings, certain businesses, and other non-essential services to protect Albertans’ health and limit the spread of COVID-19.  With the variety of work-integrated learning and practicum placements, NAIT's programs are actively working with industry partners to continually assess risk in each work environment on a case-by-case basis and comply with public health orders as stipulated by Alberta Health.

For students who will continue their practical training in essential services, we continue to follow appropriate public health measures as stipulated by Alberta Health  in addition to industry health and safety protocols. Our programs with students currently in WIL or practicum placements, including those in higher risk situations like front line health care, are strictly adhering to these protective protocols to mitigate potential risks of exposure to infection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If public health measures or NAIT's risk assessments change, each program will respond quickly to advise students of these changes and discuss alternative options. Students with specific concerns about their WIL or practicum placement, should speak to their instructor or program chair directly.

Will NAIT’s Student Survey on Instruction (NSSI) still take place for the spring term?

Yes, for online courses.

Emails will be sent to students starting in early June to provide feedback on their instruction. Please ensure your student portal email address is correct.

For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact surveys@nait.ca

Online Learning

How can I find supports for online learning?

You can access resources to help you learn online through the Learning Services site. We suggest you check back often because we will add supports as they are created.

What platforms will be used for online learning?

NAIT uses many different platforms to support online learning such as Moodle, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx to name a few. Your instructor will choose the platform that is best suited to the learning required.

UPDATED - What if I don’t have access to technology for virtual learning?

To ensure the best learning experience possible in our new digital learning environment, each course will have a recommended minimum technology standard. If a student does not have access to this technology, they are encouraged to let their program chair and/or instructor know so they can provide support.

Technology support available to students will include access to computer labs on campus, loanable technology from the library, and free software and resources. NAIT will continue to communicate all supports to students through their programs and nait.ca/coronavirus.

Computer Commons labs

Computers are available to students in the Computer Commons labs in CAT215 and CAT280. The computer labs are open daily between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Please note the capacity in each computer lab will be limited to a maximum of 15 people due to public health restrictions on gatherings.  

The Computer Commons are open only to the NAIT community, and student/staff ID cards will be required. Please note that these spaces are open to support students who cannot access online learning from home. We ask that if you can use your own technology to access your courses, please do so and leave these labs for those who need it.

Changes to the Grading System

Why did NAIT decide to change the grading system for Winter 2020 courses?

Many post-secondary institutions across the world adjusted their grading systems for the Winter 2020 semester in response to the circumstances created by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to go to the H/P/F grading system was motivated by our desire to ensure equity for students, support student progression, and preserve academic integrity in these challenging circumstances.  

Who does this change apply to?

This change applies to all students enrolled in degree, diploma and certificate courses in Winter 2020. The only exceptions to this will be made by deans of each school where grades are required for accreditation or licensure requirements. Students were contacted by their programs by March 30, 2020 if an exemption applied to them. NAIT will return to the regular grading scheme with percentages for classes taking place in the Spring and Summer 2020 terms.

What does the move to an H/P/F grading system mean?

All students will receive a grade of H (Honours), P (Pass), or F (Fail) for all Winter 2020 courses. 

  • H (Honours) indicates course expectations have been exceeded. 
  • P (Pass) indicates course expectations have been met 
  • F (Fail) indicates course expectations have not been met 

The only exceptions to this will be made by deans of each school for programs where grades are required for accreditation or licensure requirements. Students will be contacted by their programs if this exemption applies to them. NAIT will make a notation on transcripts to indicate this grading system reflects the polytechnic’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How will this change affect my GPA?

Courses with the H/P/F are not included in the calculation of GPA.

How will this change affect my academic standing?

Academic standing will not be assessed for the Winter 2020 term. This means students will not receive an academic standing decision for courses completed in the Winter 2020 term.

Students who were on academic warning prior to this term will be given an additional opportunity to improve their academic performance.

I’ve worked hard and I’m doing quite well in my classes. How does NAIT plan to recognize my achievement?

We are working with the deans of each school on a letter of recognition for students who achieve Honours in 3 or more courses this term.

For students who are graduating at the end of this term, we will grant “Honours Standing” to students who complete all program requirements at the end of the Winter 2020 term and had achieved a GPA of 3.5 in courses required for their program prior to this term.

How will this change affect my ability to graduate at the end of the Winter 2020 term?

