Frequently Asked Questions from the NU Community About Coronavirus

Updated: June 29, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.

If you do not find the answer to your question below, please reach out to the appropriate department. Our teams are still available to support you as they work from home - view our contact page here.

Attention Students

Fall 2021

Will there be on-campus courses?

In-person learning will be prioritized wherever possible in accordance with public health guidelines. Online learning options will also remain available for all courses. When registering for courses, students should pay special attention to the instruction mode they are selecting, whether it be in-person, asynchronous online or synchronous online. The Registrar’s Office will be sending you details regarding fall and winter term course registration.

For programs with experiential learning requirements such as nursing and education, more information will be communicated to you directly from your faculty.

Will residence be open?

Our award-winning Residence Life program is busy planning for an exciting return to on-campus life. Although final capacity limits for fall are still being determined according to public health guidelines, we are optimistic for a complete return to residence events and programming. Be prepared for a memorable Residence Move-in weekend, Orientation and an exciting set of events and student-led programs.

For students coming directly from high school, a reminder that the deadline for applying to residence to be guaranteed a room is June 1. For specific questions regarding residence, contact residence@nipissingu.ca.

Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to live in residence?

Nipissing University continues to follow the recommendations of the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to determine how the province's new Roadmap will apply to our existing Return to Campus Framework in preparation for return to campus in Fall 2021.  At this time, Nipissing strongly recommends that students who have enrolled in residence for the fall semester be vaccinated. As plans evolve, and if vaccination becomes a requirement, the Residence Life department will reach out to applicants directly to notify them.  More information about how to book a vaccine can be found here

Please continue to check your student email and our Coronavirus page and FAQs on our website regularly for the latest updates. For further information about residence, please reach out to residence@nipissingu.ca 

 

What student services will be available on campus?

We are here for you, Lakers. Nipissing has always been, and will continue to be, committed to your success. Our nationally-recognized Student Services team is busy planning for the return of on-campus services this fall. Student services will be offered in-person whenever possible, in accordance with public health guidelines to keep our campus community safe. Virtual options will also remain available. More details regarding how specific services will be offered will be shared closer to the start of fall term.

What campus facilities will be open this fall?

The following facilities will be open this fall in accordance with applicable public health measures:

  • Harris Learning Library - Nipissing is planning for Library services and study spaces to be available to students on campus, with appropriate safety guidelines in place that will align with the stage of the pandemic response.
  • R.J. Surtees Student Athletics Centre and recreational sport facilities – Nipissing is planning for all athletics and recreation facilities in the RJS Athletics Centre, including the Turf Field and Lakers Shop to be available to students, staff and faculty. Student programming, such as intramurals and fitness classes, should be available as well. Varsity sports will follow Ontario University Athletics, USports and provincial sport guidelines. While no announcement has been made yet, planning is underway for a return of varsity competitions and details should be available soon.
  • Food Services – Nipissing has been meeting regularly with Chartwells in preparation for the reopening of food outlets in accordance with public health protocols for restaurants.

More details on how to access campus facilities will be shared closer to the start of fall term.

How do I book a COVID-19 vaccine?

In an effort to maintain a safe and healthy work and learning environment, continue being a good community partner, and support the health and wellbeing of our campus community, Nipissing University encourages all students, staff and faculty to get vaccinated if and when they are able. Click here fore more information about how to book a COVID-19 vaccine in Ontario.

Current Students

What supports are still available?

Am I able to defer my OSAP payments?

On March 31, the Minister of Colleges and Universities, the Honourable Ross Romano announced a six month, interest-free deferral period on Ontario Student Assistant Program (OSAP) loan payments in light of the current pandemic. If you are an OSAP student, you can learn more about temporary deferral here

Are AQ/ABQ courses still running? (Updated: May 25, 2021)

All our AQ and ABQ courses will continue to proceed as scheduled. View the AQ/ABQ Courses page for details.

I am a student on placement, what should I do?

Practicum elements of our programs are generally proceeding but may be in a virtual environment depending on pandemic conditions and the host organization. Students will receive information directly from their programs regarding experiential learning opportunities.

How do I request an extension on my coursework?

If you're slowed down in completing your coursework because your children are home, your internet connection is weak, or you're a healthcare worker with increased hours, please contact your professor to explain your situation and to request an extension on any applicable deadlines.

Is the food bank still open?

The Nipissing University Student Union Food Bank has been temporarily relocated to Chancellors House Residence Game Room. Any student with a valid Nipissing University student card and number can utilize this service. Please remember to practice physical distancing.

