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Majority of Mohawk College students to return to campus in January

It has been wonderful to see more students on campus this Fall, and we look forward to welcoming many more students back to campus in January.

Thanks to high vaccination rates and the collective efforts of the Mohawk College community, we will be moving forward with our plan, first announced at the end of July, to bring the majority of students back to campus beginning January 2022. We know many have been anxiously awaiting this news and will be happy that in-person learning is resuming on a scale not seen since before the pandemic began in March 2020.

We have also heard from many students who appreciate the flexibility that comes with virtual and remote learning. Based on this feedback, many programs will continue to offer some virtual and remote learning for courses where in-person delivery is not required to achieve the learning outcomes. These courses will be identified in your timetable. Winter timetable registration will open as planned on Tuesday, December 7, 2021.

There is a small number of programs with unique considerations that will continue to be delivered entirely online for the Winter semester. We have posted the details for these programs to the Program Delivery Information page on the college’s website.

While the return to campus will be exciting news for many, we know that some have mixed feelings. For this reason, we want to update you on the college’s progress so far and remind you of the steps we are taking to keep our campus community safe.

1. Vaccine requirement to remain in place.

The evidence is clear. COVID-19 vaccines work and those who are vaccinated are much less likely to catch or transmit the virus to others. Mohawk’s vaccination rate is approaching 90% and is expected to exceed 95% by the end of the Fall semester. The high vaccination rate is the reason we are able to move forward with our plans for January.

As we have been doing for the Fall semester, Mohawk College will continue to require all students, employees, contractors, volunteers, guests and visitors to confirm their vaccination status via the Mohawk Safety App before being permitted entry to a Mohawk facility. The requirements and eligibility for requesting an exemption from the vaccine policy are determined by the Province of Ontario and may change at any time. Any updates will be posted to the college’s COVID-19 website.

If you have not received your vaccine, you are urged to get it as soon as possible. You are not considered to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 until you have received the required doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine. In most cases, it takes approximately six weeks from the date of your first vaccination before you are considered to be fully vaccinated. This means that if you are required to be on campus on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, you will need to obtain your first dose by Wednesday, November 24. For more information about vaccines visit the City of Hamilton website.

Proof of vaccination must be confirmed prior to your arrival at campus. If you are coming to campus, you need to upload your proof of vaccination as soon as possible. Failure to do this will result in you being denied access to campus. Please allow a minimum of 48 hours (two working days) for your vaccination status to be confirmed. Submissions will be accepted and reviewed during the Holiday closure in December.

Please note Mohawk College’s proof of vaccination requirement applies only to students and employees needing access Mohawk facilities. Students on placement or co-op may be subject to additional vaccine verification requirements that apply to their placement or co-op locations.

For instructions on how to provide proof of vaccination to Mohawk College please refer to the Mohawk College COVID-19 Vaccination Policy Statement, which is located on the COVID-19 update section of our website. Please review the information on this page carefully and follow the steps provided to complete the vaccine verification process.

2. Health and safety protocols expected to remain in place with some changes.

It is anticipated that current Public Health guidelines will remain in place. This includes the use of masks indoors and mandatory daily health screening. At present, physical distancing and capacity limits are not required for the majority of instructional spaces, as outlined in the province’s amendment to the Reopening Ontario Act that came into effect on September 7. There are some circumstances where capacity limits and physical distancing remain in place.

Effective Monday, October 18, the mandatory use of eye protection is no longer required in classrooms and labs, with the exception of spaces where it is a normal part of program delivery. This means face shields, goggles and eye wear are no longer required. This change is a direct result of high vaccination rates and the reduced risk of transmission on campus.

Any changes, new or updated, to current health protocols and campus access details for the Winter semester will be posted to the Campus Access section of the COVID-19 website and communicated to students and employees directly via email. 

3. International Students travelling to Canada

If you are an International student that is continuing or beginning your studies with us in January, there are additional considerations for you to be aware of for the Winter semester:

  1. As of December 31, 2021, the IRCC will no longer allow overseas online studies to count towards Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility. If there are any changes to the IRCC’s deadline, we will share this information with International students directly.
  2. If you have your study permit, ensure that you are making appropriate travel arrangements to start your studies in person on time this Winter. The Important Academic Dates website has information on program start dates.
  3. If you are studying at the Mohawk College Mississauga Campus in partnership with triOS these changes will also apply to you.

Students who are currently studying overseas will receive an additional message from the International Department in the coming week to support their transition to in-person studies in Canada. 

4. Events and Room Bookings

We will be welcoming back more internal events and external room bookings beginning in January.

Internal groups such as student clubs, departments, associations and unions will be able to request event bookings on or off campus. All events will require a Hazard Risk Assessment to be completed and approved by an appropriate Senior Leadership Team member.

External room bookings will be limited to evenings and weekends only. Third-party bookings must submit a safety plan using the college-supplied template and will be required to follow all health and safety protocols and policies while on campus.

The McIntyre Performing Arts Centre will remain closed to external events until April 2022.

Gathering sizes and capacity limits will depend on the provincial regulations in place at the time of the event.

Thank you for your support and patience.

It has been a long and difficult journey to get to this point. I want thank you for your continued support and patience as we ease back into a more normal way of learning and working together.

Please continue to monitor your email and to frequently check the college’s website for any potential updates.

We look forward to seeing you in person again soon.

Additional Information and Resources