NSCAD University is pleased to welcome new and returning students to the winter 2021 semester. The new year is traditionally a time to embrace new beginnings and move forward with renewed hope. The current transition is abundantly poignant as 2020 tested our individual and collective resilience in ways we could have never anticipated.
It’s been a long year in particular for Nova Scotians. In the face of multiple tragedies and the overwhelming spectre of the pandemic, inspiration has been hard to come by. Most of us were likely only too happy to say good riddance to 2020; but even the darkest moments gave way to the brightest light that often found its inspiration in the creation of art, craft and design.
A legacy of resilience
Despite unimaginable and relentless disruptions, we witnessed almost 200 graduates complete their education unlike any other class in NSCAD’s history. We developed and delivered hundreds of high-quality, interactive digital courses across all disciplines at NSCAD that allowed our students to continue their academic and artistic journeys from their homes around the world. We supported faculty and students with the transition to online instruction, helped our community deal with the pandemic’s mental health and wellness impacts, and held tuition when finances were strained for everyone. And we celebrated the achievements of students, alumni, faculty, and staff throughout the year.
It’s been a roller coaster at times, but our community keeps adapting to new norms, promoting a culture of belonging, and working to get better. You are part of a revitalized NSCAD that is more inclusive and more responsive to the world we share.
A new beginning
To that end, NSCAD is dedicating the first two weeks of 2021 to training and workshop sessions designed to give students confidence and capacity to successfully navigate university life during a pandemic.
The first week will focus on orienting students with NSCAD’s e-learning platforms and support services. Week two features workshops designed to help students, faculty, and staff with online learning strategies, systemic racism, sexual violence prevention, and mental health and wellness resources.
Facilitators with expertise in meditation and mindfulness, dance and movement, T’ai chi, yoga and knitting are leading the virtual wellness sessions that round out students’ traditional orientation experience with practices that promote a healthy mindset and support their academic studies. NSCAD is pleased to offer these complimentary sessions to all students, faculty and staff.
Regular classes begin Monday, January 18.
Promoting transformational leadership
As part of NSCAD’s commitment to produce new knowledge and adapt to current realities, the winter semester will feature the launch of two significant initiatives that will help the university shape its future success.
The Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery is being established by Dr. Charmaine Nelson, who joined NSCAD in 2020 as its Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Transatlantic Black Diasporic Art and Community Engagement. Gregory Adolphe-Nazaire, a multi award-winning instructor and consultant to governments, economic development agencies and community-based organizations, will lead NSCAD’s Creative Entrepreneurship Lab in rethinking the creative economy with NSCAD at its centre.
Guiding to success
We understand that this generally stressful time for students also includes financial concerns. Prior to the holiday break, we shared some changes to the university’s billing and payment processes to help students navigate their financial matters and set them up for a successful semester. These changes are in response to NS Public Health’s current health and safety restrictions, as well as NSCAD’s shift to virtual and alternative learning platforms.
Students should note that all tuition and fees are due by February 8, 2021 for the winter 2021 semester. The original payment deadlines have been moved back a week to give students a bit more time to get finances organized and help with the many priorities that require juggling. More details on tuition, fees, student loans, scholarships, health plans and more were included in a December 18, 2020 email to students.