As the Class of 2024 is preparing to start its first year at Brock University this fall, the Class of 2020 is getting set to celebrate Convocation. It’s a big moment in the lives of both groups of students, and a moment being experienced through the lens of an unprecedented time in history.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on all, and Brock University’s decisions remain focused on making the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and wider community the top priority.
Last month, Brock announced plans for the 2020 Fall Term, with the vast majority of courses being offered online. Only a small number of courses will be in-person; primarily upper-year and those with small-sized classes requiring specialized labs or other on-campus equipment.
While it may temporarily change the way courses are delivered, the high-quality learning and research environment, along with the University’s student-first focus, remains. Brock’s goal continues to be giving students a safe and excellent academic experience, along with an engaging student experience.
To support first-year students as they prepare for their introduction to post-secondary education, BU4U is an innovative program offering a personalized program of academic coaching, community building and supports. It includes a free online summer orientation program, a series of free academic skills courses, a virtual Welcome Week in September and a six-week program starting in September to support incoming students. Take your first step now by registering for Smart Start.
On Wednesday, June 24, Brock’s Fall Term timetable will go live. On July 8, registration opens for graduate students and two days later, on July 10, registration opens for students in Teacher Education programs.
On July 13, registration opens for first-year students with registration for upper-year undergraduate students to follow.
All registrations will be completed by July 31, which will allow students time to proceed with OSAP and RESP funding for Fall.
It’s important to note that the default option for all undergraduate Fall Term courses will be online delivery. Only a small number of courses will be delivered in person.
Plans are being finalized to implement health and safety measures that will be in place for the Fall Term for the limited number of students, faculty and staff who may need to be on campus. This includes measures such as community protective equipment (non-medical face coverings), limited campus entry points and restrictions on the numbers of people allowed in small areas to follow public health guidelines on physical distancing.
For graduate students, Brock’s Vice-President, Research announced this week that the University’s research laboratories would open for a wider range of approved users starting on Monday, June 15. The Plan for Expanded Access to Research Facilities and Sites During Pandemic, was drafted following input and proposals contributed by more than 400 researchers and graduate students.
While Brock’s residences will be open this fall, they will be operating in a significantly reduced capacity. If you’ve applied for a spot in residence, we’ll be in touch shortly with further instructions and information.
Earlier this week, Brock University joined other post-secondary institutions across the country in announcing the cancellation of its sport programming up until Dec. 31, 2020 based on provincial public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student-athletes who compete in fall sports will not lose a year of eligibility due to the cancellation of the fall 2020 season.
Ontario University Athletics, the governing body for university sport in the province, remains hopeful that student-athletes will be able to return to play in the new year and that two-term sports such as basketball, hockey, wrestling and volleyball would compete in condensed schedules. However, public health guidelines and the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and support staff will be the primary factor in determining next steps.
Next week marks a big moment for the Class of 2020. Brock’s 107th Convocation will be delivered a virtual format for the first time. Graduating students will receive an invitation from the Dean of their respective Faculty on Friday, June 19, when the Virtual Spring Convocation portal will go live.
Rather than a single livestreamed event, Virtual Convocation is an online portal that is personalized for each individual graduating student. Although the portal will launch on June 19, graduands and their friends and families will be able to enjoy their Convocation experience whenever they choose. While the portal will include the official conferring of their degrees by Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo and video addresses from a number of special guests including former Prime Minister of Canada Paul Martin, it’s not meant to replace an in-person celebration, which will be planned in the future when it’s safe to do so.
Brock University recognizes this is a challenging time for all students — incoming first years, those returning and those graduating.
Information will continue to be communicated as soon as it becomes available. More information and a question form where you can direct specific questions about Fall Term can be found at brocku.ca/fall
For the latest updates on Brock’s COVID-19 response and a full FAQ section, please visit brocku.ca/coronavirus