COVID-19 – Information for Students


To all of our graduate and undergraduate students, in response to the current set of circumstances we find ourselves in, the Faculty has made some important updates and changes in order to ensure that everyone can get through with the best possible academic outcomes based on your own unique situation.

The government of Canada has provided their plan to support Students and Recent Graduates Impacted by COVID-19 To help students access all the various funding resources, the University has put together a comprehensive list: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/funding-opportunity-directory/.

You may also wish to review all other funding resources put together by the Canadian government here: Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Please review the Faculty’s FAQ on the 2020-21 academic year here: https://ischool.utoronto.ca/are-you-looking-for-coronavirus-covid-19-information/

2020-21 academic year

All classes will be delivered remotely.

Connecting for remote learning

The University of Toronto, has outlined the minimum technical requirements (computer specifications), recommended accessories, internet connection and frequently asked questions about learning remotely.

International students in areas with internet content restrictions, or who are working remotely on sensitive research, may require access to the University’s general purpose virtual private network (VPN). If you do require the VPN to connect to university resources, please see this page for more information and instructions.

Please note that the VPN does not provide or enhance connectivity to the internet, and will not assist with connectivity issues caused by the recent general increase in web traffic.

Cybersecurity considerations at home: Access the University’s Remote Security Matters page to learn more about creating a cyber secure home.

Reserving social-distant study spaces on Campus

The Wallace Room in the Gerstein Science Information Centre has been configured as a space for students needing access to wifi and/or a computer, and will be available for booking as of June 18. The space will be open for two sessions per day: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., with the hour in between designated for cleaning and disinfecting of key touchpoints and areas.

The layout and workstation reservation process have been designed to comply with current public health guidelines regarding room capacity and physical distancing; no single workstation will be used by more than one person per day. Students will log in with their UTORid to reserve a time slot online; the space itself will be access controlled and there will be no access to other areas of the library.

As this space, and similar spaces across all the campuses, open for use, they will serve as pilots for re-entry to on-campus activities.

Residences 

Residence is an important part of the university experience and we’re excited to be welcoming students to campus this fall. If you applied to live in residence, your experience will be a little different than what you imagined, but our goal is to make your residence life as fulfilling as possible and to support you every step of the way.

Individuals seeking graduate housing or student family housing are invited to refer to the following websites for more information: St. George CampusGraduate House and Student Family HousingUTMGraduate and Medical Housing and Family Housing. 

The Vice-Provost office has also created an FAQ: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/#ResidenceFall2020. 

Absence Declaration tool 

  • Students should record all cold or flu-related absences, as well as self-isolation absences, through the ACORN Absence Declaration tool and contact Sherry Dang.
  • A verification of illness form is not required.

CO-OPS, PRACTICUMS AND INTERNSHIPS

Will co-op placements, internships and other work-integrated-learning opportunities be affected by the pandemic?

Work-integrated-learning opportunities have indeed been and will likely continue to be affected. Please see below for more information specific to Co-op,  Practicums, and Internships.

In response to changes in restrictions at provincial, national, and municipal levels, the Faculty has implemented a process for approving in-person placement activities. Please contact the Careers Office if you have any questions: careers.ischool@utoronto.ca

The Careers office is also working hard to identify opportunities that allow employers to host students remotely and many students are already participating fully while working from home. Unfortunately, however, there are some work integrated learning opportunities have been cancelled or postponed as a result of the pandemic. In response, the university has created more opportunities for co-op students, many of whom are working on pandemic-related initiatives.

INF3902/3H Cooperative Education Placement II/I

In light of the pandemic, the co-op criteria has been altered to allow for greater flexibility for students and employers alike.  There are 2 significant changes:

  1. The Faculty is allowing remote-only placements to count towards a co-op placement.  Some employers have onboarded students remotely and may continue in that format, if needed. 
  2. The minimum placement duration has been reduced from 12 weeks (360 hours) to 8 weeks (280 hours).  

INF2173 Information Professional Practicum

The Practicum course will move forward accepting only virtual placement opportunities. 

Students will complete 105 hours towards their chosen project virtually.

Though there are multiple and continuous recruitment efforts underway, placements are not guaranteed in light of the pandemic.

MSL3000H MMSt Internships

After much consultation with both external and internal stakeholders, the Program has developed two contingency plans to support the Internships:

  • Fall 2020/Winter 2021
    • Students who may be unable to continue with a Summer Internship are encouraged to contact the Careers Officer as the Museum Studies program will offer a modified internship option during the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms, where students will be eligible to complete paid or unpaid positions for a minimum of 280 hours, over the course of two terms.

International Activities

As of September 28, 2020, the University of Toronto has extended the cancellation of future University activity to international locations for all students until April 30, 2021. University activities abroad on or after May 1, 2021 are scheduled to continue at this time, but please keep in mind that conditions created by the pandemic may require changes. If you’re able to postpone or shift your travel to a later date or undertake your activity remotely and without travelling internationally, please arrange to do so. If you’re unable to change your plans, please note that, regrettably, your activity is cancelled. We are making this decision early so that you can make alternate plans for your January semester.  We know that your academic pursuits are important to you and the University is committed to maintaining academic continuity. Your academic unit will work with you to help you build an alternate plan for January.

Please follow this link for more information: https://www.viceprovoststudents.utoronto.ca/covid-19/

 

Virtual Inforum:

A Virtual Inforum space has been created in Quercus. All iSchool students have been enrolled in the course. We know the Inforum was an important hub for the iSchool community and so we have created a space in Quercus to run programming and share resources in an effort to keep our community connected and well supported.

Take a look at our Play Well resources, participate in a student-led online writing group, access library services and supports, explore a collection of libraries and museums from around the world and much more.

If you have not received a notification of enrollment please email inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca and we will help get you on.

Emergency Grants:

If you find yourself in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 situation (or any other emergencies), please know that the Faculty and University is here to help.

For graduate students:

For undergraduate students: You can apply for an Emergency Assistance Grant.

Accessibility Services

We received an update for our students from our embedded accessibility advisor, Alexa Quach.

 

Library Services

Update [May 12, 2020]: A message from Lari Langford – Head, User Services at Robarts Library
For graduating students with concerns about returning books, fines, and release of transcripts:
  • Borrowing privileges continue to September 30.
  • Books currently on loan, with due dates after February 1, were updated to due date of July 1, 2020.  This date will be moved again, as we have a better idea of when we may reopen the libraries; there is no need to renew books as renewal will actually turn back the due date, to 2 weeks or 6 weeks from the renewal date.
  • Current loans will not prevent graduation, whether overdue or not.
  • Outstanding bills for fines or lost books will not prevent graduation.
  • Online payments are possible for all overdue bills; students with lost book bills or lost books that are not yet billed for should be referred to Lari Langford.  I need to make it possible for the payment to be accepted online, to facilitate the lifting of holds on transcripts.  Again, only the release of transcripts is blocked by fines over $25.00 or overdue/lost books.
  • Fines accrued prior to February 1, 2020 or loans that were due before that date are not included in our adjustments and will need to be paid;  but they still do not impact graduation, only release of the official transcript.

Student Services Advising Appointments:

Even though campus is closed, Student Services is fully operational online and here to support you. If you would like to book an advising appointment please make your request through inquire.ischool@utoronto.ca.

The University would like to hear from you if you have any questions or experiencing any issues.

Returning Fobs

Graduating students who wish to return their fobs while offices remain closed without access, may return by mail to:

Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Claude Bissell Building
140 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 3G6

  • Archived Summer 2020 information

  • Archived Winter 2020 information