September 2, 2020
An Academic Year with a Difference
Sherri Bell, President
Welcome back to a new academic year at Camosun College. I hope you were able to find time over the summer to take a break and catch your breath as much as possible. We’ve all made it through as big a change as we will likely ever see in our careers and we did it together.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the college has continued to ensure education and services remained available for students. Thank you for all of your creativity and hard work over the past six months.
Looking back, it is incredible to see what we were able to achieve over the spring and summer months. We’ve had strong student completions, faculty have supported each other, the student experience team have been communicating with all registered students, the ingenuity of Camosun Innovates is supporting the community, supports and services remain available, select courses are back on campus and students have shown how resolute they can be in their determination to succeed in the face of adversity. All college employees have contributed to our successes.
The number of students in classes over the summer months is always much smaller and we are now preparing to welcome a bigger cohort of students this fall.
At this time, there is some good news. Domestic student enrolment numbers are up a little from last year. International student tuition is down by about 20 per cent in part due to the restrictions that limit travel to Canada. This is better than anticipated, likely due to the fact many of our international students remained in the region.
However, the number of students on campus at any one time will be very small as we continue with the mixed-delivery model that puts everyone’s safety first.
As an applied learning institution, much of what we do requires hands-on learning or access to specialized equipment, and because of that, we can’t do everything online. If you’re training to be a carpenter or medical radiography technologist, you can’t do it all online, but you can do portions of it.
As you know, plans could change at any given time. We may find ourselves moving forward or backward as the number of COVID-19 cases rise or fall. There is still a lot of uncertainty, but we must trust the guidance of our Provincial Health Officer and move forward as best we can.
Taking into account additional expenses, lost revenues, a drop in international tuition and cost savings, we are currently looking at an overall deficit. We will have a better idea by the end of September of the actual size.
We continue to adapt to as we learn more about the virus and wonder if we can expect things to change in the New Year. It’s difficult to make any definitive decisions given the ever-evolving situation. We have the same information about COVID-19 from the Provincial Health Officer as everyone else.
Without any significant changes, we expect to continue the current approach to deliver education and student services and supports through winter 2021. The Safe Start program also continues to act as the central system for facilitating the safe return of select face-to-face learning and student service activities on campus
Thank you for everything you continue to do to support students, whether new and returning or current, and each other. We will continue to keep you updated as we work together to ensure our students’ success this fall.
Take care and stay safe.
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):