BC Transit requiring bus passengers wear face masks

BC Transit will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the province as of Aug. 24.

Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of 5 and those that cannot wear a face covering for health reasons. BC Transit recognizes the advice from health professionals, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible including on transit vehicles. Customers have indicated making the use of face coverings mandatory will create a more comfortable environment.

While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented as an educational step without enforcement. The educational position is aligned with TransLink and other transit agencies in Canada.  

Read BC Transit's news release
 

Minister's statement on guidelines for post-secondary institutions

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, has released the following statement regarding the guidelines for reducing the risk of COVID-19 at postsecondary institutions in B.C.:

"I am pleased that the Go Forward Guidelines have been released. They will provide greater certainty to students, faculty and staff at our post-secondary institutions as they prepare for the fall 2020 semester during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The guidelines were developed by the post-secondary sector, with representatives from Indigenous educational groups, key student associations and major post-secondary labour organizations.

"They provide a minimum standard for both public and private institutions as they develop their own COVID-19 safety plans. They will include detailed policies, guidelines and procedures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their campus communities.

"They also include general guidance on everything from physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices, in-person and online course protocols, mental-health supports, student housing, campus pubs, child care and research.

"The public expects that our institutions are places of innovation, and our government expects that each of B.C.'s 25 post-secondary institutions follow the amended health order on mass gatherings by the provincial health officer. The clarification allows for more in-person course delivery to ensure that everyone in B.C. has access to educational opportunities as close to home as possible.

"My ministry will work with the sector to achieve the earliest possible restoration of full service on our campuses to support economic recovery while following recommendations from the provincial health officer."

Learn More:
The Go Forward Guidelines have been reviewed by the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC and are available here:
PDF: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/post-secondary-education/institutionresources-administration/aest_postsecgoforwardguidelines.pdf 
Webpage: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/post-secondaryeducation/institution-resources-administration/studying-during-covid-19

Beverlie Dietze, Director, Learning and Applied Research
Outdoor play is critical: OC’s Dietze and other experts contribute to new recommendations by Lawson Foundation

July 16, 2020

Outdoor play is good for kids and good for our communities. A new statement released on July 13 by the Lawson Foundation highlights why opportunities for children to play outside are cri...

Read more...

Canadian government announces new measures to help international students begin a program outside of Canada

The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution, if their institution is offering the program online, so that they can pursue their education while ensuring everyone’s safety.

The new measures include:

  1. providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
  2. allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
  3. providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process

The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada.

Read more in the media release.

B.C. announces new supports for post-secondary students this fall

Applications for StudentAid BC, along with the new non-repayable B.C. Access Grant, are now open. This up-front grant, along with new funding for students with disabilities, expanded open education resources and online support through BCcampus, will open doors for students to return to school and earn the college or university credential of their choice.

Every student who applies for StudentAid BC will now be automatically assessed for the new B.C. Access Grant. Announced in Budget 2020, the B.C. Access Grant will break down barriers and enable over 40,000 low- and middle-income students, or about twice as many students as supported under previous grants, to access more affordable public post-secondary education. These students will receive up to $4,000 a year to help with the upfront cost of programs leading to a certificate, diploma or degree.

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training also announced new investments totalling $2.175 million to better support postsecondary students and faculty. The funding includes $1.5 million to be shared by 20 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. and will be used to develop or build upon supports for students with cognitive, mental health or physical disabilities to create the conditions they need to succeed.

The province is also providing $275,000 to BCcampus to develop online resources and tools for students, staff and faculty to help them navigate a range of topics on well-being, which are needed now more than ever. Resources include a website, videos and webinars on topics such as adapting to online learning, building resilience, stress management and understanding financial supports.

Read more in the Ministry’s media release.

Students with laptops
B.C. announces new supports for post-secondary students this fall

July 15, 2020

Applications for StudentAid BC, along with the new non-repayable B.C. Access Grant, are now open. This up-front grant, along with new funding for students with disabilities, expanded ope...

Read more...

Culinary Arts launches OC Serves up to help feed students in need

With the support of RBC, the OCSU and Sysco, Okanagan College’s Culinary and Pastry Arts students are launching an innovative new program designed to hone their skills while providing nutritious meals for fellow students who are struggling financially. 

OC Serves Up will launch on July 8, as Culinary and Pastry Arts students step back into the kitchens for physical distanced training. The goal is for students to prepare 50 nutritious meals per day. Meals will be available daily to students in both online and in-person classes, and accessed via a voucher system managed by the OCSU Student Pantry. Any excess meals will be provided to community organizations in need such as homeless shelters and community food programs.

