Decisions about the future are not easily made during such turbulent times. We are now, more than ever, dedicated to the Tyndale experience. We focus on education with our mix of rigorous academics, community engagement, character development and faith formation.
While the provincial government continues to roll out its phased reopening plan, there is uncertainty about what stage the province will be in September. At the same time, there is a tremendous amount of planning that goes into delivering programs with excellence and providing the Tyndale experience. A clear path forward needs to be articulated so that all of the aspects and priorities can be planned.
For the Fall 2020 semester, courses will be delivered online in both live streaming and virtual formats. Plans are in progress to provide co-curricular and extracurricular activities – the things that make up a Tyndale experience - through blended delivery, both online and where possible in-person, while complying with public health directives.
Throughout this process, Tyndale has three guiding principles framing our decisions; health and safety of students, faculty and staff, academic excellence and the unique Tyndale experience.
Health and safety of students, faculty and staff
Tyndale University is preparing for the safe return to campus, when we are able to do so. The university is committed to the safety of its entire community and will continue to follow the directives of public health officials. When permitted, we will reintroduce campus-based activities and gatherings. While we do not yet have all the answers, Tyndale is developing guidelines which will direct how we interact on campus in order to provide a safe environment.
Recently Tyndale was evaluated by the province’s Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board, as well as other accrediting agencies. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has affirmed Tyndale’s ability to develop and deliver programs that meet and exceed the Ministry’s standards and given permission for us to change our name to Tyndale University.
For more than 15 years Tyndale has invested not just in online technologies but on the development of pedagogical and conceptual frameworks that are considered best practices. We have a well-earned reputation for our expertise in delivering online and blended courses with excellence. We believe the move to an online model for the fall, particularly with several months to plan for it, will enable us to move deeper into the academic excellence students have come to appreciate and recognize.
There will be a variety of issues that need to be addressed, and plans are being developed. There are equity issues for students who live in different time zones, while others will have challenges accessing high speed internet. Tyndale is committed to accommodate students so that these do not become barriers to a Tyndale education.
Library resources and other academic supports continue to be available online. At the same time a strategy is being explored to make the physical library collection available. Tyndale’s extensive online library resources, including the WorldCat search, have been useful during the campus closure, however, to better support faculty and student research we hope to make the physical collection available soon.
For Tyndale, shifting courses to online delivery is not simply a reaction to the times we find ourselves in. We are well poised to not only continue to provide courses, but we are very prepared to do it exceptionally well online.
The unique Tyndale experience
When students describe Tyndale University, something that is unanimously referenced is their experience with faculty. Particularly, access to faculty and the personal interest they take in these interactions. Students also point to small class sizes and the conversations that take place in gathering spaces. Technology, when used deliberately with these goals in mind, will continue to facilitate the Tyndale experience.
“We are confident that a Tyndale education can be accomplished in a mixed model where courses are delivered through our excellent online delivery system, while we intentionally provide ways to invest in the unwavering commitment to educating the whole person through personal and spiritual development,” says Tyndale University President Dr. Gary Nelson. “We desperately desire for and hope to be together on campus again soon. The day will come when we are able. In the meantime, we offer every assurance that plans are being developed to provide the best possible unique Tyndale experience in in every course delivery format we provide. For over 125 years Tyndale students and alumni have persevered through local and global crises. This global health crisis will not diminish our commitment to equipping and forming students to think critically, be formed in character and nurtured for a dynamic faith.”