Here2Talk offers students free 24-7 mental health help during the holidays

A reminder as the holidays approach, Okanagan College students can access free, 24-7 counselling and referral service through Here2Talk. Here2Talk is a free mental health counselling and referral service that provides year-round, 24-7 mental health support services for all B.C. post-secondary students regardless of whether they live in Canada or abroad. Students who are feeling depressed, stressed or anxious can get support whenever they need it and as often as needed.

Students can access chat sessions with a trained counsellor online at Here2Talk or by downloading the free Here2Talk app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. They can speak with a counsellor by phone toll-free at 1 877 857-3397 or direct at 604 642-5212. Students calling from outside Canada can dial +1 604 642-5212 (international calling charges may apply).

Jennifer Gullins, a representative for the Okanagan College Students’ Union says: “This year has been really stressful for me as a student during this challenging time with online learning, a loss of my college community and a physical separation from my friends and family. Knowing that support is a confidential call or text away has been reassuring. I really encourage students to reach out if they need help. It’s OK to ask for help and you don’t have to navigate the impacts of 2020 alone.”

Read more in the Province’s media release.

Call for student nominations for Board of Governors and Education Council

Please note that an election will be held for two students seats on the Board of Governors and four student seats on Education Council. Once the call for nominations starts, ‘promotion’ for the elections will begin.                                                                                              

Important Dates:
Call for Nominations: Sep. 22 – Oct. 5, 2020 at 4 p.m., forms and additional information will be available on Sep. 22 in myOkanagan (elections page)
Post List of Candidates: Oct. 6, 2020
Campaign Period: Oct. 6 – 20, 2020
Elections: Oct. 21 – 25, 2020 in myOkanagan
Announcement of Results: Oct. 25, 2020
Deadline for Appeals: Oct. 30, 2020 

Election Appeal Committee:
Note that OCFA & BCGEU Vocational and OCSU & VSAOC agreed to alternate years
Cam McRobb (BCGEU Vocational)
Karolynn Green (BCGEU Support)
VSAOC student due Sep. 18

Deputy Returning Officers:
Eric Corneau, Penticton Campus, Oliver and Summerland centres
Joan Ragsdale, Salmon Arm Campus and Revelstoke centre
Jane Lister, Vernon Campus
Philip Ashman, Kelowna Campus 

Culinary & Pastry Arts newsletter - In Essence

Culinary & Pastry Arts has launched a seasonal newsletter that gives an inside look at program updates, events and projects. 

Read the Summer 2021 issue

Checking ID for indoor events - proof of vaccination

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services and businesses, including events at Okanagan College.

Whether you are attending an event hosted at OC or other events, the OC community is encouraged to review the B.C. Governments Proof of vaccination and the BC Vaccine Card website.

The website has important information on things you need to know including information on what forms of proof of identification are acceptable to go along with your vaccination passport. Below are just a few highlights:

Attending an OC sanctioned event

If you are attending an OC sanctioned event that requires proof of vaccination, please be prepared to show your vaccination passport QR code and a piece of government issued ID. If you have any questions, visit the B.C. Governments Proof of vaccination and the BC Vaccine Card website.

Four waterfront images of Okanagan College service regions blend into each other on a dark backdrop with "Okanagan College strategic plan" text overlain on top
Strategic Plan - Next Steps

October 12, 2021

Hello OC Community members, I am connecting today to share a brief update about our progress on building our next strategic plan and to invite you to a series of feedback sessions about our first draft. Building on the great input we received from everyone earlier in the summer, the Working Group has formulated a first draft of a Strategic Plan. The Working Group had the opportunity to receive feedback from the Steering Team as well as from the Board of Governors about the first draft. Now, the Working Group is looking forward to hearing fr...

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Exterior of the Trades building on the Kelowna campus
Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Policy for Consultation

October 12, 2021

Okanagan College’s Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Policy is currently being revised and the Board of Governors has directed that the policy be posted for students and employees to review and provide feedback. To review and comment on the policy, please click here to be directed to the Moodle page. Once you have signed in, enter “review” as the enrolment key. Please provide your comments on the feedback form before Nov. 11, 2021. No personal identification is required to submit feedback on the policy. Accordingly, you will not recei...

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Okanagan College Family Award

This is a reminder that if you have an immediate family member (child, stepchild, grandchild or spouse) who is starting a program at Okanagan College between Aug. 1  and Dec. 31, the  deadline to apply for the OC Family Award is Oct. 31.

Application is online through their myOkanagan under the Financial Aid & Awards channel.

OC Family Award Criteria:

1)  Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.

2)  Immediate family member (child, stepchild, grandchild or spouse/partner) of a continuing (regular) Okanagan College employee.

3)  Enrolled full time (9 credits/60% course load or 6 credits/40% course load for students with permanent disabilities) in any year of an eligible program:  university studies, degree, or diploma program; vocational, trades or health certificate program; full-time Continuing Studies Certificate program; apprenticeship program or adult upgrading program at Okanagan College.

4) In good standing.

5) Not on academic probation.

6) No outstanding fees.

If they are starting their program between Jan. 1 to March 31, applications will open on Nov. 1.

If they have any questions with the application process, please email awards@okanagan.bc.ca directly.

Learning and Applied Research and Ed Tech newsletter and workshops

Read the Learning and Applied Research and Ed Tech bi-weekly update newsletter for current information, tips and upcoming events for all employees.

