What Exactly Cancels OCS Programs?

19 February 2021

Moving ahead with plans to study off campus during a global pandemic is done with the understanding that you have to be flexible. Something will inevitably change between the time you make the decision to participate and the time you arrive at the program destination. These are the times in which we live and, like it or not, we have all become more innovative and adaptable.

The most disappointing change is finding out that the program you had been looking forward to for months has been cancelled. How is that decision made? Carleton OCS uses three criteria to assess whether to proceed with a scheduled OCS program. Any one of the three can be grounds for cancelling an OCS program, and all figure into the decision during the coronavirus pandemic.

  1. Direct threats to the health and safety of program participants
    Examples: war or terrorist activity, infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, etc.
  2. Feasibility of program activities including travel, fieldwork, and cultural immersion
    Examples: restricted travel on site, certain activities not possible or limited, resources on site strained or scarce.
  3. Availability and access to emergency resources on site
    Examples: adequate healthcare, evacuation services, alternative travel and lodging arrangements, etc.

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