COVID-19 Update for April 28: Planning for additional in-person learning and services for fall
As we plan for how we'll introduce additional in-person learning and student services this fall, as provincial guidelines allow, our focus is on keeping students and staff safe and delivering the outstanding polytechnic education students expect from NAIT.
Students will hear more about how their fall courses will be delivered in May, and we’ll keep our community informed as we make more decisions that impact student services and the campus experience.
The health and safety of our community are our top priorities as we plan for fall. We don’t currently know what health guidelines will be in place this fall, including gathering limitations and physical distancing requirements. We’re making decisions after careful consideration of how we can safely increase on-campus attendance to manageable levels, while also innovating our education and services to find a blend of virtual and in-person that meets the needs of students. As always, students are at the core of any decision we make.
Learning this fall
We recognize the pandemic is still evolving and our intention is to minimize the disruption during the fall term as much as possible. We’re committed to communicating regularly and providing as much predictability as possible so students can make plans for fall.
NAIT’s schools are finalizing decisions for how their fall courses will be delivered, whether virtual or a blend of virtual and in-person. These decisions are being made on a program level to ensure student learning outcomes will be met and students learn what they need to be prepared for successful careers in their fields.
Students will hear directly from their programs in May about how their fall courses will be delivered. The Office of the Registrar will also communicate to students in May to provide more information about enrolment. Our goal is to have enrolment, with schedules, available to students on the MyNAIT portal by early July.
Building on what we learned
We’re deeply committed to continuous improvement and are working to leverage the lessons we have learned over the past year to deliver the best possible polytechnic learning experience this fall and beyond.
We recently heard from more than 3,700 students about their learning experience this past academic year. Almost 70% of respondents told us they preferred either online (24%) or a blend of virtual and in-person learning (45%). We learned there have been great strides in making education more accessible and flexible for students through virtual learning.
As a polytechnic, we will always value hands-on learning and recognize that many of our learning outcomes are still best delivered through in-person instruction. Yet, we’re excited to continue to blend virtual and physical approaches where it's appropriate and to improve how we use technology to support learning.
Student services and campus life
While we hope to be able create a more vibrant campus community this fall, we recognize this will largely depend on the health guidelines in place. We’re planning to make sure we keep everyone safe and, at the same time, deliver a great student experience.
NAIT will begin to introduce student support services on campus as health restrictions permit. Just as there is student support for blended and virtual learning, we know students continue to access many of our services, such as advising, career preparation and other critical supports, now that they are offered virtually.
We’ll evolve how we offer services to ensure they remain accessible to everyone and will keep our community informed as decisions about the delivery of specific services are made.
The future is bright
As we plan for the fall and beyond at NAIT, we remain true to our polytechnic roots as we continue to provide learning that meets industry needs and sets students up for success in their careers. Learners will benefit from NAIT’s strong connections to industry, gain applied industry experience and learn from instructors who are experts in their fields.
We look forward to seeing students this fall and we thank you for your patience and resilience as we continue to navigate the pandemic. We’ve had thousands on campus each week this past academic year and we are well prepared to safely welcome more people this fall. We’ll continue to communicate regularly as we have more news to share.
Please stay safe and take care of yourself and those around you. For the latest information on NAIT’s response to the pandemic and return to campus this fall, visit nait.ca/covid19
To all of you, thank you for choosing NAIT. Our future is bright and so is yours!
Sue Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
Vice-President Academic and Provost
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