How students sign up/collect their meals:

  • Students can apply to request a meal by emailing: ocservesup@ocsu.ca
  • For now students can apply daily, however as/if demand picks up significantly, Culinary Arts may have to limit the number of meals granted in a week per student.
  • OCSU will review and approve the student request, adding their name to the list and responding with an email that they are now eligible to pick up the meal between 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday to Friday from the Infusions patio on the Kelowna campus. Note: students will not be required to demonstrate their financial need; the review is to ensure that the program can reach and serve the most students possible.
  • When the student comes to pick up their meal, their name will be checked off the list, at which time they are eligible to apply again for a meal another day.

COVID-19 Screening Declaration

COVID-19 Screening Declaration

Okanagan College is following directions and controls specified by the B.C. Ministry of Health and Provincial Health Officer, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and Interior Health. To learn more, please visit the B.C. Government's COVID-19 website.

To ensure everyone’s safety and well-being, Okanagan College is conducting daily active screenings for potential risks of COVID-19 with all individuals before they enter Okanagan College buildings. If you fail to meet the screening, you will not be permitted on campus. It is expected that you stay home, seek medical advice, and contact your supervisor, if you are an employee, or your point of contact, if you are a student or contractor. If you are feeling unwell, you can check your symptoms online, or download the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool.  These resources are available 24 hours a day.

FORM IN BETA ONLY - DO NOT SUBMIT

COVID Screening Webform for beta testing
COVID Screening Webform for beta testing
COVID Screening Webform for beta testing

Remote Services during COVID-19

Available services

Okanagan College cares about the health and safety of all, which is why on-campus, in-person services have been suspended. While all offices are physically closed to students and the public, College staff are committed to ensuring students can access services online, by phone or through other means. We are here to help you through this.

Please check this page for up-to-date information about what is open on campus and how to reach different service departments.

How to access remote services

Services are available by phone, online or by email as per below:.

Students, instructors, staff and community members are welcome to contact their home campus with general inquiries:

  • Central Okanagan (Kelowna): 250-762-5445, ext. 4789
  • South Okanagan-Similkameen (Penticton): 250-492-4305, ext. 3216
  • North Okanagan (Vernon): 250-545-7291
  • Shuswap-Revelstoke (Salmon Arm): 250-832-2126, ext. 8239

The Administration and Registrar’s Offices will continue to provide services online and by email during regular business hours. Contact the Registrar's Office in Kelowna for:

  • Admissions (Kelowna)
  • International admissions (all campuses)
  • Registration (Kelowna)
  • Transfer credit
  • Graduation
  • and more

Admissions:

Registration:

Recruitment: chooseoc@okanagan.bc.ca

  • Student Housing remains open. Domestic residents who are able to return home are encouraged to do so. International students are being advised that if they are not able to return home they may remain in student housing. For inquiries, contact housing_klo@okanagan.bc.ca
  • Bookstores: Online orders only
  • Food Services at all campuses have been closed.
  • Print Services in Kelowna is closed.

Student Services are here to support you. Please book an appointment to connect with someone by email, phone or videoconference. This will help us meet social distancing guidelines recommended by public health officials. General inquiries can be sent to studentservices@okanagan.bc.ca or you can call 1-855-909-0282 or 250-862-5451.

Here’s how to contact our departments:

Okanagan College's Library is offering services remotely. Visit Library's webpage for details about what is available to students and instructors.

Learning Centre / Student Success Centres are providing academic support to students remotely.

Is online learning new to you? OC has an Online Resource Centre for students that reviews the tools available, support services in place and other information. This page is being updated as more resources come online.

Have a question about Moodle or Blackboard Collaborate, or other technical questions about online learning? Contact Ed Tech at learningandappliedresearch@okanagan.bc.ca.

Laptops are available for loan through IT Services. Students can call ahead (1-866-839-4032) and IT Services can arrange to have hardware made available for you.

OCSU representatives are working remotely. Students are encouraged to email:

Vernon Students' Association OC representatives are working remotely. Students are encouraged to contact General Manager Eric Reist by cell at 250-306-2891 or email ereist@okanagan.bc.ca. Updates will also be pushed to students who have the VSAOC smartphone app, available for free download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Online Resources

Master the platforms and tools available with these OC resources to help you with online learning.

Your health

It's important for students to take care of your physical and mental health during these unusual times.

Stay connected

Physically distant, but socially connected. Learn how student life is going virtual at OC, meet new friends and create connections.

Campus and facility access

Physical access to facilities is restricted in order to ensure physical distancing and for the health and safety of all. If you need to access facilities at any of our campuses, or have questions about how to access any services, please contact the Regional Dean office at your campus.

