North Island College classes will be transitioning from face-to-face teaching to “alternate delivery methods and assessment,” to round out the term, NIC President John Bowman said.
In a message posted to NIC’s website Sunday night, Bowman said that at this time, college officials are not aware of any COVID-19 cases at NIC campuses or centres and that at this time, there is no recommendation from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to close campuses.
NIC’s COVID-19 Response Coordination Team and deans met on Sunday to discuss how the school can “support and encourage social distancing” on campus.
The shift from face-to-face learning to alternative delivery methods will depend on the program.
“We are focused on enabling students to complete their learning using alternate modes of delivery and modification of methods where appropriate and possible,” said Bowman. “Our priority is to have students achieve essential learning outcomes given the unusual and evolving circumstances.”
Students are asked to attend their regularly-scheduled classes to learn from their instructor how that class’ alternate form of completion and delivery may look.
Since NIC offers many different programs, Bowman said that a single alternative teaching method for everyone won’t be the answer. He encouraged students to check their college email and nic.bc.ca for updates.
Bowman also said that service levels at the school may be modified.
“We recognize that this situation is challenging for everyone,” he said. “I want to thank you for your patience and compassion in these challenging circumstances.”
A number of college events have been cancelled including the Howard Sapers talk hosted by the criminology department on March 17. The NIC 2020 Artist Talk Series with Jeremy Borsos for March 19 has also been cancelled as well as the Career Fair on April 1.
There are services available to help support students’ mental health. Students can call Student Services toll free at 1-800-715-0914 or book a counselling appointment online. There are telephone and Skype appointments available for those unable to make it on campus due to illness.
In addition to the college’s regular counselling services, there will be drop-in counselling sessions to support students in “understanding and managing anxiety related to COVID-19 and its impact on their studies.”
Session dates and locations are posted at NIC’s website.
“We value the health and well-being of all our students and employees,” said Bowman. “I am confident we will come through this together as a community if we continue to follow the advice of health officials and support one another.”