Student Frequently Asked Questions

Has NSCAD cancelled classes?

No courses are currently suspended or cancelled. The 2020 winter semester will not be lost. The university has put in place contingencies to enable students to complete this term.

On Tuesday, March 17, NSCAD determined that, in order to safely complete the term, all courses will move to remote or alternative delivery. This will help the university continue classes without in-class instruction. While we are still examining what ‘limited access’ to campuses means under the new policy, students will not be on site during the notice of restriction period.

My instructor says my course work can be completed remotely. What if I can’t complete a project that is due by the last day of classes?

NSCAD has completed the transition to remote instruction which allowed us to avoid suspending or canceling any courses. The 2020 winter semester is continuing, and we have put in place contingencies to enable students to complete this term.

Should your course work require a project that cannot be completed by the last day of classes on April 22, 2020, your instructor can award an INC (incomplete) grade, instead of a final letter grade. You would then have up to six months to complete your projects and change the INC to a final letter grade.  Recognizing that we cannot anticipate the date of the resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, this six-month grace period is expected to provide sufficient time for students to complete class projects and assignments that require access to NSCAD facilities and equipment on campus.

The University is now in remote/alternative learning delivery; how do I get access to studios, workshops, art store or the library?

All NSCAD facilities (including studios and workshops) are restricted to essential personnel and authorized people only to maintain social distancing and support the health and wellness of the community. If you are a student, faculty, staff, or technicians and require access, complete the Campus Access Authorization form at https://forms.nscad.ca/ and we will evaluate.

What resources are available to help me with remote learning or staying connected to community?

We are currently developing an online platform for students with links to tutorials and other resources to stay connected and engaged during the extended period of social distancing. Please check back to this Student FAQ page regularly for updates.

We also encourage all NSCAD students to take advantage of the technology available to them in charting their remote learning experience. A tool often utilized by faculty and staff at the university is Microsoft Teams, which streamlines the process for organizing online group meetings, discussions, and document storage. These tools could prove quite beneficial for students during this time.

Simple instructions for installing the Teams App and joining a Teams Meeting have been provided by NSCAD staff at https://services.nscad.ca/teams.html and https://services.nscad.ca/create-meeting.html.

What if I missed some studio and workshop time that can’t be replicated with remote instruction? Can I return to NSCAD to complete this?

We understand that not every course can be practically and completely replicated through remote instruction, and we appreciate the value of your academic experience at NSCAD. We are now working with students, faculty and staff to identify and examine courses in the remote instruction environment to identify options that might address the need for studio access. We appreciate your patience as we work through these new realities and processes and we will share an update as soon as it is available.

With remote instruction, I’m not getting what I paid for. Why isn’t NSCAD offering any tuition refunds? Why aren’t you freezing grades?

Like all universities, NSCAD is adapting to the chaotic and unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19. The university’s faculty and staff are using new strategies to help students complete the few remaining weeks of the Winter 2020 semester in the best way possible under the circumstances.

Managing change is difficult for most people at the best of times and the current reality is, most definitely, not ideal.

While moving classes to remote delivery obviously involves a different learning experience, faculty members are working hard to revise courses and engage students in different ways to help them demonstrate their learning.

Faculty and staff are fully committed to providing you with the best education possible in the Winter 2020 semester, no matter how it is delivered.  They can only succeed  if NSCAD students are also committed to attend classes, participate fully, and complete projects and assignments to the best of their ability, regardless of the setting.

This mutual commitment to students’ success relies on working together even as we stay apart to stay safe. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to continue our courses remotely and make it as meaningful as possible for students while working to improve their experience.

Could Covid-19 have an impact my grades?

Grades will not be impacted. The university has put in place contingencies to enable students to complete this term.

This is a rapidly evolving situation the university is committed responding fairly and supporting students to be successful.

Do I have to start, or continue, paying my student loan during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To support borrowers, both the Government Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia will temporarily pause payment for all student loans. Effective March 30, 2020, student loan borrowers will have their payments suspended for six months. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue. Students will not need to apply, it will be done automatically.

