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Preparing for Winter Term 2022: Important deadlines, action items and information

A photo of a Toronto streetcar on a busy street and snowy day.

OCAD University is very excited about a greater return to our normal studio-based classroom learning experience with the start of Winter term classes, which begin on Friday, January 7, 2022. This return has been facilitated by our successful strategies to take layered approaches to safety combined with the ongoing good news about how Ontario is containing its community spread. As such, earlier in October President Serrano announced in-person courses will return to their normal classroom capacities. 

As scheduled, fifty-six (56) per cent of our classes will run in-person this winter, continuing our gradual return to OCAD U’s studio-based learning experience. For these courses, there are some important changes you must be aware of, and actions you may need to take.  

Instruction will return to the classroom
Undergraduate and graduate in-person courses will return as fully in-person, with course instruction taking place in the studio or classroom. Exceptions may be required when an instructor is feeling unwell and cannot teach in person that day. 

The Office of the Registrar is working to adjust the course delivery information for all in-person Winter 2022 courses (Specialized Space Booking and Classes with a Scheduled Room) in the catalogue to reflect their change to fully in-person delivery. Watch for changes to classroom assignments, and for contingency information such as ‘Teams ONL’ designations to be removed. There may be a few cases where the format of delivery of a course changes to Hybrid. This will accommodate both remote and in-person students and if you are affected, you will be notified directly.

Existing remote and hybrid courses continue to be offered in these formats, as already listed in the course catalogue.

Provide your proof of vaccination by Nov. 14 to keep your spot in an in-person course
For those of you who have already submitted your proof of vaccination – thank you for doing so. All members of the OCAD U community are asked to submit their proof of vaccination now using the OCAD U Safe app or the alternative web page (please login with your OCAD U credentials) regardless of whether you see yourself on the campus or not. 

If you are enrolled in in-person courses for the Winter 2022 term, you must submit your proof of vaccination by November 14 at 11:59 p.m. to keep your place in these courses. 

You are required to drop in-person courses if you cannot attend the campus
All students enrolled in in-person courses this Winter are expected to attend campus to complete these courses. If you cannot be on campus, you are required to drop in-person courses and take remote courses. 

Special arrangements for remote students
We understand that some students may have made arrangements with instructors to take Winter 2022 in-person courses remotely, even though the course had in-person requirements. Unfortunately, we can no longer support such arrangements, for the most part. OCAD U is shifting to providing in-person experiences for the majority of students who relocated to Toronto, especially now that the public health measures and conditions are in place to allow for fully in-person classes.

If you find yourself in this situation, you are advised to adjust your course enrollment by dropping in-person courses and enrolling in remote courses. If this impacts your ability to progress through your studies or to graduate in Spring 2022, complete this form, submitting your information to the Office of the Registrar, no later than November 14, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Completing this form does not guarantee that you will be able to complete in-person courses remotely.

Watch the course catalogue for changes in course availability
We anticipate shifting of course registrations because of these changes. If you have not been able to get an in-person course or you are looking for a space in a remote course, please check the catalogue frequently for new availability. If you are on a waitlist, watch for notifications. 

Faculty who are teaching in person this winter: your proof of vaccination is due November 14 at 11:59 p.m.
The University’s Vaccination Policy requires all faculty members to submit proof of being fully vaccinated or have received an authorized exemption and are participating in the rapid antigen screening program. This requirement applies to all employees, regardless of any remote work arrangements.

For those of you who have already submitted your proof of vaccination – thank you for doing so.

However, if you are teaching an in-person course in the Winter 2022 term, and have not provided your proof of vaccination, you must submit this proof by November 14 using the OCAD U Safe app or the alternative web page (please login with your OCAD U credentials).

Please contact Shazia Hussain, Employee Wellness & Equity Advisor in Human Resources, ( as soon as possible if you have any questions. As previously communicated, Shazia is also the point of contact with respect to any exemption and/or accommodation needs. 

Voluntary rapid antigen screening is now available; priority for faculty teaching in person 
We are pleased to open the rapid antigen screening program to fully vaccinated employees interested in opting into the program. We are prioritizing access for faculty who are teaching in person. This extra layer of asymptomatic screening may be of interest to employees who are working in closer contact with others where physical distancing is not possible or required, such as in instructional spaces. All employees who opt-in must complete the 12-week program. Read more about OCAD U’s rapid antigen screening program.

We want to remind our community that remote learning has been a temporary response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure continuity of teaching and learning. Over time, the University expects to return to a primarily in-person learning experience. The University does not guarantee students will be able to complete their programs of study by taking only online (remote) courses. 

While many students have appreciated the flexibility and enhanced accessibility of online learning, we know from our surveys that many students also reported challenges to mental health, physical health, and making connections with peers and instructors. 

We look forward to having even more of you back on campus this winter, in support of achieving your best possible learning experience.


Take care,
Deanne Fisher
Chair, Fall Experience Group
Vice-Provost, Students & International