Recognizing the impact of this change we are reviewing the list of students who are eligible to graduate based on the courses they’re enrolled in this term as well as the GPA they had achieved prior to this term. We will communicate with all students who are scheduled to graduate at the end of this term regarding their graduation eligibility.  Students who are eligible to graduate at the end of the term will receive a communication confirming this mid-May.

How will this change affect my eligibility for admissions into another NAIT program that I’m working towards? 

For post-secondary admissions pathway:

  • Post-secondary courses completed in the Winter 2020 term with the grade of P or H will be counted towards meeting the credit or specific course requirement.

  • For all future intakes, grades issued for post-secondary courses completed in the Winter 2020 term will not be included in the calculation of admission GPA.

  • If you do not meet the required admission GPA for the post-secondary pathway and you were enrolled in courses in Winter 2020 that were converted to the H/P/F grading scale, you may be admitted into your chosen program if you have an admission GPA of 1.7 or higher and meet all other entrance requirements.

For Open Studies pathway:

  • Post-secondary courses completed in the Winter 2020 term with the grade of P or H will be counted towards meeting the credit or specific course requirements.

  • For all future intakes, grades issued for post-secondary courses completed in the Winter 2020 term will not be included in the calculation of GPA. Exceptions: programs that were approved to issue letter grades in Winter 2020 due to licensure or accreditation requirements.

  • If you do not meet the GPA requirement for the Open Studies pathway and you were enrolled in courses in Winter 2020 that were converted to the H/P/F grading scale, you may be admitted into your chosen program if you have achieved a GPA of 1.7 or higher in the required courses and meet all other entrance requirements.

How will this change affect my eligibility for admissions into a different institution?

We are working with our partner institutions and key stakeholders to communicate these decisions and to identify solutions that minimize impacts to scholarships, funding applications, professional/licensure requirements, and admission to other institutions. It is important to remember that this challenge is global. Post-secondary institutions around the world are working to adjust admission and grading practices as needed.  We encourage you to check with the institution you’re applying to directly to understand the adjustments they’re making to their admissions practices.  

How will this impact my ability to apply for and receive scholarships and awards?

For internal NAIT scholarships and awards, we are actively adjusting our practices to ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the change in grading. We are engaging with key external stakeholders and funding agencies to communicate these decisions and to identify solutions to minimize negative impacts on scholarships and funding applications. 

We are in exceptional circumstances, and the processes for scholarship evaluation and awards will need to be evaluated under these circumstances. More information will be communicated as it becomes available.

UPDATED: Will the H/P/F grading be in place for future terms?

No. We will resume our normal practice of grading with percentages for courses in spring and summer 2020 term onward.


Student Services and Supports

Who can I talk to about my academic and career options? 

Academic advisors, including career advisors, still offer their services through phone and virtual appointments. 

Prospective, current and international students can book an appointment by phone at 780.471.6248 to book a phone or virtual appointment over Skype and Teams. 

Current international students can book an appointment with an international student advisor by emailing internationalcentre@nait.ca to book a phone or virtual appointment over Skype and Teams or register for an immigration workshop. 

I am enrolled as a student and have a question about my student account, who do I contact?

The in-person services at the Welcome Centre and Student Service Centre are closed until further notice. Please access online self-service options as a primary means to access services.

If you need further support

We are currently experiencing a higher volume of inquiries due to COVID-19. We are working as fast as we can to address all our inquiries and appreciate your patience at this time.

Are the campuses closed?

Please see the facility and services status page for the current list of closures at NAIT campuses.

What campus services and facilities are open?

The Computer Commons in CAT215 and CAT280 will remain open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The Computer Commons is open only to the NAIT community, and student/staff ID cards will be required. Please note that these spaces are open to support students who cannot access online learning from home. We ask that if you are able to use your own technology to access your courses, please do so and leave these labs for those who need them. 

Please see the facility and services status page for the current list of what is currently open.

We appreciate your patience and co-operation during this unprecedented situation. To stay up to date with developments at NAIT, please visit our general information site.

Will upcoming events on campus be cancelled?

All events are cancelled for staff and students.

Will convocation be rescheduled? Will I still graduate if it is?

