Students wearing masks

Student Guide

Your Guide to a Defining Year
at Trent University Durham GTA

A Message from President Leo Groarke

This year, we find ourselves in unique circumstances. Rest assured, Trent has put careful thought and planning into how we move forward in a safe and engaging way. The health and safety of Trent community are foremost in our considerations as we gradually open our campuses for multi-access education and research.

In these different times, I believe that your Trent education is more valuable than ever. We remain deeply committed to providing all our students – wherever you may be –with the high quality, engaging student experience you have come to expect at Trent.

This resource is your guide to Trent for the 2020-21 academic year and includes details of our multi-access approach to learning, return to campus planning and activities as well as information on supports and services.

Whether you are joining us in person on campus or pursuing your studies remotely, know that Trent's vibrant community of students, faculty and staff are here to help you excel - personally as well as academically.

Together we will be part of the solution as our communities confront the realities of COVID today and reimagine a better tomorrow.

Leo Groarke, Ph.D.
President & Vice-Chancellor

Together Again... Wherever we may be

The realities of 2020 challenge us to innovate the ways we engage and support our students. This academic year, we remain committed to providing you safe and supportive opportunities to get engaged and succeed academically.

A professor teaching with multi-access learning techniques.

Multi-Access Learning

Multi-access learning is our commitment to delivering a flexible, safe educational experience for our students in this very different year. This means that most courses will be offered through online or remote delivery – using all of the latest and best technology that allows us to keep connected, no matter where we are. We are also planning for small classes, specialized hands-on learning workshops and some labs to be held in-person.

Multi-Access Learning
Students on Trent University campus wearing masks.

Our Campuses Are Open

Whether you’re living on campus, attending an in-person class or lab, or making use of academic facilities, our campus buildings will be open as we follow and are guided by the latest provincial directives. When you do happen to be on campus, you’ll see new signage that will help you understand how to use our spaces safely as you navigate the new normal of physical distancing and face coverings.

Building Hours
An advisor wearing a mask helping a student.

We're Here to Help

All of our student supports and services are available online, so you can access them no matter where you are. If you are visiting our Durham campus, you’ll encounter our new Student Support Hub in the original building (DRA), where specially trained students and staff will be ready to answer just about any question you can think of around student support. You cans top in to learn more about an array of services and supports, like Academic Skills and Advising, Student Wellness services, Athletics, course registration, and more.

Supports & Services
Students wearing masks on the steps of Trent University Durham GTA.

Tradition With a Twist

This year, your favourite annual and traditional events are back…most with a virtual twist. Join us from the Durham campus, in person or online for movie nights, legendary trivia challenges, wellness activities, and a variety of club and group events, we’ll take you with us, using a variety of web-based platforms. No matter where you are as a Trent student you will be able to stay connected, get involved and build memories to last a lifetime. This year, community is just a click away.

Durham GTA Community

Multi-Access Learning & Academic Support

Multi-Access Learning: A flexible approach to learning during a time of fluidity and change

Trent’s multi-access approach was developed to ensure uninterrupted learning for our students during this time of fluidity and change. Multi-access learning is our commitment to delivering a flexible, safe and high-quality educational experience for our students in this very different year. Courses will be available through a combination of online and remote delivery and in some cases in-person instruction (labs, specialized hands-on or small cohort courses, workshops, seminars).

Your Choice is Key

The main thing about courses at Trent in this academic year is that almost all courses are being offered in a way that allows you to access content remotely or online. Even where in-person components exist, many courses provide students with options to access content and learning material if they cannot be present.

A professor instructing students in person and on Zoom.

4 Types of Course Experiences

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On-Campus/In-Person Courses

A limited number of courses are available “ON-CAMPUS” for the 2020-21 academic year. These courses are primarily courses within professional programs with accredited placement requirements, labs in the natural sciences, and smaller classes/workshops/seminars.

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Any Time Remote Courses (also called Asynchronous Courses)

Any Time Remote Courses mean just that – they can be completed anytime and don’t require you to be online, in the virtual classroom at a certain day or time, and course work can be completed even while students are offline.

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Any Time Remote Courses with Optional Real-Time Classes Online

These courses offer the best of both worlds. In an Any Time Remote Course with Optional Real-Time Classes, otherwise known as “asynchronous with optional synchronous”, students can access the core content and clear instructions via Blackboard at any time. There are also some optional real-time classes such as lectures, seminars, or workshops, which are more active in nature.