LAR and Ed Tech have also provided a new workshop schedule for the months of October to December with a variety of workshop options to choose from and you can register online.

Read the latest newsletter

OC Kelowna
Are you looking for a new employee headshot?

October 12, 2021

All OC employees and faculty are invited to a series of organized photoshoots at each campus from Oct. 19-22. Please review the times and locations below where the headshots will take place. The style will be drop-in and as such there is no need to reserve a time slot, simply show up when you have availability in your schedule. All shoots are planned to be outdoors but work is underway to identify a secure indoor location at each campus should the weather not cooperate for an outdoor shoot. Signs will be posted to indicate which indoor spac...

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OC Serves Up Thanksgiving dinner
OC Culinary Arts students serve Thanksgiving meals to students in need

October 8, 2021

Okanagan College Culinary students and instructors helped to spread Thanksgiving gratitude to students on Friday with a holiday inspired meal. Students pulled out all the stops to prepare a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings for students in need as part of the innovative OC Serves Up program. The program was launched in the middle of the pandemic last year to combat food insecurity and has just relaunched this past week for the new academic year. “OC Culinary Arts students serve 50 meals a day to students in need as part of the OC S...

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Return to Campus update: The top six things we should all keep doing

"COVID-19 Return to Campus" text on blue background with illustrated students hanging out around the letters and graphics.

This week marks the first full month back on campus as a learning community.

Since the beginning of the semester, the people of OC have done an exemplary job of supporting one another, showing kindness and grace, and heeding the guidance of public health. 

The OC community is encouraged to keep up these vital efforts in observing the College's on-campus health and safety measures.

Here are the top six things the OC community should all keep doing to take care of ourselves and those around us:

  1. Please do your part by being vaccinated; if you have any questions on where you can get vaccinated, you can consult Interior Health’s page
  2. If you are sick, stay home. 
  3. Wear your mask in all indoor common areas. Find full details in the College’s mask directive. If removing your mask to eat or drink in designated areas, please put your mask back on as soon as you have finished eating or drinking. And while masks are a personal choice in some meeting rooms (if distanced or barriers are in place), please be respectful of others’ choices and mask up when asked. 
  4. Practice good hand hygiene. 
  5. Please be respectful of everyone’s personal choices and comfort level with physical distancing. In other words, respect people’s “bubble.”  
  6. If you need support, reach out. As we approach mid-terms, papers and exams, this can be a stressful time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructors, learning centre coordinators, counselling services and others at OC for support if you need it. 

Thank you to the OC community for coming back together in such a respectful and collegial way over the past weeks.

50/50 Staff Lottery winner

We’re heading into the last month of our Staff Lotto Stretch campaign and we are close to reaching our $1000 bi-weekly goal! This week’s prize (as well as this week’s support for emergency financial assistance for our students) is $965! Our largest prize yet!

Congratulations to Bobbi Ell from Facilities & Business Services, Kelowna campus who is the winner of the Oct. 8, 2021 Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery draw for $965. The next draw will be held on Friday, Oct. 22.

In 2020, 182 Okanagan College students experienced a financial emergency. Proceeds from the Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery help provide emergency financial assistance for our students. Thanks to your participation in the staff lottery, more than $16,000 was raised last year through the lottery to support our students. Since inception, the staff lottery program has provided more than $495,000 to support our students!

Gordon Shuster stands in front of a green tree.
Shuster named Director of International Education

October 7, 2021

After an extensive search, Okanagan College has found its new Director of International Education from within. Gordon Shuster, who has served as Acting Director since July, has accepted the role, effective immediately. Shuster brings considerable leadership experience in and knowledge of International Education. He also brings deep knowledge of Okanagan College. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Manager of International Recruitment since 2018 and has been a member of the International Education team since 2000. Before that, he ...

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"COVID-19 Return to Campus" text on blue background with illustrated students hanging out around the letters and graphics.
Return to Campus update: The top six things we should all keep doing

October 7, 2021

Hello to the OC Community,  As this week marks our first full month back on campus as a learning community, I wanted to take a moment to extend my thanks and admiration to you.   Since the beginning of the semester, the people of OC have done an exemplary job of supporting one another, showing kindness and grace, and heeding the guidance of public health.  Let’s all keep up these vital efforts in observing our on-campus health and safety measures.   On that note, I wanted to re-share the top six things we should all keep doing to take care ...

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COVID-19 Work and Leave FAQs Guide

Human Resources has developed a new guide to help answer frequently asked questions on what do if you have tested positive for COVID-19 and need to miss work due to illness/self-isolation or to care for dependants who are needing to isolate. 

View the guide

Student elections update - nomination period extension

The Board of Governors welcomes Choi House Leong as its newest student member. An additional student seat is currently vacant.

The Education Council welcomes Sanya Choudhary as the Central Okanagan student representative. An election will be held for the North Okanagan student seat on Education Council for the two candidates, Simran Bajwa and Boss Bale. The Shuswap/Revelstoke and South Okanagan Similkameen seats remain vacant.

The Registrar is extending the nomination period for these vacant seats to Oct. 13, 2021 at 4 p.m.

If you know a student that may be interested, please refer them to myOkanagan > Student > Elections or they can direct questions to Inga Wheeler