JSGS Student Updates

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


April 2, 2020

Dear students,

Now in our third week of the COVID-19 outbreak here in Saskatchewan, we are shifting from crisis response and management to medium-term planning. 

The campus-specific weekly town hall meetings have been a great way for us to connect with and hear from you on important matters. However, as issues are being addressed and new information has become available through our two universities and government bodies, it has become clear that we no longer need one town hall meeting per campus. As a result, starting April 6 and until further notice, the JSGS will be moving to a single combined student town hall meeting from 12-1pm (Saskatchewan time) (https://zoom.us/j/656051946). This session is open to all JSGS students.

PASS/FAIL VS. NUMERICAL GRADE

As many of you aware, there has been discussion at the two universities recently about moving to a pass/fail versus numerical grading system. Here is a brief overview of the two institutions’ decisions, and how they will affect you as a JSGS student:

  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) – With a few exceptions (Law is one and they require students to choose the Pass/Fail option before they take their exams), the University of Saskatchewan, including the JSGS, has decided to keep the numerical grading system
  • University of Regina (U of R) – The U of R is providing students with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose which option best suits them. The options, which are irreversible once chosen, are:
    • Traditional numeric grading
    • Course withdrawal – the U of R has extended the course withdrawal deadline to coincide with the final day of classes (Thursday, April 9). Students chosen this option would avoid a failing grade and therefore a negative impact on your GPA.
    • CRC (Credit-COVID-19) – for students who pass a course, but who experience stressors that have negatively impacted their academic performance. This option is considered a credit/pass, will not impact GPA, can be used in degree completion requirements, but may have some impact on eligibility for funding or financial awards. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
    • NCC (No Credit-COVID-19) – for students who receiving a failing numerical grade and request to replace it so as it preserve their academic standing. Students who do not pass a course due to failure to complete a final exam or other component of the course, will not be eligible for “NCC”. This option does not impact GPA and does not count towards degree completion. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
  • JSGS students are bound by the regulations of the campus at which they are enrolled.
    • For example, if a JSGS U of R student is taking a USask class, they can submit a request to the U of R graduate chair (i.e. Ken Rasmussen) to have their grade changed as outlined above.
    • JSGS USask students taking a U of R class must accept the traditional numeric grade given to them by their instructor.
  • JSGS is a graduate school—with both professional and research-based programs—and we strongly recommend that students from the U of R campus select the traditional numeric grading option as this is an important element of your degree. We encourage you to attend the next town hall meeting on Monday, should you have further questions about this.

EXTENSIONS

  • We understand that there has been some confusion around extensions. We will be reaching out to all instructors again to ensure they are aware of options available. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss what might be the best route for you, if you feel an extension is needed.

884 CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS (USask campus)

  • We have heard that a few students are nervous about presenting their 884 capstone presentations via Zoom. It is natural to be worried about using a medium with which you are unfamiliar; therefore, we highly recommend that you sign up for a free Zoom account and run through your presentation with a friend or fellow student.

JSGS INTERNSHIPS

  • Placing interns is an ongoing process. Tianna is working with the mentors to ensure the process is moving forward. The COVID-19 situation has affected the 2020-21 mentors in different ways, which means some are slower to respond than others. Please be assured that we are working to move the placements forward so that interns know where they will be placed for the upcoming year.

UPCOMING ONLINE EVENTS

 OTHER

  • USask University Library - Although the University Library’s physical spaces are closed, staff are working remotely to assist students and faculty with their academic and research needs. Please visit the library website for updates, a listing of current library services, and to check out the new research guide: https://libguides.usask.ca/libraryupdates
  • The U of R has transitioned to online library services. Subject librarians are available to students over email and Zoom. There have also been changes to borrowing practices and timelines. For more information on online resources and practices, see https://uregina.libguides.com/covid-19/.

STAYING CONNECTED

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton 


March 26, 2020

Dear students,

Thanks to all of you who joined us on Monday for the online town hall meeting. We are glad to see that many of you are adjusting to the new circumstances, and we continue to welcome your feedback as we navigate this changing situation. Regarding some of your questions, here is what we have learned so far: 

STUDENT RESIDENCES/ACCOMMODATIONS

  • At the University of Saskatchewan, students remaining in residence and living in Voyageur Place (dorm-style units) are being moved into apartment-style units to abide by proper social distancing protocol. USask Culinary Services will be providing emergency hampers only for students who are quarantined due to recent travel or due to symptoms associated with COVID-19. Students who have a remaining meal balance on their accounts will have the option to extend the expiry date of their plan or get a refund so that they can purchase their own groceries. 
  • Students living in residence at the University of Regina will not be required to move out of their accommodations. For those who do wish to move off campus, the U of R is waiving all regular cancellation fees and providing pro-rated refunds. For the foreseeable future, U of R Food Services will remain open with a take-out option.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • If an international student cannot/prefers not to return home right now, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced special measures to help temporary and permanent residents, including those here on study permits and affected by service disruptions due to the novel coronavirus. IRCC has published a website providing detailed information including updated processes on how you can apply to extend your stay in Canada if needed.
  • Currently, international students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Canadian government, such as government student loans or Employment Insurance. That said, international students may be eligible for bank loans but must have a co-signer who is either a Canadian or a permanent resident.
  • International students remaining in Canada should consult their embassy for advice and guidance on what supports their governments can provide.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • The Government of Canada has suspended federal student loan repayments, effective March 30 and lasting until September 30, 2020. This loan repayment break will be automatic, and students won’t be required to apply for the payment pause.
  • All USask and U of R financial supports that were available before the COVID-19 outbreak remain open to students.
  • USask students experiencing an unexpected financial crisis should contact Student Central to access the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust at askus@usask.ca or 1-306-966-1212 or 1-877-650-1212.
  • In regards to tuition, students should be aware of the general rules for late payment. At USask, if funds are not paid by the deadline, a hold will go on the student’s account. The hold remains until the account reaches zero. At the U of R, tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes. However, the university does allow a grace period before late payment charges are added to the account. Please refer to the current Academic Schedule for the end of penalty-free payment date. Late payment charges are applied at 1.5% of the outstanding balance per month.
  • At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments. The U of R does not offer payment plans for tuition.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

CONVOCATION

  • In line with federal and provincial requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention, and supporting the University of Saskatchewan’s and the University of Regina’s decisions to close both campuses to public visitors until further notice, Spring 2020 Convocation ceremonies have been postponed at USask and cancelled at the U of R. However, degrees will still be conferred in June to graduating students, but through alternative means. More information about what this will look like will be made available as soon as possible.

MPP/PHD RESEARCH

  • Social distancing practices are essential in order to curtail the spread of the virus in the wide variety of spaces where we conduct research. In light of this, you may need to postpone your research or change your methodology (e.g. changing in-person interviews to phone or Zoom interviews, etc.). Please discuss different options with your supervisor.
  • Research sponsors, including the tri-agencies, are well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic can affect funded research projects in many ways. In addition to existing mechanisms for addressing exceptional circumstances, the tri-agencies are actively assessing the issues and will be sharing further information. Please visit their respective websites for regular updates:
  • For research-based students at the U of R, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research has released modified thesis guidelines to accommodate students during this period. For a student who submits a ready-to-defend thesis before April 15, 2020 and will defend no later than May 31, 2020, the tuition fee for spring/summer semester will be waived. If the ready-to-defend thesis is not submitted by April 15 and defended by May 31, students will be required to register for Spring/Summer 2020.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES

  • The withdrawal deadline for the USask 2020 Winter Term has been moved to the last day of classes (April 7).
  • The withdrawal deadline for the U of R 2020 Winter Term has passed. Please note that the last day of classes for the 2020 Winter term is April 9.

ONLINE/REMOTE COURSE DELIVERY AND ACCESS

  • Thank you to all students who have provided feedback on the new Zoom-delivery format. Faculty are adjusting to this new teaching approach, and we greatly appreciate your patience as we fine tune the technology on our end.
  • We recognize the current challenges you are under, and it is our goal to support you through this time so that you can complete your program on schedule. If you need an extension, please talk to your instructor.
  • Students who do not have access to computers in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors for alternative options.
  • For those international students who have returned home and are unable to return to Canada for the foreseeable future, please know that you will be able to continue your program onlinefrom your home country. This will be done in a variety of ways (e.g., recording of classes in the case of Zoom/WebEx calls), depending on the course and the method of instruction. According to current IRCC regulations, studying online for part of your program on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect post-graduation work permit program eligibility. However, there are things to keep in mind. Click here for more information about distance learning and PGWPP eligibility

JSGS ONLINE EVENTS

  • Starting on April 1, the JSGS and its research centres will begin hosting a number of public webinars. Up first in the CSIP Research Forum series is Justin Longo’s talk on artificial intelligence in the Canadian public administration. Click here for more details. Please watch for notifications, as webinars will regularly be added to the JSGS Events calendar.
  • For MPP and PhD students, please be advised that watching an online webinar or a recorded presentation will now count towards your JSGS 990 seminar requirements.
  • We are also currently organizing a series of brown bag forums and alumni-led presentations for JSGS students. The first event, which is being held on March 31 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., will be led by Martin Boucher, Emmy Neuls, Tianna Yaskow and Jamie Mayoh-Bauche and will focus on how to learn online. Click here for more details.

KEEPING ENGAGED

  • As always, we encourage students to follow our social media channels and the JSGS-SA Facebook page. We will be issuing a number of condensed COVID-19-themed policy briefs over the coming weeks, and we appreciate your thoughts and encourage discussion on the recommendations presented.
  • The JSGS-SA has organized weekly Zoom sessions for students who want to connect, talk about what’s going on in your respective worlds, and ask questions if needed. Students from both Saskatoon and Regina are welcome to join. These Zoom calls will be held every Wednesday, starting April 1 until at least April 15, from 5-7 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
  • Also, please remember our weekly town hall meetings, every Monday.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton 


March 20, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

This past Monday, each campus held a town hall meeting where many good questions were raised regarding classes, internships, and university-wide supports, in light of the changing landscape due to COVID-19. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, here is what we’ve learned so far:

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETION

  • Although we want to ensure that you can complete your program on schedule, we also understand the additional pressure you are under.
  • We have been in touch with all instructors and have requested that they give students extra flexibility in terms of assignment deadlines and class attendance. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss extensions.

MPP/PHD RESEARCH

  • Please continue to work with your supervisor to assess how you can engage in your research activities remotely.
  • Unless previously discussed with Amy Hassett and John Bird, all MPP and PhD defenses will proceed as scheduled by remote access (either Zoom or WebEx).

MPA CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS

  • All MPA Capstone Presentations will proceed as scheduled. Please watch for further communication from your instructor.   

JSGS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

  • Students who are currently registered in the Executive Internship program are expected to follow the protocols of their mentor organizations, whether that means coming into the office or working remotely.
  • The 2020-21 internships are currently proceeding as planned. Tianna Yaskow has spoken with many of the mentors, and they have indicated their willingness to proceed with having an intern.
  • All students who applied for an internship have been contacted. Those who are moving on in the process may experience a delay in hearing from their potential mentor as many of them are dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Should you have any specific questions about your internship, please contact Tianna Yaskow.
  • If you wish to speak to someone about the implications of the internship for your program, please reach out to Amy Hassett or John Bird.

WINTER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULE

  • All JSGS classes being offered this semester are going forward as scheduled. One of the key JSGS goals is to ensure that you finish your courses and your program.
  • Instructors are currently exploring different modes of delivering course content in an online/remote format. This may include discussion boards, written material, video recordings, and real-time Zoom or WebEx sessions. Instructors will be in contact with those registered in their classes, with more information and details regarding the delivery mode.
  • As classes move to an online/remote format, please be patient with the technology and the pace of the classes. We kindly ask that you practice understanding at all times in your classes.

SPRING/SUMMER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULES

  • The University of Saskatchewan announced today that Spring/Summer 2020 courses will proceed, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. Although the University of Regina has yet to make a similar announcement, the JSGS will be moving its classes to an online/remote format for the upcoming semester.
  • With the exception of cancelling JSGS 853 Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, all other classes are being move to an online/remote format. For updated course schedules, visit https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/course-information/course-schedule.php.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • We understand that international students have many questions about the services and supports they can access. We have been in contact with central administration at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to see what provisions are being put in place for international students. As soon as information becomes available, we will provide another update.
  • In the meantime, the Government of Canada has announced special measures to assist those here on study permits (see https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html | https://www.educanada.ca/media-medias/news-nouvelles/2020/2020-03-16.aspx?lang=eng). While specific information is not available, the Government appears to recognize the challenges that international students face.
  • For those international students who return home and are unable to return to Canada for the foreseeable future, please know that you will be able to continue your program online from your home country. This will be done in a variety of ways (e.g., recording of classes in the case of Zoom/WebEx calls), depending on the course and the method of instruction.
  • URInternational will continue to provide support and guidance wherever possible. The office can be reached at 306-585-5082, or email studentservices@uregina.ca.
  • USask’s International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) will be offering support remotely and will provide guidance and support wherever possible. ISSAC staff can be reached at students@usask.ca.
  • Also, please continue reaching out to Amy Hassett or John Bird, or any other faculty or staff member. We are all here to support you.

