Communications to Students | St. Clair College

Fall 2021 Delivery - (July 20, 2021)

Dear Saints:

It is with the greatest pleasure that I share with you the basic recommendation contained in a letter that I received from the provincial Ministry of Colleges and Universities in mid-July, announcing that we can resume in-person classes at the outset of the Fall 2021 semester this September.

Since mid-March of 2020, when the COVID-19 virus first appeared in Canada, we have been operating in a “hybrid” fashion, of on-line lectures coupled with some on-campus presence for essential labs, clinics and workshops. That format certainly wasn’t the preference among either students or the College itself, because the face-to-face interaction between teacher-and-student and student-and-student is truly the ideal version of “The St. Clair Experience”.

But the pandemic made remote instruction a necessity … and faculty, staff and students made it a success. The ingenuity, adaptability and persistence of both teachers and learners allowed us to continue to deliver an excellent postsecondary education throughout the pandemic – perhaps best evidenced by the fact that during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years we staged Convocation ceremonies for the largest graduating classes in St. Clair’s half-century-long history.

During that past almost-year-and-a-half, we did what we had to do. Now, we can joyfully return to doing what we want to do: namely, to teach and provide a host of services to students in face-to-face fashion, coupled with celebrating a social atmosphere of fun and friendship in the College’s non-academic activities.

Some programs (see accompanying document) will continue to be offered in a strictly on-line format, at least during the Fall semester. This is due to the fact that a substantial portion of their enrolment takes the form of international students who still cannot make their way to Canada at this time. In these programs, even domestic (Canadian) and international students who have already made their way to Canada will be receiving their lectures in an on-line manner. Please note, at this time, we are anticipating that the Winter 2022 Semester will be in-person, provided that international travel restrictions are eased throughout the coming months and students are able to travel.

For the students in virtually all other programs, “normality” will return when the Fall semester begins on September 7th …

… Or, at least, the “new normality”. The Ministry has advised us that we will, still (and reasonably), have to abide by the virus control-and-protection regulations and recommendations put forward by federal, provincial and regional health authorities. Among other mandatory practices, mask-wearing in almost all indoor settings at the College is required. The College will provide you with specific guidelines as they are more clearly defined in August.

While it is not, currently, our intention to demand proof-of-vaccination from students as a prerequisite for teaching and learning activities on campus, it is certainly the College’s desire that all students will receive such inoculations – for your own well-being, and that of your family, friends and fellow students.

Again, more detailed information about various facets of our method-of-operation in September will be forthcoming from the College, during the next few weeks.

But I wanted to share this preliminary news with you as soon as I could … not only because I recognize that you’re eager to know what is happening in the Fall, but also to express the sincere joy of all of St. Clair’s faculty and staff as we prepare to welcome you back.

Until then, dear Saints, stay well.

Patti

Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed.
President


Fall 2021 – Alternate Delivery Accommodations

Due to challenges faced by students travelling to Canada, the following programs are confirmed for online delivery only:

  1. Mechanical Engineering Technician – CAD/CAM (T867) Semester 1
  2. Electromechanical Engineering Technician – Robotics (T974) Semester 1
  3. Computer Systems Technician – Networking (T860) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  4. International Business Management – Logistics Systems (B999) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  5. Data Analytics (B018) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  6. Web Development and Internet Applications (B949/B950) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  7. Hospitality – Hotel and Restaurant (B940) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  8. Event Management (B908) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  9. Construction Engineering Technician (T036) Semester 1
  10. Human Resources Management (B802) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  11. Tourism – Travel (B826) Semester 1
  12. Electrical Techniques (K731) Semester 2
  13. Pre-Health Sciences (K902) Semester 2
  14. Public Relations (B791) Semester 1
  15. Business – Accounting (K150) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  16. Business (K600) Semester 1 & Semester 2

The following six (6) programs are primarily populated with international students but also have confirmations from domestic/in-country students. To support on campus learning opportunities for these students, the College will offer the following programs in both face-to-face and online formats:

  1. Mechanical Engineering Technician – Industrial (T855) Semester 1
  2. Business – General (B600) Semester 1 & Semester 2
  3. Fitness and Health Promotion (H879) Semester 1
  4. Construction Engineering Technician (T036) Semester 2
  5. Office Administration – General (B227) Semester 1
  6. Social Service Worker – Gerontology (B895) Semester 1

Note: This is for Fall 2021 delivery only.

St. Clair College will follow government guidance related to COVID-19 safety protocols and measures.  We will not mandate vaccinations for on-campus teaching and learning activities unless directed by appropriate government agencies, however, St. Clair College encourages all students to receive their COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they are eligible.  We will continue to implement and enforce safety protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health for post-secondary institutions.  We have strong safety protocols in place currently and will continue with those until a change is permitted or required.  Additional communication on safety protocols will be sent to students and posted on our webpage once we have more information from the Ministry.
 