All Canadian provincial and territorial loan providers are working to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access the most recent information from your provincial or territorial office at the links provided:

Are the protocols for renewing my study visa still in place during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Whenever an international student’s visa expires, they have to renew it. To learn more about renewing your visa, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. You can also follow all of IRCC’s updates and notices at https://twitter.com/citimmcanada.

What do I do if I’m on a student visa but cannot return to my home country because of travel restrictions?

Information about extending your stay in Canada is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/extend-stay.html.  You can also call the Nova Scotia branch of citizenship and immigration at 1-888-242-2100.

What about my health care plans? Will I still be covered?

All students enrolled in our Greenshields health plan will be covered until the end of August, 2020.

Student VIP International Health covers international students until the end of August, 2020.

Will the NSCAD art supply store remain open?

The NSCAD Supply Store is operating online only. By visiting the store’s new website, you can add items to your cart, and arrange an appointment to pick up in-store. Pick up hours are by appointment only, Monday to Friday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. To book an appointment, call 902-494-8176 or reach us by email.

Please have patience while we adjust to online ordering, and allow one-to-two business days for pickup if possible.

How can I reach/contact my instructors during this period?

Students are encouraged to first contact a faculty member via email, as online communication is preferred. You can request a follow-up phone conversation, however please keep in mind some faculty may be hesitant to provide numbers that are also used by other members of their families.

I am feeling anxious and stressed. What can I do?

We recognize that this is a fast moving and confusing situation. It is normal to feel stress. We are here to help. You can access about the many services available to you at: www.nscad.ca/wellness.

I have heard rumours, what should I do?

This is a fluid situation. Things are changing quickly. We all have a responsibility to make sure the information we are sharing and discussing is verified. Accurate information is available on the NSCAD website and regularly updated. Always verify your information before sharing.

Will my graduation be impacted?

We have postponed the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 11, as well as any and all special events until further notice, including the Student Awards Gala and end of term Fashion Show.

The university is has put in place contingencies to enable students to complete this term.

Are the Student Art Awards and Student Fashion Show going ahead?

They have been postponed. NSCAD has made the decision to postpone any events where 100 people or more gather out of an abundance of caution. We will provide students with more information about this once we have a sense of the duration and time frame of the COVID-19 threat.

How do I prepare for self isolation?

NSCAD will assist students who may need to go into self-isolation. NSCAD is preparing food kits. These will be distributed to students by SUNSCAD.

Information on preparing for self-isolation is available.

Since COVID-19 I have experienced discrimination. How can NSCAD help?

NSCAD acknowledges that students from some communities have been targeted. NSCAD does not tolerate discrimination, see our Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment policy.

We encourage anyone experiencing discrimination to please visit the Office of Student Experience. Your concerns will be investigated immediately.

You may also contact the Human Rights Commission.

We encourage anyone witnessing discrimination to act on your obligation to provide a duty of care. Do not be a bystander.

Will courses offered through NSCAD Extended Studies continue?

Due to growing concern over COVID-19, public health recommendations and as a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff, Extended Studies have cancelled all remaining Winter 2020 classes.

Will the NSCAD Library remain open?

As part of the closure of NSCAD’s three campuses, the NSCAD Library is also closed during the notice of restriction period. Library staff are working remotely, and are supporting faculty and students as they move to remote teaching. Further details at http://guides.nscad.ca.

Will the Anna Leonowens Gallery remain open?

The Anna will be no longer be accessible for the remainder of the semester. We will continue gallery operations remotely and look forward to staying connected in this challenging moment.

What if I feel unwell?

Those with flu-like symptoms, who have not travelled internationally to an affected region, should stay at home. Call 811 to speak with a registered nurse in Nova Scotia or see a healthcare professional if you prefer. There is also a Government of Canada COVID-19 information line at 1-833-784-4397.

To help you better understand if you need to talk to 811, please review this simple questionnaire.

Feeling anxious or stressed?

Visit NSCAD’s Wellness website to learn what services are available and how to access them.

Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167

Good2Talk Nova Scotia: 1-833-292-3698 (Professional counsellors provide free, anonymous and confidential telephone counselling to post-secondary students.)

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