USASK RESIDENCES

  • The University’s current plan is to keep its residences open for students wishing to stay on campus. For those out-of-town students wishing and able to return home, you can do so and refunds are available. To receive this rental fee adjustment, residents need to complete a Notice to Vacateform and submit it to the Residence Services by March 20.

PINNING CEREMONY

  • We will be postponing the 2020 JSGS Pinning Ceremony that was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the ceremony to the fall. We will be in touch with you over the summer months with further information, including information on how to receive your alumni pin if you are unable to attend the ceremony.

DIEFENBAKER BUILDING CLOSURE

  • You may have seen the update from the University of Saskatchewan yesterday regarding further restrictions on campus. The expectation of the university’s announcement is that by March 23, all non-core USask employees still working on campus will have made the transition to work remotely.
  • JSGS will abide by this policy – as of Monday, March 23, all of our staff and faculty will be working off-site. They continue to be available during the core operating hours and can be contacted through the usual channels.
  • Since staff and faculty will not be on-site, the Diefenbaker Building will be closed to everyone—faculty, staff, students and the public.
  • The University’s core operations continue and are open to students who need to be on campus to access services to complete their academic programs. Currently, the Murray Library is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm during weekdays. The campus is immediately closed to public visitors. Only faculty, staff, contractors, and deliveries critical to core operations will be allowed on campus until further notice. In addition, please note that access to many buildings and facilities on campus will be limited or closed due to the preventative measures taken in recent days to protect the health and safety of the University community. A list of university buildings that are closed is available here.

JSGS TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  • Consistency and routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times. The school has organized weekly town hall meetings for students every Monday, where you can connect with faculty, staff and students via Zoom. The USask and U of R sessions will be held consecutively so that you may join both, if you so wish. Please use these sessions to raise any concerns or provide feedback.
  • An email reminder will be sent out on Monday morning with the two Zoom links.
  • We also encourage you to contact Amy Hassett or John Bird directly for support if you don’t feel comfortable raising an issue in these sessions.

INSTITUTIONAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

  • Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Please seek out other people and additional supports if you are feeling particularly vulnerable during these times.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre | Students can contact the Student Wellness Centre via email wellness@usask.ca or by phone at 306-966-5768. Campus Security is also available at 306-966-5555 for urgent situations.
  • U of R Counselling Services | Students can contact Counselling Services Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., at 306-585-4491. After office hours contact: Mobile Crisis - 306-757-0127. Campus Security is also available 24 /7 and can reached at 306-585-4999.
  • Other supports include

SOCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Although we need to continue practice safe social distancing, you will need social interaction and we encourage you to do so safely by phone or other online platforms.
  • Amanda Wilcox (JSGS Student Association President in Regina) has taken initiative to organize an open Zoom chat for all those who wish to connect. Manreet Kaur Nehal (JSGS Student Association President in Saskatoon) will also be joining. There won’t be an agenda, but it will give you an opportunity to connect with one another. For more information on this, please visit the JSGS-SA Facebook page or reach out directly to Amanda Wilcox or Manreet Kaur Nehal (via the JSGS Student Association email addresses).
  • Other suggestions for what you can do while practicing safe social distancing include:
    • Grabbing a cup of coffee and connecting with a friend online.
    • Reading an article or book, or watching movie, and having a group chat to discuss the findings and/or plot.
    • Going for a walk.
    • Practicing meditation or yo­ga. Many how-to sources are available online.

We also want to let you all know that staff and faculty have been urged by both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to work from home for the foreseeable future. While they will not be physically in the office, they are still working and we encourage you to connect with them by email, phone, zoom or WebEx. 

Remember, we are here to support you.

Doug Moen & Murray Fulton     


March 16, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

The health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and all those who visit the Diefenbaker Building are our priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diefenbaker Building is now closed on a temporary basis to the general public and will be locked at all times.

While it is recommended that in-person meetings and group activities be minimized, the University of Saskatchewan campus remains open (with classes being offered only in an online/remote format). This means that students have the option of continuing to use spaces in the Diefenbaker Building (and other places on campus that are open). However, you will need to have your key to access the building.

During this time, we encourage you to practice the following community-based safety measures: 

  • When possible, keep 2m (6ft) of distance between you and other people and avoid shaking hands and hugging.
  • Avoid crowded places if possible.

Additionally, the School’s in-person operations have been temporarily reduced as many of the staff and faculty will be working remotely. However, our priority is to continue to support students. Please email Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls, your course instructor, or Murray Fulton with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility.

Murray Fulton, Director
USask campus


March 14, 2020

Dear students,

As you all know, things are moving very quickly around COVID-19, especially now that two cases have been reported in Saskatchewan.

Our priority remains the same—the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. We want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support, and are able to complete their courses and programs with as little disruption as possible.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, while the University of Regina (U of R) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. Courses would then resume after the suspensions in an online/remote format.

In light of these announcements, JSGS will be moving to online/remote delivery for the remainder of the winter term beginning on Monday, March 16. Beginning on Monday, students will not be required to come to campus. Since each instructor will deal with the announced changes in a different way, please watch for messages from your instructor for details on what will be required in each of your courses. We ask for your patience as we make the transition.

With regards to students currently registered in JSGS 850: JSGS Internship Program, please continue following the workplace instructions provided by your mentor organization. We kindly ask that you keep Tianna Yaskow informed of any changes.

The universities have also announced the cancellation of all non-essential events on and off campus that are not directly tied to the academic progress of students. This includes third party events and activities that have been booked to occur on either campus. This directive applies to the JSGS, and we regret to inform you that the upcoming JSGS-SAS networking event and Crystal Meth Epidemic panel discussion on March 25 and the Tansley Lecture on April 2 have been cancelled. More information will be provided next week regarding the various events that will be cancelled or postponed over the coming months.

During this time, we encourage you to practice the following community-based safety measures: 

  • When possible, keep 2m (6ft) of distance between you and other people, and avoid shaking hands and hugging.
  • Minimize in-person meetings and group activities; use phone, teleconference and other technologies for meetings.
  • Evaluate the need for bringing in outside people to campus; cancel, reschedule or using other methods for the meeting or activity.
  • Avoid crowded places if possible.

We are aware that you are under immense pressure for many reasons, and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 may add to your stress. If you have concerns, please reach out to your instructor, Amy Hassett, and/or Murray Fulton. We are here to support you.

For those of you who have questions, we are hosting an online Question and Answer session on Monday, March 16 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. An email will go out Monday morning with details.

The University of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you continue to take precautions to help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes (e.g., many universities in the United States are moving their courses online), our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. This plan includes the possibility of moving in-person courses to an online-delivery format until the COVID-19 threat has passed. If any changes are made to the delivery format, you will be notified as soon as possible. Please note that we may be required to make some of the changes very quickly, so be prepared if this were to happen.

The JSGS will also consider cancelling events that bring together large groups of people; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the latest advice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Additionally, for those of you who may be wondering about the hygiene of our physical space, the custodians are disinfecting common touch points, such as entrances, door knobs, all areas within washrooms, and handrails and communal gathering spaces. Nevertheless, you are strongly encouraged to practice good handwashing hygiene and sneezing etiquette. As well, please make yourself aware of the COVID-19 symptoms and take the appropriate steps to secure your own safety.

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting a Question and Answer session on both campuses next week (details will be provided shortly). An option will be made available for those who wish to connect via Zoom. If, for any reason, you wish to speak to someone in person, please contact Amy Hassett or John Bird to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19 or U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton and Ken Rasmussen

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


April 2, 2020

Dear students,

Now in our third week of the COVID-19 outbreak here in Saskatchewan, we are shifting from crisis response and management to medium-term planning. 

The campus-specific weekly town hall meetings have been a great way for us to connect with and hear from you on important matters. However, as issues are being addressed and new information has become available through our two universities and government bodies, it has become clear that we no longer need one town hall meeting per campus. As a result, starting April 6 and until further notice, the JSGS will be moving to a single combined student town hall meeting from 12-1pm (Saskatchewan time) (https://zoom.us/j/656051946). This session is open to all JSGS students.

PASS/FAIL VS. NUMERICAL GRADE

As many of you aware, there has been discussion at the two universities recently about moving to a pass/fail versus numerical grading system. Here is a brief overview of the two institutions’ decisions, and how they will affect you as a JSGS student:

  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) – With a few exceptions (Law is one and they require students to choose the Pass/Fail option before they take their exams), the University of Saskatchewan, including the JSGS, has decided to keep the numerical grading system
  • University of Regina (U of R) – The U of R is providing students with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose which option best suits them. The options, which are irreversible once chosen, are:
    • Traditional numeric grading
    • Course withdrawal – the U of R has extended the course withdrawal deadline to coincide with the final day of classes (Thursday, April 9). Students chosen this option would avoid a failing grade and therefore a negative impact on your GPA.
    • CRC (Credit-COVID-19) – for students who pass a course, but who experience stressors that have negatively impacted their academic performance. This option is considered a credit/pass, will not impact GPA, can be used in degree completion requirements, but may have some impact on eligibility for funding or financial awards. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
    • NCC (No Credit-COVID-19) – for students who receiving a failing numerical grade and request to replace it so as it preserve their academic standing. Students who do not pass a course due to failure to complete a final exam or other component of the course, will not be eligible for “NCC”. This option does not impact GPA and does not count towards degree completion. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
  • JSGS students are bound by the regulations of the campus at which they are enrolled.
    • For example, if a JSGS U of R student is taking a USask class, they can submit a request to the U of R graduate chair (i.e. Ken Rasmussen) to have their grade changed as outlined above.
    • JSGS USask students taking a U of R class must accept the traditional numeric grade given to them by their instructor.
  • JSGS is a graduate school—with both professional and research-based programs—and we strongly recommend that students from the U of R campus select the traditional numeric grading option as this is an important element of your degree. We encourage you to attend the next town hall meeting on Monday, should you have further questions about this.

EXTENSIONS

  • We understand that there has been some confusion around extensions. We will be reaching out to all instructors again to ensure they are aware of options available. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss what might be the best route for you, if you feel an extension is needed.

884 CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS (USask campus)

  • We have heard that a few students are nervous about presenting their 884 capstone presentations via Zoom. It is natural to be worried about using a medium with which you are unfamiliar; therefore, we highly recommend that you sign up for a free Zoom account and run through your presentation with a friend or fellow student.

JSGS INTERNSHIPS

  • Placing interns is an ongoing process. Tianna is working with the mentors to ensure the process is moving forward. The COVID-19 situation has affected the 2020-21 mentors in different ways, which means some are slower to respond than others. Please be assured that we are working to move the placements forward so that interns know where they will be placed for the upcoming year.

UPCOMING ONLINE EVENTS

 OTHER

  • USask University Library - Although the University Library’s physical spaces are closed, staff are working remotely to assist students and faculty with their academic and research needs. Please visit the library website for updates, a listing of current library services, and to check out the new research guide: https://libguides.usask.ca/libraryupdates
  • The U of R has transitioned to online library services. Subject librarians are available to students over email and Zoom. There have also been changes to borrowing practices and timelines. For more information on online resources and practices, see https://uregina.libguides.com/covid-19/.

