Guidelines for Hanson’s Continuity of Education Plan
- Follow federal, provincial, and municipal government and public health directives
- Rely on up-to-date data, evidence, and facts
- Remain flexible, gradual, and not date specific
- Mitigate risk
- Protect people – students, faculty, staff, and partners
- Be customized by program and department as required
- Consider any Hanson-specific circumstances
- Communicate frequently and clearly through multi-channel platforms
Ontario and post-secondary education system are beginning to emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. Since it was first declared in March of 2020, the pandemic has completely changed how the country and Hanson College of Business, Health & Technology (‘Hanson’) function.
Through more than a year of strict public safety measures and a vigorous vaccination campaign, we are now in the position to increase in-person on-campus activities.
This Continuity of Education Plan will guide Hanson’s community in that process. The safety of our employees, students, and campus visitors will be top-priority, as we achieve the other main objective of this plan – ensuring as little disruption as possible in the education we provide to our students. We have proven this is possible as we have navigated successfully through the previous 18 months.
We will take an evidenced-based, best-practice approach to support the continuity of our academic operations, following all government and public health recommendations and requirements. The Government of Ontario’s current Roadmap to Re-open, and local Public Health directives will serve as cornerstone guidelines to ensure we remain on-track.
Factors Influencing Return On-Campus or Decisions to Regress to Remote Operations
- Multi-level government and public health data
- Alignment with Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen Reopening Ontario | Ontario.ca and updates from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding:
- Any future directions of government and or local public health authorities
- Health care system capacity
- Incidence tracking capacity
- Assessment of risk
- Public gatherings
- Physical distancing
- Alignment with Hanson’s capacity regarding:
- Establishment of preventative measures
- Education and engagement of all Hanson stakeholders
- Hanson-specific implications
Transitioning Back to Campus: Fall 2021 Semester (September-December)
Retain online model of programs delivery. Resume partial on-campus activity (student supports, student life, other office functions) with further reduction in controls
- Continuation of the remote delivery model for academic programing.
- Resume providing student support services by appointment only.
- Screening for COVID symptoms as a condition of access to campus, using appropriate signage posted at entrances and the online screening tool (Work and Employee version) provided by the Government of Ontario.
- Masks are required in all indoor areas and where distancing is not possible.
- Vaccination is encouraged. Effective September 7, 2021, full vaccination is required to access campus. Up to October 15, proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test taken within the previous 7 days is accepted as an alternative to full vaccination in order to access the campus.
- Increase of in-person on-campus recruiting events.
- Resumption of student events with attendance limits considered when appropriate and in accordance with government and public health requirements and recommendations.
- Continuation of remote work and onsite work rotations as required and as appropriate.
- Exploration of pilot projects regarding ongoing remote work arrangements.
A New Benchmark: Winter 2022 Semester (January-April)
Return to a more traditional (pre-COVID-19) campus experience, but modified to maintain communicable disease prevention and control best practices on an ongoing basis as required
- Open access to campus for all employees, students, visitors and continue screening for COVID symptoms, using the Government of Ontario online screening tool (Work and Employee version) and appropriate on-campus signage.
- Full vaccination with an approved vaccine or an approved exemption are required to access campuses.
- Continuation of infection-control best practices as required or recommended by government and public health authorities (for example, mandatory wearing of face masks in common and shared spaces).
- Adopt a Blended Learning Model for academic programming.
- Adopt a Hybrid Model, in-person learning leveraging video-conferencing tools to support flexibility and access for students in an asynchronous fashion. This ensures that students who may feel symptoms have the option to safely access classes from a remote location.
- Resumption of all practical and Lab delivery.
- Resumption of placement/ co-op delivery with continued capstone option.
- Resumption of campus life and student events following government and public health requirements and recommendations.
- Implementation of ongoing remote work arrangements, and flexible, hybrid delivery of academic programming and student services.
Responding to Future Outbreaks of COVID-19 or Other Disruptions of In-Class Teaching and Learning
It is quite possible that additional outbreaks of COVID-19 will present themselves in Canada, Ontario, and the community of Greater Toronto Area.
If and when this happens, Hanson must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to safeguard the health and safety of employees and students, mitigate risks against the further spread of COVID-19 (particularly on campus), and prevent as much as possible the disruption of studies for students.
The potential pullback of campus activities and services will depend on the severity of the COVID-19 situation at the time, and whatever requirements and recommendations are prescribed by the various levels of government and local public health authorities.
It is highly doubtful the campus will again be completely shut down, with no on-campus academic activity, as was the case at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hanson has demonstrated its ability to maintain a level of academic activity on campus by putting in place the proper procedures and protocols to allow campus to remain open for necessary on-site, hands-on learning (labs), support virtual delivery of theory, and progress learners through work integrated learning requirements of their programs.
Therefore, in the event of future waves of COVID-19, on-campus activity may be curtailed, but not completely cancelled.