While NAIT has decided to postpone convocation ceremonies planned for this spring (April 30 to May 2, 2020), we are planning new and creative ways to celebrate and congratulate our 2020 grads. Information will be shared as details become available. The suspension of convocation does not mean you will not graduate - at this time eligible students will still graduate.

How do I get a refund for my grad gown?

To get a refund for your grad gown, please complete the Ancillary Services request form in the following link. This form is to request refunds for a few Ancillary Services including grad gown rentals. If you have submitted a form, you will be contacted over the next few weeks.  Please be patient during this busy time.  If you weren't contacted by May 1, 2020 please email shop@nait.ca.

Can I get a refund on parking?

Refunds for student Main Campus parking have been issued, and were pro-rated for March 16 to the permit expiry date.

If you have not received your refund, please email shop@nait.ca.

Can I pick up my belongings?

A number of campuses, buildings and wings are now closed or have limited access. If you need to collect personal belongings or access lockers, please contact NAIT Protective Services at protectiveservices@nait.ca to make an appointment. Please be patient as they manage these requests.

If you choose not to empty your locker now, you’ll be contacted at the end of your contracted rental period.

Refunds on lockers

If you wish to cancel your locker rental and obtain a refund on the unused portion, please submit your request using the Ancillary Services request form. By cancelling your rental you are forfeiting your selected locker and lockers will be available on a first come, first served basis the following semester.

How do I return items borrowed from the library?

Loans have been extended until June 30, 2020 when possible - we will reassess the situation closer to that date. Check your account on the library webpage to see current due dates. Visit nait.ca/library for further information and support.

Can you help me deal with my stress? 

Student Counselling remains open for students by phone at 780.378.6133, email at counselling@nait.ca, or through Zoom appointments. Video counselling service is available 24 hours a day through www.mywellnessplan.ca, a support provided by the NAIT Students Association.

Students have access to chaplains who can provide one-on-one consultation on spiritual matters. Chaplains represent several communities of faith and are available to all students and staff, regardless of religious denomination. To arrange a meeting, contact chaplaincy@nait.ca.

Other ways to help deal with stress and anxiety during this time include avoiding excessive exposure to news about the pandemic, scheduling pleasant activities throughout the day, and keeping a healthy perspective. Don’t forget that this difficult time will pass, and that we will learn a great deal from it.

Academic advisors, including career advisors, still offer their services through Skype and phone appointments. Students can book an appointment by phone at 780.471.6248.

NEW - Will student services be available on campus in the fall?

Important student supports—such as counselling, library services, the Student Service Centre, advising and learning services—will continue to be delivered virtually and we will begin to introduce more in-person services on campus as health restrictions allow. Computer labs on campus will continue to be available to students. We will keep students informed as these decisions are made through this site, nait.ca/coronavirus.

Financial Aid

I am facing challenges because of the COVID-19 situation and need financial support. What should I do?

NAIT recognizes many students have been impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing challenges meeting their financial responsibilities during this uncertain time. This may include paying your bills while in school, managing your funds or paying your tuition in full.

Our Funding Advisors have been actively working towards finding solutions to support students experiencing various financial difficulties. As a student, you may be eligible for student aid (loans and grants), government COVID benefits, emergency funding or payment plans, or a number of interim programs that you may have access to.

The NAIT COVID-19 Student Relief Bursary created by NAITSA and donors is another option to help students whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bursary will help students who are experiencing urgent financial needs associated with travel, relocation, medical costs and lost wages.

NAIT Funding Advisors can help you navigate through the various funding options available to you. Please fill out the Student Information Form and a Funding Advisor will contact you as soon as possible.

I have lost my job as a result of COVID-19. What support is available to me as a student?

Students (including international students) who have experienced job loss as a result of COVID-19 are eligible to apply for the Government of Canada’s Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

For more information, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit the CERB website.

Will I still be eligible for Alberta Works funding while completing courses online?

Yes. Students attending ESL or Academic Upgrading who are currently receiving Alberta Works funding will continue to be eligible for funding while completing courses online. Attendance will be based on instructor and program expectations while ensuring course objectives are met.

Students approved by Alberta Works to receive Employment Insurance (EI) while attending ESL or Academic Upgrading courses online should continue to report that they are in training. If students have any questions regarding EI, please contact Service Canada at 1.800.206.7218.

Information on upcoming terms will be provided as more information becomes available.

What should I do if I have funding through Student Awards and Financial Aid but cannot continue my studies?