The Food Bank is available for access on: Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

A member of the NUSU team will be there to let students in and provide assistance. If you have any questions about this service please contact services@nusu.com.

I'm a healthcare worker and I'm unable to take time away from work for an exam due to COVID-19. What should I do?

If you are not available during the scheduled time for your online final exam, please contact your professor to explain your situation and to request an extension on any applicable deadlines.

If the exam date and time does not appear on your exam schedule on WebAdvisor, simply reach out to your professor to explain your situation and to request an alternate date to write your exam.

If the exam date and time does appear on your exam schedule on WebAdvisor, please submit your deferred exam request using the Deferred Examination Request form on WebAdvisor. This form will only become available to you on the date of your final exam, and for up to one week after.

While deferred examinations are not normally approved for work arrangements, we understand that under the circumstances many health care workers will have inflexible work schedules during this pandemic.

Prospective Students

Are you still accepting applications for Summer 2021 or Fall 2021?

Yes! Applications remain open for most of our programs. Applications for Summer can be found at www.nipissingu.ca/registrarforms. Full-time applications for Fall can be found at www.ouac.on.ca. All graduate studies and part-time applications can be found at www.nipissingu.ca/registrarforms.

Have there been any changes to deadlines for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021?

At this time, there have been no changes to deadlines for Spring 2021 or Fall 2021.

I am a current Ontario high school student. Is Nipissing continuing to send admission decisions on applications?

Nipissing does not anticipate that disruptions to the school year will have a negative impact on applications and admission decisions. We continue to process applications and send admission decisions as we receive grade information. Nipissing expects to receive second semester midterm/interim grades as scheduled from the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) at the beginning of May.

I am a Canadian high school applicant. Are you still processing applications?

Nipissing does not anticipate that disruptions to the school year will have a negative impact on applications and admission decisions. We continue to process applications and send admission decisions as we receive grade information. If you are experiencing any issues having your transcripts and other documentation sent to us please contact admissions@nipissingu.ca.

I am a mature/transfer applicant. Are you still processing applications?

Nipissing does not anticipate that disruptions to the school year will have a negative impact on applications and admission decisions. We continue to process applications and send admission decisions as we receive grade information. If you are experiencing any issues having your transcripts and other documentation sent to us please contact admissions@nipissingu.ca.

I am having difficulty sending Nipissing my documents required for admission consideration. What should I do?

If you are experiencing any issues having your transcripts and other documentation sent to us please contact admissions@nipissingu.ca. We will do our best to work with you in order to get your documentation to us.

I am unable to write an English language proficiency test (ie. IELTS, TOEFL) as test centres are closed. What do I do?

Please review Nipissing University’s English Language Proficiency Policy to review all the ways an applicant may be able to meet English language proficiency requirements.

For Fall 2021 Nipissing will temporarily accept the following tests to satisfy English language proficiency.

  • TOEFL® Test Special Home Edition

    • Undergraduate/Post-Baccalaureate programs: Minimum score of 83 with a minimum score of 20 in reading, listening and writing, and a minimum score of 22 in speaking
    • Graduate programs:  Minimum score of 93 with a minimum score of 20 in reading and listening and a minimum score of 22 in speaking and writing.
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL/CAEL Online): Applicants to all programs except Nursing require a minimum overall score of 60 with no band less than 60. Applicants to Nursing require a minimum overall score of 70 with no band less than 60.

I received an offer of admission and I am required to accept by certain date. Can that deadline be extended?

In most cases we may be able to extend an acceptance deadline. However, for limited enrolment programs (BPHE, Nursing – all versions, Consecutive Education) and graduate studies it may not be possible. If you have any concerns about meeting the acceptance deadline, it is recommended that you reach out to us at admissions@nipissingu.ca well ahead of the deadline.

How will PASS/FAIL or AEG grades impact transfer applicants?

For admission purposes, PASS/FAIL or AEG grades will not be used in the calculation of an admission average. PASS and AEG grades, for courses completed in Winter 2020 only, will be deemed to have met the minimum grade requirement for transfer credit consideration.

Can I defer my offer of admission?

Requests for deferral can be sent to admissions@nipissingu.ca. You will need to accept your offer of admission first by the deadline indicated in your offer. Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Decisions will be sent by email. If you are granted a deferral, the email will outline the conditions of your deferral. As well, you will be required to meet all the conditions of your offer.

I will be starting the Bachelor of Education program in September. I am required to obtain a PVSC, however, the OPP station is not open to the public. What do I do?

We understand that due to COVID-19 most (if not all) police and OPP stations are not open to the public, therefore, not processing PVSC requests. We ask that you monitor the situation and once the police station does open you apply as soon as possible as there will likely be a backlog of requests. The deadline remains September 20, 2021 and we will let teacher candidates know if that changes.

I am an international student. Can I still get a student visa?

Nipissing continues to process applications and send admission decisions as we receive grade information.  A letter of acceptance accompanies all offers of admission. This letter can be used when applying for a student visa. Information on how to apply for a student visa can be found on the Government of Canada’s website. The site contains up to date information about how COVID-19 may affect visa processing. Up to date information about travel restrictions to Canada can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

I am an international student. If I am unable to get my student visa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can I defer my offer of admission?

Requests for deferral can be sent to internationaladmiss@nipissingu.ca. You will need to accept your offer of admission first and made the deposit payment by the deadline indicated in your offer.  Requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Decisions are sent by email. If you are granted a deferral, the email will outline the conditions of your deferral. As well, you will be required to meet all the conditions of your offer.

I am an international student having difficulty getting the documents requested for admission consideration. What do I do?

We are here to help. Contact admissions@nipissingu.ca if you are having difficulty getting your documents sent to us. We will do our best to work with you in order to get your documentation to us.

I have questions about my application/admission decision. Where can I direct my questions?

We are here to help! Any questions can be sent to admissions@nipissingu.ca.

Campus Life and Events

Can I access the main Education Centre building?

Please refer to Nipissing University’s Return to Campus Framework for more information. Currently the Campus is in Phase 1.

Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

The Nipissing Parry Sound District Health Unit mandated the use of face coverings while in certain enclosed spaces, effective Friday, July 24, 2020. Face coverings are required in all common spaces on campus.

Wearing a mask or face covering is now also recommended outdoors when you can't physically distance more than two metres.

Are student lounges open?

At this time, student lounges are not open. More information in regards to a staged reopening of student lounges will be communicated as more information becomes available.

Are there any places open to eat on campus?

At this time, there are no food services available on campus.

Is the Harris Learning Library open?

The library building remains closed however curbside pickup service is available. For more information visit the Library website.

Am I able to go to the bookstore to buy my books?

At this time, the Campus Shop is only available for online shopping. Shipping is free for students in residence. Simply provide the name of your residence complex and complete address when placing your order.

Is the R.J. Surtees Athletics Centre open?

Indoor athletics facilities remain closed. Outdoor sports leagues and team training are permitted with capacity limited by 3-metre social distancing on the play surface. Outdoor personal training with a maximum of 25 people with distancing is also permitted. Currently Nipissing University is in Phase 1 of the Return to Campus Framework.

Visit the Lakers website for details on virtual classes for students.

Is the Campus Health Centre open?

Currently the Campus Health Centre is operational for essential appointments only. The Centre is reachable by phone for questions and booking purposes. If you wish to book an appointment or speak with a staff member please call the office at 705-474-7600 ext. 5261.

Shipping and Receiving Hours

Nipissing University Stores and shipping/receiving will be open 8:30 a.m. to noon daily for the duration of the restricted access period. Incoming/outgoing mail and couriers will be processed every day. Please have couriers down to Shipping/Receiving by 11:00 a.m.

Student Financial Support and Resources

Are entrance awards and scholarships still being given out to students?

Yes, all entrance awards and scholarships are still being awarded. There have not been any changes in this regard.

If labs and placements are not taking place, will entrance awards still be awarded?

All entrance awards are based on your average. Labs and placements do not affect entrance awards.

Nipissing University Financial Supports

Student Emergency Fund

The Student Emergency Fund provides urgent financial assistance to students unable to cover immediate essential expenses as a result of the pandemic including food, housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and medical expenses. The fund will continue to be a resource for students in need beyond the lifetime of the pandemic.

Scholarships & Bursaries

The Nipissing University Student Awards and Financial Aid office houses hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and awards for students. The criteria and application process ranges from a single application that qualifies for multiple awards and individual applications requiring demonstration of extracurricular activities, academic criteria and/or financial need.

Please consider applying to the Online Bursary Application to access financial aid during the fall and winter session. Simply complete the online Web Bursary application which can be found on Web Advisor during the month of October (due November 1).

OSAP

Note that for 2021/22, both the federal and provincial government have made significant changes to improve OSAP funding, including doubling of federal grants.

Tuition Estimator and Budgeting Tools

Nipissing University offers a FREE Budgeting Worksheet and Tuition Estimator to assist with planning for costs based on your program and living arrangements.

External Supports

There are many organizations and companies that provide funding for students, regardless of the university they are attending. The following links will take you to sites that offer information on scholarship and bursary programs beyond those offered by Nipissing University. Some of these sites also provide valuable tools in planning for a post-secondary education.

