Trent Forward Plan Continues to Progress with Summer Pilot Projects, Listing of Fall/Winter Courses and Opening of Research Labs
With this week’s welcome news that Durham has now joined Peterborough among the regions entering phase 2 of Ontario’s reopening process, the University is providing an update on the implementation of the Trent Forward plan.
Summer Pilot Projects
The Ontario government recently announced a summer 2020 pilot project as a first step in the post-secondary education sector reopening. As part of this program, Trent is planning for a small number of in-person classes at each campus, focused on small group, hands-on learning. This will provide the University an opportunity to introduce new health and safety measures in a gradual way, learning and adapting as we prepare for further reopening.
In the coming days, Trent will post a list of undergraduate and graduate courses for fall/winter and in what format they will be delivered. A small number of courses, mostly in professional programs with accredited placement requirements, labs in the natural sciences and smaller classes/workshops/seminars, will offer in-person learning. However, to accommodate the needed physical distancing and other issues related to the pandemic, most courses will be online (fully developed as an online course) or remote (which is delivered over the internet and may include virtual face-to-face interactions with the instructor and fellow students).
Research labs reopen
After a review of research that met the criteria for early return, today there are 24 research labs open on the Symons Campus and two on the Durham Campus with a variety of new work practices in place to prevent the potential transmission of COVID-19.
Many departments have been thinking about and planning for their return to campus. Despite tremendous progress and the easing of restrictions, the province continues to encourage people to work from home as much as possible to limit potential spread of COVID-19. However, with the need for some faculty, staff and students to come to the campus for summer pilots, internet access and study spaces, and to prepare for the fall term, the University has initiated a return-to-campus process and working group. This group will provide planning guidance and materials for departments, services and programs that meet phase 2 and 3 criteria in the Trent Forward plan. Plans will include new health and safety measures, protective barriers and signage, cleaning, mask or PPE needs, and provide information necessary to ensure availability and coordination of shared spaces and centralized support resources. Approval of departmental plans and implementation of the health and safety measures, including completion of the education module, is required before staff, faculty or students return to campus.
Health and Safety education module
Keeping employees, students and visitors safe as the University implements a phased reopening plan is a top priority. The University is developing a detailed education module for staff and faculty that will be available by the end of June (a student specific version is also underway). Completing this module will be mandatory before returning to the campus.
The use of Gzowski College by PRHC frontline healthcare workers has been an overwhelming success. Since Trent and PRHC announced the partnership (an Ontario university first!) at the end of March, several dozen frontline staff have accessed accommodations at Gzowski College to maintain the safety of their families or as a place of rest while their children were home during the day. The University has received numerous messages of gratitude for the accommodations Trent was able to provide.
With PRHC announcing no patients with COVID-19 in the hospital and a steady decline in the number of active cases in our region, planning is well underway to ensure the safe and smooth transition of Gzowski College back into student residences for the fall term.
New Trent Forward site and resources
The Trent Forward website continues to evolve. Continue to check the site regularly for updates.
Posted on June 18, 2020