COVID-19 Update for March 19: Planning for Fall 2021
Yesterday, Alberta’s post-secondary institutions received an update from the Government of Alberta on fall 2021 planning. In his message, Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides encouraged all institutions to begin preparing for a fall semester without the current restrictions that limit in-person learning.
While many questions remain about guidelines and public health measures, allow me to help clarify what this means for education and student services at NAIT.
First, we will reintroduce in-person classroom learning and services for students this fall as health guidelines allow, and in keeping with our strategic direction. Our schools, programs and student-facing teams are currently working to determine how education and services are best delivered based on program outcomes and student success factors. We understand the need for timely decisions and the impacts our timelines have on students.
Second, while Minister Nicolaides encouraged planning for a return to in-person instruction, he also acknowledged “that individual approaches may be more nuanced to reflect the needs of learners and the demands of individual programs.”
As you know, NAIT has been offering in-person instruction in shops and labs throughout the pandemic, and we are heartened by the Minister’s acknowledgement of the value of individual approaches. This is critical for NAIT given the work we’re doing to understand how hands-on, physical approaches can work together with engaging virtual approaches as we innovate for the future.
Finally, as we continue to work through the many decisions and details about what the fall will look like at NAIT, 3 things are certain:
- the health and safety of our community remains our priority
- students remain at the centre of our decision making and
- how we learn, work and support students will continue to evolve
We will keep you informed as our plans for fall progress. Please visit nait.ca/COVID19 for current information about our response to COVID-19 and safety requirements on our campuses.
Thank you for your continued support. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and we will get there together!
Sue Fitzsimmons, PhD
Vice-President Academic and Provost
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