Graduation for Nunavut Arctic College students will be contingent on the Covid-19 situation, with safety of Nunavummiut being a key determinant said Pauloosie Suvega, Nunavut Arctic College’s (NAC) president.
“I think the safest decision was felt that we could move things like graduation and convocations later to the fall,” said Suvega.
The decision to postpone graduations was made last month, after the Government of Nunavut declared a public health emergency on March 20.
At the moment, the plan is convocations and graduations for all three NAC campuses in the territory have been moved to September 2020, informed Suvega.
“We will work with the chief public health officer and will assess at that time if these events could continue,” he said, adding the plans will remain flexible in order to adapt to changing conditions.
The safety of the Nunavummiut is the top priority, he stressed.
Graduations, he explained, are often held in a community setting. “We do want to try and ensure that we’re holding these convocations and graduations where students are closer to home,” he said.
However, the possibility of having virtual ceremonies has not been ruled out, said Suvega, noting this will depend entirely on the situation at that time.
Once the safest plan has been determined, NAC will notify students about the ceremonies. At that time the details of related to the ceremonies will be shared.
NAC is presently focusing on assessing how each student within the various programs can attain a successful completion.
Some of the programs require practicums, which are difficult to undertake under the current environment, explained Suvega, adding some students normally get job placements or summer jobs as part of their studies.
“Those will be a little bit harder to come by this this summer and may prove to be challenging. So we’re looking for ways to get students to what we’re calling that successful completion point.”
This may result in amending or alternating a practicum, as long as it does not compromise the academic integrity of the program, said NAC’s president.
Suvega reiterated each program will be assessed. It will be possible to complete some programs, while others may have to be cancelled or suspended until fall.
“Ultimately we want to ensure students will receive their certificates or diplomas for successfully completing their programs so they can continue with their plans for further studies or seek employment,” Suvega said.