Please be advised that St. Clair College’s third-party partners (e.g. placement agencies, co-op employers, and service providers) may have different standards and COVID-19 safety measures in place.  St. Clair College has no oversight over its partners’ standards and COVID-19 safety measures and compliance with those standards and COVID-19 safety measures will be the responsibility of the student.

In our efforts to provide exceptional programming for our students, St. Clair College is hoping to return to a normal mode of delivery for Fall 2021. The College's preference for September is to deliver classes and labs in-person on all campuses for the majority of our programs. Popular international offerings will be offered completely online for the first year. A final decision will be made when the Province of Ontario announces its Step 3 reopening plan. If face-to-face classes are not possible, the College plans to incorporate an alternative delivery method involving a mixture of online classes and in-person labs. The College will communicate the final plan when the Provincial Government provides a roadmap for reopening Ontario.

Dear Saints - and Prospective Saints:

The May 20, 2021 announcement by the provincial government concerning the phased "re-opening of Ontario" as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic has created a sense of what I believe to be realistic optimism at St. Clair College. We are extremely hopeful that, by the launch of the 2021-22 academic year this September, the College should be in a position to resume its conventional "live and in-person" educational format.

Perhaps there will still be some precautionary controls and restrictions in place then, but it is the College's fervent desire to return to our customary educational format as soon and as fully as possible. We will develop firm plans in that regard as additional phases of the provincial re-opening are provided to us, and keep you updated throughout the coming weeks.

Remarkably, thanks to our exceptional faculty and staff - and to the adaptability and persistence of students - the 15 months of the pandemic saw St. Clair effectively educate approximately 15,000 students in a predominantly on-line manner and celebrate the convocations of some of the largest graduating-year classes in its history.

Nevertheless, despite being a necessity given the circumstances, I have stated repeatedly that this "remote" format was certainly not ideal and definitely not our preference. I believe the face-to-face interaction between teacher and student, and the social and athletic atmosphere of the "college experience", are essential elements of a St. Clair education. That's why I am so hopeful about returning to that environment at the outset of the Fall semester.

For those students currently studying out of country and for those considering enrolment starting out of country in September, the College plans to continue to offer those programs online for the Fall semester to allow for appropriate travel time for our students.

Again, please look for further emails and posts on our website and social media outlets throughout the coming months as (in conjunction with provincial guidelines) we develop our curriculum delivery plans and schedules for September. I am very much looking forward to seeing you, in-person, in St. Clair's hallways shortly after Labour Day.

Until then, stay well.

Patti

Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed.
President

Dear Saints, Both Staff and Students:

The past several weeks have been grim ones for Canada.  Despite encouraging trends in the battle against the pandemic, our hearts have been broken by the news of the discovery of an inconceivable number of mass graves at the Indigenous residential schools and the unspeakable and inexplicable recent deaths of four members of the Afzaal/Salman family in London.

It is completely appropriate and necessary for us to mourn the innocent victims of these vile episodes and to demand justice for them from those responsible for these tragedies.  And I suspect that, like me, many of you are feeling frustrated and disappointed with our society, expressing and sharing these thoughts with family and friends and even in our educational setting, whether teacher-to-student, student-to-counsellor and student-to-student.  It is through all of these conversations that we try to find some explanation – gain some understanding – try to find some reasoning – for what has occurred.  

St. Clair, I think, also has an important role to play in combatting such prejudice and malevolence in our society.  We are, after all, a microcosmic community of a truly global, multicultural, religiously diverse composition, with our thousands of students and staff representing over sixty of the world’s nations and several dozen faiths.

It should be our deliberate and conscientious task to celebrate that multicultural mosaic at every opportunity, both by casually striking up conversations and friendships with those from different backgrounds than our own, and by formally exploring one another’s cultures with awareness and entertainment events.  Our student organizations have done a great job of the latter, albeit this year it was done in a virtual format, seeking to teach us all a little something about our different cultures.  As we move back toward being in-person on campus, I have no doubt they will bring their in-person events back as well, which will allow us to celebrate our difference – and our similarities – together.

I hope what I'm suggesting is not too simplistic or naïve.  I truly do believe that St. Clair can be a shining example of Canada – of the world – as we desperately want it to be:  peaceful, respectful, accepting and, yes, loving.

Perhaps our efforts to strive toward that in our own community will help to ease the pain we experience when we view disturbing occurrences in the world-at-large.  And perhaps our efforts to develop and enhance harmony at the College will be a mindset that we can take into that world-at-large, as an ultimate cure for its destructive, mindless and all-too-frequent disunity.

As is true of almost every widespread problem, the solution begins with our own individual attitude, followed by a gradually expanding, community-by-community effort to simply “be better, to do better”.

As a spurring response to the recent incidents that have shocked and saddened us all, let that attitude and that effort begin today, in your lives and that of St. Clair College.

Stay well, Saints.

Patti

Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed.
President