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Real-Time Online Courses (also called Synchronous Courses)

A real-time remote course which students must attend, either regularly or at certain points (such as for testing/labs/seminars), according to their timetabled scheduled classes, using Zoom or other real-time meeting software that is fully accessible to students.

Learning Resources

We are committed to helping ensure you are successful academically this year, no matter where or how you choose to study with us, as we continue to provide an array of support services and resources, in-person and remotely.

How to learn online

A student learning online.

Our collection of how-to guides will help you to be successful in your online courses. Find advice on getting started with online learning, goal setting and time management, and preparing for and writing online exams.

How to Learn Online

Remote learning tools

A student viewing their professor on Zoom.

Using effective remote tools is an important part of learning. Our Information Technology department has pulled together a comprehensive catalogue of recommended tools and remote learning resources. Learn more about platforms like Zoom, Blackboard and YuJa, what tools are best for collaborating with classmates and get access to online training.

Going Remote

Get connected

A student raising their hand to answer a question in an online class.

Our teams are standing by to help. Connect with Academic Skills to chat in person or online about resources, time management and ways to be academically successful this year.

Academic Skills

A Connected Community

Wraparound Support for a Multi-Access Year

Students wearing masks at the Trent University Durham GTA campus.

Our Durham GTA Community

You don’t just attend Trent. You become Trent—and Trent becomes a part of you. Ask an alum about their time here and be prepared to clear your schedule. Like them, the stories (novels) told from your time at Trent will be meaningful, inspirational, curious, and most importantly, unforgettable. At Trent, academics are just the beginning of your university experience. Outside the lecture hall or lab, there is a community, club, group, or cause for all students to engage with, explore your passions and discover yourself.

Durham GTA Community
Students managing a giveaway table outside Trent University Durham GTA.

Clubs & Groups: Get Involved

At Trent, opportunities abound to get involved, meet new people, explore your passions and interests through our many clubs and groups. This year will be no exception as clubs and groups will be offering virtual and in person options to engage with life on and off campus. You can even start a new club!

TCSA ClubsTCSA Levy GroupsTDSA Clubs
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Your Student Association

Trent Central Student Association (TCSA), Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA) and the Trent Graduate Students’ Association (TGSA): all here to support and serve Trent students, remotely or in person.

Supports for Success

This academic year, students can continue to fully access the services and support you have come to rely on and need for success. Everything from Academic Skills and Advising to Careers, Financial Aid and the library are continuing virtually, in person or through a combination of the two. We’ve also added a few new supports to help students navigate this new and different year.

Wondering where to start? Get in touch with Student Affairs.

After selecting a Support Category, scroll down to view the content.

Student Support Hubs

Coming soon to the Durham Campus, the Student Support Hub will be staffed with specially-trained students ready to help direct you to myriad of services and supports including:

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Mentoring
  • Academic Skills
  • Accessibility Services
  • Counselling
  • Athletics
  • Careers
  • Housing
  • IT Services
  • International Student Support
  • Indigenous Student Counselling
  • Ishkodehwin Program
  • Peer Mentoring
Student Support Hubs

Academic Advising & Academic Skills

One-on-one appointments, course-based workshops, study groups, as well as academic and skills direct lines that make virtual “drop-ins” possible – just a few of the virtual and (limited) in-person offerings from Academic Skills and Academic Advising. Call the academic advising phone line in Durham at 905-435-5100 for help or to schedule an appointment. Students are also encouraged to reach out to your professor or teaching assistant as a first point of contact for questions about your courses.

Academic AdvisingAcademic Skills

Peer Support & Online Learning Assistants

For students navigating their Trent journey help is never far away. Whether you are seeking advice, having a rough day, or just need some insight from a fellow student, the Peer Support program connects students together in a welcoming environment that is easily accessed online.

TDSA Peer SupportPeer Mentorship

For first-year students, the Online Learning Student Assistant (OLSA) program is a new academic support program designed to help navigate the demands of, and thrive within, the online learning environment.

Academic Skills instructors and student mentors (OLSAs) provide course-specific resources and answers to questions related to technical skills, study skills, time management skills, and communication skills.