Government Financial Supports

We encourage you to read more about the supports available through the Province of Ontario and Government of Canada

Province of Ontario

Emergency Assistance Program

If you are in an emergency situation and you live in Ontario, you might be eligible for emergency assistance. If you are eligible for emergency assistance, the amount you get will depend on your specific situation. In most cases you will not get more than what you would get on Ontario Works.

To apply, visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-emergency-assistance

Government of Canada

Employment Insurance (EI)

EI provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, and are available for and able to work, but cannot find a job.

Changes to Canada Student Grants (CSG)

Double the CSG for all eligible full-time students up to $6000, and up to $3600 for part-time students in 2021-22. CSG-PD (permanent disability) and CSG for students with dependents would also be doubled to $4000, up from $2000.

Research

Can I continue conducting research?

All research efforts at Nipissing University are suspended with the following exceptions

  • Your research does not involve face to face data collection using human or non-human animal models
  • Your research uses archival data
  • Your research can be collected remotely (i.e. online surveys, meta-analysis, literature reviews, etc.), however, the Office of Graduate Studies and Research urges you to consider the integrity of the data that would be collected during this time
  • Your analysis can be done remotely

    Should you require campus access for research practices, please apply for access through the Research Recovery model.

Can I continue conducting field research?

Any researcher looking to continue collecting field research data must submit a request to OGSR before collecting data through the Research Recovery request located on ROMEO.

Can research assistants continue working?

Any research assistant or graduate assistant can continue to work until the end of their contract as long as the work being conducted remains remotely. Or if they are included on a research recovery application.

Can I get access to one of the research labs?

Researchers may access their research spaces by requesting access through the Research Recovery request located on ROMEO.

How do I recover my research practices and/or gain access to my research space?

There are currently three Research Recovery requests in effect. Stage 1 Temporary access, Stage 2 Limited access, and Field work. These research recovery requests are located on ROMEO under New Applications.

My research has been suspended and I have no remote duties for my research assistant(s), what do I do?

The university and researcher together will honour the contract and pay the student for the remainder of their contract based on average hours worked.

When can I resume my research?

All research protocols that are currently suspended can be reinstated once an announcement has been made from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research at the time the university reopens.

My Tri-agency grant is about to expire but my project is not complete, do I have to apply for an extension? OR I already had an extension, am I allowed another?

NSERC and SSHRC recognize that agency-funded research activities may be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic institutions can immediately approve extensions requests up to 12 months for Agency grants with an end date between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 inclusively. This provision applies to all grants, regardless of whether they have received a previous time extension of any length for any reason (including, where applicable, automatic extensions). This will have no impact for applications awarded in the fall 2020 competitions. The intent of this provision is to allow grantees to continue spending grant funds, and institutions to delay the processing of residual grant funds (per the NSERC/SSHRC Guidelines for the General Research Fund). Institutions are to keep complete and accurate records on the grants being extended. The mechanism for institutions to notify the Agencies of the details of these extensions will be determined and communicated in the near future.

I had to cancel travel due to COVID-19, what happens to the funds spent?

If you used TriAgency grant money to book your travel, and 

“if you must cancel or postpone travel or events paid through agency funds, we will consider the costs associated with the changes as allowable project expenses, provided they align with agency policies. The Agencies are also cancelling or postponing non-essential events and travel at least until early April (more details to come).

NSERC confirms that in addition to the costs described in the earlier Tri-agency statement regarding cancelled travel plans of researchers and members of their teams, other non-refundable expenses may be incurred as a result of cancelled travel and/or meetings related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provided the expenses would have been eligible had the travel/meeting taken place as planned, these non-refundable costs can be reimbursed out of existing grant funds.

Any travel using Nipissing University funds will follow the same practices as above.

Are new grants still being awarded? (i.e. discovery grants, research tools and instruments, etc.)

All granting opportunities are still accepting applications, but delays in results are to be expected.

Can I still apply for researching funding even if research at Nipissing is suspended?

Yes, researchers are encourage to continue applying for granting opportunities at this time. Note many institutions have extended their deadlines.

Should you require information regarding funding opportunities contact the Office of Graduate studies and Research through the research@nipissingu.ca email.

** The Office of Graduate Studies and Research is here to support you in your application process. Would you like help with grant writing, or to be paired with a mentor, please reach out to the research email listed above.**

Can I still apply for ethics approval for a new research protocol during the research suspension?

Yes, the Research Ethics Board is still working and reviewing protocols remotely. However, expect a delay in the process.

