Now that the fall semester is being conducted remotely, should I move to Fredericton?
This is a decision that every student has to make based on their personal circumstances. Please read the Message to Students from President Russell so that you understand how the semester will operate.
It is not necessary for students to come to Fredericton. All course-based requirements and student supports will be offered remotely. However, students with limited internet access at home or those who want to take advantage of study spaces on campus, may decide to move to Fredericton. That is a personal decision and must be made by students and their families.
Based on the public health situation, it is not possible to safely conduct classes and campus life in person, and so for the fall semester we have improved remote-course delivery strengthened by opportunities for engagement. Courses will be delivered in such a way that students interact with the course material, professors, and each other remotely and on a flexible basis. We are making new investments in course delivery technology and we are organizing remote academic and student supports.
In addition, we are assigning a classroom to each course so that professors may conduct acceptable small group activities in person, if they choose to do so. These sessions will not be mandatory so that students who are unable to attend will not be disadvantaged. Students will also have the opportunity for limited on-campus access and our residences and dining options will be available but these will be in a restricted manner. Given that activities must comply with public health requirements, our campus life in the fall will be limited. Every student should consider these factors when making their decision.
When will I find out exactly what my course is like in terms of delivery and expectations?
You will be able to access your course syllabus on the first day of class (at the latest) on Moodle. Your course syllabus will include the details and expectations. You are encouraged to discuss any concerns that you may have with your professor. Keep in mind that you are able to change/add first-semester and full-year courses until Sept. 18, and you are able to withdraw from first-semester courses without academic penalty up until Oct. 30.
Will Pass/Fail grading be an option?
No. The Pass/Fail grading option was offered for the Winter 2020 term due to the disruption to the term and the termination of in-person and exams. The Fall 2020 term will be pre-designed for remote delivery and course expectations will be outlined for this approach.
Will professors have office hours?
Professor-student interactions will be part of course design for the fall semester, whether students are in Fredericton or engaging in a fully remote capacity. Limited in-person opportunities will be available; however, students who will not be on campus or in Fredericton will not be disadvantaged. The asynchronous approach to course delivery was chosen since it is the most equitable and accessible solution in terms of offering students the ability to interact with course material, the instructor, and each other on a flexible basis.
What does asynchronous mean?
Asynchronous course delivery allows for more flexibility in teaching and learning. Under the synchronous approach, faculty and students meet at the same time, in the same format 2-3 times a week. An asynchronous model allows you to access and satisfy course requirements within flexible timeframes. It allows professors to deliver course material around principles of accessibility, limited technology, and scheduling challenges (care-giving, jobs or time-zones). It does not mean self-paced. For example, video lectures may be available for a pre-determined amount of time, assignments will have deadlines, and you may have a timeframe to complete a quiz. This approach simply provides a more flexible environment in which students can interact with course material, lending itself better to setting students up for success considering the varying individual circumstances that come with remote learning.
Individual courses may be able to operate differently. Some elements may work in cases where professors and students are all able to meet online at the same time or some faculty may be able to meet in-person with small groups of students for mentoring or hands-on demonstrations within the confines of public health requirements. That is why we will be assigning a classroom on campus to each course so that professors may conduct small group activities if they choose to do so. Please keep in mind that in person sessions are not mandatory. Students who can’t participate will not be disadvantaged.
If my course requires practical elements or equipment how can it be taught remotely?
These courses are currently exploring their capacity to deliver their course content through remote learning. Synchronized or in-person elements may be required in these courses. We will do our best to provide specifics for students enrolled in these courses before the beginning of the academic year.
What if I don’t have access to the Internet?
The current approach does mean that students will have access to Wi-Fi and Internet in the university’s campus spaces, including the Dr. Daniel O’Brien Study Hall, Sir James Dunn Hall, and the Great Hall. The Computer Lab in Sir James Dunn Hall will be open to students. These spaces will be subject to physical distancing rules and will be set up accordingly for the safety of all students.
What if I have trouble accessing Moodle, Teams, or software used to deliver courses?
In the coming weeks, we will be providing students with resources on the new technologies. As well, STU Information Technology Services will be available to all students by email to troubleshoot any issues that arise.
How will I get the books necessary for my courses if I’m not in Fredericton?
The Bookstore is fully operational online at www.unbshop.ca where students can either shop by their student ID# or by course. Books can be shipped to your homes by Purolator, so delivery is very quick (1-2 days in NB and 3-4 for the rest of Canada). Books can also be delivered to other countries by the same courier.
