Algonquin College confirmed classes in all locations will be suspended the week of March 16 to March 22, until it moves to mostly online learning due to concerns about COVID-19.
In an email statement to students on March 13, Claude Brulé, the college’s president, explained that faculty will continue to work and will use the upcoming week to prepare.
“Classes will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020 but many will be delivered using alternative instruction methods, primarily online, for the remainder of the term.”
Due to the college’s dependence on hands-on learning for many of its programs, students are instructed to stay updated on the plans for each of their classes as professors will use unique learning tools to meet specific course requirements.
“We are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and trying to find the best solutions for everyone who works, studies and lives at Algonquin College,” explained Brulé in his statement.
During the suspension week, health and food services will remain open and students will still be able to access the campus’s library and common spaces. According to the statement, all group events planned before April 30, 2020 are to be postponed.
For students in co-op or on work placements, the college recommends continuing their work as long as the host employer remains a safe environment.
“I want to acknowledge that this is creating many challenges for everyone and emphasize that the mental and physical health of our college community is our priority,” wrote Brulé.
The decision comes a day after the Ontario government announced that all publicly funded schools will shut down for two weeks after March break.
On the morning of March 13, Carleton University tweeted their plan to cancel Monday and Tuesday’s classes of next week as they prepare to move classes online as of Wednesday, March 18. During this time, their campus will remain open, maintaining their commitment to students to supply food services. The University of Ottawa has mirrored this plan, with an update being tweeted out Friday afternoon.
While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Algonquin’s campus, a third case of the virus was identified in Ottawa as Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the prime minister’s wife, tested positive March 12.
The college reminds students to stay up to date on the development of COVID-19 and how to stay safe by checking its information page at www.algonquincollege.com/coronavirus.
“The next few weeks will be challenging,” Brulé wrote. “We will continue to keep you informed about any new developments as they arise.”