April 22, 2021

Fall 2021 return to campus: A message from our President


I hope you are safe and well and that you are looking toward your academic future with optimism and confidence.

As vaccinations continue to roll out across Canada, we are optimistic that we will soon see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel and we expect that the COVID-19 landscape will look very different in September than it does now.

At Carleton University, we are planning for several in-person courses and activities on campus in the fall, but we will also have online options to allow for maximum flexibility for students. Preparations are well underway for a safe return to our beautiful campus in the fall, informed by health and safety expertise and following all public health guidelines.

Barring future public health restrictions, we are optimistic for full campus operations with minimal restrictions in winter, 2022.

What you can expect for the fall:

  • We are looking to offer as many in-person courses as possible. This means safely transitioning a significant proportion of courses, in particular seminars, labs, experiential learning and several small and medium-sized classes (under 60 students) to in-person learning.
  • We will also be offering a hyflex learning model for some of these courses, allowing students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, online or both. These courses will be available to online students through the use of hyflex technology and other arrangements.
  • Larger courses will be offered online, either synchronously, asynchronously or as a combination of both.
  • Keeping safety as our top priority, should public health require it, we will be ready to go back to a fully online environment if we have to. However, this is not what we expect.
  • Extra-curricular and student services activities will be offered with safety guidelines in place, along with academic, health and wellness services.
  • Our student residences will be operational and will follow public health guidelines, as will our food services, athletic facilities, study spaces and library services.

What we will know soon:

  • We are currently in the process of determining which classes will be held online, in person, or in hyflex. This information will be available in advance of course registration that begins in June.
  • Guidelines and measures for on-campus activities and events are being considered by Carleton leaders and will be shared at a later time.

The return to on-campus activities in the fall is important for us because we are a united, compassionate and engaged campus like no other. We are proud to have ranked within the top three for student satisfaction amongst the comprehensive universities across Canada in 2021. We are fortunate to be situated in Ottawa and to be able to provide our students the advantages of being close to government centres, embassies, national organizations, research institutions and a vibrant tech industry. It is easy to see why Ottawa is consistently named one of the best places to live in Canada, with beautiful waterways, national parks and a vibrant city core, offering opportunities unlike anywhere else in Canada.

As you consider which university to attend, also keep in mind that the restrictions we may still be facing in the fall are temporary and will ease with time. The decision of which university to attend is an important one and this choice will impact the next few years of your life. I encourage you to think not only about the reality of the coming school year but also about what your university life will look like once the pandemic has fully come and gone.

We know that our community plays a crucial role in what makes the Carleton experience so remarkable, and we are so looking forward to welcoming you to our exceptional and celebrated campus in the fall. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to answering all your questions and providing more specific information about our return to campus.

Finally, I hope you’ll connect with us for our CU at Home series in May. Join us as we share information about the Carleton community, programs and resources and hear directly from staff, faculty and current Carleton students. More information about this will be coming your way soon.

Sincerely,

Benoit

Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor
Carleton University