Tyndale students, faculty and staff are remarkable. They have demonstrated faith, hard work, resilience and more as they have been faced with disruption to work, home and family life. It has now been several weeks since Tyndale closed the campus and moved to an essential services model. Students have completed the Winter semester. Spring & Summer Courses are now underway.
The latest announcements from the Provincial government point to a slow reopening of businesses and provide hope that things will begin to feel more normal, and even more so over time. There remains considerable uncertainty about when universities will be permitted to gather in-person and, if so, under what guidelines and restrictions.
There is not yet enough information to make a formal announcement concerning course delivery for the Fall. Tyndale will be ready to deliver its programs whatever the circumstances. Tyndale’s senior leadership team are monitoring the situation closely and taking advice from all the relevant sources and government agencies. Planning for in-person, online and multi-access models are being considered.
One of the ways students describe Tyndale – with an amazing amount of consistency – is the community. If universities and seminaries are restricted from meeting in-person in the fall, Tyndale has a well-established track-record of creating community using online and livestream delivery methods. Students who have completed a Tyndale online course are enthusiastic about the outstanding learning platform and community it provides. To assist students who have not experienced a Tyndale online course, a “sampler” will be available by the end of the month to explore.
For a number of years Tyndale has offered online courses. In fact, students can complete an entire graduate degree without ever setting foot on campus. Library resources and other academic supports are available online. For Tyndale, shifting courses to online delivery would not simply be a reaction to the times we find ourselves in. It is well poised to not only continue to provide courses, but is very prepared to do it exceptionally well online.
The Federal government has announced significant funding for students. There is funding for students who are unable to find work, increased grant funding, increased loan limits and an easing of the eligibility criteria which will increase access for students. Tyndale’s financialaid [at] tyndale [dot] ca (Student Financial Services Department) is available to assist students in understanding the new options available.
Tyndale has implemented plans that will enable it to emerge from the pandemic as strong as possible, focused on its unique educational mission. This includes temporary suspension of new employment hiring, deferral of non-essential operating expenses and several temporary staff layoffs.
Temporarily reducing staff levels to meet current operational needs is a necessary and difficult decision at this time. Tyndale delayed these layoffs as long as possible as it investigated its eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). These difficult decisions include a combination of roles that cannot be completed remotely and making necessary decisions to reduce costs.
There is no clear path to follow as this pandemic continues to unfold. Tyndale’s ability to respond to this challenge these past few weeks has demonstrated resilience and creativity, and points to an ability to continue to respond in the weeks ahead. We are in this together with prayer and a deep commitment to the educational mission we have been given more than 125 years ago.
We will continue to keep the entire Tyndale community up-to-date on key developments. News and updates related to the Fall plans will continue to be communicated through email and will be posted at www.tyndale.ca/COVID–19.