Sent to all OCAD University students at 2:20 pm, June 15, 2020
(copied to all faculty, administrative staff for information)
I am writing to provide some important information for returning students on the roll-out of Fall and Winter registration and some changes we have planned to account for the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic. There are also some areas where we request your cooperation to help us plan better.
Fall & Winter Course Offerings
On June 18, we will release the Fall and Winter course offerings for undergraduate and graduate programs. At this point, all Fall sections listed are being offered remotely so that you can complete them from wherever you choose to live this Fall. You will need a computer and internet connection at a minimum; some sections may require materials and your instructors will provide some guidance on sourcing those.
A reminder that OCAD University’s approach to remote learning emphasizes flexible, asynchronous learning that recognizes that many of you will be participating from different locations around the world and in unique circumstances in terms of your home set-up and access to facilities, tools and materials.
That said, you will see that courses have been given a specific timeslot for “contact time”. Your faculty can use all or part of this time for optional synchronous (real-time) participation either as a class, in small groups or one-to-one.
Courses that cannot be offered remotely have been shifted to either the Winter semester or, in some cases, to the Spring/Summer 2021 semester. For the Winter offerings, you will see “contingency” information that gives you an indication of what our plans are for that course, should we not be able to offer it in person by January.
Our goal is to give you as much information as we can at this point, to allow you to register for both Fall and Winter so that you can plan out your year fully and apply for financial aid if applicable.
At the same time, we are still actively considering what facilities and activities can be re-introduced in person, once it becomes safe to do so. We recognize that for many of you in the Toronto area, access to OCAD U facilities is highly valued and we have your priorities in mind as we work through all of the health and safety requirements associated with re-opening.
Help us plan course offerings better by using the Student Planning tool
The change to remote learning as well as the additional flexibility provided through the Flow curriculum changes (for some programs), have created some uncertainty for us in terms of planning the right number of sections to meet student demand in undergraduate programs. We ask you to indicate via Student Planning what courses you intend to register in. We will use this information to adjust offerings during registration. You can really help us in this effort by planning your registration both Fall and Winter in advance on June 18. We would ask you not to plan more courses than you intend to register in as that will result in later cancellation of sections that are under-enrolled.
You will receive specific instructions and dates on both Student Planning and Registration from the Office of the Registrar so please keep checking your OCAD U email for those alerts.
Given the continued closure of the campus and lack of access to facilities, we are removing for Fall semester the student buildings fee and all production materials fees, the orientation fee (for first years) and reducing the copy and print credits included in your laptop fees. Health and dental insurance fees (including UHIP for international students) will be removed for students who are not in Canada this fall.
In addition, we will introduce a longer period at the start of semester for a 100% refund for dropped classes. You will be eligible for a full refund for courses dropped before 11:59 p.m. on September 22, 2020, a full two weeks into the semester.
We will also extend our fee payment deadline to September 22, 2020 to align with the new refund period. This is being done to give you enough time to determine whether the format and structure of the course will work for you.
While we are not in a position to reduce tuition due to the uncertainty in OCAD University’s budget position and the costs associated with re-opening and with delivering quality remote learning, we do hope these fee reductions and the extended 100% refund period will help to mitigate some of the impact.
Update your address via Self-Service
A final request: please take a moment to let us know where you will be living during the Fall semester. In some courses, there may be requirements for materials which you will either be asked to source or may be mailed to you. To update your address login to my.ocadu.ca, select Self-Service, click on your username in the top right-hand corner, and then User Profile.
You will be receiving more details about Fall/Winter registration, including your specific priority registration period, from the Office of the Registrar. Many of you will hear from your program chairs/graduate program directors as well with details on how they have carefully and thoughtfully prepared for the remote delivery this Fall and the re-organization of curriculum.
A reminder of some of the key webpages for ongoing updates and resources:
- COVID-19: ongoing updates on the status of OCAD University operations
- Fall 2020 FAQ
- Student Services during the pandemic
- Registration Assistance
- Student Resources for Remote Learning
Take care and stay safe everyone,
Vice-Provost, Students & International (and Acting Registrar
Photo by Itay Peer