STAYING CONNECTED

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton 


March 26, 2020

Dear students,

Thanks to all of you who joined us on Monday for the online town hall meeting. We are glad to see that many of you are adjusting to the new circumstances, and we continue to welcome your feedback as we navigate this changing situation. Regarding some of your questions, here is what we have learned so far: 

STUDENT RESIDENCES/ACCOMMODATIONS

  • At the University of Saskatchewan, students remaining in residence and living in Voyageur Place (dorm-style units) are being moved into apartment-style units to abide by proper social distancing protocol. USask Culinary Services will be providing emergency hampers only for students who are quarantined due to recent travel or due to symptoms associated with COVID-19. Students who have a remaining meal balance on their accounts will have the option to extend the expiry date of their plan or get a refund so that they can purchase their own groceries. 
  • Students living in residence at the University of Regina will not be required to move out of their accommodations. For those who do wish to move off campus, the U of R is waiving all regular cancellation fees and providing pro-rated refunds. For the foreseeable future, U of R Food Services will remain open with a take-out option.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • If an international student cannot/prefers not to return home right now, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced special measures to help temporary and permanent residents, including those here on study permits and affected by service disruptions due to the novel coronavirus. IRCC has published a website providing detailed information including updated processes on how you can apply to extend your stay in Canada if needed.
  • Currently, international students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Canadian government, such as government student loans or Employment Insurance. That said, international students may be eligible for bank loans but must have a co-signer who is either a Canadian or a permanent resident.
  • International students remaining in Canada should consult their embassy for advice and guidance on what supports their governments can provide.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • The Government of Canada has suspended federal student loan repayments, effective March 30 and lasting until September 30, 2020. This loan repayment break will be automatic, and students won’t be required to apply for the payment pause.
  • All USask and U of R financial supports that were available before the COVID-19 outbreak remain open to students.
  • USask students experiencing an unexpected financial crisis should contact Student Central to access the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust at askus@usask.ca or 1-306-966-1212 or 1-877-650-1212.
  • In regards to tuition, students should be aware of the general rules for late payment. At USask, if funds are not paid by the deadline, a hold will go on the student’s account. The hold remains until the account reaches zero. At the U of R, tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes. However, the university does allow a grace period before late payment charges are added to the account. Please refer to the current Academic Schedule for the end of penalty-free payment date. Late payment charges are applied at 1.5% of the outstanding balance per month.
  • At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments. The U of R does not offer payment plans for tuition.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

CONVOCATION

  • In line with federal and provincial requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention, and supporting the University of Saskatchewan’s and the University of Regina’s decisions to close both campuses to public visitors until further notice, Spring 2020 Convocation ceremonies have been postponed at USask and cancelled at the U of R. However, degrees will still be conferred in June to graduating students, but through alternative means. More information about what this will look like will be made available as soon as possible.

MPP/PHD RESEARCH

  • Social distancing practices are essential in order to curtail the spread of the virus in the wide variety of spaces where we conduct research. In light of this, you may need to postpone your research or change your methodology (e.g. changing in-person interviews to phone or Zoom interviews, etc.). Please discuss different options with your supervisor.
  • Research sponsors, including the tri-agencies, are well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic can affect funded research projects in many ways. In addition to existing mechanisms for addressing exceptional circumstances, the tri-agencies are actively assessing the issues and will be sharing further information. Please visit their respective websites for regular updates:
  • For research-based students at the U of R, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research has released modified thesis guidelines to accommodate students during this period. For a student who submits a ready-to-defend thesis before April 15, 2020 and will defend no later than May 31, 2020, the tuition fee for spring/summer semester will be waived. If the ready-to-defend thesis is not submitted by April 15 and defended by May 31, students will be required to register for Spring/Summer 2020.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES

  • The withdrawal deadline for the USask 2020 Winter Term has been moved to the last day of classes (April 7).
  • The withdrawal deadline for the U of R 2020 Winter Term has passed. Please note that the last day of classes for the 2020 Winter term is April 9.

ONLINE/REMOTE COURSE DELIVERY AND ACCESS

  • Thank you to all students who have provided feedback on the new Zoom-delivery format. Faculty are adjusting to this new teaching approach, and we greatly appreciate your patience as we fine tune the technology on our end.
  • We recognize the current challenges you are under, and it is our goal to support you through this time so that you can complete your program on schedule. If you need an extension, please talk to your instructor.
  • Students who do not have access to computers in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors for alternative options.
  • For those international students who have returned home and are unable to return to Canada for the foreseeable future, please know that you will be able to continue your program onlinefrom your home country. This will be done in a variety of ways (e.g., recording of classes in the case of Zoom/WebEx calls), depending on the course and the method of instruction. According to current IRCC regulations, studying online for part of your program on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect post-graduation work permit program eligibility. However, there are things to keep in mind. Click here for more information about distance learning and PGWPP eligibility

JSGS ONLINE EVENTS

  • Starting on April 1, the JSGS and its research centres will begin hosting a number of public webinars. Up first in the CSIP Research Forum series is Justin Longo’s talk on artificial intelligence in the Canadian public administration. Click here for more details. Please watch for notifications, as webinars will regularly be added to the JSGS Events calendar.
  • For MPP and PhD students, please be advised that watching an online webinar or a recorded presentation will now count towards your JSGS 990 seminar requirements.
  • We are also currently organizing a series of brown bag forums and alumni-led presentations for JSGS students. The first event, which is being held on March 31 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., will be led by Martin Boucher, Emmy Neuls, Tianna Yaskow and Jamie Mayoh-Bauche and will focus on how to learn online. Click here for more details.

KEEPING ENGAGED

  • As always, we encourage students to follow our social media channels and the JSGS-SA Facebook page. We will be issuing a number of condensed COVID-19-themed policy briefs over the coming weeks, and we appreciate your thoughts and encourage discussion on the recommendations presented.
  • The JSGS-SA has organized weekly Zoom sessions for students who want to connect, talk about what’s going on in your respective worlds, and ask questions if needed. Students from both Saskatoon and Regina are welcome to join. These Zoom calls will be held every Wednesday, starting April 1 until at least April 15, from 5-7 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
  • Also, please remember our weekly town hall meetings, every Monday.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton 


March 20, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

This past Monday, each campus held a town hall meeting where many good questions were raised regarding classes, internships, and university-wide supports, in light of the changing landscape due to COVID-19. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, here is what we’ve learned so far:

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETION

  • Although we want to ensure that you can complete your program on schedule, we also understand the additional pressure you are under.
  • We have been in touch with all instructors and have requested that they give students extra flexibility in terms of assignment deadlines and class attendance. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss extensions.

MPP/PHD RESEARCH

  • Please continue to work with your supervisor to assess how you can engage in your research activities remotely.
  • Unless previously discussed with Amy Hassett and John Bird, all MPP and PhD defenses will proceed as scheduled by remote access (either Zoom or WebEx).

MPA CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS

  • All MPA Capstone Presentations will proceed as scheduled. Please watch for further communication from your instructor.   

JSGS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

  • Students who are currently registered in the Executive Internship program are expected to follow the protocols of their mentor organizations, whether that means coming into the office or working remotely.
  • The 2020-21 internships are currently proceeding as planned. Tianna Yaskow has spoken with many of the mentors, and they have indicated their willingness to proceed with having an intern.
  • All students who applied for an internship have been contacted. Those who are moving on in the process may experience a delay in hearing from their potential mentor as many of them are dealing with the COVID-19 situation. Should you have any specific questions about your internship, please contact Tianna Yaskow.
  • If you wish to speak to someone about the implications of the internship for your program, please reach out to Amy Hassett or John Bird.

WINTER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULE

  • All JSGS classes being offered this semester are going forward as scheduled. One of the key JSGS goals is to ensure that you finish your courses and your program.
  • Instructors are currently exploring different modes of delivering course content in an online/remote format. This may include discussion boards, written material, video recordings, and real-time Zoom or WebEx sessions. Instructors will be in contact with those registered in their classes, with more information and details regarding the delivery mode.
  • As classes move to an online/remote format, please be patient with the technology and the pace of the classes. We kindly ask that you practice understanding at all times in your classes.

SPRING/SUMMER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULES

  • The University of Saskatchewan announced today that Spring/Summer 2020 courses will proceed, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. Although the University of Regina has yet to make a similar announcement, the JSGS will be moving its classes to an online/remote format for the upcoming semester.
  • With the exception of cancelling JSGS 853 Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, all other classes are being move to an online/remote format. For updated course schedules, visit https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/course-information/course-schedule.php.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • We understand that international students have many questions about the services and supports they can access. We have been in contact with central administration at both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to see what provisions are being put in place for international students. As soon as information becomes available, we will provide another update.
  • In the meantime, the Government of Canada has announced special measures to assist those here on study permits (see https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-special-measures.html | https://www.educanada.ca/media-medias/news-nouvelles/2020/2020-03-16.aspx?lang=eng). While specific information is not available, the Government appears to recognize the challenges that international students face.
  • For those international students who return home and are unable to return to Canada for the foreseeable future, please know that you will be able to continue your program online from your home country. This will be done in a variety of ways (e.g., recording of classes in the case of Zoom/WebEx calls), depending on the course and the method of instruction.
  • URInternational will continue to provide support and guidance wherever possible. The office can be reached at 306-585-5082, or email studentservices@uregina.ca.
  • USask’s International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) will be offering support remotely and will provide guidance and support wherever possible. ISSAC staff can be reached at students@usask.ca.
  • Also, please continue reaching out to Amy Hassett or John Bird, or any other faculty or staff member. We are all here to support you.

PINNING CEREMONY

  • We will be postponing the 2020 JSGS Pinning Ceremony that was originally being planned for March. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the ceremony to the fall. We will be in touch with you over the summer months with further information, including information on how to receive your alumni pin if you are unable to attend the ceremony.

GRADUATE PHOTOS

  • At this time and until further notice, the graduation photography sessions have been cancelled. We will let you know as soon as they can be re-scheduled.

JSGS TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  • Consistency and routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times. The school has organized weekly town hall meetings for students every Monday, where you can connect with faculty, staff and students via Zoom. The USask and U of R sessions will be held consecutively so that you may join both, if you so wish. Please use these sessions to raise any concerns or provide feedback.
  • An email reminder will be sent out on Monday morning with the two Zoom links.
  • We also encourage you to contact Amy Hassett or John Bird directly for support if you don’t feel comfortable raising an issue in these sessions.

INSTITUTIONAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

  • Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Please seek out other people and additional supports if you are feeling particularly vulnerable during these times.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre | Students can contact the Student Wellness Centre via email wellness@usask.ca or by phone at 306-966-5768. Campus Security is also available at 306-966-5555 for urgent situations.
  • U of R Counselling Services | Students can contact Counselling Services Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., at 306-585-4491. After office hours contact: Mobile Crisis - 306-757-0127. Campus Security is also available 24 /7 and can reached at 306-585-4999.
  • Other supports include

SOCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Although we need to continue practice safe social distancing, you will need social interaction and we encourage you to do so safely by phone or other online platforms.
  • Amanda Wilcox (JSGS Student Association President in Regina) has taken initiative to organize an open Zoom chat for all those who wish to connect. Manreet Kaur Nehal (JSGS Student Association President in Saskatoon) will also be joining. There won’t be an agenda, but it will give you an opportunity to connect with one another. For more information on this, please visit the JSGS-SA Facebook page or reach out directly to Amanda Wilcox or Manreet Kaur Nehal (via the JSGS Student Association email addresses).
  • Other suggestions for what you can do while practicing safe social distancing include:
    • Grabbing a cup of coffee and connecting with a friend online.
    • Reading an article or book, or watching movie, and having a group chat to discuss the findings and/or plot.
    • Going for a walk.
    • Practicing meditation or yoga. Many how-to sources are available online.

We also want to let you all know that staff and faculty have been urged by both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to work from home for the foreseeable future. While they will not be physically in the office, they are still working and we encourage you to connect with them by email, phone, zoom or WebEx. 

Remember, we are here to support you.

Doug Moen & Ken Rasmussen    


March 14, 2020

Dear students,

As you all know, things are moving very quickly around COVID-19, especially now that two cases have been reported in Saskatchewan.

Our priority remains the same—the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. We want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support, and are able to complete their courses and programs with as little disruption as possible.

The University of Regina (U of R) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19, while the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18. Courses would then resume after the suspensions in an online/remote format.

In light of these announcements, JSGS will be moving to online/remote delivery for the remainder of the winter term beginning on Monday, March 16. Beginning on Monday, students will not be required to come to campus. Since each instructor will deal with the announced changes in a different way, please watch for messages from your instructor for details on what will be required in each of your courses. We ask for your patience as we make the transition.

With regards to students currently registered in JSGS 850: JSGS Internship Program, please continue following the workplace instructions provided by your mentor organization. We kindly ask that you keep Tianna Yaskow informed of any changes.

Furthermore, the universities have announced the cancellation of all non-essential events on and off campus that are not directly tied to the academic progress of students. This includes third party events and activities that have been booked to occur on either campus. This directive applies to the JSGS, and we regret to inform you that the Tansley Lecture on April 2 has been cancelled. More information will be provided next week regarding the various events that will be cancelled or postponed over the coming months.

