McMaster university has decided that classes for the winter term will continue in virtual form only. A similar decision was made at Mohawk College and is a recognition that the COVID pandemic isn’t going to go away until there is a widely-distributed vaccine available. McMaster Provost Susan Tighe wrote in a statement today, “Every level of public health continues to stress the need to maintain physical distancing and anticipates the pandemic continuing for the foreseeable future. To keep our community as safe as possible, the winter academic term will be online with only a few exceptions where program requirements or the need for access to specialized equipment or facilities may still require some in-person campus time.” Key information includes:
- With few exceptions, students will not need to be on campus to take courses. Students enrolling in programs with an on-campus component will receive additional information directly from their departments.
- Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to find alternate, online means to deliver programs.
- The process used for the fall term to request use of labs and other specialized facilities, where essential to meet program requirements, will continue to be used with requests requiring approval from the Department Chair, Dean and the Provost or delegate.
- Residences will remain closed but will continue to provide accommodation in exceptional circumstances and to support international students or others who need to quarantine
- Decisions regarding research at the university will continue to be determined under the leadership of the Vice-President, Research
- We recognize that COVID-19 has added an additional level of stress for many students, faculty and staff. By making the decision about the winter 2021 term as early as possible, we hope to provide as much stability as we can in what is a dynamic and unpredictable pandemic. We will continue to work closely with public health officials to monitor the pandemic and make the most informed decisions possible for the university.
Students who may be finding the online environment challenging are urged to speak to their professors or others in the department or Faculty or, for first year students, Archway coaches and mentors.