This has been an extremely challenging time for you as students and I know you have many questions about what your university experience will look like this Fall. Although I don’t yet have the answers to all your questions, I’m pleased to be able to share with you how we plan to approach the Fall 2020 semester.
COVID-19 will be a factor in our lives for the foreseeable future. The first priority guiding our decision-making is your health and the health of our faculty, staff, and broader community. We’re committed to helping limit the spread of COVID-19 by following the direction of BC’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Our decisions are also guided by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training which approves the academic and student service delivery plans for all BC post-secondary institutions.
With these directives in mind, we have made the following decisions:
Your educational experience will be delivered online:
Nearly all courses and assessments such as exams will be delivered in an online format for the Fall 2020 semester. Not only will this help limit the spread of COVID-19, it is also the direction established by BC’s Go Forward Plan. All post-secondary institutions in BC will be operating under similar formats for Fall 2020.
We will find alternatives for instruction that can’t be delivered online:
Any classes or forms of hands-on learning that can’t be delivered online will be deferred to January where possible. If rescheduling isn’t possible, we will consider face-to-face instruction as long as we are able to assure the safety of our students and faculty, and adhere to directions from the Public Health Office.
We will emphasize quality, developing engaging and effective online learning experiences:
March’s sudden transition to remote learning was a challenging but valuable experience that we will use to develop, evolve, and improve online learning experiences for students. Our Teaching and Learning staff are working extensively to advise and support faculty as they adapt their courses for effective online delivery.
We will continue to support you and help you to connect to UFV and each other:
Community is vital to UFV. We want you to feel supported and connected as you make your way through the Fall term. To that end, we have already ensured that support services are available for all students. Whether you need to speak with a counsellor, an academic advisor, a financial aid advisor, an enrolment assistant, an Academic Success Centre tutor, a librarian, or any number of student supporters on campus, you can do so via a range of options.
Various areas are offering, and will continue to offer, online sessions, workshops, and more in order to provide you with the supports and information you need. As we look to fall, we’ll be expanding on what is available, particularly in ways to help you connect with one another. Watch for virtual events, online clubs and associations, updates to our peer mentorship programs, virtual lounges, and more.
We are currently assessing our fall courses and finalizing plans for those courses delivered online or in a modified face-to-face format. This work will cause a slight delay in getting our fall timetable published. To ensure you have time to connect with an advisor and to plan your fall studies after the timetable is available, we anticipate starting our fall registration a bit later than usual. Stay tuned for exact dates.
We are examining options and developing plans for many areas including fee structures, scheduling, policies, support for international students learning in different time zones, campus activities, student housing, and more. I know many of your questions fall under these categories and we will provide information to you as soon as we can.
While we may not have all the answers right now, please know we will do our best to alleviate the uncertainty we all feel. Thank you for your flexibility, patience and perseverance as we navigate these strange waters together.
I’m looking forward to seeing how, together, we can create a dynamic, exciting, and enriched learning community at UFV this September and beyond.
President and Vice-Chancellor