Students who are unable to continue studies should contact the Student Awards and Financial Aid office at financialaid@nait.ca to discuss their situation.

How does the situation around COVID-19 affect my student loans if I’m a resident of Alberta?

Alberta student loans

Advanced Education has announced a pause on all repayments of Alberta student loans for six months beginning March 30, 2020. Interest will not accrue during this period and students do not need to apply for this. They may continue making payments during this period and this will not affect their eligibility to receive the benefit.

Alberta Student Aid encourages students to visit their website to apply for student aid, make changes to their existing applications, and for additional updates.

Government of Canada student loans

Effective March 30, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that payments on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans will be halted until September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest. If you are registered for pre-authorized payment, it will be automatically stopped.  

Please note, if you are a current student, this suspension does not impact your loan since you have no payment to make and interest does not accumulate while you are studying in a full-time program. 

Visit the Government of Canada student aid website for more information. 

What do I do if I have questions about my student aid during the pandemic but am not a resident of Alberta?

Students applying for or receiving out-of-province student aid should refer to their providers’ websites for updates and information related to COVID-19. Links to these can be found at NAIT Student Aid, Loans and Grants (please scroll to the bottom of that page).


Apprentices

How are apprenticeship programs impacted?

NAIT is committed to helping apprentices with options to complete their training.

The decision has been made to cancel our March-April and May-June apprenticeship classes.

Where  cancellations occur, apprentices will be refunded the full amount of their tuition. No further action is required to request a tuition refund, and funds will be returned as expeditiously as possible.

Please note the following additional details:

  • If you purchased a Main Campus parking permit, a refund will be provided (pro-rated to March 16, where appropriate)

  • If you paid for a locker rental or purchased parking at the Souch or Patricia campus, please submit an Ancillary Services request form to request a return of those funds

  • Additional refund processing details can be found on our Refunds page. It is likely that our normal refund processing times will be affected by these extenuating circumstances, and your patience is greatly appreciated

NAIT and AIT are still working out the process by which cancelled students will be prioritized in upcoming registrations.

More details on the decisions made on cancellations, distance delivery, exams and the attendance policy can be found in NAIT's COVID-19 Update #9.

When can I register for apprentice training again?

NAIT and AIT are still working out details regarding registration dates and processes for next year. We will communicate when we have more information.

NEW - How will apprentices be impacted by the fall decision?

We are collaborating with Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) and other apprentice trainers across the province as we make plans for how we will resume our apprenticeship programs. Apprentices will receive communication on these decisions from AIT and NAIT as soon more information becomes available. 


COVID-19

What if I suspect I might have contracted COVID-19?

Alberta Health Services has developed a simple online assessment tool to help you decide whether you need to call 811 to be tested for COVID-19. It'll guide you to answer questions about your symptoms and take you through steps to help determine whether you need testing. See: ahs.ca/covid

We also recommend you download ABTraceTogether, Alberta Health Services’ mobile contact tracing app that helps to let you know if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

If you do need to contact 811 to speak with Alberta Health Services, they will assist you to determine appropriate next steps

I just returned from a trip outside Canada or am planning to travel soon, what do I need to do?

Staff and students should follow government recommendations for all international travel. Alberta Health is recommending against non-essential domestic and international travel at this time. Alberta Health currently recommends that all travellers arriving from abroad self-isolate for 14 days. 

What do I need to do to undergo mandatory self-isolation?  

Alberta Health Services advises that you are legally required to self-isolate for: 

  • 14 days if you returned from international travel or are a close contact of a person with COVID-19, plus an additional 10 days from the onset of symptoms, should they occur 

  • 10 days if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat that is not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition 

If you are under mandatory self-isolation, please do not go to school, work, other public areas or community settings.  

To adhere to federal requirements under the Quarantine Act, Albertans who are under mandatory self-isolation must stay inside and can no longer go for walks in their neighbourhood. You may go outside on your own private property if it is not publicly accessible by others. If you live in an apartment building or high-rise, you cannot use elevators and stairwells. If you have a private balcony at least 2 metres away from your closest neighbour, you may go outside on the balcony. 

For full information about public health orders, visit the COVID-19 info for Albertans website. 

Where will I find information on NAIT's response to COVID-19?

Check for regular updates at nait.ca/coronavirus as things are changing rapidly.