COVID-19 Update for June 7: Planning for our fall transition to a more vibrant campus at NAIT
A new academic year is always an exciting prospect. It promises new opportunities for learning, expanding our perspectives, interacting with new people, gaining new skills, and further progress toward a rewarding career and bright future.
The 2021/22 year may be one of the most exciting yet, bringing with it the potential to return to an experience much closer to what we once considered normal.
The Government of Alberta, through its Open for Summer plan, anticipates that by mid-June all post-secondary institutions will be able to resume additional in-person learning. By late June or early July, it expects that Albertans could see a full easement of public health restrictions, if vaccine rates continue to hit targets and hospitalizations continue to decline.
This reinforces that our planning is on track for creating a more vibrant campus this fall while ensuring the health and safety of our community. Currently, we are anticipating an increased presence of staff and students on campus above what we have known for nearly 15 months.
The number of degree, diploma and certificate programs offered entirely online will drop to 14%, from 31% in Winter 2021. More of our programs will be offered in blended format (virtual and in-person), rising to 82%, up from 69% in Winter 2021, and 4% will be delivered entirely on campus. Apprenticeship program delivery will be the same as this past year, with 3.5% delivered online and 96.5% blended.
It is important to note that we do not expect a return to a pre-pandemic state for NAIT come fall despite the increased activity on campus. We know, for example, that there is a growing appreciation among learners for online delivery, and we are also looking at how we can successfully adopt a distributed workforce model long-term.
By now, program leaders will have shared details with students about delivery methods for specific programs. Those details are not changed by the recent government announcements.
We know that, while many students are eager to return to campus, some may be uncomfortable. Please know that our priority will continue to be the health and safety of our community. Should conditions change before the fall, we will adapt accordingly – just as we have done since we began carefully phasing in on-campus learning last summer.
If you would like more information about what you will need to plan for fall, you can find it online.
If you're coming to campus, we look forward to seeing you this fall, and to sharing with you all of its excitement and the sense of a brighter future to come.
Laura Jo Gunter
President and CEO, NAIT
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