President says NAIT will not “return to a pre-pandemic state”
NAIT students can expect an increase in on-campus activity this September with more blended and virtual classes to complement hands-on learning.
“A new academic year is always an exciting prospect,” said president and CEO Laura Jo Gunter, in a June 7 update to students. “The 2021/22 year may be one of the most exciting yet, bringing with it the potential to return to an experience much closer to what we once considered normal.”
“The 2021/22 year may be one of the most exciting yet.”
The province’s Open for Summer plan anticipates that post-secondary institutions will be able to resume additional in-person learning by mid-June and that public health restrictions for all Albertans could fully relax by late June or early July. Those timelines are contingent on vaccination and hospitalization rates hitting targets.
Gunter said the provincial plan reinforces that NAIT is on track for creating a fall plan that anticipates a more vibrant campus while ensuring the health and safety of the community. Despite the increased numbers of students, staff and visitors, the 2021/22 year will not be a “return to a pre-pandemic state” for NAIT, she added.
“We know, for example, that there is more appreciation among learners for online and blended delivery. We are also adopting a more distributed workforce model.”
More blended and online learning
The number of NAIT degree, diploma and certificate programs offered entirely online will drop to 14% from 31% in winter 2021. More programs will be offered in blended format, meaning virtual and in-person, rising to 82% from 69% in winter 2021.
Some 4% of programs will be delivered entirely on campus. Apprenticeship program delivery will be unchanged with 3.5% delivered online and 96.5% blended.
“Our priority will continue to be the health and safety of our community.”
Students have already received details about delivery methods from their specific programs so they can prepare for the fall.
“We know that, while many students are eager to return to campus, some may be uncomfortable,” Gunter said.
“Please know that our priority will continue to be the health and safety of our community. Should conditions change before the fall, we will adapt accordingly – just as we have done since we began carefully phasing in on-campus learning last summer.”