COVID-19 — Fall 2020 timetable update — experiential in-person classes

Dear students:

We know you are eager to learn which of your courses and academic experiences will have an in-person component; your patience throughout this process is gratefully appreciated.

We have carefully considered which courses will be delivered with face-to-face experiential learning activities in the Fall 2020 term and which courses cannot be offered at this time. You can find the interim list online in the Fall 2020 Timetable Update.

We wanted you to have this information as early as possible so you can plan your academic future with confidence. Our top concern is the safety of our students and the surrounding community; these decisions have been made in line with public health requirements.

As you view the list of courses in the timetable update, you may see that you need or want to adjust your schedule for the fall. If you registered in a course that cannot be offered at this time, we encourage you to register in another course instead. Timetable changes, including information about online courses, will be updated in the coming weeks. Check your Bridge Student Detail Schedule, the Timetable and your uLethbridge email often for important updates to course offerings.

We are committed to offering you an exceptional learning experience this September using a hybrid delivery model. Given the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared to offer flexible options, including the opportunity to complete courses with experiential learning components in a future term. We will do everything possible to ensure you can progress toward achieving your academic goals.

You can also be assured you will have access to the full range of student supports.

If you have any questions regarding your program, please contact your Faculty or School academic advisor.

You can also access enrolment advising via Zoom Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at uleth.zoom.us/my/enrolmenthelp.

I invite you to attend one of three virtual town hall meetings scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 and Thursday, June 18 to ask any questions you may have about the fall:

 Graduate student-specific town halls are also being planned and will be sent out via SGS communications to new and returning graduate students.

Stay up to date by visiting University’s COVID-19 resources webpage.

You may wonder why the University has decided not to return to in-person, on-campus teaching of most courses, given Alberta’s transition to phase two of its three-phase relaunch strategy. 

The reasons are framed by two key priorities:

  • Safeguarding the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty, and
  • Ensuring the quality and stability of the academic experience. 

Regarding health and safety, public health directives for post-secondary institutions now allow up to 50 people in one indoor location. However, the University is expected to implement all other health and safety measures, including:

  • Ensuring people on campus and in classrooms and labs can maintain two metres distance from each other at all times (or install barriers if this isn’t possible)
  • Labs, bathrooms, tables, and other facilities are cleaned after every use
  • Managing crowding at elevators and in hallways, and
  • Installing protective equipment in the many service areas on campus at our own cost.

The University does not have the resources required to implement all of the public health directives for thousands of people, so it must limit the number of people on campus to reduce the potential for infection. Our rationale:

  • Many uLethbridge classes have more than 50 students enrolled, so these courses could not be offered
  • Offering only those with fewer than 50 students enrolled would create inequities with students
  • Some students cannot travel to Lethbridge given travel restrictions, and
  • Many students, staff and faculty are immunocompromised and would not be able to attend safely, placing them at an even greater disadvantage.

In terms of the quality and stability of the experience, we made a commitment to you on May 19 that we would start and end the term in the same way, if public health directives permit, and provide you with an outstanding academic experience. This commitment was made to ensure that you would not experience a jarring transition mid-semester if a spike in cases leads to another shutdown.

Our commitment to move online where possible was made early so professors have more time to prepare an outstanding academic experience. Students are also being offered preparatory workshops and support for learning online. After much review, we believe this is the best way to ensure we keep our commitments to you.


Contact:

COVID-19 | covid19.inquiries@uleth.ca | uleth.ca/covid-19