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 

How to check if a student has completed the COVID-19 Safety Training Moodle course

All students enrolled in a course at OC are required to complete the COVID-19 Safety Training course prior to coming on campus for the first time. The course was recently updated and an email was sent to currently enrolled students as a reminder to complete their training. Professors and Instructors can view the employee tips sheet for instructions on how to check if a student has completed this course. These instructions can also be found in the COVID Resources section in myOkanagan. As a reminder to all employees, the College's mask directive was recently updated and new posters are being distributed to remind students that non-medical masks are required in learning environments and indoor common areas; employees are required to wear masks in indoor common areas.

EFAP - Building your self-care toolkit

As part of Mental Health week and Mental Health Awareness month, EFAP has launched a new microsite to bring recognition to mental wellness - the Building your self-care toolkit.

About the website:
As the worldwide situation remains uncertain, taking care of your own health and wellbeing is more important than ever. If you don’t feel like you have the time for self-care, it’s probably a sign that you need it the most!

In this microsite, explore why self-care should be part of your routine and how to work it into your daily life, no matter the situation.

Visit the website

OC “Sticks Up” for Aboriginal Student Awards

Previous award recipient Yvonne Oppenheimer receiving her award

Sticks Up campaign returns, get involved now

OC Aboriginal Services and the OC Foundation have teamed up for the annual “Sticks Up” campaign. All of the proceeds from this event will benefit the OC “Sticks Up” for Aboriginal Students Award, an award presented to Indigenous students enrolled in any full-time study program.

How do you get involved?
For only $20 you can fill your bracket predicting the outcome of each series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with a chance to win one of three great prizes. Purchase your ticket by clicking the button below. If you don't want to play but still want to contribute to the student award, donations are accepted and you will receive a bonus entry into the door prize draw (Funko Pop! Connor McDavid figure).

Click here to enter

What can you win?

  • First Place - NHL Jersey of the winner's choice
  • Second Place - $100 gift card for Skip the Dishes
  • Third Place - $50 gift card for Steam online gaming

In addition, all entrants will be eligible for a draw to win a Funko Pop! Connor McDavid figure just for participating!

We expect that the playoffs will start on or about May 20, pending any delays in the NHL’s schedule due to COVID-19.

Extended Study Leave Information Sessions

The Extended Study Leave Committee will be holding information sessions in May and August where applicants can speak with committee members for advice regarding applications.  These sessions will be on the following dates via Zoom:

ESL Information Sessions 2021



Zoom link

May 17, 2021

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

May 18, 2021

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

August 17, 2021

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

August 18, 2021

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.



Allan Coyle
Allan Coyle retiring from Okanagan College after 23 years

May 4, 2021

Okanagan College’s Associate Vice President External and Strategic Initiatives (AVPESI) Allan Coyle marked his last Monday at the institution yesterday. Allan is retiring this Friday, May 7, after almost 23 years with the College. “It would be impossible to adequately distill or sum up Allan’s contributions to the College – it would take volumes,” said OC President Dr. Neil Fassina. “As a member of the College’s Executive and Leadership Team, Allan’s calm, measured and thoughtful ...


Moodle 3.9 upgrade - Rescheduled

The minor Moodle 3.9 upgrade has been rescheduled and will not be happening on May 3 as originally outlined on College Matters. An update will be provided closer to the date.

Ed Tech and the helpdesk are available for any questions. 

Laura Thurnheer
Thurnheer named Associate Dean of School of Business

April 27, 2021

Okanagan College’s School of Business will welcome back a familiar face in a new role as Laura Thurnheer will commence duties as an Associate Dean on August 16. Thurnheer began at the College as a Professor in the School of Business in 2007, and also served as Business Department Chair for six years, before taking up her current post as Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health in 2018. She will succeed Dr. Barry McGillivray, who will retire this year after more than 35 year...

