The University of Lethbridge will shift its delivery of academic courses to an alternative model, eliminating the need for on-campus classroom attendance, beginning Wednesday, Mar. 18, 2020.
Following significant consultation with Alberta Health and fellow post-secondary institutions throughout the province, we will continue to suspend classes Mar. 16 and 17 as we support this transition. This approach is designed to limit large gatherings of people on campus, enhancing campus safety, and will be in place until the COVID-19 situation is stabilized.
The University will remain open, and staff and faculty will be at work. As well, all services will be available. Our Calgary campus at Bow Valley College will also transition to an alternative model of course delivery under the same timelines.
We are taking this step as a precautionary measure and with the best interests of our students, faculty and staff in mind. It is important to note that Alberta Health continues to advise that the risk to our community is low.
To support this transition, we have invested in new technology platforms that allow courses to be delivered in alternative formats, and will advise instructors how to prepare for remote delivery. Instructors will be assisted by a dedicated team of professionals during the two transition days so that they will be able to provide as robust an educational experience as possible, given the challenging circumstances. The process of building our alternative delivery model will consider course delivery, including laboratories and assessment.
All students will be supported through this move and accommodations made to ensure no students lose credits or their ability to graduate. For those students who do not have the means to connect remotely, we will be designating areas to utilize the University’s resources in a manner keeping with Alberta Health recommendations.
We also recognize that the graduate student experience differs from that of undergraduate students. Note that graduate classes are suspended, similar to undergraduate classes, but the University remains open and accessible for graduate student needs and lab and individualized work will continue. As well, for students in practicums, placements and co-ops, you can expect to receive communication from your deans addressing your specific needs.
I want to thank personally, our academic and staff teams who have been working diligently to support the student experience here at the U of L through this unprecedented world event. It is through your efforts we are able to provide our students with this opportunity to continue their studies and achieve their goals.
I also want to emphasize how important it is for our University community to be mindful of their health throughout this time. Please continue to be diligent in following Alberta Health protocols of hand washing and social distancing as we work together to limit the spread of COVID-19. If you do not feel well in any capacity, do not come to campus — please stay home and take care of yourself.
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to communicate regularly with our community. Please check regularly the COVID-19 web page for further updates and all related information. For further questions, contact COVID19.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Mahon, PhD
President and Vice-Chancellor