Students entering McMaster University for the first time and those returning, will be getting their instruction online for the Fall session. In a letter to the Mcmaster Community Mac President David Farrar wrote,”We know there are very real concerns regarding the evolution of the pandemic in the fall term and what that could mean for the health and well-being of every member of the McMaster community.” As a result, the following measures will be implemented:
- Classes for the entire fall term will be online.
- With few exceptions students will not need to be on campus to take their courses.
- Undergraduate students entering the first year of their programs will not need to be on campus for the fall term with the exception of a limited number of health care professional courses. Students enrolling in such programs will receive additional information directly from their departments.
- Labs and other specialized facilities will only be available in very limited cases. Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to find alternate means to deliver these types of programs or to redistribute courses so that work requiring access to labs or other types of facilities can be completed at a future time.
- A process for programs to request use of labs and other specialized facilities, where essential to meet program requirements, is in development and requests will require approval from the Department Chair, Dean and the Provost’s Office.
- We are investing significantly in the online experience to assist faculty in developing high quality online programs that continue to provide students with opportunities to interact with each other and their instructors.
- We are enhancing support for all students with particular emphasis on student well-being, mental health, technical assistance, and ensuring accessibility.
- To help ensure that first-year students are welcomed into the McMaster community, and are able to find friends and mentors, we have developed the Archway program that will bring together small groups of students with coaches to create a memorable and successful first-year experience.
- Prioritizing health and safety will significantly limit the availability of residences on campus and spaces will only be available on an exceptional basis.
The university plans to release more detailed information in the coming days. The full text of Dr. Farrar’s letter is here.