Central Okanagan

Inquiries relating to the Kelowna campus and facilities should be directed to: 250-762-5445, ext. 4789.

South Okanagan-Similkameen

For the Penticton campus, Oliver centre and other facilities, contact 250-492-4305, ext. 3216.

North Okanagan

For inquiries at the Vernon campus or other facilities, contact: 250-545-7291.

Shuswap-Revelstoke

For inquiries about the Salmon Arm campus, Revelstoke centre or other facilities, call: 250-832-2126, ext. 8239.

Stay Connected

Stay Connected

Counselling

These are unusual times, and OC Counsellors are here to help. Book an appointment to talk with someone on the phone. 

Coffee Connection Chats

Join OC Athletics and Recreation for a coffee date online.

Orientation

Orientation has gone virtual! Meet your instructors and learn about the ins and outs of your program with must-see online presentations.

Recreation and Student Life

Check out the department's social media accounts for updates on activities and chances to win prizes.

Wellness resources

Take a holistic approach to balancing the needs of the body and mind. 

Info sessions

Considering your options for the fall and beyond? Sign up for a virtual information session to ask questions and learn more about different study options. 

New to online learning?

Okanagan College understands that taking a course through digital platforms is a new experience for many learners. We have technology available for those who need it, as well as resources available for students who need some basic information to get started.

Your health

Now more than ever, it is important for us to be careful when we are feeling sick. Check out this information and links to health authority resources for information.

Remote contacts

We may be working remotely, but OC is here to help! Several departments can be contacted  by phone or email to ensure you get your questions answered.

Important Dates

18
Aug
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm campuses
07
Sep
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke Centre, Other campuses
09
Sep
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm campuses
18
Sep
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm campuses
12
Oct
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke Centre, Other campuses
30
Oct
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm campuses
11
Nov
Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke Centre campuses

Learn more about B.C.'s Restart Plan

The BC Restart Plan takes a phased approach to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Each phase provides guidance for individuals and businesses. Learn more.

Online Wellness Wednesday Workshop set for June 24

The Flourish Wellness Project is offering a final Wellness Wednesday online workshop before the summer begins with a special focus on coping at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah Lefebure, Counsellor on the Penticton campus, will lead the one-hour drop-in online workshop. The workshop is free for all Okanagan College students and employees on any campus.

Coping During COVID-19: Checking In
June 24, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

To attend the workshop, OC students and employees can self register for the Flourish Wellness Workshop in Moodle here.

PACWEST Cancels Fall Competition, Coyotes hopeful to begin modified training in September

The Okanagan College Coyotes women’s and men’s basketball teams will see no official league play this fall season. PACWEST announced on Friday, June 19, that Conference league competition for Fall 2020 in men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, volleyball and golf has been cancelled. PACWEST is hopeful to restart conference league competition for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball in January 2021 with a modified schedule.

Dino Gini, Head Coach for the Men’s Team, says the OC Coyotes are hopeful they will be able to hold modified training camps in September as usual, COVID-19 conditions permitting, adhering to the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, and following stringent health and safety protocols.

Early this month, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) announced the cancellation of the four 2020 fall National Championships.

Read the full announcement on the PACWEST website.

New guide helps students access virtual activities and resources to StayConnected

To help bring students together virtually and combat feelings of social isolation during physical distancing, Okanagan College has published a new online guide called StayConnected

StayConnected includes info about virtual activities and resources, from Wellness workshops to Coffee Connection chats and more. The online guide will be updated with new activities and events are they are known, so students are encouraged to keep an eye on the page.

Webinar creates space to connect in the post-secondary LGBTQ2S+ community

BCCampus.ca hosted a webinar on self-care, mental health promotion and ways to connect and build community in the post-secondary LGBTQ2S+ community on June 16. The free session was open to anyone and participants are encouraged to come with questions for the facilitators. The facilitators were Kirstin McLaughlin, an LGBTQ2S+ nurse educator from Camosun College and Tanysha Klassen, Chairperson of the British Columbia Federation of Students. The event is free but requires registration here.

The session was recorded and made publicly available on BCcampus.ca, where other sessions on topics such as problem solving online and adapting to COVID-19 are also available. On Tuesday, May 26, Okanagan College Counsellors Samantha Johnson and Sarah Lefebure hosted a webinar about Self-Compassion during COVID-19. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

Canada announces flexibility in post-graduation work permits for international students

The Government of Canada announced flexibility in post-graduation work permit rules to help international students and Canadian post-secondary institutions. Read the full announcement.