Will I still be able to rent my textbooks?
Yes, you will still be able to rent your textbooks through the UNB Bookstore, in much the same way as before. The logistics of delivery and return will be clearly communicated by the Bookstore when the program re-launches.
What does this mean for courses I am taking at UNB?
If you are enrolled in a course offered at the University of New Brunswick, you will be required to engage in that class as defined by that university.
Will I be able to access the library? What if I need a book/resource and I am not in Fredericton?
The Harriet Irving Library will be open, but with limited capacity in accordance with public health guidelines. Online resources will be available to students through the library website. Please see https://lib.unb.ca/.
Will there be a discount on tuition?
No. Many factors determine tuition fees. These include the need to maintain the quality of education, the cost of programs, fixed costs and annual inflationary pressures, and the financial support provided to students in the form of scholarships, bursaries and other awards. Offering quality courses remotely is expensive and the University has made a substantial financial investment in technological upgrades to offer students a high quality education in the fall. As well, comparisons show that last year STU had the fourth lowest domestic tuition and fifth lowest international tuition among 14 universities in the region. By paying tuition, students are paying for an academic credential (degree) and the courses that make up that degree.
Is the scholarship that I was offered by the university at risk?
How do I pay tuition if I am not going to be on campus?
The Financial Services Office accepts e-transfer payments and will be available to take payments and make other arrangements related to financial services by phone. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 506-452-7703 or 452-0544. For students on student loans, payments will be automatically paid electronically to STU.
Will there be a discount on fees if I’m not in Fredericton?
No. The fees are for different purposes and even different organizations. Some fees are for services provided by the Students’ Union or for access to services they have negotiated for students (ie., Bus Pass, Student Union Fee, Media Fee, Dental Plan, Health Plan, and Mental Health Fee). Many of these services are still being offered and are available for things like prescription drugs and dental care. The Students’ Union will continue to offer services for students through methods that adhere to the guidelines set out by Public Heath. The remaining fees are not user fees but are fees collected to help defray specific costs such as physical infrastructure.
Will parking passes still be required even though I won’t be on campus every day?
If you are parking on campus, you will need a pass.
I’m going into my first year at STU. How can I be part of the community?
We will be offering a First-Year Experience program to help you transition into life at STU. This interactive program will support you socially and academically as you begin your first year. More details related to this program will be released in the coming weeks leading up to Welcome Week.
What does this mean for Welcome Week and Academic Transition Day?
The Welcome Week and Student Services teams are currently working to move to an online, blended delivery of Welcome Week that considers the diversity of student experiences that will exist this fall. If you are an incoming first-year student, you will receive regular updates regarding Welcome Week via email.
Additionally, there will be an online First-Year Student Orientation that will open mid to late August that will help you get ready for starting your first year at STU. When we are able to safely resume more regular, in-person delivery, we will explore options for events that help welcome you “to campus” and mark this milestone for you and your fellow first-year students.
Can I still live in residence?
Our residences will be available for those requiring accommodations, and dining options will be available. Both will operate in a limited and restricted manner. Students who have applied to live in residence will receive information via email from Residence Life this week.
Will the dining halls, Tim’s, Subway, and Java Moose in the Great Hall be open?
Dining options will be available, though the specific locations, delivery and hours have yet to be determined. We will need to better understand occupancy levels before setting out a clear plan and we are working with Aramark on that issue. Tim Horton’s will be open, while Java Moose in the Great Hall and Subway in JDH will not be open for the Fall 2020 term.
Will the clubs and societies still be active?
Yes. Clubs and societies that are able to and wish to continue in a remote/online format are able to do so. The university will work with the Students’ Union to help promote and support these clubs in their alternative forms. Please watch for more information as the fall semester gets closer.
Will there be varsity athletics at STU this year?
The AUS and ACAA have announced that considering the health and safety of athletes, coaches and athletics staff, they are cancelling fall semester sports (for STU – soccer, rugby, and cross country). A decision on the winter sports (for STU – basketball, volleyball, hockey) will come later as we consult with public health authorities. Pending a decision, winter sports could see a January 2021 start to a condensed season.
Will internships and other experiential learning opportunities still be available?
Yes, the Office of Experiential and Community-Based Learning will continue to offer their services to students. This will be available to students remotely and in person and will vary in delivery on a case-by-case basis. Please continue to check STU.ca/EL for updates on opportunities.
Will there still be on-campus jobs available for students?
Yes, there will be a limited number of campus jobs available for students. Please continue to check the Student Job Board at STU.ca/studentemployment