During this time, we encourage you to practice the following community-based safety measures: 

  • When possible, keep 2m (6ft) of distance between you and other people, and avoid shaking hands and hugging.
  • Minimize in-person meetings and group activities; use phone, teleconference and other technologies for meetings.
  • Evaluate the need for bringing in outside people to campus; cancel, reschedule or using other methods for the meeting or activity.
  • Avoid crowded places if possible.

We are aware that you are under immense pressure for many reasons, and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 may add to your stress. If you have concerns, please reach out to your instructor, John Bird, and/or Ken Rasmussen. We are here to support you.

For those of you who have questions, we are hosting an online Question and Answer session on Monday, March 16 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. An email will go out Monday morning with details.

The University of Regina continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and institutional updates can be found online at U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you continue to take precautions to help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Ken Rasmussen


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes (e.g., many universities in the United States are moving their courses online), our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. This plan includes the possibility of moving in-person courses to an online-delivery format until the COVID-19 threat has passed. If any changes are made to the delivery format, you will be notified as soon as possible. Please note that we may be required to make some of the changes very quickly, so be prepared if this were to happen.

The JSGS will also consider cancelling events that bring together large groups of people; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the latest advice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Additionally, for those of you who may be wondering about the hygiene of our physical space, the custodians are disinfecting common touch points, such as entrances, door knobs, all areas within washrooms, and handrails and communal gathering spaces. Nevertheless, you are strongly encouraged to practice good handwashing hygiene and sneezing etiquette. As well, please make yourself aware of the COVID-19 symptoms and take the appropriate steps to secure your own safety.

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting a Question and Answer session on both campuses next week (details will be provided shortly). An option will be made available for those who wish to connect via Zoom. If, for any reason, you wish to speak to someone in person, please contact Amy Hassett or John Bird to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19 or U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton and Ken Rasmussen

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


March 27, 2020

Dear students,

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide us with updates regarding your current situations and your progress in your online program. We just want to provide you with a few updates that might be relevant to your situation:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • The Government of Canada has suspended federal student loan repayments, effective March 30 and lasting until September 30, 2020. This loan repayment break will be automatic, and students won’t be required to apply for the payment pause.
  • All USask financial supports that were available before the COVID-19 outbreak remain open to students.
  • USask students experiencing an unexpected financial crisis should contact Student Central to access the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust at askus@usask.ca or 1-306-966-1212 or 1-877-650-1212.
  • In regards to tuition, students should be aware of the general rules for late payment. At USask, if funds are not paid by the deadline, a hold will go on the student’s account. The hold remains until the account reaches zero. At the U of R, tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes. However, the university does allow a grace period before late payment charges are added to the account. Please refer to the current Academic Schedule for the end of penalty-free payment date. Late payment charges are applied at 1.5% of the outstanding balance per month.
  • At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments. The U of R does not offer payment plans for tuition.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES

  • The withdrawal deadline for the USask 2020 Winter Term has been moved to the last day of classes (April 7).

ONLINE/REMOTE COURSE DELIVERY

  • We recognize the current challenges you are under, and it is our goal to support you through this time so that you can complete your program on schedule. If you need an extension, please talk to your instructor.

JSGS ONLINE EVENTS

  • Starting on April 1, the JSGS and its research centres will begin hosting a number of public webinars. Up first in the CSIP Research Forum series is Justin Longo’s talk on artificial intelligence in the Canadian public administration. Click here for more details. Please watch for notifications, as webinars will regularly be added to the JSGS Events calendar.
  • We are also currently organizing a series of brown bag forums and alumni-led presentations for JSGS students. The first event, which is being held on March 31 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., will be led by Martin Boucher, Emmy Neuls, Tianna Yaskow and Jamie Mayoh-Bauche and will focus on how to learn online. Click here for more details.

KEEPING ENGAGED

  • As always, we encourage students to follow our social media channels and the JSGS-SA Facebook page. We will be issuing a number of condensed COVID-19-themed policy briefs over the coming weeks, and we appreciate your thoughts and encourage discussion on the recommendations presented.
  • The JSGS-SA has organized weekly Zoom sessions for students who want to connect, talk about what’s going on in your respective worlds, and ask questions if needed. Students from both Saskatoon and Regina are welcome to join. These Zoom calls will be held every Wednesday, starting April 1 until at least April 15, from 5-7 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
  • Also, please remember our weekly town hall meetings, every Monday. 

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton


March 20, 2020

Dear Online MPA students,

You may have seen the update from the University of Saskatchewan yesterday regarding further restrictions on campus. The expectation of the university’s announcement is that by March 23, all non-core USask employees still working on campus will have made the transition to work remotely. JSGS will abide by this policy – as of Monday, March 23, all of our staff and faculty will be working off-site. That said, they continue to be available during the core operating hours and can be contacted through the usual channels.

You might have a few questions regarding classes and university-wide supports, in light of the changing landscape due to COVID-19. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, here is what we’ve learned so far:

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETION

  • Although we want to ensure that you can complete your program on schedule, we also understand the additional pressure you are under.
  • We have been in touch with all instructors and have requested that they give students extra flexibility in terms of assignment deadlines and class attendance. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss extensions.

COURSE SCHEDULES

  • All JSGS classes being offered this semester are going forward as scheduled. One of the key JSGS goals is to ensure that you finish your courses and your program.
  • The University of Saskatchewan announced today that Spring/Summer 2020 courses will proceed, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. Seeing as how all online MPA classes are already offered by distance, this will not impact your program of study.
  • For updated course schedules, visit https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/course-information/course-schedule.php.

PINNING CEREMONY

  • We will be postponing the 2020 JSGS Pinning Ceremony that was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the ceremony to the fall. We will be in touch with you over the summer months with further information, including information on how to receive your alumni pin if you are unable to attend the ceremony.

JSGS TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  • Consistency and routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times. The school has organized weekly town hall meetings for students every Monday, where you can connect with faculty, staff and students via Zoom. Please use these sessions to raise any concerns or provide feedback.
  • An email reminder will be sent out on Monday morning with the Zoom link.
  • We also encourage you to continue contacting Emmy Neuls directly for support if you don’t feel comfortable raising an issue in these sessions.

INSTITUTIONAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

SOCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Although we need to continue practice safe social distancing, you will need social interaction and we encourage you to do so safely by phone or other online platforms.
  • Amanda Wilcox (JSGS Student Association President in Regina) has taken initiative to organize an open Zoom chat for all those who wish to connect. Manreet Kaur Nehal (JSGS Student Association President in Saskatoon) will also be joining. There won’t be an agenda, but it will give you an opportunity to connect with one another. For more information on this, please visit the JSGS-SA Facebook page or reach out directly to Amanda Wilcox or Manreet Kaur Nehal (via the JSGS Student Association email addresses).
  • Other suggestions for what you can do while practicing safe social distancing include:
    • Grabbing a cup of coffee and connecting with a friend online.
    • Reading an article or book, or watching movie, and having a group chat to discuss the findings and/or plot.
    • Going for a walk.
    • Practicing meditation or yo­ga. Many how-to sources are available online.

While faculty and staff will not be physically in the office, they are still working and we encourage you to connect with them by email, phone, zoom or WebEx. 

Remember, we are here to support you.

Doug Moen & Murray Fulton  


March 14, 2020

Dear students,

As you all know, things are moving very quickly around COVID-19, especially now that two cases have been reported in Saskatchewan.

Our priority remains the same—the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. We want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support, and are able to complete their courses and programs with as little disruption as possible.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, while the University of Regina (U of R) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. Courses would then resume after the suspensions in an online/remote format.

Since the online MPA courses are already being delivered in an online/remote format, no changes are anticipated in these courses. However, please watch for messages from your instructor in order to stay on top of what is happening in your courses.

We are aware that you may be under immense pressure for many reasons, and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 may add to your stress. If you have concerns, please reach out to your instructor, Emmy Neuls, and/or Murray Fulton. We are here to support you.

For those of you who have questions, we are hosting an online Question and Answer session on Monday, March 16 at 2 p.m. An email will go out Monday morning with details. 

The University of Saskatchewan continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you continue to take precautions to help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes, our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. For the online MPA, this plan includes the possibility of delaying in-person residencies until the threat of COVID-19 has passed. Otherwise, you should expect that your courses will be provided as scheduled.

The JSGS will also consider cancelling events that bring together large groups of people; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the latest advice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting an online Question and Answer session next week (details will be provided shortly). If, for any reason, you wish to speak to Emmy Neuls in person, please contact her to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Saskatchewan is monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


March 17, 2020

Dear MHA Students:

I am writing to update you regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on winter and spring MHA courses. This message includes information that we provided during yesterday's (Monday's) live information session (conducted via Zoom).

Before I provide the update, I first want to express my appreciation for the contributions that you are no doubt making, whether directly or indirectly, to care for those infected with COVID-19 and to stop the pandemic. You are truly lifesavers. Thank you.

On Friday (March 13), the University of Regina announced that all winter 2020 courses will move to an online/remote format. At that time, the University asked faculty to prepare to deliver spring 2020 courses online as well in the event that public health restrictions on in-person gatherings are still in place. Given that the MHA is mostly an online program, these changes will not impact you as much as they will students in our in-person programs. However, we recognize that you may be under additional work or personal pressures due to the pandemic, so would like to share that, at our request, the graduate school has provided guidance to course instructors on how they can assist students needing more time to complete course assignments. Included in that guidance was an extension of the grade-of-W withdrawl deadline for the winter semester to March 23. If you feel that you need more time to complete a course assignment, please contact your instructor directly.

As you know, our MHA Residency courses are conducted in-person. Due to the uncertainty of the length of restrictions on in-person gatherings, students' planning needs, and JSGS' desire to deliver a well-prepared course, we will be delivering the Spring 2020 Residency online/remotely. In the coming month, Professor Kyabaggu will be providing more information regarding the course format to students who are registered to take it. In the meantime, students who are currently registered but would prefer to take the course in-person may drop it by following the usual procedures. Please note that at this point we still plan to offer the fall Residency (JSGS 830AA) in person. If the University's pandemic restrictions are later extended to the fall semester, we will review the format at that time.

As we receive updates from the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, or the Government of Saskatchewan that could impact the MHA program, we will post them on this web page: https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/covid-19-updates.php . Please consider bookmarking it.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact me or your Academic Advisor, John Bird (John.Bird@uregina.ca) with questions. 

Best wishes for good health,

Cheryl Camillo
Cheryl.Camillo@uregina.ca


March 14, 2020

Dear students,

As you all know, things are moving very quickly around COVID-19, especially now that two cases have been reported in Saskatchewan.

Our priority remains the same—the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. We want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support, and are able to complete their courses and programs with as little disruption as possible.

The University of Regina (U of R) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19, while the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18. Courses would then resume after the suspensions in an online/remote format.

Since the online MHA courses are already being delivered in an online/remote format, no changes are anticipated in these courses. However, please watch for messages from your instructor in order to stay on top of what is happening in your courses.

With regards to the upcoming JSGS 830: MHA Residency, please know that we are monitoring the situation and are actively exploring and considering different delivery formats should they be required.  More information will be communicated shortly about this.

We are aware that many of you are currently working within the health care system or may be under immense pressure due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We do not want to add to your stress. If you have concerns, please reach out to your instructor, John Bird, and/or Cheryl Camillo. We are here to support you.

For those of you who have questions, we are hosting an online Question and Answer session on Monday, March 16 at 2 p.m. An email will go out Monday morning with details. 

The University of Regina continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and institutional updates can be found online at U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you continue to take precautions to help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

 Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Ken Rasmussen


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes, our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. For the online MHA, this plan includes the possibility of altering delivery for in-person residencies. Otherwise, you should expect that your courses will be provided as scheduled.

The JSGS will also consider cancelling events that bring together large groups of people; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the latest advice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada.  

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting an online Question and Answer session next week (details will be provided shortly). If, for any reason, you wish to speak to John Bird in person, please contact him to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Regina is monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Ken Rasmussen

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


March 27, 2020

Dear students,

Thanks to all of you who continue to provide us with updates regarding your current situations and your progress in your online program. We just want to provide you with a few updates that might be relevant to your situation:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • The Government of Canada has suspended federal student loan repayments, effective March 30 and lasting until September 30, 2020. This loan repayment break will be automatic, and students won’t be required to apply for the payment pause.
  • All USask financial supports that were available before the COVID-19 outbreak remain open to students.
  • USask students experiencing an unexpected financial crisis should contact Student Central to access the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust at askus@usask.ca or 1-306-966-1212 or 1-877-650-1212.
  • In regards to tuition, students should be aware of the general rules for late payment. At USask, if funds are not paid by the deadline, a hold will go on the student’s account. The hold remains until the account reaches zero. At the U of R, tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes. However, the university does allow a grace period before late payment charges are added to the account. Please refer to the current Academic Schedule for the end of penalty-free payment date. Late payment charges are applied at 1.5% of the outstanding balance per month.
  • At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments. The U of R does not offer payment plans for tuition.