Corinna Chong
OC professor Corinna Chong’s writing shortlisted for prestigious CBC Short Story Prize

April 27, 2021

Writing by an Okanagan College Writing professor is receiving national attention, after being shortlisted in the CBC Short Story Prize this week. Corinna Chong, who teaches in OC’s English Department, was among the five finalists named Wednesday in the prestigious writing competition. “Kids in Kindergarten” explores themes of pregnancy loss and the trials of conception. “I think that miscarriages, while incredibly common, remain a kind of taboo subject. It wasn't until I was trying to conceive that I began to hear so many stories of women,...

Entrepreneurship Professor Andrew Klingel hangs out with Chewbacca during a holiday break
Meet Andrew Klingel, Business Administration Professor

April 27, 2021

Q: What is your education and background? A: I have a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master's of Business Administration from Queen’s University. Q: What is your area of interest? A: Prior to joining Okanagan College, I consulted for major corporations such as Telus, TD and General Motors — but my true passion is entrepreneurship. I have been involved with many new ventures as an operator, investor and advisor.  For example, I joined a software start up that grew from $0 in sales to ov...

Siobhan Detkavich
OC alumna makes debut on Top Chef Canada

April 27, 2021

OC Culinary Arts alumna Siobhan Detkavich is the youngest and first female indigenous chef to compete on the newest season of Top Chef Canada and she's still competing after the show's second week. The Okanagan College Alumni Association caught up with Siobhan and she had lots to say, without spilling the beans of course. “The overall experience was probably hands down the most stressful experience of my life,” she says. “There’s such a huge misrepresentation of indigenous people o...

Group photo of Employee Excellence Awards
Nominate someone excellent today

April 27, 2021

The nomination period for the 10th annual Okanagan College Employee Excellence Awards is well underway but there is still time to take a moment out of your day to nominate one or more of your colleagues who have made a difference to you, to students or to the institution. Nominations are open until midnight on Monday, May 31. The awards program recognizes the contributions made by employees in nine different categories: Career Achievement Award Continuous Improvement Award   Key Directions Award Leadership Award Scholarly and Creative Activ...

Jesse Stommel
Register for ‘Building a Flexible Future’ learning day

April 27, 2021

The College’s Learning and Applied Research and Education Technology team is hosting the latest Learning Days event on Wednesday, May 5. The theme for the day-long series of virtual workshops is Building for a Flexible Future. OC faculty and instructors will once again have the chance to connect via sessions on a variety innovative teaching, learning and technology topics. Attendees will also have a chance to hear from an internationally-renowned keynote speaker with a background in critical digital pedagogy.  Dr. Jesse Stommel is a Digit...

Ben Klick Music Fest MS
Tune in to Music Fest MS 2021

April 26, 2021

Okanagan College alumnus and award-winning country musician Ben Klick has announced dates for the annual multiple sclerosis (MS) benefit concert – Music Fest MS 2021 – and has set a fundraising goal of $50,000 for the MS Society of Canada. On Sunday, May 30, the event will go live at 1 p.m. streaming to YouTube, on Shaw TV Spotlight and on radio stations New Country 100.7 and New Country 103.1 in Kelowna and Kamloops. The show will feature musical performances from artists like Jes...


OC 50/50 Staff Lottery winner

Congratulations to Christy Gelz from Continuing Studies, Vernon Campus who has won the Friday, April 23, 2021 staff lottery draw for $955.

In 2020, 182 Okanagan College students experienced a financial emergency. The Okanagan College Foundation 50/50 Staff Lottery provides funding for emergency bursaries for our students. Because of you, more than $16,000 was raised last year to support emergency financial assistance for students. So often, an emergency bursary can mean the difference between a student completing their education – or not.

Sign up today to have your chance at winning a cash prize while supporting our students! Already participating? Consider increasing your chances with more entries. If you are interested in joining over 200 of your colleagues who already participate, please contact Dawn Douglas at in the Advancement Office, download a registration form online, or from myOkanagan.