Fall semester will be different

Graphic by Hillary Leung

As we all adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, UW has made the Fall 2020 semester with mixed remote and in-person learning. 

On Friday, May 27, 2020, UW released its academic plan for the fall term.  

In the announcement, UW addresses concerns of all new and returning students. 

The plan consists of a combination of real-time activities like meetings and lectures via remote learning, as well as select in-person classes. 

UW will be offering a full suite of courses, information can be found on the undergraduate calendar.

The UW website provides more information on which courses will be online

Students can find information regarding their program under the applicable faculty. 

For example, some engineering classes will be in person, while all AHS classes will be offered online. 

Information for students in the co-op program was also released, updating them on modifications made to the co-op processes and requirements-to help students meet their degree requirements. Some new modifications include more flexible co-op plans and a reduction in the number of work terms.

UW urges students to contact their co-op advisor as well as referring to the UW website for further clarification. 

Information about examinations has not been released.

Along with the academic plan for the fall term, the announcement also includes information on tuition and incidental fees. 

UW will not be reducing tuition, however,  working alongside the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA), some incidental fees may not be charged. 

This includes the Grand River Transit UPass, fees for events, social clubs and fees for athletic and recreation amenities. 

Fees will be charged for services that support the learning and well-being of students, such as the health and dental plan and WUSA core services. 

While we support following the advice and expertise of public health officials, we want to ensure high-quality education and best practices in the assessment are put second, only to our students’ safety,” the WUSA executive team said.

“We remain committed to advocating for safe, affordable, and high-quality education, and will continue to support students with online services and resources, transitioning them back to campus when permitted,” 

According to UW, plans for first-year orientation as well as Frosh, or O-Week are in motion. The university has launched an initiative for first year’s students.

The University has launched a new welcome initiative for first-year students called Waterloo Ready. This site has lots of resources and information for incoming students including how to virtually connect with their peers and navigate the path to becoming a Waterloo Warrior,” Rebecca Elming, a representative of UW said. 

As the school continues to confirm more details, many students have expressed their thoughts on the new plan and on how this will impact their studies going forward.

Students mentioned in this article did not want their names disclosed. 

“I don’t really know how this will all pan out, I’m mostly concerned about the quality of learning that [we] will be receiving online vs in-person as well as how the school plans to support its co-op students,” an AHS student said. 

“I’m really worried about how this will impact my learning, especially with labs not being offered in person or online. I’m also concerned about the quality of learning I’ll be getting, the amount of money I will be paying,” another AHS student said. 

“I honestly don’t mind online classes! So far I’ve had a great experience as all my professors’ record lectures and I can easily re-watch them as much as I want,” an Arts student told Imprint. 

While the university prepares to open for another term of learning, it leaves students worrying about their academic future, however, UW said it remains committed to keeping its students safe as well as delivering quality learning, be it online or in-person.