St. Lawrence College (SLC) is looking ahead, and plans to return to face-to-face program delivery and in-person campus services for the fall 2021 term.
According to a release from SLC, this will apply to the three campuses in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall as well as satellite offices. As always, this decision is dependent on whether physical distancing is required, and the college said they will continue adhering to public health and provincial health and safety regulations.
“We have a huge degree of confidence in our local Public Health authorities, and their input will continue to guide our decisions,” said Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College. “The pandemic has, by necessity, changed a lot for us and our students, but not all of those changes are permanent. As a sector, Ontario colleges work closely with our provincial Ministry to make decisions that are the best for our students and employees and we are confident we can increase the activity on our campuses in September while continuing to maintain a healthy environment for our students, employees, and communities.”
While present circumstances mean increased face-to-face instruction is not possible, by fall, the province will look different in terms of vaccine rollout. SLC said they will have made plans for campuses and programs that apply lessons learned from the past year. Planning and decisions will continue to incorporate Public Health and provincial Ministry requirements and guidelines.
“We will be guided by our values, ensuring that our decisions consider everyone equally. This is not a time for ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ but rather an opportunity to innovate where possible, to continue helping our students achieve their academic goals,” Vollebregt said in the release.
The vaccine rollout will be a factor for helping keep our communities safe in the fall, Vollebregt told Kingstonist. “We believe five months from now will be very different than where things sit now, and we have learned how to keep campuses safe during this past year. As our planning progresses we will also explore options for classes and programs that apply some of what we have learned in terms of alternative program delivery, to keep us connected and to be flexible,” he said.
Kingstonist asked Vollebregt what he would like to share with students who are planning to attend SLC this fall. “We are thrilled, and ready to return to a more regular way of operating at the college,” he said. “As our current students have been doing over the last year, we will encourage all of our students to continue to respect the requirements to keep us all healthy and to keep our campuses safe, and to feel confident as our campus activity increases.”
“I’m grateful for the continued hard work of all the teams at SLC who are ensuring we’ll be able to safely welcome greater numbers of students studying on campus,” he concluded.
Since last spring, a limited number of students have been attending classes on campus, with priority given to health sciences programs and programs involving applied components such as labs and other hands-on simulations. Employees performing essential roles have been on campus and the majority of college employees have been working remotely.