Listen Live
Listen Live
HomeNewsNipissing, Canadore both prepared for upcoming year

Nipissing, Canadore both prepared for upcoming year

With the 2020-21 academic year just over a month away, both postsecondary institutions in North Bay have been working tirelessly to roll out a safe plan for students to be able to return to campus in the fall.

Nipissing University has a four-step reopening plan laid out but remains on the first. Nipissing Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Arja Vainio-Mattila affirms that everything is going according to plan right now.

“I think that we’re exactly where we expected to be when the province made the decision to move into Stage 3. As soon as that became possible, all of the different departments are coming up with their plans of how we actually come back to campus,” Dr. Vainio-Mattila said, adding that the University expects to move into its Phase 1 shortly.

Part of Phase 0 of the plan was to assemble an Operational Readiness Committee to prepare for future phases. Dr. Vainio-Mattila says that the committee has been hard at work over the summer.

- Advertisement -

“That’s a committee that has participation from all the different parts of the university and we expect that that committee will be in place for the duration [of the pandemic],” she said.

Nipissing will be offering all of its classes virtually for the upcoming fall semester with a tentative plan that more in-person meetings will be allowed in January. Many of its in-person services will be doubly available online. Dr. Vainio-Mattila says that they are still preparing for some students to return to North Bay.

“We have a few students who are coming from the far north or rural areas which means, for many of them, that being on campus or at least in residences, for example, means better access to the internet,” she said. “There’s all kinds of reasons why students would want to relocate to North Bay.”

At Canadore College, its reopening plan will be able to go through a test run before large numbers of students return to campus. Starting August 4, students who need to finish last year’s practical work will be able to return to campus to do so in order to receive qualifications specific to their program.

Canadore’s Vice President of Academics, Ahmed Obaide says that the program should provide some valuable information.

“We’ll take that basically as a test for the precaution measures that we have put in over the summer period and see if there’s anything that we need to enhance for the fall,” he explained, adding that residences will also be included in the test run.

With many of its programs requiring a practical component, Obaide says that virtual education is not as viable an option at Canadore as it would be at Nipissing. He says that it’s a matter of picking the appropriate spots where students need to come to campus in-person.

“Some students will receive most of the delivery online but will, for example, have to come for a boot camp for one week or so,” Obaide said, also saying that each program will have a different approach to how much of its instruction will be online.

Even though either school will not be able to provide the full experience to students as they had in years past, tuition prices are remaining the same. Obaide says that it’s just a matter of the money going to other places.

“There’s a huge investment involved on both ends whether you’re delivering the information through communication technology means or in the classroom. Sometimes [it costs] more to substitute the tools from a classroom approach,” he said.

Despite the question marks surrounding the upcoming year, Dr. Vainio-Mattila says that she is cautiously optimistic that enrollment numbers won’t be affected.

“I think the fact is that if you think of a young person, there’s not a lot of jobs available right now, so what are you going to do? You have a place at a university, so why not take it up?” she explained.

The 2020-21 academic year is set to begin on September 8 for both Nipissing and Canadore.

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading