Sent to all students on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.
Fall 2020: OCAD University gears up to welcome new and returning students
This September, OCAD University is eager to welcome new and returning students. While this fall is going to be different compared to previous years, we remain committed to delivering the highest quality remote learning experience for our students – one that is accessible, inclusive and flexible.
In today’s message, I provide more details about our plans, which have been developed keeping in mind that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remain our top priority.
First, I want to thank the members of the University’s Academic and Emergency Response Committee (AERC) of Senate who have been working in close collaboration with our academic leaders and support teams to determine new methods for art and design education. I thank them for their diligence and guidance.
I also thank our faculty, staff, and especially the Faculty and Curriculum Development Centre, IT Services, our Deans, Associate Deans, Program Chairs and Graduate Program Directors, for their ongoing and tireless efforts in being responsive and creative in advancing the University’s capacity to deliver quality education and services at a very difficult and uncertain time.
This September, fall courses will be offered through remote delivery in all programs, a decision endorsed by the AERC. These courses are being designed to be flexible and accessible, serving students wherever they are located.
This means students can complete their course requirements and progress through their studies regardless of where they live. Faculty will be exploring how to provide meaningful ways for students to engage and participate in their learning.
At the same time, the University is preparing for some in-person learning opportunities, which could include smaller studio workshops or classes. Deans and Associate Deans are now working with faculty members to determine which courses could be delivered on campus, in alignment with public health and safety protocols.
We are also offering all Canadian and international students the guarantee that, even if there are some in-person classes or in-studio activities, they will be able to complete their course requirements remotely – there will be no need for them to move to Toronto this fall.
We know how important it is for students to connect with each other – this is an important part of their campus experience and why they chose to come to OCAD U. That is why we are building on existing efforts to create a vibrant online community that brings students together to share their experiences and to foster creativity and innovation.
Academic activities and services to support student success will continue to be available remotely, including peer-to-peer mentoring, tutoring and academic advising.
We will also use technology, as we have done for the spring and summer terms, to support our students in their remote learning experience. This includes enhancing existing services such as moving to the Canvas Cloud this summer, which includes the Canvas mobile app.
Details about fall registration, which starts in early July, will be shared with students soon so they can confirm their plans for September.
Despite this challenging time, there is some good news. OCAD U continues to raise funds for the COVID-19 Emergency Bursary Fund because of the incredible the generosity of our donors. As of Friday, May 15, students were able to apply to the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit, part of a $9 billion relief package announced by the federal government.
We have also learned that international students will be able to start their classes remotely from abroad this fall, and complete up to 50 per cent of their program via remote learning without negatively impacting their eligibility for the post-graduation work permit program.
I thank all the members of the OCAD U community for your ongoing support and dedication. Stay safe and healthy!
Dr. Sara Diamond, C.M., O.ON., R.C.A., ICD.D
President and Vice-Chancellor