Following a decision by the University Senate, Brock University today announced it will continue with primarily online classes for the full academic year, extending the current academic model through the Winter Term that runs from January to April.
As a result of this decision, the current timetable for the Winter Term will be reviewed. A revised timetable should be available to students in November.
While courses will continue to be delivered primarily online in the Winter Term, a limited number of courses for which no online alternative exists will be offered on campus, as is the case in the Fall Term. For the Fall Term, only a few hundred students are taking courses on campus at any given time. Brock’s total full- and part-time enrolment levels are around 19,000.
With a reduced student presence on campus, fewer staff are required on site to support a wide range of normal campus activities, from food services and library operations to administering parking and residences. Many staff are working primarily or entirely from home in the Fall Term. Brock will soon be releasing guidance to staff about what they should expect for the Winter Term as well.
Lynn Wells, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, said the University has chosen to continue with primarily online instruction in the Winter Term due to continued uncertainty posed by the pandemic. The University also recognized the undue burden that would be placed on students should they be required to relocate to the Niagara region at the beginning of the winter months.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brock has made the health of our students, staff and faculty our priority and we will continue to do so,” said Wells. “Many universities in Ontario have already begun to announce that they plan to continue instruction primarily online in the winter, and today Brock is joining that group.”
This summer, Brock unveiled its own five-stage pandemic recovery plan that outlines levels of campus operations based on current public health guidelines.
On Sept. 1, the University moved from Brock Stage 2 to Brock Stage 3, which loosened some of the restrictions on campus activity and access. It is expected the University will remain at Brock Stage 3 until at least January 2021.