March 24 Update for students

Microsoft Teams screen capture

I am writing to provide you with several  important updates as OCAD University facilities continue to be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A reminder that while the campus is closed, we remain operational and are very much still here for you. A list of available services and how you can  access them is kept up to date on our website.

The pause week to allow faculty to restructure their courses ended Friday, March 20 and you should have heard from your instructors with expectations in terms of completing your courses. We have asked faculty to exercise flexibility in light of the circumstances many of you are facing and have introduced a number of tools and strategies for course continuity. If you have not heard from your instructor, please contact the Chair of your program or, in the case of Liberal Arts & Science courses, the Associate Deans of the Faculty. (Contact info is available on this page.)

As a result of the migration of student email and calendaring to Office 365, students now have access to the OCAD U 365 ecosystem of collaboration and communication tools, including  Microsoft Teams. Teams will be used by many faculty for online video conferencing to support remote curriculum delivery and online support during this time of physical distancing and campus closure. Teams is also a great way to stay connected with your peers..

Log in to and click Teams to get started and download the app. Keep an eye on your Outlook email inbox for Teams invites from faculty or peers and links to join meetings from wherever you are. Learn more about Teams at OCAD U in our IT Knowledgebase.

We remain committed to providing fair and flexible ways for you to complete your courses by the end of the term, and for those of you in your final year, to graduate. That said, some of you have asked about withdrawing from courses due to some unique circumstances. We are re-opening the option to withdraw without academic penalty via My OCAD U Records (Self-Service). The withdrawal period will re-open on March 25 and will extend until the end of originally scheduled classes: April 3.

Emergency Bursaries: We have created a streamlined Emergency Bursary Application to assist students (domestic and international) with the unanticipated financial consequences of this situation and will be assessing applications on a weekly basis. If you have questions about this process, please contact Financial Aid & Awards at

Other measures we have taken to mitigate the financial impact include:

Interest Charges: The University will waive all interest charges on overdue accounts for March and April 2020. As usual, no further interest will be charged beyond April 2020 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Registration restrictions due to unpaid balances:
Normally students with unpaid balances are not able to register for classes in subsequent terms. This restriction is applied after the last day to drop a class. This would have been Monday, March 16. However, to assist students during this difficult financial time, the University has delayed this and will apply the restriction on Wednesday, March 25 and has increased the threshold to $1000. Only students with a balance greater than $1000 will receive the restriction on their account. Please make every effort to pay your balance as soon as possible. Payments can be made via online banking and Western Union. Instructions to do so are posted on the Tuition and Fees page of the OCAD U website. Please allow 2-5 business days to see the funds in your student account. For any questions or to discuss payment plan options, contact

Spring/Summer offerings are now available in the Course Catalogue via Student Planning in My OCAD U Records (Self-Service). You will receive an email from the Office of the Registrar shortly with specific details on registration, which begins March 31.

If the University is not in a position to re-open by May 11 (the start of spring/summer term courses), we will notify those of you who have registered and let you know about your options. You will be able to withdraw with full refund prior to the start of classes, if there is a disruption to our spring/summer schedule.

Please continue to prioritize your own health and safety and those around you. Stay in touch with OCAD U using any and all of these communications channels:

Email – at your Office 365 account Student Portal, under ‘Announcements’
MyOCADU Facebook group:
MyOCADU Instagram:
MyOCADU Twitter:

Feel free to email Sarah Mulholland and I with any specific concerns, and we will do our best to respond or point you in the right direction.

Take care all,

Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International



Sent to all students by Office 365 email on March 24, 2020, 1:20 p.m.