The province may have reopened but students aren't going back to their campuses anytime soon. A number of Alberta universities and colleges have announced that they will be continuing online and remote learning into the fall 2020 semester. However, some exceptions will be made for in-person classes.
On Thursday, May 14, University of Alberta president David Turpin wrote on the university blog that for the upcoming fall term of 2020, "the majority of our classes will be delivered remotely and online."
He did add that there will be some "in-person learning opportunities."
These in-person classes will be kept small and will include things like labs and clinical instruction. Turpin believes that in-person learning is essential for those kinds of "experiential learning" situations.
However, if a student is unable to make it to an in-person session, then alternative arrangements will be made.
Turpin also told his students that although classes and social life across campus are going to be looking a lot different than what most students are used to, it doesn't mean that the traditional university experience is all forgotten about.
"We will seek new opportunities to connect students and support our community virtually," said Turpin.
Additionally, the on-campus residences are still going ahead with accepting students through both the Fall and the Winter semesters, as long as Dr. Hinshaw gives her approval.
UofA isn't the only major school that's going ahead with online classes for the remainder of 2020.
The University of Calgary also noted that they will be hosting the majority of their classes online as well for the upcoming fall term.
They too will be allowing a bit of leeway. As mentioned in the statement, they're hoping to have about 30% of their student population on the campus at any one time.
Of course, physical distancing will be required as per government mandate, but at least lab, tutorial, and seminar students have reasons to leave the house.
The remainder will all be held online, so Calgary students can stay put indoors. Back-to-school shopping season is not going to be the same this year, for sure.
UofC also makes it clear that students who don't wish to come to campus at all will have the option to "build their schedules accordingly."
More information about which courses will request students to come back into campus will be released in June.
Other universities and colleges in the province that have announced that they will continue sticking with online classes through the fall include Red Deer College and Mount Royal University in Calgary.
As of May 14, the province of Alberta began the first stage of its relaunch strategy.
In the document, the government stated that post-secondary institutions will continue with remote learning until the "existing public health order prohibiting in-person classes is lifted."