Online Learning Assistants

Library Services

Starting September 8, The Trent Durham GTA Library & Learning Centre will be open for students to access study spaces, computer and print stations as well as Library Service Desk and the IT Help Desk. Books and other physical collections will be available by request through Omni. And the Archives will accept requests for research appointments. Many other Library services will continue to be offered online including research.

Library Services

Career services

Supporting students virtually through Zoom and phone appointments at our Durham GTA campus, staff are available to provide career counselling, resume review and project matching. Plans for workshops, webinars and other career events also underway. Be sure to check out the new Experiential Catalogue, which highlights courses with career-boosting experiences that can give you the advantage post-graduation.

Career services

Financial Supports

If you’re feeling uncertain about the financial landscape right now, you’re not alone. And our compassionate team in Financial Aid is here to help. To help you navigate all of the funding resources available to you, here at Trent, through government supports, and beyond, check out our online guide.

Financial Supports

Office of the Registrar

The Office of the Registrar is accessible remotely and in-person to assist with Verifications of Enrolments, transcripts, course registration, letters of permission, OSAP, scholarships and bursaries.

Office of the Registrar

Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services are committed to supporting your academic success and are available to connect via email, phone and video conference for students with documented disabilities through the development of accommodations plans, ensuring equal access to education.  

Student Accessibility Services


Bus Services: In Peterborough, Peterborough Transit will increase frequency on several routes, add late night service on select routes, and extend the hours for the Community Bus routes to support increased ridership. More information on transit can be found on the Trent Central Student Association website.

In Durham, the Durham Region Transit service has implemented service modifications and will adjust those according recommendations from the Ministry of Health while providing reliable and sustainable public transit.  For updates to the schedules, please visit the Durham Region Transit website.  

Parking Services: Parking Services will resume regular operations and enforcing parking regulations as of September 1, 2020. For full details, and to purchase parking permits online, please visit the Parking Permits & Fees page.

Information Technology

The IT department offers a wide range of services to help improve your experience at Trent. Check out our service catalog for details about what we can offer you.  

We want to ensure students have what they need to connect and are carefully considering what barriers might exist for students. This academic year, we are pleased to offer several new and existing technologies that have been deployed to help you connect and participate in a virtual learning environment.

IT WebsiteContact IT

Health and Wellness

Trent continues to prioritize the importance of supporting the health, safety and wellness of our students. Whether online or on-campus, the following services and supports will be available:

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Athletics: Together We ARe One Excalibur

In Durham, students can purchase passes to access City of Oshawa recreation centres, including the Civic Recreation Centre right next door to campus, which features indoor soccer stadium, pool, aerobics studio, weight room, indoor track, tennis, squash and badminton courts.

Durham Athletics
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Trent Counselling Services offer confidential teletherapy, crisis counselling, as well as virtual group drop-in sessions for students interested in accessing emotional and mental health support from professionally trained psychotherapists.

‍For immediate crisis support in Durham please contact OntarioShores Crisis Line: 1-800-263-2679,
Crisis Services Canada (1-833-456-4566), or access the emergency department at your nearest hospital.

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Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services are committed to supporting your academic success and are available to connect via email, phone and video conference for students with documented disabilities through the development of accommodations plans, ensuring equal access to education.  

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Sexual Violence Prevention and Response

Support for students impacted by sexual violence, whether recent or historic, through online sessions and phone support is available from Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. Students may receive information regarding reporting options, referrals, and accommodations, based on their needs and wishes.

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Spiritual Affairs

Spiritual Affairs offers online events and workshop programming for students from all faith traditions, as well as students who are considering questions of meaning, purpose and identity. Members of the Multi-Faith Network team are available to support students through 1:1 phone calls or video meetings.

Safely Returning To Campus

The Trent Forward plan guides our gradual and safe return to physical campus operations. Our goal is to reduce the potential for transmission of COVID-19 while ensuring high-quality teaching, learning and research, and the long-term resilience and vitality of Trent and our local communities.

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Back on Campus

Whether you come to campus for a class or a meeting with a professor you will see lots of signage to help you navigate your way around campus and keep you informed about everything from physical distancing guidelines and mandatory masks to equipment use – everything to keep our campus community safe.