GENI RESEARCH PROJECTS

  • Social distancing practices are essential in order to curtail the spread of the virus in the wide variety of spaces where we conduct research. In light of this, you may need to postpone your research or change your methodology (e.g. changing in-person interviews to phone or Zoom interviews, etc.). Please discuss different options with your supervisor, and update Emmy Neuls regarding any major changes to your research plan.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES

  • The withdrawal deadline for the USask 2020 Winter Term has been moved to the last day of classes (April 7).

ONLINE/REMOTE COURSE DELIVERY

  • We recognize the current challenges you are under, and it is our goal to support you through this time so that you can complete your program on schedule. If you need an extension, please talk to your instructor.

JSGS ONLINE EVENTS

  • Starting on April 1, the JSGS and its research centres will begin hosting a number of public webinars. Up first in the CSIP Research Forum series is Justin Longo’s talk on artificial intelligence in the Canadian public administration. Click here for more details. Please watch for notifications, as webinars will regularly be added to the JSGS Events calendar.
  • We are also currently organizing a series of brown bag forums and alumni-led presentations for JSGS students. The first event, which is being held on March 31 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., will be led by Martin Boucher, Emmy Neuls, Tianna Yaskow and Jamie Mayoh-Bauche and will focus on how to learn online. Click here for more details.

KEEPING ENGAGED

  • As always, we encourage students to follow our social media channels and the JSGS-SA Facebook page. We will be issuing a number of condensed COVID-19-themed policy briefs over the coming weeks, and we appreciate your thoughts and encourage discussion on the recommendations presented.
  • The JSGS-SA has organized weekly Zoom sessions for students who want to connect, talk about what’s going on in your respective worlds, and ask questions if needed. Students from both Saskatoon and Regina are welcome to join. These Zoom calls will be held every Wednesday, starting April 1 until at least April 15, from 5-7 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
  • Also, please remember our weekly town hall meetings, every Monday. 

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton


March 20, 2020

Dear GENI students,

You may have seen the update from the University of Saskatchewan yesterday regarding further restrictions on campus. The expectation of the university’s announcement is that by March 23, all non-core USask employees still working on campus will have made the transition to work remotely. JSGS will abide by this policy – as of Monday, March 23, all of our staff and faculty will be working off-site. That said, they continue to be available during the core operating hours and can be contacted through the usual channels.

You might have a few questions regarding classes and university-wide supports, in light of the changing landscape due to COVID-19. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, here is what we’ve learned so far:

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETION

  • Although we want to ensure that you can complete your program on schedule, we also understand the additional pressure you are under.
  • We have been in touch with all instructors and have requested that they give students extra flexibility in terms of assignment deadlines and class attendance. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss extensions.

COURSE SCHEDULES

  • All JSGS classes being offered this semester are going forward as scheduled. One of the key JSGS goals is to ensure that you finish your courses and your program.
  • The University of Saskatchewan announced today that Spring/Summer 2020 courses will proceed, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. Seeing as how all GENI classes are already offered by distance, this will not impact your program of study.
  • For updated course schedules, visit https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/course-information/course-schedule.php.

PINNING CEREMONY

  • We will be postponing the 2020 JSGS Pinning Ceremony that was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the ceremony to the fall. We will be in touch with you over the summer months with further information, including information on how to receive your alumni pin if you are unable to attend the ceremony.

JSGS TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  • Consistency and routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times. The school has organized weekly town hall meetings for students every Monday, where you can connect with faculty, staff and students via Zoom. Please use these sessions to raise any concerns or provide feedback.
  • An email reminder will be sent out on Monday morning with the Zoom link.
  • We also encourage you to continue contacting Emmy Neuls directly for support if you don’t feel comfortable raising an issue in these sessions.

 

INSTITUTIONAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

SOCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Although we need to continue practice safe social distancing, you will need social interaction and we encourage you to do so safely by phone or other online platforms.
  • Amanda Wilcox (JSGS Student Association President in Regina) has taken initiative to organize an open Zoom chat for all those who wish to connect. Manreet Kaur Nehal (JSGS Student Association President in Saskatoon) will also be joining. There won’t be an agenda, but it will give you an opportunity to connect with one another. For more information on this, please visit the JSGS-SA Facebook page or reach out directly to Amanda Wilcox or Manreet Kaur Nehal (via the JSGS Student Association email addresses).
  • Other suggestions for what you can do while practicing safe social distancing include:
    • Grabbing a cup of coffee and connecting with a friend online.
    • Reading an article or book, or watching movie, and having a group chat to discuss the findings and/or plot.
    • Going for a walk.
    • Practicing meditation or yo­ga. Many how-to sources are available online.

While faculty and staff will not be physically in the office, they are still working and we encourage you to connect with them by email, phone, zoom or WebEx. 

Remember, we are here to support you.

Doug Moen & Murray Fulton  


March 14, 2020

As you all know, things are moving very quickly around COVID-19, especially now that two cases have been reported in Saskatchewan.

Our priority remains the same—the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. We want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support, and are able to complete their courses and programs with as little disruption as possible.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, while the University of Regina (U of R) has announced the suspension of classes from Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. Courses would then resume after the suspensions in an online/remote format.

Since the online GENI courses are already being delivered in an online/remote format, no changes are anticipated in these courses. However, please watch for messages from your instructor in order to stay on top of what is happening in your courses.

We are aware that you may be under immense pressure for many reasons, and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 may add to your stress. If you have concerns, please reach out to your instructor, Emmy Neuls, Jonathan Crossen, and/or Murray Fulton. We are here to support you.

For those of you who have questions, we are hosting an online Question and Answer session on Monday, March 16 at 9 a.m. An email will go out shortly with details. 

The University of Saskatchewan and the UiT The Arctic University of Norway continue to monitor the coronavirus outbreak, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19 or UiT COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.

In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you continue to take precautions to help prevent illness and transmission:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton 


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes, our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. For the online GENI, this plan includes the possibility of delaying in-person field schools until the threat of COVID-19 has passed. Otherwise, you should expect that your GENI USask courses will continue as normal.

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting an online Question and Answer session next week (details will be provided shortly). If, for any reason, you wish to speak to Emmy Neuls or Jonathan Crossen, please contact them to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Saskatchewan is monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19.

The GENI program is offered jointly with UiT the Arctic University of Norway, and all GENI students should have received UiT information earlier today.  The institutional updates can also be found on this at UiT COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen and Murray Fulton

May 22, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

We hope you all had a great Victoria Day and were able to enjoy the long weekend!

With the pivot to remote delivery for the Spring semester and as we plan for remote delivery for the Fall, you may find the following central learning supports and online resources useful:

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (USask):

  • To support students through the transition to remote delivery, USask has compiled a list of resources of commonly used online tolls and services. Click here for more information.
  • Students looking for some one-to-one assistance with a Writing Help tutor via WebEx, can sign up for a 25 or 55-minute appointment. Students can also submit questions and drafts (at any stage of the writing process) and will hear back from a tutor within 48 hours.
  • The University Library’s Writing Centre is also hosting a series of 60-minute Graduate Writing Workshops via WebEx through the month of June. These workshops will focus on topics such as: Avoiding Plagiarism, Effective Paraphrase, Effective Synthesis, Weaving Ideas Together, Writing a Literature Review, and Writing a Scholarship Proposal. Click here for more information on dates and to register.

UNIVERSITY OF REGINA (U of R)

  • If you haven’t already visited the U of R’s Remote Learning website, you might want to see what resources are available.
  • Students requiring writing support, should seek out the tutoring available through the Student Success Centre. All writing tutoring is now done through email, with feedback being provided in two to three business days. For more information or to access the service, please email writing@uregina.ca.

As we start to settle into a “new normal”, these COVID-19 email updates may become less frequent and more so when something urgent arises or when new information comes to light.  However, should you require any additional information or assistance, please feel free to contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 14, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Both the University of Regina (U of R) and the University of Saskatchewan (USask) confirmed this week that they are planning for primarily remote teaching for the fall semester. As you know, this is in line with what the JSGS has been planning for some time and so this announcement should come as no surprise.  All JSGS courses will be offered online for the fall semester; if the universities re-open in the fall, some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions (where possible).

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has just released additional information on the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). The benefit provides financial support to post-secondary students, and recent post-secondary and high-school students who are unable to find work due to COVID-19, and who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance. The CESB is a taxable benefit that will provide financial relief for eligible students for a maximum of 16 weeks, from May to August 2020. Eligible students can apply for $1,250/four-week period or $2,000/four-week period for those with a disability or those who claim a dependent. Applications will be accepted starting May 15, 2020. Click here for more information on CESB. Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for CESB. For information on additional federal supports available to specific groups of individuals, click here.
  • The school has allocated all remaining funds previously available through the JSGS Emergency Bursary program. The program is now closed and no further applications will be accepted. In total, 44 students were provided with financial support.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan Emergency Financial Aid fund has been depleted and therefore is no longer accepting applications.
  • USask: International students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 are being encouraged to contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre at students@usask.ca to be connected with additional resources. Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at asc@usask.ca to learn more about additional federal and local Indigenous government funding and supports.
  • U of R: This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


May 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

As you know, the Government of Saskatchewan announced its Re-Open Saskatchewan plan on April 23, with the first of five phases starting this past Monday, May 4. With restrictions being lifted for select business and services categories, it is imperative that we continuing to practice preventative measures such as:

We continue to consult with both the University of Regina (U of R) and University of Saskatchewan (USask) on when we can expect both campuses to re-open. However, this will depend partially on whether, and for how long, government-mandated travel and social distancing restrictions remain in place. By mid- to late-May, we hope to have more direction on this from the two universities.

Please note that the JSGS will be moving to online instruction for the 2020 Fall Term. We recognize that even if the universities do open, not all our students will be able to return (due, for example, to travel restrictions). Thus, our plan is to offer all courses online. If universities do open, then some of the teaching (e.g., discussion groups) may be moved to in-person sessions when and where this is possible.

Here are a few additional updates for this week:

TUITION

  • On Thursday, May 7, USask announced that it will be implementing a tuition freeze for the 2020/21 academic. This freeze applies to the JSGS. Student fees for 2020/21 are still under consideration and will be announced at a later date. Click here for more information.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, the U of R Board of Governors approved the university’s budget which is built on a tuition freeze for students. Click here for more information.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

  • The Government of Canada has yet to release further information, including eligibility criteria, for the Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB). That said, the program will be delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, and so we encourage you to check the CRA website regularly for updates and more information.
  • The Saskatchewan government has made available emergency financial aid to help at-risk post-secondary students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout spring and summer, please contact the USask Student Central (askus@usask.ca) for more information on how to apply. In your email, include a brief description of your needs and a phone number where you can be reached.
  • To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask will continue to provide over $70 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, and tuition credits that remain in place. Additionally, the university has provided payments to students in excess of $925,000 from the Emergency Student Fund, a fund that will continue to support students in crisis; has invested $175,000 to support graduate students in assistantships; and has suspended late fees for tuition payments until August.
  • This is a reminder that funding is available through the U of R Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research for U of R students. To apply for funding, please complete the Emergency Funding Application Form and submit it via email to funding@uregina.ca.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS (all are in Saskatchewan time)

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 30, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic here in Saskatchewan, we have tried to keep you informed on matters relevant to your JSGS studies. It is our goal to provide you with routine updates and resources as they are available, all the while not overwhelming you. With that in mind, here are the updates for the week of April 27, 2020.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Several federal and provincial programs have been announced that may apply to you. These include changes to the federal Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP) and the creation of the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The Self-Isolation Support Program is an additional program from the Province of Saskatchewan for those who may not qualify for federal programs. We are still uncertain as to whether these financial supports extend to international students.
  • The University of Saskatchewan (USask) is seeking out additional financial support to help offset financial hardships that students are facing. In the last three weeks, $250K in crisis aid has been given to students. More than ½ of this funding has been provided to graduate students. USask Student Central continues to process aid requests.
  • The JSGS has awarded close to $50K to 48 students through our Emergency Bursary Program, with priority given to those with housing and food insecurity needs. If you find yourself in financial distress, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird so we can determine the best way to assist you.
  • Please remember that funding is still available through a number of sources. For more information, please refer to our April 23 update.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

CONVOCATION

  • USask has confirmed that the Registrar’s Office will be conferring degrees on June 2. The U of R will be announcing its dates following the next meeting of its Executive of Council, which will take place on May 20. U of R students can expect their transcripts will be available in early June. If you are pursuing further graduate studies and require documentation, please contact Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird for assistance.

