Effective Thursday, Okanagan College is cancelling any remaining face-to-face classes while it completes the move to alternative delivery as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
More than 90 per cent of academic classes have already been transitioned to an alternative form of delivery this week. Classes still being delivered in a face-to-face format will be cancelled for Thursday and Friday in order to provide instructors and professors more time to complete plans to move fully to alternative forms of delivery.
“The vast majority of our classes have already transitioned to alternative forms of classroom delivery. As you can imagine, given the diversity of programs we offer, this was no easy task for our faculty and staff,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton.
“We continue to work on creative ways to deliver trades training programming, especially shops, following guidance from the Provincial Health Officer. We have already postponed more than 20 planned intakes of trades programs that were to start in the next few weeks.”
Okanagan College students currently on practicum placements can continue those placements unless advised by OC. The College is working with practicum providers to carefully assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to moving classes to alternative forms of delivery, the College is also providing many services for students online to ensure continuity of services.
“Many of our student services are already available online and others are transitioning to ensure students feel supported while not on campus, such as counselling and accessibility services,” says Hamilton. “We know this is a stressful and uncertain time for students, as it is for all, and so we’re going to be taking a look at every way we can provide support and help students face whatever challenges they’re encountering as the situation unfolds.”
The College is also communicating out to employees means and opportunities for them to work from home, while maintaining those critical supports to students and other services to keep the institution functioning.
Campuses will remain open for students who want to access services in person.
The College will continue to communicate directly with students, and updates will also be posted to the College’s COVID-19 information page, www.okanagan.bc.ca/covid.