Okanagan College has announced it is canceling any remaining in-person classes as it transitions to virtual forms of education as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 90 per cent of academic classes have already made the switch to an online format this week. Classes still being delivered in a face-to-face format will be canceled for March 19 and 20 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 will be able to continue their placements unless advised by the college. The college is working with practicum providers to carefully assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to changing class styles to an online fashion, the college is also providing an abundance of services online for students to continue their education.
“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 allowing faculty to work from home while maintaining support to students and other services to keep the college running at full capacity.
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.