Hamilton

Mohawk College moves most classes online for remainder of winter semester

Mohawk College has announced most courses during its winter semester will be delivered online, joining post-secondary institutions across the area in making adjustments amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Other post-secondary institutions have made changes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases

Mohawk College announced Tuesday that it has moved most of its courses online this semester. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

Mohawk College has announced most courses during its winter semester will be delivered online, joining post-secondary institutions across the area in making adjustments amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

A message from president Ron McKerlie shared Tuesday stated that all "required" in-person learning will continue, but all other teaching that was expected to take place in the classroom will be done remotely for the remainder of the term.

The ongoing spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has created uncertainty for Mohawk College students and staff," he wrote. "This decision will allow students to plan ahead with certainty."

The president noted "many students" have shared their desire to return to campus to experience in-person extracurricular activities and social events. The college may organize optional campus activities if the situation improves and it's safe to do so, he said.

In the meantime, the following changes have been made:

  • All in-person events have been cancelled until the end of February.
  • The David Braley Athletic & Recreation Centre will be closed, except for approved academic and college-related purposes, until further notice.

  • Library services are available on-campus and online but students will have to book seats and computers.

  • On-campus food is take-out only, with designated areas set up to offer physical distancing.

  • Visitors and other external guests are not allowed to access campus.

"We know the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant is frustrating and heightens the anxiety that some people may be feeling," wrote McKerlie, adding the college is providing supports.

Here's how other colleges and universities in the region are responding to the COVID-19 situation this semester:

McMaster

McMaster University has posted a plan that sees students slowly return to campus.

Classes are virtual this week, except for some clinical programs. But, starting Jan. 17, the university says it will add undergraduate labs, studios, clinical and other high-priority hands-on learning in person, though with some exceptions.

All level-one undergraduate courses are currently scheduled to be in-person beginning on Jan. 31 and the university said more than half of its first-year students will be living in residence as of Jan. 14.

In-person classes for all students are set to start on Feb. 7.

Redeemer

Redeemer University said earlier this month that it was going ahead with plans for students to move on campus starting Jan. 8 and for classes to start this week.

However, both students and staff have the option to take part in class either in-person or remotely for the first two weeks of the term.

The university stated it will continue to monitor provincial developments and share updates as they arise.

Niagara College

Niagara College has announced some programs, which were initially shifted online until Jan. 28, will continue to run online until Feb. 25 — the last day before the mid-term break.

Labs and other types of learning that can't be done remotely will be completed on-campus with PPE and other safety measures in place.

"While we are hopeful that the second half of the term will allow for an increase in on-campus learning, that decision will depend on the available data and government and public health guidance and direction at the time," reads an update on its website.

Brock

Brock University also moved most classes online for the start of this semester.

In-person learning is expected to resume on Jan. 31, which the university said it hopes will give staff and students time to get a COVID-19 booster shot.

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