Update: May 19, 2020
Preparing for the months ahead
From John Boraas, VP Education, Camosun College
As I write this, I am thinking about the past few months. In the context of this pandemic, there are many things I know now that I did not understand three months ago. We are proceeding with the understanding that as Canadians, we want to do what is in the best interest of our community, ourselves, and the world. The path forward is challenging, but we know we want our students to learn and grow, and to be able to provide excellence in the work they are doing. We want them to be safe as they develop these skills. We consistently look to the advice of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry as she identifies the need to be calm, be kind, be safe…. We want to balance safety and educational excellence.
On May 6, the Premier of British Columbia announced plans to slowly and thoughtfully lift certain restrictions across the province as part of a phased restart approach in each sector. This allows for more flexibility as we plan for our educational operations. You can read more about B.C.’s Restart Plan here. We want to develop plans that keep students at a distance wherever possible, but we know our planning needs to provide students with the chance for practice and to be licensed by provincial and national accreditation bodies.
Courses that can be delivered entirely online, as well as virtual or online components of applied courses, will remain online. There will be a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous online courses as well as the online components of blended courses. On-campus and blended courses that require students to come on campus or have a face-to-face component will be delivered in a way that is safe for students and employees. We are currently developing plans following Occupational Health and Safety standards for a limited return of students needing to finish programming over the summer.
This means that we are currently working to bring some programs into the following delivery options over the summer, and all planning for the fall will be expected to be delivered using one the following methods:
- Online synchronous: Courses will be completely online with online scheduled meetings and expectations for remote student participation. There will be meeting times but not on campus. Students will be expected to manage time zone differences for scheduled online activities.
- Online asynchronous: Courses will be completely online with no set meeting schedules. Students may participate from any time zone or anywhere in the world. All evaluation will be managed remotely.
- On-campus: Courses will be delivered on-campus to students. This will be reserved for applied courses with specific requirements for face-to-face or hands-on activities and courses requiring access to specific on-campus resources or equipment. This designation will only occur with express approval and planning.
- Blended: Courses will be delivered in a blend of on-campus and online. Typically, theory parts of the courses are delivered remotely and some scheduled activities will be delivered on-campus in a scheduled space, in a way that is safe for students and employees. This designation will only occur with express approval and planning.
The transition to this practice at Camosun is being guided by the Provincial Health Officer’s core guidelines; practice standards that are being developed for the post-secondary sector by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training; and, health and safety advice from WorkSafe BC. Actions could include, for example, physical distancing, personal protection equipment, modification to learning and workplaces with signage, linage and plexiglass barriers in addition to smaller class sizes and enhanced sanitization. These details are all being worked out as part of our planning.
Course details will be communicated to students through Camlink when registration opens in late June / early July.
Depending on circumstances, we may need to make adjustments as we progress through the months ahead assuming we will continue to receive new and modified information. Our goal over the months ahead is to keep people safe and to deliver the best possible educational experience for everyone.
Thank you. Your work is making a difference.
John Boraas, VP Education
View related Frequently Asked Questions here.
COVID-19 Safety Plan
The most current copy of the college’s COVID-19 Safety Plan is available here.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Travel & Tourism Canada
- COVID-19 Stigma Guide
- Ministry of Health BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool
- How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC
- For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc):