As you are aware the COVID-19 Pandemic has created major challenges to every enterprise around the globe. Post-Secondary Academic Institutions are no different. Every college and university is undergoing a complete assessment of its delivery model, including St. Clair College.
The staff at St. Clair College and Ace Acumen Academy have dedicated considerable time and effort to determine the safest and best possible way to continue to provide a quality education to our students in all our programs for the upcoming Fall 2020 Semester.
We are undergoing a thorough assessment of every single program (including Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship), classroom, lab and every area of the institution to ensure the safety of our students and staff when we do return to face-to-face activity. This assessment also includes a comprehensive analysis of every course to determine the best blend of virtual learning opportunities versus a conventional in-person platform in order to complete the program outcomes. Classes are being designed to be flexible and accommodating.
Please be assured that we are committed to ensuring that you receive the best possible education in your upcoming academic semester regardless of the method of delivery.
As a follow-up to the President’s message on May 19, 2020, here are the current academic plans. The current spring semester is running on-line. We are hoping that we will be able to conduct a “pilot” in-person delivery for graduating students that still require face-to-face elements from the Winter Semester in early July. If that is successful, with the approval of Public Health officials, we may be able to conduct some face-to-face delivery of our Spring Semester in August. This will include all Post-Secondary programs, Apprenticeship, and Pre- Apprenticeship programs.
Our number one priority is safety and, as such, the College must ensure that we follow the direction of Public Health authorities and acquire the appropriate approvals for reopening College campuses when it is safe to do so. This approach will likely result in a reduced student population on our campuses whenever and wherever possible, as well as adhering to social- distancing/group-gathering restrictions.
In order to give our staff enough time to prepare, our Fall Semester will commence on Monday, September 21, 2020, which is two weeks later than originally planned. The College is currently planning for a 13-week semester.
St. Clair College prides itself on its reputation for excellence in education and especially in providing the tangible hands-on skills necessary for our graduates to be successful in their chosen careers.
Please be reassured that you have made the right decision to come to St. Clair College at Ace Acumen. Our students are the reason we exist. To that end, we will continue to provide the quality education that is expected of us and has made St. Clair College a recognizable academic institution globally. Our ability to cover curriculum remains (as has always been the case) indisputable.
We very much look forward to seeing you in the hallways once again, when it is safe to do so. We enjoy the vibrance that our students bring to our campuses which truly defines who we are……………… Proud professionals creating the next generation of excellence.
Vice President, Academic
As we continue to navigate through these extraordinary times, I commend you for your perseverance as you’ve adapted to our on-line course delivery. I know it has certainly not been normal, and perhaps not ideal, but it was – truly – our only feasible option to provide you with any chance of completing the academic year in a timely manner. This was an important goal for all students and definitely a crucial one for our prospective 2020 graduates in their final year of study.
Nevertheless, we know that, for some of you, it’s been a case of “This isn’t what I signed up for”. In one way or another, the transition to on-line delivery has been technically unfeasible, excessively stressful and/or non-conducive to your learning style.
Those concerns have led us to develop some new flexibility in grading, outlined in a new policy entitled the “Course Credit and COVID-19 Protocol”. This new policy is attached to this communication.
Here’s how it works. For each course you took in Winter 2020, you will have the following four options:
- To accept the final course grade assigned by your professor upon the completion plan and a letter grade according to normal College procedures. This will either be as of April 17, 2020 or April 24, 2020.
- For those students passing as of March 13, 2020, select an Aegrotat grade “AEG” for your course by completing the attached form and forwarding it to the instructor of that course, by College email, no later than Monday, April 13, 2020 at 8:00 am. An AEG grade will function as a passing grade but will not be calculated in your grade point average. Grades as of March 13, 2020 will be posted in Blackboard no later than the end of business day on April 6, 2020.
- For students that do not have a passing grade as of March 13, 2020 and are ineligible for Aegrotat Standing and were unable to follow the completion plan due to medical, financial, technological or other extenuating circumstances can receive an I grade (In-Progress) until such time that the College can resume normal activities. At that time the student will be required to complete a single project or exam that will assess all outstanding outcomes.
- A student may voluntarily withdraw from their course without academic penalty or indication on their transcript, so long as final exams/final assessments have not been executed or submitted by the student. Please note that students who elect this option are to be aware of and review any potential implications to study permits and/or OSAP requirements. For inquiries related to your study permits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For inquiries related to OSAP requirements please contact email@example.com. If you voluntarily withdraw from your courses you may re-take your courses free-of-charge at a later date.
If you are a student enrolled in EAP, Dual Credit, SCWI or Apprenticeship programs, a separate communication will be forthcoming.
We are hopeful that the options in this new policy will address the concerns of those of you who have had some difficulties with the transition to the on-line delivery format. We hope its multi-faceted flexibility will allow almost all students to, in one manner or another, complete the academic year…or in the case of our final-year students, the completion of your education.
In addition to the above options, St. Clair College will be providing a modified virtual framework for Grade Appeals. Once complete this information will be available of the FAQ website.
On another topic, the need to drastically revamp the academic system so quickly meant that we are just, now, catching up on some other topics of concern to you – including the refunds for various operational service fees. My apologies for that. I hope you will appreciate, however, that our chief concern during the past few weeks has been ensuring the effectiveness of our continued academic service and the health and safety of our students, staff and our community.
The College will be processing an automatic refund of 40% of all ancillary fees, amounting to $262.50 per student, plus 100% refund of lockers and parking to those students that paid for those ancillary services for the Winter Semester.
It is, without a doubt, accurate to define you – the Saints of 2020 – as the most remarkable group of students in St. Clair’s 52-year history. You are in the midst of one of the most far-reaching and mind-boggling crises in recent global history … and will not only survive through it but excel during it … achieving your educational dreams during these uncertain times.
For those students who elect to voluntarily withdraw, please know that St. Clair College’s doors are always open. The College will work with you to achieve and complete your academic goals and pursuits.
As your President, as an educator, as a fellow human being, I am so immensely proud of each and every one of you.
Patti France, M.Ad.Ed.
Over the past week or so, you’ve received a number of messages from me, filled with official information and instructions about the College’s policies and plans to deal with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.
But, today, I just want to speak to you person-to-person, from the heart.
St. Clair has always prided itself on delivering an exceptional “real world” educational experience to its students, and that’s exactly what we were doing for the first three-quarters of this academic year.
During the past few weeks, however, the real world has become a surreal one – for all of us.
Believe me, I am just as astounded and taken aback as you must be at how rapidly and drastically this situation has evolved. Yes, the College had long-standing emergency plans in place for scenarios of this sort; and, yes, we’ve had to partially implement some elements of those plans in the past to cope with Y2K, SARS, MERS and H1N1. But those incidents pale in comparison to the unprecedented nature of this virus. Our role in responding to it has truly put us into uncharted territory. Not daily, but almost hourly, the College is receiving new recommendations and directives from local public health authorities, and the provincial and federal governments, as an attempt is made to stem the spread of this outbreak.
Throughout this process of crisis management, two considerations have dominated my thoughts:
First and foremost is the protection of the health and safety of St. Clair’s treasured students and the staff of Ace Acumen Academy. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than that; and,
Secondarily, if that collective health and safety can be reasonably and sufficiently assured, might it be possible to continue to deliver the education which our students deserve, and to complete the academic year in acceptable fashion?
Our virtual efforts to foster social-distancing – and, thus, reduce the transmission rate – was implemented as the chief measure to protect personal health and safety. I would like to also thank and congratulate you on your efforts of self-isolating and social distancing and in doing your part in preventing the spread of this virus.
In my mind, from the outset of this threat, the answer to the question about the possibility of concluding the academic year had to be “Yes”. We had to continue – one way or another – to make good on our promise, our “end of the bargain”: if a student enrols, we will strive to instill knowledge and skills, from the first day of classes to the last, from the first year to graduation.
Luckily, in a way, the scheduling of the necessary shut-down of the College meshed with our traditional March Break Week. That gave us five days to convert from in-class instruction to remote-access, video lecturing.
Many faculty and staff members customarily book vacation time during March Break, to spend time with their family. Given the alarming circumstances in which we find ourselves, they could not have been blamed if they had carried through with those scheduled holidays. But they didn’t. Faculty are working right now at the Ace Acumen Academy campuses, being familiarized with the hardware and software needed to deliver their curriculum in electronic fashion and recording some of their preliminary on-line lessons. Support Staff and Administration are also working to provide support services to the best of their abilities, and we are working together to ensure a positive outcome and a solid education from St. Clair College. My colleagues and their commitment to students have awed me every single day during my quarter-century-long career at the College, but never more so than during this crisis.To them… “Thank You” is insufficient, but you know what underlines it: my deepest gratitude and admiration for all you do.
Collectively, the family of Ace Acumen Academy employees is now re-emphasizing its dedication to you, the College’s students, because we wish to impress upon you that your educational goals and your career dreams are still very much achievable. The on-line delivery method may not be familiar, it may not even be ideal, but it will provide you with the semester-concluding knowledge and skills that you require. Given your commitment, I am confident that you will adapt to the new format, and conscientiously put in the work entailed in successfully wrapping up your studies.
Please review all of the assorted information at https://www.stclaircollege.ca/status/covid-19 (and its assorted sub-pages) for details about the revised curriculum delivery format, and the on- going availability of a number of student services. And, please, keep checking that website – and your email – for future messages from your professors and administration for very specific details about your courses.
Although, as I mentioned before, we are in somewhat uncharted territory, we do have a route laid out for our voyage. The final destination – the conclusion of this academic year; and, for some of you, your graduation – is in sight and within reach and we thank you for your patience at this time.
Together, overcoming the detours and obstacles created by this crisis, we shall reach that destination.
And, together, we shall celebrate brighter and happier days.
Cancellation of Placement Notice
March 19th, 2020
As part of the increased levels of containment protocols initiated by the Canadian Government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, St Clair College and Ace Acumen have decided to cancel all placements/clinicals effective immediately until further notice.
You may contact Gurkiran Kaur, Field Placement Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org in terms of keeping communication regarding the subsequent coursework required for Field Placement Seminar. Please continue to monitor your College email for any further developments.
The welfare and safety of our staff, students and community is of utmost importance.
Effective March 18th, 2020 Acumen Campuses will be closed for a two- week period, ending Friday April 3rd, 2020. The College has implemented a work-from-home strategy, with the exception of critical operations.
Our recently distributed academic and servicing plans, communicated on March 17th remains the same.
All face to face instruction will be moved to an online platform.
Student services such as Computer Lab access, Registration, Admissions, Counselling, Accessibility, Tutoring and Accommodations will be available virtually, by telephone or other technology, and will be provided by appointment only. Please call or email us if you require any of these services.
For Toronto Campus: 416-756-7227 ext 8 email@example.com
For Mississauga Campus: 416-756-7227 ext 9 firstname.lastname@example.org
We request that students, staff and the community continue to monitor our website for all COVID-19 updates as this is a rapidly evolving situation. “https://canadaacumen.ca/coronavirus-info/”
“To all Staff and Students:
At this time, the Windsor-Essex County/Chatham-Kent Health Units continue to report that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our local area, and that the overall risk remains low for local residents and our campus communities. We understand that there is significant concern now that the World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Colleges have engaged discussions with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities regarding next steps and we are continuing to follow the advice of our health professionals and are in collaboration with the other 23 Ontario colleges. Information is evolving quickly and College planning will react accordingly, placing the health and safety of our staff and students at the forefront.
St. Clair’s administration – in consultation with the provincial government – is developing plans for the possible suspension of on-campus classes. Special exceptions may be necessary for labs and clinical settings. Changes to placements will be communicated by your program Chair and/or Coordinator. St. Clair College is putting in place the necessary tools to enable additional online education to allow the majority of our courses to continue remotely.
More details about the specifics of on-line learning, on a course by course basis, will be forthcoming from School Chairs and individual professors. Look for those detailed messages next week (Break Week) as the current planning is put into practice.
In an attempt to limit the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a means of protecting both its students and staff, St. Clair College will implement these measures as of March 23, 2020 (when classes were set to resume after the March Break week).
St. Clair College has developed an FAQ site to disseminate information which can be found on our website at www.stclaircollege.ca/health-centre/coronavirus/faq.
Students departing for March Break: As you depart the College on Friday, March 13, it is important that you take all of your textbooks, notebooks and other learning materials home with you, so that you have all required resources at-hand when the on-line delivery is launched on March 23.
A special message to international students: The College is communicating regularly with both provincial and federal officials to advocate that this interruption of the academic year will not adversely affect the status of visas. Updates on this topic will be provided by the College via its main website, and some may be sent directly to international students via email.
St. Clair College, as always, is committed to the well-being of the communities of Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent. It is in that spirit that it is implementing these measures to keep students, staff and citizens safe and healthy.
The health of our students and staff is of paramount concern to the College. In this time of uncertainty, this alternative educational format is the best way of safeguarding that. We encourage you to check the website frequently as information is developing quickly and the College’s position may change. We look forward to a time in the not-too-distant future when we may all gather again, in person, to collectively pursue educational excellence.”
On March 11th the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
We want to assure our staff and students that St. Clair College at Ace Acumen is taking steps to prevent and to prepare for local cases. While the risk level at this time is considered low to medium in Canada, it is important to monitor the evolving situation, understand preventative measures and be prepared. It is important to remember that currently there are no local cases.
The College continues to remind staff and students to wash your hands often, cough into your sleeve, refrain from touching your face and practice social distancing, which means limiting public interactions. This will help to support your health and safety and that of those around you.
We are working with Public Health Units and local agencies to ensure that you have accurate information. It is their mandate to keep us informed of active cases in Canada and around the world.
To date, St. Clair College at Ace Acumen has:
- Increased touch-point cleaning at all campuses.
- Continued to re-implement posters in all washrooms regarding hand washing.
- Updated our website.
- Added additional hand sanitizer machines at all campuses and continue to monitor and replenish sanitizer equipment as required.
- Instituted risk assessment protocol and mitigation measures with respect to travel and events.
St. Clair College at Ace Acumen Expectations:
- We ask that everyone monitor themselves for symptoms if you travel to affected cities/countries. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty Breathing
If you have symptoms, self-isolate and call your local Public Health Unit (Toronto Hotline: 416-338-7600) or Tele-Health Ontario (1-866-797-0000). If symptoms are serious in nature, call 911 and alert them to your recent travel/contact and symptoms. They will provide direction.
- We are encouraging staff and students to stay home if you have active symptoms of a cough or flu and have travel or contact history that meets the guidelines. If you think that you may have contracted Covid-19, stay home and call the Public Health Unit or Tele-Health as above.
- St. Clair College at Ace Acumen is still encouraging individuals to get a flu shot to protect against serious influenza illness.
Also, with the upcoming March Break, we are requesting all staff and students to fill out our questionnaires if you are scheduled to travel outside of Ontario.
This is a mandatory requirement for those travelling to:
China, Iran, Northern Italy, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Germany and Spain.
Currently, cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ontario continue to rise. We encourage our staff and students to treat each other with respect and to avoid making judgments during times of fear and uncertainty.
St. Clair College at Ace Acumen Academy is committed to ensuring its staff and students are equipped with the latest information provided by our health organizations. Updates and notices regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and local impacts will be posted on the college web page.
Colleges were involved in a call with the Ministry of Health on January 28, 2020. It was communicated that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus is not a pandemic; it is an evolving International health issue that they continue to monitor. St. Clair College is working closely with local Public Health Agencies for direction on protocols required to address the coronavirus if action becomes necessary.
Below is a communication from Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities that all students and staff are encourage to read. Accessing the correct information is very important and the government has set up a web site (link below) to ensure that this information is available to you.
Ontario Government Protecting Students from Emerging Issue of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus
TORONTO — Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities issued the following joint statement on the province’s ongoing response to the emerging issue of the 2019 novel coronavirus:
“The health and well-being of Ontarians, including our postsecondary students and faculty from Canada and abroad, is our number one priority. Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, are in regular contact with leaders in the education field informing them of the province’s extensive protocols to monitor, detect and contain any cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Most recently, Dr. Williams and Dr. Yaffe led briefings this week with leaders from Ontario’s colleges and universities to provide the most up-to-date information.
Ontario is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and local public health units to continue to actively monitor and respond to this emerging situation.
Existing protocols have been strengthened surrounding the identification and control of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Ontario. Everyone should take comfort in knowing that our skilled health care providers are bringing their considerable experience to effectively monitor and respond to any reported cases, including the two confirmed cases in Toronto.
To students who may be concerned about false information circulating online, the province has put in place new and trusted resources for you to stay informed, including a dedicated web page on the 2019 novel coronavirus.
We want to assure everyone that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities are working in cooperation with our partners in both the health care and postsecondary sectors to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our college and university communities.”
To help educate Ontarians about the 2019 novel coronavirus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they may be at risk, the province has launched a dedicated web page. There will also be regular updates provided to the media and key stakeholders to ensure the public is fully informed.