Fall Term Update

Dear students,

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Lethbridge has decided courses will primarily be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term.

Our priority is your health and safety and we wanted to share this decision with you now to allow you sufficient time to prepare for the fall term.

This decision ensures our students, faculty and staff can learn, teach and work in an environment consistent with Alberta’s public safety guidelines and public health directives.

If you are a new student, finalizing an alternative delivery model for the fall term means you can begin your academic journey with us now and then transition to a more traditional model when health directives allow. Don’t let this pandemic derail your academic progress. We encourage you to continue on your educational path to achieve your goals by registering with uLethbridge for the Fall 2020 Term.

If you are a continuing student, this decision allows us to focus on ensuring you have the opportunity to graduate on time. We will be flexible in adjusting our policies and practices and increase course offerings in future terms to meet this goal.

You will receive a high-quality learning experience, regardless of the method of delivery. Our faculty members are preparing their course materials for online delivery and the University is providing enhanced training and acquiring new technology to aid these preparations.

Even if public health directives change during the course of the term, you will still be able to complete your classes for the fall term in the online environment. We will end the term as it begins, subject to public health requirements, and weave in enhanced learning opportunities as possible.

Experiential Learning

This decision does allow for some face-to-face experiential learning activities. While the primary mode of all course delivery will be through an online model, we recognize some experiential activities cannot be transitioned to an online context. As such, certain labs, studio, practicum and clinical placements will be permitted to take place. This will occur on the Lethbridge campus and at off-site locations.

Students involved in experiential learning courses will be expected to be in Lethbridge but can choose to take these courses in a future term if moving to Lethbridge is not possible. A preliminary list of in-person experiential courses and academic activities will be provided by the University by June 15. Other experiential learning opportunities will be offered to students using online and remote methods. Graduate student research may also be able to take place on campus, subject to public health guidelines.

Student Services

All student services will continue to be available, whether online, by phone or in person, if appropriate. Mental health support will be offered online throughout the fall term, with group and one-to-one options available. If public health directives permit, in-person counselling will be provided. A series of virtual workshops to support students’ online learning success, tutoring and learning strategy sessions will be available to help you get the most out of your learning experience.

While courses will be largely online, our campuses will still be central to the student experience. We will create a sense of connection and support and reduce isolation through community-building activities, such as small group gatherings. In addition, the Library will be open online and for restricted in-person services, students will be living in our residences and food services will be provided in line with public health requirements.

Going forward, we anticipate the Spring and Summer 2021 terms will include more substantial course offerings, giving you the opportunity to catch up.

Graduate Student Support

uLethbridge recognizes that graduate students are also planning to participate in traditional types of learning in classrooms and labs as well as carrying out their own research. Graduate classroom activities, either as a student or as graduate assistants (GAs), will fall under the guidelines outlined here. Faculties will provide further information as to which courses will be offered remotely, and which may be face-to-face. As indicated above, alternatives will be provided for students who cannot attend in person. As well, training and support will be offered over the summer months to help prepare GAs who may be involved in the remote delivery of courses.

We know you had different expectations for your university experience. Be assured uLethbridge will continue to offer the robust, high-quality learning experience for which it is known. A sense of normalcy will eventually return, and we are here to help you graduate on time and prepare for your future.

All the best,

Mike Mahon, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor