With class back in session at Capilano University, most students are attending lectures and seminars virtually.
“We have moved into a shift to more… online learning for this point in time – the first couple of weeks of the term – as we continue to see how our current Omicron reality plays out,” said Laureen Styles, CapU vice-president academic. “We're anticipating that there may be substantive illness in the university community.”
Already, the university had delayed the start of the spring semester to allow for more time to plan around the rapidly changing Omicron wave of COVID-19. The move is in effect at all three of the university's campuses – North Vancouver, CapU Lonsdale and kálax-ay (Sunshine Coast).
The school had shifted to a hybrid approach at the start of the fall semester, with about 30 per cent of classes being taught online. Now that number will be closer to 70 per cent. Styles said students who need to use specific equipment or computers, like in the film, animation or science labs, will be on campus.
The administration has already changed the add/drop and course withdrawal dates to help accommodate students, and Styles said there are ongoing meetings with the Capilano Faculty Association, Capilano Students’ Union and campus staff on further changes.
Since last fall, students and staff have been asked to self-declare their vaccination status to be on campus.
“We've got to get a fairly high vaccination rate, I would say, consistent with post-secondary environments, generally,” Styles said.
The university had been pursuing plans for the return vaccination clinics on campus but Vancouver Coastal Health has since told administrators their resources will be prioritized for mass vaccination clinics now giving out booster doses.