INTERNSHIPS

  • As many of you know, Tianna Yaskow left the JSGS to pursue another position at the U of R. We want to thank Tianna for her hard work and commitment to our students and internship mentors.
  • We would like to welcome Heidi Eger into the role of Student Experience Officer. Heidi has been with the school for just over six months. She previously worked with the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business in a student support role and will do an excellent job in her new position. We encourage you to contact Heidi if you have any questions.

SPRING/SUMMER CLASSES

  • Spring/Summer classes begin on Monday, May 4. The one exception is JSGS 805 (Saskatoon) which starts Friday, May 1. Please contact your instructors should you have any questions.
  • Although campus bookstore locations remain closed at both universities, digital e-texts and access codes are available through the Usask online bookstore and the U of R online bookstore. Questions can directed to bookstore@usask.ca or bookstore@uregina.ca.

CAREER AND EMPLOYMENT ADVICE AND SUPPORT

  • For students graduating this spring and for those looking for part-time employment, employment support is available through the USask Student Employment and Career Centre and the U of R Student Employment Services.
  • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently lifted restrictions for off-campus work for international students working in essential services. Read more about that, and other information here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 23, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thanks to those of you who joined us Monday at the weekly town hall meeting, and who have reached out to the staff and faculty over the past week with questions.

As we head into the Spring/Summer semester, we want to ensure that you are aware of the following updated information:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

On April 22, 2020, the Government of Canada made several announcements to support post-secondary students facing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19. Although detailed information is not yet available, here is a summary of what Prime Minister Trudeau announced: 

  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) program eligibility including the application process has been updated and is available online. All inquiries should be directed to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • In addition to the CERB, the Government of Canada has announced another $9 billion in financial aid for post-secondary students (Canada Emergency Student Benefit). As part of the package announced, students will be eligible for $1,250/month from May through August. That will go up to $1,750/month if the student is taking care of someone or has a disability. The benefit is also available to students who have jobs, but who are making less than $1,000/month. All payments will be made through the Canada Revenue Agency; watch their website for details.
  • The Government of Canada is also creating 76,000 jobs for students, above and beyond the Canada Summer Jobs program, and has announced that students who volunteer for the fight against COVID-19 over the summer will be paid between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the hours worked.
  • The federal government is doubling student grants for eligible students—up to $6,000 for full-time students and up to $3,600 for part-time students.
  • Other measures announced on April 22 include:
    • Raising the maximum weekly amount that can be provided through the Canada student loans program in 2020-2021 to $350 from $210.
    • More than $75 million in additional supports for Indigenous post-secondary students.
    • Another $291 million for federal granting councils to extend expiring federal graduate research scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships and supplement existing federal research grants.

At this moment, we are unsure whether the new financial aid for post-secondary students applies to international students. More information will hopefully be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the above federal financial support, please remember that funding is available through the following mechanisms:

  • If you are passionate about teaching and learning, you may be interested to know that the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has made emergency funds available to employ graduate students to support remote teaching. The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning is administering in partnership with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS). As part of the assistantship position, duties may include marking, facilitating online discussions and communication, and supporting course development for a USask instructor. A minimum of three separate calls for GSAs will be released over the Spring and Summer Terms. Check USask’s Career page for available positions.
  • If you require additional financial assistance, please refer to the information about other emergency funding available through the Government of Saskatchewan, two universities, and Métis Nation, referenced in our April 15 COVID-19 Update.
  • JSGS would like to report that 35 students have been allocated funds from the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program.
  • As has always been the case, if you are facing significant financial need, please speak to your Academic Advisor who will be able to direct you to relevant resources.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Services Canada has confirmed that international students can renew their Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) during the COVID-19 pandemic, by submitting their applications online or via mail.
  • For international students who would like to return home to be with family during the pandemic, please rest assured that courses are going to be online in the fall so you will be able to continue your program that way for at least the fall semester. However, please note that you will need to maintain your study permit to register for classes.
  • For MPP and PhD students who are in the research phase and who may have been planning to do research activities in the community here, please consult your supervisor. If social distancing measures are lifted by governments, thought would need to be given about a revised plan if you leave Canada and can’t return by fall.

TUITION AND STUDENT FEES

  • Graduate tuition and student fees are set by each university, and JSGS has no control over any changes that might occur. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Amy Hassett, Emmy Neuls or John Bird.

MHA RESIDENCY

  • JSGS is aware that some MHA students, specifically those who need to complete their online MHA residency to complete the program, are unable to register for the Spring and Fall residency. We are actively working with the MHA faculty to come to a solution and will be looking into options. Students are encouraged to stay in touch with John Bird, Connie Heshka and the MHA faculty members as we work to resolve this issue.

SPRING/SUMMER REGISTRATIONS

  • Spring/Summer term classes are being offered and it is expected that most students still have work they can be doing to advance their studies. We are expecting that anyone who can continue will do so.
  • USask: If progress is temporarily not possible due to untenable academic and/or personal circumstances, and if the graduate chair supports a request for a leave of absence, CGPS may grant a leave of absence. A leave of absence based on compassionate circumstances will be appropriate in most cases related to COVID-19 disruption. Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence should talk to Amy Hassett or Emmy Neuls before submitting a leave of absence request to CGPS.
  • University of Regina: Students who are unable to register at this time, due to either personal reasons or academic reasons (e.g., inability to conduct research), are encouraged to consult the university’s Spring/Summer Registration Option Flowchart to help guide their decision making. If you are required to maintain full-time status but are unable to register in Spring/Summer for some reason, you will have to complete a Request for Registration Accommodation During COVID-19. Although Graduate Student Bursary Funding and Graduate Teaching Assistantship funding will not be affected by a request for registration accommodation, your eligibility for other scholarships and external sources of funding may be impacted. Please check with the terms of reference for funds your currently hold and those you intend to apply for to determine potential impacts. Please refer to the university’s Funding FAQ for guidance, and/or speak to your advisor.
  • Students at the U of R campus can choose to have their registration waived or can register full-time for the Spring/Summer semester courses (under the “zero credit hour/zero tuition” option). For more information about both options and how they impact your student status for student visa/study permit requirements, click here.

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • USask PAWS Your Stress Therapy Dog program has moved online! Open to all residents of Saskatchewan, the program connects individuals with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs while learning pandemic-specific mental health self-care tips. Beginning April 20 and until the end of July 2020, PAWS Your Stressevents will take place at least twice a week online. Click here for more information.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre is a Primary Health Care team of physicians, nurses and counselors who are currently providing service to students through phone and web chat. Same-day service is available. Appointments can be made by emailing: student.wellness@usask.ca.  
  • To support students, the USask Student Affairs and Outreach team have daily virtual drop-in counselling available for those requiring immediate assistance. Call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca to book an appointment or connect with a member of the team. 
  • The USask campus community is also encouraged to contact the University Faith Leaders for support.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Student Affairs is offering counselling services and students are encouraged to reach out for support via, https://www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contactusform.html.
  • Additional support is available through the Mobile Crisis Helpline at 306-757-0127.

STATISTICS CANADA

  • Statistics Canada is collecting data on how COVID-19 is affecting post-secondary students. The purpose is to provide early insight into the educational, employment and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on postsecondary students. You will be asked about concerns regarding your academic future, and the financial strain of paying for tuition, rent and other expenses as a result of the pandemic. This information will be used by governments and other organizations to evaluate the need for services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic. For more information or to participate, click here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • If you have additional questions and/or want to listen to updates from the school, please join our weekly Monday town hall meetings (12:00-1:00 p.m. SK time). Please visit https://zoom.us/join to join (Meeting ID: 656 051 946 and password: townhall).
  • The Government as Employer of Last Resort? Evidence from a Canadian Experiment | April 23, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Don’t forget about the JSGS-SAR’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 5:15 p.m.  Visit https://zoom.us/join to join (meeting ID: 953-0879-4374 and password: jsgsagm). Please join them as the outgoing executive will be presenting their annual reports on activities, and the new executive will be available to hear your feedback on how best to serve you in the future. If you have any further questions or comments, please contact Amanda Wilcox, JSGS-SAR President at sar@gmail.com.
  • Triage in the time of COVID-19: Ethical considerations | May 6, 2020, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our student association presidents, Amanda Wilcox and Manreet Kaur Nehal, and all those who served on the associations over the past year. Your willingness and eagerness to serve the needs of your student body is exemplary and is a true testament to your abilities to serve the greater community going forward.

Take care,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton, and Ken Rasmussen


April 15, 2020

Dear JSGS students,

Thank you again to those who joined us on Monday at the joint town hall meeting. As a follow-up to our discussion, we have included below some new information and a few reminders that you may find useful:

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
  • If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html. Additional economic measures put into place by the Government of Canada can be found online at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.
  • The Saskatchewan government has announced emergency financial aid for post-secondary students. Funding is meant for both domestic and international students and will be distributed through one-time bursaries, which will be available from April 1 to September 30, 2020. Eligibility requirements and details of the application process will be available through both universities within the next week. Please watch for more information.
  • University of Regina (U of R) Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) has a modest reserve of funding available to students needing financial assistance as a result of COVID-19. JSGS students at the U of R campus are asked to first apply for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program, before contacting FGSR for additional support (grad.funding@uregina.ca).
  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) students may be eligible for crisis financial aid to help them through these difficult times. Please visit https://updates.usask.ca/info/current/money.php#Crisisfinancialaid for more information.
  • The Saskatchewan Indigenous Mentorship Network has also launched a special fund for Indigenous graduate students at post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan (U of R and USask included). Please note that the deadline to apply is April 17, 2020. For more information, visit https://groups.usask.ca/indigenous-mentorship/funding/special-call.php 
  • Métis Nation – Saskatchewan has established emergency funding assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Métis individuals, including those currently enrolled at post-secondary institutions, may apply for financial aid through the MN-S Emergency Housing Support program and the MN-S Childcare Support program. To learn more please visit Métis Nation SK or call 1-833-343-8285. Please note that only one application is permitted per household for the household support and for the childcare funding and only one parent/guardian can apply for the Childcare support. 

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)has confirmed that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID 19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program eligibility. For more information, visit this IRCC webpage. Students should remain mindful of timelines and eligibility for Post-Graduate Work Permits.
  • Saskatchewan Health has confirmed that international students with expired Saskatchewan Health Cards who have implied statuson their study permits will be eligible to apply for a six-month extension on their SK Health Plan. Submissions can be done via eHealth Saskatchewan’s online portal.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES, PASS/FAIL OPTIONS (2020 WINTER TERM)

  • For the 2020 Winter semester, USask students will have the option to withdraw from a course without academic penalty after they have received their final mark. This option to withdraw will be available to students until May 8, 2020. In the coming weeks, students will receive instructions regarding how to withdraw. Please note that withdrawal from a course means you will not receive academic credit and you would have to retake the course to fulfill your degree requirements.
  • U of R students have been provided with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose the option that best suits them. However, we strongly recommend that students select the traditional numeric grading option. For more information on the different options, please refer to our April 2, 2020 update.

TUITION PAYMENT

  • Deadlines for the payment of tuition at USask have been moved to June 2 (spring term and multi-term classes) and August 3 (summer term). In addition, the university will continue to suspend late fees on unpaid tuition and fees for the months of May through August. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year, as well as the payment deadline and the assessment of late fees for the 2020 Fall Term, are under review and will be communicated at a later date.

GRADUATION AND PARCHMENTS

MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

  • JSGS students at the USask campus now have access to mental health supports through the Empower Me Empower Me allows students to connect with qualified counsellors, consultants, and life coaches, and sessions can be delivered by telephone, video, or through e-communication. The cost of this service will be covered by the university’s Graduate Student Association until August 31, 2020.

FALL 2020 SEMESTER

  • The JSGS will offer a full set of courses in the Fall term. Since it is not clear whether we will be able to provide in-person teaching in the fall, we are planning that all courses will be offered in an online format. If in-person teaching is allowed, we may switch some of our teaching to this format.  

GLOBAL POLICY RESPONSES TO COVID-19

UPCOMING EVENTS

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton


April 8, 2020

Dear JSGS students, 

We understand that there have been many personal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, and one of these may be financial hardship. We have established the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) Emergency Bursary Program, which is a modest fund available to assist JSGS students at both campuses who may need temporary help on an emergency basis due to circumstances caused by the COVID‑19 pandemic. This special program will be available only for the period deemed appropriate by JSGS. Funds for the JSGS Emergency Bursary Program are provided and managed jointly by JSGS at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses.

The JSGS Emergency Bursary Program is intended to bridge a financial gap that would otherwise impede a student’s ability to complete their studies. Students can apply for emergency funding of up to $2,000 at one time, although approval is not guaranteed.

To be eligible to apply, the applicant must be actively registered and enrolled in a JSGS program or be on approved academic leave (this includes the spring/summer academic break for students in the MPA program at the USask campus). Students in all JSGS programs are eligible to apply for support. For GENI students, those with USask as their home institution are eligible to apply.

JSGS students experiencing financial hardship who wish to apply for an emergency bursary can complete the application form and email it (together with the required supporting documentation) to jsgs-bursary@usask.ca. Any questions about the application or process can also be sent to that email. The first round of applications will be reviewed on April 17, 2020, and must be submitted by April 16 at 3:00 p.m. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

There are also other emergency funding sources available that we encourage you to explore: 

In addition to the above funding sources, USask has extended the tuition and fee payment deadlines for the 2020 spring and summer terms. The tuition deadlines are now June 2 (2020 Spring term) and August 3 (2020 Summer term). For more information on how to pay, or to learn about the Graduate Student Tuition Instalment Plan, visit https://students.usask.ca/money/tuition-fees/pay.php.

Take care.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


April 2, 2020

Dear students,

Now in our third week of the COVID-19 outbreak here in Saskatchewan, we are shifting from crisis response and management to medium-term planning. 

The campus-specific weekly town hall meetings have been a great way for us to connect with and hear from you on important matters. However, as issues are being addressed and new information has become available through our two universities and government bodies, it has become clear that we no longer need one town hall meeting per campus. As a result, starting April 6 and until further notice, the JSGS will be moving to a single combined student town hall meeting from 12-1pm (Saskatchewan time) (https://zoom.us/j/656051946). This session is open to all JSGS students.

PASS/FAIL VS. NUMERICAL GRADE

As many of you aware, there has been discussion at the two universities recently about moving to a pass/fail versus numerical grading system. Here is a brief overview of the two institutions’ decisions, and how they will affect you as a JSGS student:

  • University of Saskatchewan (USask) – With a few exceptions (Law is one and they require students to choose the Pass/Fail option before they take their exams), the University of Saskatchewan, including the JSGS, has decided to keep the numerical grading system
  • University of Regina (U of R) – The U of R is providing students with four approved options for final grades for the Winter 2020 semester. On a class-by-class basis, students can choose which option best suits them. The options, which are irreversible once chosen, are:
    • Traditional numeric grading
    • Course withdrawal – the U of R has extended the course withdrawal deadline to coincide with the final day of classes (Thursday, April 9). Students chosen this option would avoid a failing grade and therefore a negative impact on your GPA.
    • CRC (Credit-COVID-19) – for students who pass a course, but who experience stressors that have negatively impacted their academic performance. This option is considered a credit/pass, will not impact GPA, can be used in degree completion requirements, but may have some impact on eligibility for funding or financial awards. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
    • NCC (No Credit-COVID-19) – for students who receiving a failing numerical grade and request to replace it so as it preserve their academic standing. Students who do not pass a course due to failure to complete a final exam or other component of the course, will not be eligible for “NCC”. This option does not impact GPA and does not count towards degree completion. The deadline to select this option is May 31, 2020.
  • JSGS students are bound by the regulations of the campus at which they are enrolled.
    • For example, if a JSGS U of R student is taking a USask class, they can submit a request to the U of R graduate chair (i.e. Ken Rasmussen) to have their grade changed as outlined above.
    • JSGS USask students taking a U of R class must accept the traditional numeric grade given to them by their instructor.
  • JSGS is a graduate school—with both professional and research-based programs—and we strongly recommend that students from the U of R campus select the traditional numeric grading option as this is an important element of your degree. We encourage you to attend the next town hall meeting on Monday, should you have further questions about this.

EXTENSIONS

  • We understand that there has been some confusion around extensions. We will be reaching out to all instructors again to ensure they are aware of options available. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss what might be the best route for you, if you feel an extension is needed.

884 CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS (USask campus)

  • We have heard that a few students are nervous about presenting their 884 capstone presentations via Zoom. It is natural to be worried about using a medium with which you are unfamiliar; therefore, we highly recommend that you sign up for a free Zoom account and run through your presentation with a friend or fellow student.

JSGS INTERNSHIPS

  • Placing interns is an ongoing process. Tianna is working with the mentors to ensure the process is moving forward. The COVID-19 situation has affected the 2020-21 mentors in different ways, which means some are slower to respond than others. Please be assured that we are working to move the placements forward so that interns know where they will be placed for the upcoming year.

UPCOMING ONLINE EVENTS

 OTHER

  • USask University Library - Although the University Library’s physical spaces are closed, staff are working remotely to assist students and faculty with their academic and research needs. Please visit the library website for updates, a listing of current library services, and to check out the new research guide: https://libguides.usask.ca/libraryupdates
  • The U of R has transitioned to online library services. Subject librarians are available to students over email and Zoom. There have also been changes to borrowing practices and timelines. For more information on online resources and practices, see https://uregina.libguides.com/covid-19/.

STAYING CONNECTED

Take care,

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton 


March 26, 2020

Dear students,

Thanks to all of you who joined us on Monday for the online town hall meeting. We are glad to see that many of you are adjusting to the new circumstances, and we continue to welcome your feedback as we navigate this changing situation. Regarding some of your questions, here is what we have learned so far:

STUDENT RESIDENCES/ACCOMMODATIONS

  • At the University of Saskatchewan, students remaining in residence and living in Voyageur Place (dorm-style units) are being moved into apartment-style units to abide by proper social distancing protocol. USask Culinary Services will be providing emergency hampers only for students who are quarantined due to recent travel or due to symptoms associated with COVID-19. Students who have a remaining meal balance on their accounts will have the option to extend the expiry date of their plan or get a refund so that they can purchase their own groceries. 
  • Students living in residence at the University of Regina will not be required to move out of their accommodations. For those who do wish to move off campus, the U of R is waiving all regular cancellation fees and providing pro-rated refunds. For the foreseeable future, U of R Food Services will remain open with a take-out option.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • If an international student cannot/prefers not to return home right now, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced special measures to help temporary and permanent residents, including those here on study permits and affected by service disruptions due to the novel coronavirus. IRCC has published a website providing detailed information including updated processes on how you can apply to extend your stay in Canada if needed.
  • Currently, international students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Canadian government, such as government student loans or Employment Insurance. That said, international students may be eligible for bank loans but must have a co-signer who is either a Canadian or a permanent resident.
  • International students remaining in Canada should consult their embassy for advice and guidance on what supports their governments can provide.

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS

  • The Government of Canada has suspended federal student loan repayments, effective March 30 and lasting until September 30, 2020. This loan repayment break will be automatic, and students won’t be required to apply for the payment pause.
  • All USask and U of R financial supports that were available before the COVID-19 outbreak remain open to students.
  • USask students experiencing an unexpected financial crisis should contact Student Central to access the Nasser Family Emergency Student Trust at askus@usask.ca or 1-306-966-1212 or 1-877-650-1212.
  • In regards to tuition, students should be aware of the general rules for late payment. At USask, if funds are not paid by the deadline, a hold will go on the student’s account. The hold remains until the account reaches zero. At the U of R, tuition and fees are due on the first day of classes. However, the university does allow a grace period before late payment charges are added to the account. Please refer to the current Academic Schedule for the end of penalty-free payment date. Late payment charges are applied at 1.5% of the outstanding balance per month.
  • At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments. The U of R does not offer payment plans for tuition.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

CONVOCATION

  • In line with federal and provincial requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention, and supporting the University of Saskatchewan’s and the University of Regina’s decisions to close both campuses to public visitors until further notice, Spring 2020 Convocation ceremonies have been postponed at USask and cancelled at the U of R. However, degrees will still be conferred in June to graduating students, but through alternative means. More information about what this will look like will be made available as soon as possible.

MPP/PHD RESEARCH

  • Social distancing practices are essential in order to curtail the spread of the virus in the wide variety of spaces where we conduct research. In light of this, you may need to postpone your research or change your methodology (e.g. changing in-person interviews to phone or Zoom interviews, etc.). Please discuss different options with your supervisor.
  • Research sponsors, including the tri-agencies, are well aware that the COVID-19 pandemic can affect funded research projects in many ways. In addition to existing mechanisms for addressing exceptional circumstances, the tri-agencies are actively assessing the issues and will be sharing further information. Please visit their respective websites for regular updates:
  • For research-based students at the U of R, the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research has released modified thesis guidelines to accommodate students during this period. For a student who submits a ready-to-defend thesis before April 15, 2020 and will defend no later than May 31, 2020, the tuition fee for spring/summer semester will be waived. If the ready-to-defend thesis is not submitted by April 15 and defended by May 31, students will be required to register for Spring/Summer 2020.

WITHDRAWAL DEADLINES

  • The withdrawal deadline for the USask 2020 Winter Term has been moved to the last day of classes (April 7).
  • The withdrawal deadline for the U of R 2020 Winter Term has passed. Please note that the last day of classes for the 2020 Winter term is April 9.

ONLINE/REMOTE COURSE DELIVERY AND ACCESS

  • Thank you to all students who have provided feedback on the new Zoom-delivery format. Faculty are adjusting to this new teaching approach, and we greatly appreciate your patience as we fine tune the technology on our end.
  • We recognize the current challenges you are under, and it is our goal to support you through this time so that you can complete your program on schedule. If you need an extension, please talk to your instructor.
  • Students who do not have access to computers in their off-campus locations are encouraged to connect with their instructors for alternative options.
  • For those international students who have returned home and are unable to return to Canada for the foreseeable future, please know that you will be able to continue your program onlinefrom your home country. This will be done in a variety of ways (e.g., recording of classes in the case of Zoom/WebEx calls), depending on the course and the method of instruction. According to current IRCC regulations, studying online for part of your program on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect post-graduation work permit program eligibility. However, there are things to keep in mind. Click here for more information about distance learning and PGWPP eligibility

JSGS ONLINE EVENTS

  • Starting on April 1, the JSGS and its research centres will begin hosting a number of public webinars. Up first in the CSIP Research Forum series is Justin Longo’s talk on artificial intelligence in the Canadian public administration. Click here for more details. Please watch for notifications, as webinars will regularly be added to the JSGS Events calendar.
  • For MPP and PhD students, please be advised that watching an online webinar or a recorded presentation will now count towards your JSGS 990 seminar requirements.
  • We are also currently organizing a series of brown bag forums and alumni-led presentations for JSGS students. The first event, which is being held on March 31 from 12:00-1:00 p.m., will be led by Martin Boucher, Emmy Neuls, Tianna Yaskow and Jamie Mayoh-Bauche and will focus on how to learn online. Click here for more details.

KEEPING ENGAGED

  • As always, we encourage students to follow our social media channels and the JSGS-SA Facebook page. We will be issuing a number of condensed COVID-19-themed policy briefs over the coming weeks, and we appreciate your thoughts and encourage discussion on the recommendations presented.
  • The JSGS-SA has organized weekly Zoom sessions for students who want to connect, talk about what’s going on in your respective worlds, and ask questions if needed. Students from both Saskatoon and Regina are welcome to join. These Zoom calls will be held every Wednesday, starting April 1 until at least April 15, from 5-7 p.m. Saskatchewan time.
  • Also, please remember our weekly town hall meetings, every Monday.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen and Murray Fulton

 


March 20, 2020

Dear students,

This past Monday, the school held town hall zoom chats with students where many good questions were raised regarding classes, internships, and university-wide supports, in light of the changing landscape due to COVID-19. Although we don’t have all the answers yet, here is what we’ve learned so far:

ASSIGNMENT COMPLETION

  • Although we want to ensure that you can complete your program on schedule, we also understand the additional pressure you are under.
  • We have been in touch with all instructors and have requested that they give students extra flexibility in terms of assignment deadlines and class attendance. Please contact your instructors directly to discuss extensions.

