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2020 Summer Semester Information

By March 30, 2020No Comments

COVID-19 #12                                                                                                   Saturday March 28, 2020

Columbia International College has enhanced its teaching and learning practice using Google Classroom as one of the learning management systems (LMS) since 2018.

With the current COVID-19 situation, the Ontario Ministry of Education has instructed all schools to close in mid-March. All our current students are well underway using Google Classroom for their remote learning. Due to the new directive from the Ministry of Education, we revised the timelines for our current Winter semester. Courses will end on Friday, April 24th, 2020 to facilitate the departure of graduating students who wish to travel home.

Now, we wish to turn our focus to the 2020 Summer Semester and provide information for the academic planning of our current students.

We are excited to build on our Google School in the coming summer semester by offering all new students the opportunity to learn remotely using the full Suite of Google Apps – from the comfort of the students’ homes.

We use our Google Classroom and the associated learning tools to enhance and manage our teaching-learning experience in our physical classrooms. Therefore, when the current global crisis is over and we return to our classrooms here in Hamilton, all students will be advantageously positioned for the transition back to the classroom.

Please read the details of our summer program below.  

Revised 2020 Summer Semester Calendar:

Classes begin on Monday, May 11

Final assessments will end:

  • first course – Tuesday June 2, 2020
  • second course – Friday, June 26, 2020

June 3 – transition / reporting day

The ending date has been carefully chosen to meet the deadline of the university’s admissions requirement for graduating students.

Duration May 11 to June 2 June 4 to June 26 June 30, Tuesday
Credit First course
23 days, 1 credit
Second course
23 days, 1 credit
Mark Submission to University

The learning management platform for the summer semester

As a Google School, we will continue to use the Google Classroom this summer to deliver the courses by our CIC teachers. The learning will be both synchronous and asynchronous to allow students to complete their courses at their convenience from anywhere in the world.

Synchronous – online interactive student-teacher learning for three hours every morning at Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Asynchronous – students working offline on assigned work at their own time and own pace

As with all CIC courses, students will benefit from daily Assessment As feedback to prepare for Assessment Of activities such as essays, projects and rich learning conversations.

Face Time with Teachers:

  • Synchronous learning, 3 hours a day, 5 times a week using Google Classroom, Google Meet or Zoom to provide the opportunity for rich discussion and content clarification
  • 8:30am to 11:30am (EDT – UTC/GMT -4), Monday to Friday.
  • This time has been strategically chosen to fit the time zone in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the entire Asia time zones.

Regular Check in and Support from Liaison staff:

  • Support in student’s first Language where available
  • 5 times a week using Google Meet or ZOOM
  • 7:30am to 8:30am (EDT – UTC/GMT -4), Monday to Friday, just before the on-line “face to face” Google Meet or Zoom time with teachers

For those students who cannot study remotely on Google Classroom, please contact your Admissions/Liaison Officer for assistance.

Ensuring student success when learning remotely

Students studying at home on learning platforms face many challenges.

  • One major challenge is to diligently maintain a regular routine.
  • Students need constant support and encouragement in order to be successful.

Therefore, we have designed the following daily routine for our remote learning students:

  • Increased contact time
    • between teachers and students and
    • between our Admissions/Liaison staff and students
    • Admissions/Liaison staff providesupport and encouragement to students and keep them on a routine

For your reference:
8am EDT = 12 noon GMT
= 1pm Lagos = 2pm Kiev = 3pm Moscow = 6pm Almaty = 7pm Jakarta / Hanoi = 8pm Beijing 

Facetime Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri
7:30-8:30am Admission / Liaison Support Admission / Liaison Support Admission / Liaison Support Admission / Liaison Support Admission / Liaison Support
8:30-11:30am Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher Teacher

Current Students

Courses are available as per the registration information on our Student Tracker, provided there is sufficient enrollment.

Travel Arrangements

14-day isolation upon entry into Canada

As per the announcement made by the Government of Canada on March 20, 2020, international students with valid entry visa and study permit are permitted to enter Canada for the purpose of studying.

The Canadian government recently passed an order requiring people arriving in Canada by land, air or sea, to self-isolate for 14 days. If you travel to Canada at this time, you will be subject to self-isolation for 14 days prior to reporting to school. 