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Mandatory Education Modules

We all play a role in ensuring the health and safety of our campus and community. The COVID-19 Student Education Module is required to be completed by all students who will be on campus for any in-person components of classes or labs, access to student supports and services, use of facilities or living in residence.

COVID-19 Student Module
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Provincial COVID-19 Self-assessment Tool

Each day before coming to campus students are required to use the provincial COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, also available on the Trent Mobile app. This interactive tool can help determine if you need further care and should not be attending activities on campus.

Access the Tool
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Mask and Face Covering Policy in Effect

Following municipal directives in the Durham Region, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, all persons who enter or remain in the indoor spaces of Trent University, or in outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be achieved, are required to wear a face covering or mask that covers the nose, mouth, and chin.

Mask & Face Covering Policy
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Hand Hygiene

Students coming to campus are encouraged to follow proper hand washing and hand hygiene practices. Throughout the University, extra hand sanitizing stations have been set up to ensure all members of our community have easy access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Hand Washing Instructions
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Case Management and Reporting

In the event of a case of COVID-19 related to one of our campuses, Trent’s Case Management Plan, developed in partnership with Public Health, outlines the response of the University and Public Health to COVID-19 case scenarios. COVID Case Reporting and Expectation resources have been developed to outline what employee or student should do in a number of scenarios related to COVID-19, such as experiencing symptoms, having received a positive test result, or having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

Case Management Policies

What to Expect When Returning to Campus

We look forward to welcoming students, staff and faculty back to Trent this academic year. Our buildings will be open so you can find a space to study and access the internet, as well as access Student Support Hubs in key buildings to help you navigate the changes and learn where to get the support you need. When you’re here, you’ll see new signage that will help you understand how to use our spaces safely as you navigate the new normal of physical distancing.

What Will Spaces Look Like?

Common Spaces

  • New signage will direct you on navigating around campus while maintaining physical distancing.
  • Stairways and hallways will have directional arrows.
  • Elevators and washrooms will be marked with the maximum number of people who may enter.
  • Signs will indicate those spaces that do not allow for physical distancing.

In Residence

  • All rooms have been moved to single occupancy only.
  • Measures are in place to ensure physical distancing in shared spaces.
  • Each residence room has been assigned to a designated bathroom, to limit the number of individuals sharing these amenities.
  • The University has adopted enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures within the residences, cleaning spaces and high touch surfaces twice per day, seven days per week.

Classrooms & Labs

  • Numbers of students will be limited in classrooms and labs
  • Seating will be spaced out to allow for proper physical distancing
  • Masks will be required when physical distancing cannot be maintained

Food Services

  • Trent’s Food Service program will serve the campus community this fall. We will meet or exceed industry best practices and follow the guidance of Public Health, Province of Ontario Guidelines, Restaurants Canada and the Canadian College and University Food Service Association.
  • Food services will be available at our Trent Durham GTA campus for the 2020-21 academic year

Looking Forward

Trent will continue to provide important updates around the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Be sure to watch your email for the latest news and check for regular updates.

Have a question? Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions or send your question to

Stay Connected

Trent Forward logo

Trent Forward

The Trent Forward plan guides our gradual and safe return to physical campus operations. Our overarching goal is to reduce the potential for transmission of COVID-19 while ensuring high quality teaching, learning and research, and the long-term resilience and vitality of Trent and our local communities.

The plan has been developed, and will evolve as required, to conform to provincial regulations and local public health directives.

Trent Forward
A smartphone displaying an app screen from Trent Mobile

Trent Mobile App

Trent Mobile is a new app launched by Trent University, in partnership with the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA), the Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA) and Trent Graduate Student Association (TGSA) that connects students with several valuable resources, services and opportunities to elevate their Trent experience.

Features of the Trent Mobile App include:

  • Up-to-the minutes COVID-related information and updates, including the educational module and links through to provincial and federal resources for screening and case tracking
  • Personalized Blackboard course information including announcements, assignments and grades
  • Personalized course and exam schedule
  • College and student club discussions and group chats
  • One-to-one chat with other students
  • Student and campus social feeds
  • Personalized bulletins, news and events from MyTrent
Trent Mobile
Students taking a selfie while wearing masks.

Social Media

Looking to connect further? Our official Trent University social media accounts are a great source for news, updates, student life and all things #TrentU.

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