Hamilton,
30
April
2020
|
11:37 PM
America/New_York

Mohawk responds to current crisis and plans for future

The situation with COVID-19 continues to be a challenge for our province and for the Mohawk College community. The college’s campuses and learning hubs have been closed since March 17 in accordance with provincial Public Health guidance and authorities have advised that non-essential businesses and services remain closed until at least the end of May.

Students and faculty rapidly made the transition to alternative online learning to complete the semester. While student life, and all social life, has been disrupted by physical distancing guidelines, thousands of Mohawk students completed their programs and will successfully receive their credentials this spring.

The Mohawk College community is resilient.

As Ontario and our regional governments start to plan for the gradual re-opening of our province and cities, Mohawk is likewise making plans for the coming weeks and months.

Campuses to remain closed to June 1

The top priority for all levels of government continues to be slowing the spread of COVID-19 through closures and physical distancing measures. In keeping with the current direction provided by Ontario’s Public Health authorities, all campus buildings and learning hubs will remain closed until Monday, June 1, 2020. Access to Mohawk College buildings will be severely restricted during this time.

Employees will continue to work from home during the extended closure of the campuses. Students will continue to be supported virtually through online and telephone services. The Spring/Summer semester for most full-time programs will begin on Monday, May 25 using online delivery.

The college will provide another update on the status of campuses on or before Thursday, May 28, pending new information from the province.

Events and Mohawk Summer Camp cancelled

The college is cancelling all events and facility rentals on and off campuses until the end of August. We are also cancelling the Mohawk Summer Camp programs. Parents and guardians are being notified of this decision and will receive a full refund.

2020/21 Budget being revised

The effects of the pandemic have had an impact on many organizations and, as a result, the college has begun the difficult but necessary work of revising its 2020/21 budget. Current college enrolment trends forecast a worst-case scenario of a $50 million decline in revenue for the college in the next academic year.

A team of college leadership has been formed to determine the best path forward for the college, remaining focused on Mohawk’s core mission to educate and support its students. The new 2020/21 budget will go to the Board of Governors for approval after it is completed in mid-June.

Planning for eventual re-opening

Planning is underway for the eventual re-opening of Mohawk facilities, once it is deemed safe to do so. Following the guidance of Public Health officials, the college will take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of students and employees once the campuses re-open. It is anticipated that a number of changes may need to be made to the way academics and services are provided.

It has been made clear by officials that re-opening will be a gradual process that takes place over several weeks and that we are not likely to continue operating in the exact same way as we did before this crisis.

Planning for the Fall Semester

Despite the challenges it faces, Mohawk College has fully committed to the delivery of the Fall 2020 semester for Mohawk College students. The college is considering a number of different scenarios, including in-person, online and hybrid delivery for the Fall semester. The final decision will be based on the direction of Public Health authorities and will be in the best interest of our students and employees. Plans for the Fall semester will be communicated once a final decision has been made.

COVID-19 Support is available for students, employees

Mohawk established a COVID-19 Emergency Bursary to provide eligible students with up to $500 in one-time emergency financial support. Information about that funding and other funding available through government programs can be found at https://www.mohawkcollege.ca/covid-19-coronavirus/information-and-support-for-students-during-covid-19/covid-emergency-bursary.

A dedicated website has been created to connect Mohawk students and employees to information, supports and services available to help them through this challenging time.

The college community looks forward to the day when Mohawk College life can start to return to a more normal routine, however that may look. In order to support that effort, the college continues to encourage everyone to do their part to help reduce the spread of this illness. This means following the guidance and directives of our Public Health authorities. Stay home as much as you can and when you do need to go out, practice physical distancing.