For some students, due to exit permission from home country or expiry of entry visa to Canada, they need to travel to Canada earlier.  Please schedule your arrival to Columbia International College at least two weeks earlier than your registration date.  In some circumstances, early arrival may require extra fees.

Students may return to their home countries and continue studying remotely

Special Sign-Out requests from parents will be approved for current students to return home and continue their studies remotely using a digital learning management platform.

This is a family choice. We continue to encourage all parents and students to do what they believe is best for them at this time of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Studying from home may present challenges for all of us with regards to:

  • Flight cancellations
    • Please be aware that many international flights have been cancelled even though tickets have been confirmed and issued by the airline.
  • Travel Restriction
    • Many countries have stopped allowing non-nationals to travel with stopping over or transiting their airports.
  • Mandatory Quarantine
    • Many countries and/or cities require their citizens or visitors who have travelled overseas to undergo some type of quarantine. The quarantine typically lasts a minimum of 14 days. Please check the requirements before travelling as this may impact student learning.

Parents may choose to keep their children in our residence

We fully understand the concern of our parents who entrusted their children to CIC’s Total Care Education. Please know that our Total Care continues during this difficult time to ensure we deliver peace of mind for parents and the safety and wellbeing of their children. We continue to provide ASEP support from our Medical and Wellness team, Admissions, Liaison, Residence staff, Guidance, University Placement, Student Development, IT, Accounting, Security and all of our Total Care departments.

  • Registered students who stay in residence will participate in courses offered by Columbia International College.
  • As per our Code of Conduct, students taking a course outside of Columbia require the prior written permission from the Principal.
  • Non-registered students with a demonstrated need may remain in our residence

Students can stay in our residence with no course registration as long as there is a need. Students can stay in our residence with a full meal package until they are able to safely return to their home. If students stay past their paid period (end of May or June), they will be required to pay for the extension (Residence, Meals, Technology, etc).

Parents may choose to keep their children, graduates or non-graduates, with or without course registration, at CIC after their current studies are over:

  • Until their children’s admissions to universities in September, 2020
  • Until their children begin the August semester at CIC

With students departing for home, remaining residence students may be required to relocate to another Columbia International College residence accommodation.

This policy is subject to review should the COVID-19 situation change according to direction from Public Health and the Ontario Government.

Caution for students who choose to travel home (overseas) now to return for the Fall 2020 semester

There are Canadian embassies around the world that have closed and are not offering visa service.  Please make sure the Canadian Embassy in your country is open to provide sufficient time to process the application for entry visa and study permit.

For students going home for the summer and returning to CIC for August semester:

  • If the re-entry visa is expiring before August 15th, students should apply for their study permit and visa at home or students may return to Canada at least one week before the expiry date of the re-entry visa.
  • Please obtain a confirmation of enrollment letter from CIC before returning.  Please email all requests to

Students staying in Canada for the summer:

  • Students should apply for their study permit and entry visa renewal in Canada.

If the Canadian Embassy in any country is not open for visa services, students may risk not being able to return to Canada on time to continue their study.

Please visit the link below from the Government of Canada.

Benefits for our June Graduates

Good News for our Graduates. Upon successful completion of the requirements (30 credits + 40 volunteer hours) students will be eligible to receive their OSSD – Ontario Secondary School Diploma from Columbia International College. Students’ final marks will be uploaded to the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) prior to the University deadlines for the 2020 September Admission Offers.

Changes in June Graduation:

  1. The OSSD Literacy requirement is waived for our June Graduates.
  2. Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, there will, unfortunately, be no Graduation Prom, Graduation Ceremony or Graduation Photo.

In Closing

CIC’s Total Care Education remains committed to providing peace of mind for our families and Academic, Social, Emotional and Physical support to all of our students.  I am confident our 2020 Summer semester will meet the educational needs of our new students and best prepare them for success as they continue to study at Columbia International College.

Again, this correspondence reflects information that we have at this time. With the situation rapidly evolving, directives from the various levels of government may change and therefore Columbia International College may also have to alter programs and policies accordingly.

We remain committed to updating our community on COVID-19 developments and our school’s response to supporting our students’ health & wellness, as well as their academic goals this semester and beyond.

Yours in education,

Bill Ironside


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