LETHBRIDGE, AB. – Anticipating positive shifts in the coming months related to COVID-19 pandemic health directives, the University of Lethbridge is planning for a significant return to campus for the Fall 2021 semester.
A special working group is currently consulting with faculty and others and working to determine how to offer as many course experiences on campus as possible, while ensuring the health of its students, faculty and staff in compliance with public health directives.
“We acknowledge the past year has been tough on our campus community,” says Mike Mahon, U of L president and vice-chancellor. “I am so proud of the resiliency our community has shown during this time and excited about the prospect of seeing the lively, energetic campus atmosphere we’ve all missed so much. It will be great for our students to begin to once again experience the social and academic benefits a more traditional in-person setting offers.”
While actions to safely increase in-person experiences are considered for the Fall 2021 semester, the Summer semester will remain much the same as it is for the current Spring 2021 semester. This will allow students to study while balancing summer activities, family life, and work from wherever they currently live.
In addition to a significant increase of in-person classes, the working group is also exploring how labs, seminars, student services, work-integrated learning opportunities and on-campus events can return to in-person and blended formats.
Residence spaces have been available for students throughout the pandemic at reduced capacity, and University officials anticipate a significant increase in the number of students living on campus this fall.
While a significant in-person experience is anticipated, it is likely some health directives pertaining to the use of masks and physical distancing will remain in place. These restrictions may prevent the U of L from offering some of its classes in person. Considerations, like these, are top of mind for the working group as it undertakes its planning.
While it is expected that the University will be much more open come September 2021, so too will the City of Lethbridge. Mahon says he is constantly approached by members of the community who are anxious to see the influx of students return to the City.
(From U of L Release)