St. Clair College will delay the start of its fall semester by two weeks, with classes commencing Monday, Sept. 21 and running for 13 weeks.
The move allows staff enough time to prepare for the possibility of a blended delivery system of both online and in-person classes and labs, according to Waseem Habash, Vice President, Academic.
“Our number one priority is safety and, as such, the College must ensure that we follow the direction of public health authorities and acquire the appropriate approvals for reopening College campuses when it is safe to do so,” he said in a letter to students.
College President Patti France said the College is attempting to arrange a certain degree of on-campus, in-person attendance for students during the Fall semester, “if only for the labs, workshops and clinics associated with those courses that require it.”
But France said the health and safety of students, staff and faculty is the College’s main concern. If it’s determined that an on-campus presence would pose an “unmanageable degree of risk, then we will have to operate strictly on-line during the Fall and hope that the New Year – and the Winter semester – will dawn pandemic-free.”
Habash said there may be a few programs within the School of Health Sciences, which are governed by accreditation bodies that may require a start date of Sept. 8 to achieve a full 15-week semester for practical skills.
“We will continue to provide the quality education that is expected of us and has made St. Clair College a recognizable academic institution globally,” Habash said.