Pulling Back On-Campus Activity as a Result of a New Wave of COVID-19
In the event of future COVID outbreaks Hanson understands the importance of ensuring that students have the opportunity to maintain and develop skills while away from customary on-campus environment. Hanson is dedicated and prepared to continue providing students with a quality education whether on campus delivery or remote delivery.
Hanson will maintain remote academic programing while scaling back on-campus services to a level deemed safe and appropriate with as little disruption and possible.
- Controlled access to campus, with re-introduction of active screening at designated entrances. Access to campus granted only to students and employees who must be on-site to support necessary hands-on learning (government permitted).
- Revert to appropriate level of online delivery through our Learning Management System and through usage of communication platforms such as Zoom and Teams.
- Employ a variety of activities and assessments that gauge student understanding.
- Provide multiple opportunities for online learning activities such as quizzes, discussion forums, case studies, student-centered review sessions, videos, course-related games, live online surveys, polls, and gamification.
- Leverage simulation labs to support skill and task development and competency assessment for our Tech–based programs.
- Continue to offer Capstone projects to support programs with work-integrated learning in final semesters.
- Follow existing E-Learning Policy Framework to ensure standardization and control.
- Ensure student participation and regular attendance through completion of weekly learning activities.
- Continue to offer remote consultation times for teachers and students to connect.
- Continuously empower students with positive reinforcement and constructive feedback.
COVID-19 Emergency Procedure and Resources
In the event there is a significant COVID event on campus that disrupts regular operations (i.e., class cancellations and other on-campus events or services), the College will:
- Convene a quick, virtual, or face-to-face meetings of its Re-Opening Committee to assess the situation and put in place necessary measures.
- Provide any necessary updates to employees and students as quickly as possible using platforms such as all-staff/all-student distribution emails, CampusLogin, Schoology, the college website, and social media. Updates will be provided as required until the resumption of regular campus operations. A college official will be made available to field any inquiries from the media.
- Provide any necessary updates to community partners who may be impacted by the emergency (for example, public health/health care, emergency services, public transit).
Hanson Health and Safety Protocols
Regardless of where we find ourselves as it relates to COVID-19, we want to ensure employees and students are kept well-informed at every step. All new developments regarding COVID-19 measures at Hanson will be communicated to members of the college community in several ways:
- All-staff emails
- All-student emails/posts on CampusLogin and Schoology
- Social media posts
If students have questions about their individual courses or programs, they should contact their faculty members, Academic Advisors, or Academic Managers.
In the event of a COVID-related emergency situation on campus, employees and students should call Front Desk right away (dial 416-977-8188, ext. 1 when calling from an external phone, including cell phones).
Employees and students should also call 911 if the situation is life-threatening.
We also want employees and students to be aware of the latest developments as they relate to government and public health requirements, recommendations, and available supports. They can be found on the official government and public health websites:
Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/covid
Toronto Public Health: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/
Peel Region: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/
Employees can access the services of our Employee Assistance Program by visiting: login.lifeworks.com
Protect Your Health
COVID-safe: everywhere, all the time. We encourage all our employees and students to take measures to protect their personal health when it comes to COVID-19:
- Be vaccinated for COVID-19. For more information on vaccination clinics in the City of Toronto, visit: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/. For vaccination clinics in the Peel Region, visit: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/book-appointment/. For vaccination clinics elsewhere in Canada, visit canada.ca/coronavirus .
- Monitor your health daily for any COVID-related symptoms, ontario.ca/covid.
- Stay home if you are not feeling well and consider being tested for COVID-19.
- As much as possible, avoid other people when you are sick, and avoid sick people if you can.
- Follow all COVID-19 infection control best practices, ontario.ca/covid.
- Wear a face covering in public spaces, and maintain physical distancing as much as possible, even if you have been vaccinated.
- If the symptoms are severe (severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, feeling confused or unsure of where you are, losing consciousness), call 911 or contact Front Desk (416-977-8188, ext. 1 for external phones)
- If the symptoms are not severe, stop what you are doing, and go home immediately, avoiding other people as much as possible, including avoiding public transportation (transit bus), if possible.
- Isolate yourself. If you live with other people, avoid them as much as possible.
- Take a self-assessment of your symptoms, and follow the recommendations provided. You can find the online screening tool at www.ontario.ca/covid.
- Arrange for a COVID-19 test by contacting the Government of Ontario (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations)
- Let your Faculty/Academic Advisor/Academic Manager/Direct Supervisor know you are self-isolating. They can provide you with additional support and assistance
- Follow all guidance given to you by public health authorities and college officials.
We also encourage you to update your staff and student profiles to include your emergency contact information (who Hanson would call on your behalf in the event of an emergency).
Thank you for taking the time to read our Hanson Continuity of Education Plan. We will do everything in our power to ensure employees and students have a safe place in which to work and learn, and that there is as little disruption as possible to the learning experience and campus life.