Self-Isolation

For all inquiries related to self-isolation please visit the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

I'm registered in an on-campus course and have symptoms or need to self-isolate. Who should I notify?

Please contact your instructor or Dean, and they will accommodate you.

I am travelling to North Bay from outside of the North Bay Parry Sound Region. What should I do?

During the provincial stay at home order, any form of travel outside of the district is strongly discouraged. Individuals returning to North Bay from outside of the district are required to self-isolate for 14 days. For information on what self-isolation means, visit:

Individuals who arrive or return to Ontario from outside the province during the province-wide shutdown period should self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.  International students entering or returning to Canada are required to quarantine as per the Government of Canada Quarantine Act.

How can I get food while self-isolating?

In North Bay there is a grocery shopping delivery service available through Instacart. Please visit https://www.instacart.ca/ to arrange this service, please note that a credit card is required.

In North Bay there are also two food delivery services available for you to place an order with local restaurants; Door Dash and Skip the Dishes. These services can be found at https://www.skipthedishes.com/ and https://www.doordash.com/en-US.

How can I get medication while self-isolating?

Shoppers Drug Mart will provide contactless delivery for your medications and other pharmaceutical needs.  Please visit https://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/home for more information.

Travel

Should anyone with a travel history to an affected region be excluded from class/work?

As of March 14th, the Government of Canada has stated that the number of countries reporting cases of COVID-19 has been steadily increasing, and on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a  pandemic. This means the outbreak is now considered to be worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts travel to Canada and within Canada. It is essential to understand and comply with the requirements to protect others and prevent the spread. For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website. 

The University will accommodate student needs based on their circumstances. Domestic students should contact their instructor or Dean directly. International students should contact the International Initiatives Office within Student Development Services at myinternational@nipissingu.ca or 705-474-3450 ext. 4321

I am affected by travel restrictions and cannot return to Canada. What should I do?

If students are unable to return to the University as a result of travel restrictions, they should contact the Exchange Abroad Coordinator or International Initiatives Office at myinternational@nipissingu.ca or 705-474-3450 ext. 4321.

I am planning to travel in the coming days. What should I do?

The COVID-19 pandemic restricts travel to Canada and within Canada. It is essential to understand and comply with the requirements to protect others and prevent the spread. For more information, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website. 

Students planning to travel to internationally should cancel or postpone their trip. The International Initiatives Office has reached out to and remains in contact with all students registered with the office who have had their travel plans impacted.

Students travelling internationally should contact the International Initiatives Office within Student Development and Services at myinternational@nipissingu.ca or 705-474-3450 ext. 4321.

Staff and faculty may refer to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 travel advisory website.

All university-related travel outside of Canada has been cancelled or postponed. All domestic travel must be approved by the Vice President, Finance & Administration or the Provost & Vice President, Academic & Research.

COVID-19 Information

What are the symptoms of novel COVID-19?

Please visit the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit for a current list of COVID-19 symptoms.

What can I do to protect myself?

The North Bay Parry Sound District Public Health Unit has a wealth of information available about how you can do your part to protect yourself and others in our community.

What to do if you suspect you have symptoms of novel coronavirus

If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should self isolate, complete the Ontario COVID-19 self assessment tool and follow the recommended guidelines.

For more information, please visit the Health Canada website.

Where can I get a COVID test?

Students residing in the North Bay area can arrange a COVID test through the COVID-19 Assessment Centre by calling 705-474-8600 ext. 4110.

Face Masks

Effective July 24, 2020, the Nipissing Parry Sound District Health Unit has mandated the use of face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Detailed information regarding the mandate can be found on the Health Unit website at myhealthunit.ca/FaceCoverings

In light of this directive, anyone entering on-campus buildings is required to wear a non-medical face covering.

I’m feeling stressed about COVID-19. Is there someone that I can talk to?

Student Counselling Services works to support all students in achieving positive mental and emotional wellness.  Our services are designed to be brief, effective, evidence based, and professional.

Due to the COVID-19 situation Student Counselling Services is offering both secure video therapy sessions or in person appointments to support Nipissing University students.  Please contact us at counselling@nipissingu.ca if you require any additional information and to set up an appointment.

For any questions regarding Nipissing University’s COVID-19 measures, please email coronavirus@nipissingu.ca.

For additional information regarding supports available to you, please email sds@nipissingu.ca

Important Contact Numbers:

Telehealth Ontario

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Phone: 1-866-797-0000

TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Nipissing University Campus Health Centre:

Call: 705-474-7600 ext. 5261
Room: B205