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Get ready (and excited!) about returning to on-campus AND online learning at this B.C. university

This fall, Thompson Rivers University is inviting new and returning students back to Return to Campus and to return to student life at their Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses.
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Return to Campus.

Excited to go back to class on campus? Or is virtual learning more your vibe? Why not do both? 

No matter what your learning preference is, you can keep on chasing your educational goals at Thompson Rivers University this fall!

Starting in September, TRU is re-introducing in-person classes at their campuses in Kamloops and Williams Lake, while continuing to offer online Open Learning classes for remote learning. Both new and returning students can feel confident and comfortable in choosing to enroll in an on-campus experience at TRU, as well as have the flexibility to choose how they want to attend class by combining both in-person and virtual learning options.

"Many of our programs have already been offered in dual modalities," says Mike Bluhm, Associate Vice-President Strategic Enrolment and University Registrar at TRU. "Close to half of the students that are enrolled are enrolled through open learning, and the other half of our students are enrolled in campus-based courses,"

TRU offers over 150 programs across several departments, faculties, and schools – including Arts, Business and Economics, Education and Social Work, Law, Science, Nursing, Trades and Technology, and Adventure, Culinary Arts, and Tourism — and many programs have courses both on campus and online.

To kick off student life on campus in the new semester, the university is planning new and safe orientation week experiences for new-to-TRU students, with components done both face-to-face and virtually. 

“The in-person orientation activities include scavenger hunts, campus tours, icebreaker games, and swag pickups” says Julie Taylor, Manager, Office of Student Life at TRU. “All events that we run in-person will be held outdoors and require a pre-registration to manage group sizes.”

Virtual events, such as TRU’s Welcome Ceremony and faculty academic sessions, will be streamed live and then recorded and posted for later access on the university’s website. 

To further support first year and new-to-TRU students in returning back to on-campus studies, the TRU Student Life office will be introducing an online orientation portal with a repository of important information to support them with health and wellness, academic support, campus involvement, and finances, as well as a peer mentorship program to help students navigate the transition to post-secondary studies. 


Return to Campus. Photo: Thompson Rivers University.
 
According to findings from TRU’s student surveys, many students are in need of assistance with financing their education and living costs.
 
Recognizing that some students are facing tough financial circumstances, heightened during the pandemic, the university is committed to reducing barriers to education and supporting student access and success by implementing various student financial support initiatives.

This year, TRU’s Assurance Bursary aimed to provide a clear path for up to 100 returning students each year to fund the remainder of their degree – whether they have one year or more than three years left. It was an important financial aid initiative that was introduced to support students during these times. 

Looking ahead, the new $1-million Indigenous endowment will begin supporting returning undergraduate and graduate Indigenous students by summer 2022.

To assist with emergency needs, the Province of B.C. has provided TRU with $141,000 in emergency bursary funding, which will supplement the more than $1.5 million in donor awards that TRU disburses to students each year. 


Return to Campus. Photo: Thompson Rivers University.
 
In addition, the federal grants accessed through StudentAid BC continue to be doubled for the 2021-2022 school year, resulting in more grants and smaller loans for students accessing government aid.
 
For returning students, TRU’s general bursary and awards application opens online on August 1 and is open until September 17. A smaller application intake for bursaries is available annually from December 1 to January 21.
 
Any domestic TRU student pursuing a certificate, diploma, or degree, on any campus or online, part-time or full-time, undergraduate or graduate, and even adult upgrading, can access some level of assistance once they demonstrate financial need. See TRU’s Student Awards & Financial Aid website and the Future Students page for application details.

"Our application numbers are up this year over the past year, which signals that students are eager to start and to continue their post secondary studies,” says Bluhm. 

“TRU is a very accessible institution with outstanding faculty and staff members that put education first,” Bluhm continues. “Students can look forward to engaging in a high caliber campus environment in a fantastic location within a beautiful community.”

Visit tru.ca for more information about TRU’s Return to Campus plan.