WINTER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULE

  • All JSGS classes being offered this semester are going forward as scheduled. One of the key JSGS goals is to ensure that you finish your courses and your program.
  • Instructors are currently exploring different modes of delivering course content in an online/remote format. This may include discussion boards, written material, video recordings, and real-time Zoom or WebEx sessions. Instructors will be in contact with those registered in their classes, with more information and details regarding the delivery mode.
  • As classes move to an online/remote format, please be patient with the technology and the pace of the classes. We kindly ask that you practice understanding at all times in your classes.

SPRING/SUMMER 2020 COURSE SCHEDULES

  • The University of Saskatchewan announced today that Spring/Summer 2020 courses will proceed, but in an online (remote) delivery mode only. Although the University of Regina has yet to make a similar announcement, the JSGS will be moving its classes to an online/remote format for the upcoming semester.
  • With the exception of cancelling JSGS 853 Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, all other classes are being move to an online/remote format. For updated course schedules, visit https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/course-information/course-schedule.php.

PINNING CEREMONY

  • We will be postponing the 2020 JSGS Pinning Ceremony that was originally scheduled for March 31, 2020. At this time, we are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule the ceremony to the fall. We will be in touch with you over the summer months with further information, including information on how to receive your alumni pin if you are unable to attend the ceremony.

DIEFENBAKER BUILDING CLOSURE

  • You may have seen the update from the University of Saskatchewan yesterday regarding further restrictions on campus. The expectation of the university’s announcement is that by March 23, all non-core USask employees still working on campus will have made the transition to work remotely.
  • JSGS will abide by this policy – as of Monday, March 23, all of our staff and faculty will be working off-site. They continue to be available during the core operating hours and can be contacted through the usual channels.
  • Since staff and faculty will not be on-site, the Diefenbaker Building will be closed to everyone – faculty, staff, students and the public.
  • The University’s core operations continue and are open to students who need to be on campus to access services to complete their academic programs. Currently, the Murray Library is open 8:00 am – 5:00 pm during weekdays. The campus is immediately closed to public visitors. Only faculty, staff, contractors, and deliveriescritical to core operations will be allowed on campus until further notice. In addition, please note that access to many buildings and facilities on campus will be limited or closed due to the preventative measures taken in recent days to protect the health and safety of the University community. A list of university buildings that are closed is available here.

JSGS TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  • Consistency and routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy in uncertain times. The school has organized weekly town hall meetings for students every Monday, where you can connect with faculty, staff and students via Zoom. The USask and U of R sessions will be held consecutively so that you may join both, if you so wish. Please use these sessions to raise any concerns or provide feedback.
  • An email reminder will be sent out on Monday morning with the two Zoom links.
  • We also encourage you to contact Amy Hassett or John Bird directly for support if you don’t feel comfortable raising an issue in these sessions.

INSTITUTIONAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS

  • Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Please seek out other people and additional supports if you are feeling particularly vulnerable during these times.
  • USask Student Wellness Centre | Students can contact the Student Wellness Centre via email wellness@usask.ca or by phone at 306-966-5768. Campus Security is also available at 306-966-5555 for urgent situations.
  • U of R Counselling Services | Students can contact Counselling Services Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., at 306-585-4491. After office hours contact: Mobile Crisis - 306-757-0127. Campus Security is also available 24 /7 and can reached at 306-585-4999.
  • Other supports include

SOCIAL SUPPORTS

  • Although we need to continue practice safe social distancing, you will need social interaction and we encourage you to do so safely by phone or other online platforms.
  • Amanda Wilcox (JSGS Student Association President in Regina) has taken initiative to organize an open Zoom chat for all those who wish to connect. Manreet Kaur Nehal (JSGS Student Association President in Saskatoon) will also be joining. There won’t be an agenda, but it will give you an opportunity to connect with one another. For more information on this, please visit the JSGS-SA Facebook page or reach out directly to Amanda Wilcox or Manreet Kaur Nehal (via the JSGS Student Association email addresses).
  • Other suggestions for what you can do while practicing safe social distancing include:
    • Grabbing a cup of coffee and connecting with a friend online.
    • Reading an article or book, or watching movie, and having a group chat to discuss the findings and/or plot.
    • Going for a walk.
    • Practicing meditation or yo­ga. Many how-to sources are available online.

We also want to let you all know that staff and faculty have been urged by both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to work from home for the foreseeable future. While they will not be physically in the office, they are still working and we encourage you to connect with them by email, phone, zoom or WebEx. 

Remember, we are here to support you.

Doug Moen, Ken Rasmussen & Murray Fulton  


March 17, 2020

Dear MCERT HSM Students:

I am writing to update you regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on winter and spring MHA courses. This message includes information that we provided during yesterday's (Monday's) live information session (conducted via Zoom).

Before I provide the update, I first want to express my appreciation for the contributions that you are no doubt making, whether directly or indirectly, to care for those infected with COVID-19 and to stop the pandemic. You are truly lifesavers. Thank you.

On Friday (March 13), the University of Regina announced that all winter 2020 courses will move to an online/remote format. At that time, the University asked faculty to prepare to deliver spring 2020 courses online as well in the event that public health restrictions on in-person gatherings are still in place. Given that the Master Certificate in Health Systems Management is an online program, these changes will not impact you as much as they will students in our in-person programs. However, we recognize that you may be under additional work or personal pressures due to the pandemic, so would like to share that, at our request, the graduate school has provided guidance to course instructors on how they can assist students needing more time to complete course assignments. Included in that guidance was an extension of the grade-of-W withdrawal deadline for the winter semester to March 23. If you feel that you need more time to complete a course assignment, please contact your instructor directly.

As we receive updates from the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, or the Government of Saskatchewan that could impact the MCERT program, we will post them on this web page: https://www.schoolofpublicpolicy.sk.ca/students/covid-19-updates.php . Please consider bookmarking it.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact me or your Academic Advisor John Bird (John.Bird@uregina.ca) with questions.

Best wishes for good health,

Cheryl Camillo
Cheryl.Camillo@uregina.ca


March 12, 2020

Dear students,

You have no doubt been following the COVID-19 story as it unfolds around the world and have questions about what might happen at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School. We wanted to let you know that JSGS faculty and staff are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and are committed to providing you with regular updates on what we are and will be doing in response. As of right now, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low for the general population in Canada and business remains as usual. However, the situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to change what we are doing. 

If we are required to make changes (e.g., many universities in the United States are moving their courses online), our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. We also want to make sure that students continue to receive high quality instruction and support and are able to complete their courses and programs.

To these ends, the JSGS is actively working on a contingency plan. This plan includes the possibility of moving in-person courses to an online-delivery format until the COVID-19 threat has passed. If any changes are made to the delivery format, you will be notified as soon as possible. Please note that we may be required to make some of the changes very quickly, so be prepared if this were to happen.

The JSGS will also consider cancelling events that bring together large groups of people; this decision will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the latest advice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Additionally, for those of you who may be wondering about the hygiene of our physical space, the custodians are disinfecting common touch points, such as entrances, door knobs, all areas within washrooms, and handrails and communal gathering spaces. Nevertheless, you are strongly encouraged to practice good handwashing hygiene and sneezing etiquette. As well, please make yourself aware of the COVID-19 symptoms and take the appropriate steps to secure your own safety.

We know you are likely to have questions. Thus, we will be hosting a Question and Answer session on both campuses next week (details will be provided shortly). An option will be made available for those who wish to connect via Zoom. If, for any reason, you wish to speak to someone in person, please contact Amy Hassett or John Bird to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

The University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina are monitoring the coronavirus situation, and institutional updates can be found online at USask COVID-19 or U of R COVID-19.

For up-to-date and accurate information regarding the outbreak, symptoms and treatment, prevention and risks, and for a variety of resources, visit Government of Canada Updates.  

Thanks for giving the information in this letter your utmost attention. COVID-19 will have a major impact on the world and it is important that we all find a way to deal with its repercussions in a way that is thoughtful and considerate.

Yours truly,

Doug Moen, Murray Fulton and Ken Rasmussen

JSGS FAQs for students starting classes Fall 2020 (University of Saskatchewan campus)

For all USask students

We know there is a lot of uncertainty right now and that you have many questions regarding your upcoming program at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). Some of these questions relate to university-wide policies concerning graduate students. For answers to these questions, we encourage you to review the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ Admissions page on the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (CGPS) website. In addition, we encourage all international students to review the ‘International students’ page for full information related to COVID-19 updates and studying at USask.

Here are some of the questions that we at the JSGS can answer.

Classes are scheduled to begin at USask on September 3, 2020. JSGS classes will begin then as well. However, there will be some preparatory reading and work to do before that date. We will let you know more about this over the next month.

The JSGS will be offering all its courses in an online format for the Fall term. This decision aligns with that of the entire University of Saskatchewan, which, on May 12th, announced plans for primarily remote academic delivery for the fall term. Thus, even though you may be technically registered in an in-person program, you will take courses online.

Unknown. At this point we are unsure if winter term (January – April) courses will be in-person or online. We expect this decision to be announced by November.

Yes. All students enrolled in our in-person programs will be required to come to Saskatoon when it is possible to do so. Students enrolled in our online programs (online MPA and GENI) will continue to take courses online (except for the Residency courses in the online MPA and the Field School in the GENI program).

Unknown. It is expected that student fees will be adjusted in some manner to reflect the fact that students are not physically on campus and able to use the services. However, we do not know the extent of this adjustment.

This is tough question. We expect it will be difficult for international students to make it to Saskatoon before the winter term begins in January. Thus, housing will not be required this fall (but may be required in the winter). Information on residence on campus can be found here.

You may request a deferral to January 2021 entry and you will not need to reapply or pay another application fee. However, you would need to reapply and pay another application fee if you are looking for September 2021 entry and beyond. To request a deferral to January 2021 please e-mail Amy Hassett at amy.hassett@usask.ca with the Subject line “January 2021 Deferral Request” and in your e-mail provide your full name and student ID. A new admission letter will then be sent out over the summer months.

No. Your tuition remains the same. If you have been accepted into the in-person program, you will pay the in-person tuition. If you have been accepted into the online program, you will pay the online tuition.

At USask, graduate students may sign up for a Graduate Student Tuition Instalment plan to pay their tuition fees with monthly pre-authorized payments.

For International Students enrolled at USask campus

To address this need, the JSGS is accepting two home-based language test options for admissions to the 2020-2021 academic year – the Duolingo English Test and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test. While these tests will be accepted by the school, we will also conduct online interviews with accepted candidates. More information on these two home-based tests can be found here.

It is possible for students outside Canada to register and study online.

We will be making arrangements in our courses to help students deal with time zone differences and Internet access limitations.

Yes. As soon as you are admitted, you should begin the process of obtaining a study permit. USask is offering an online information session on applying for an initial study permit outside of Canada. This session is taking place on July 16th at 7:00 a.m. Central Standard Time. Register and learn more here.

You can begin your program remotely in Fall 2020 even if your study permit has not been processed or approved yet.

However, while a study permit is not required to begin a program remotely, there are several implications that you must consider and be aware of before proceeding in a program without a valid study permit.

  1. If you are admitted to an in-person program, you must be able to travel to Saskatoon when the COVID-19 situation allows in order to satisfy the program requirements;
  2. A study permit is required to travel to Canada;
  3. If you begin your program without a study permit, USask cannot guarantee a study permit will be issued later. Thus, if you want to be assured that you can complete your program, it is prudent to obtain the study permit before you begin. Please note that no tuition or fees will be refunded if such a situation arises.
  4. If you choose to study remotely without a study permit, the time in program without the study permit would not count towards post-graduation work permit eligibility.

 

If you are interested, it might be possible to transfer you to the online MPA program. If you are interested in this option, please contact Emmy Neuls at emmy.neuls@usask.ca and she can discuss the options that are available.

According to the Government of Canada’s website as of June 30, 2020, you are eligible, providing less than 50% of your program’s courses are completed online. If a PGWP is issued, the validity period is to be based on the length of the program, as confirmed by the university, including credits earned from both in-class and online courses. Students who do start their program abroad without a study permit cannot use that study period towards through PGWP validity. This is particularly sensitive for students in the MPA program, which is considered a 2-year program.

If more than 50% of the program’s courses are completed online, the program is considered a distance-learning program, and you would be ineligible for a PGWP. Thus, it will be important that you take up residency in Canada when it is possible to do so.

For more details, check out the Government of Canada’s website.

Yes. The international student tuition differential is assessed based on your status as an international student and not based on where you take courses.

The information detailed above aligns with the current policies in place by the Government of Canada, Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan, as of June 30, 2020. Although we will do our best to keep you updated on any major changes, please make sure to check for updates routinely.