Return to Campus: Update on OC's Phased Return

By College Relations | June 30, 2021
           

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

I hope everyone is managing to stay cool and safe during this week’s extreme heat. In case you missed it, you will find guidance and information from Interior Health and WorkSafeBC regarding heat safety here.

I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on timing for Okanagan College’s phased return to campus. Thank you for your continued patience while the College’s transition teams carefully align OC’s return to campus plans with the latest guidance from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the PHO, Interior Health and WorkSafeBC.

Premier John Horgan and PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry announced yesterday that the Province will transition to Step 3 of BC’s Restart on July 1, given that BC has reached nearly 80% adult first dose vaccine coverage and COVID-19 case counts continue to decline.

The provincial Return to Campus (Go Forward) Guidelines are expected to be published on Monday, July 5. The Guidelines will help to outline details for campus operations this fall. In advance of their arrival, we are pleased to share with you what the phased return of our employees and on-campus programming and services for students will look like in the coming months as we approach the start of Fall Semester on September 7.

_______

Okanagan College Phased Return to Campus

July 5 – July 31: Transition to Step 3 of BC’s Restart (effective July 1)

  • Go Forward Guidelines published
  • Masks recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated (following PHO guidance)
  • Programming – Continuation of online and in-person offerings, as adjusted over the past year
  • Services – Primarily online
  • Campus Access – Limited; employees begin returning to campus
  • Events – Limited, following PHO guidance

August 1 – 15: Go Forward Guidelines in effect

  • Masks recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated (following PHO guidance)
  • Programming – Continuation of online and in-person offerings, as adjusted over the past year; Trades begins phased transition to full class sizes.
  • Services – In-person services expanded; some online options available
  • Campus Access – Expanded as more employees return to campus
  • Events – Limited but expanded, following PHO guidance and updated Ministry guidelines

August 16 - September 6: Go Forward Guidelines in effect

  • Masks recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated (following PHO guidance)
  • Programming – Trades increasing section sizes to full class sizes; Health programming moving to full class sizes
  • Services – In-person services expanded; some online options available
  • Campus Access – Expanded; all OC employees have returned to campus (expected, with some exceptions)
  • Events – Limited but expanded, following PHO guidance and updated Ministry guidelines

September 7: Transition to Step 4 of BC’s Restart (expected)

  • Masks in public indoor settings a personal choice (expected; following PHO guidance)
  • Programming – Full class sizes for in-person and online classes resume (all programs), students back on campus (all regions); review Classfinder for details
  • Services – In-person; some online options available
  • Campus Access – Open to all students, employees and visitors
  • Events – Expected expanded internal and external events, following PHO guidance and Ministry guidelines

 _______

While some of the details of the above phases may change and adjust as we go, what will remain constant is our commitment to keeping you informed throughout this phased transition. In the coming days, we will share resources and information to help support all members of our community with the return to campus. The College’s COVID-19 / Return to Campus page will be a key source of information and will be updated frequently.

As Dr. Henry and her team have stated, they continue to be confident in the safe resumption of on-campus activities by post-secondary institutions, as vaccination rates in the province continue to progress and due to the safety that structured settings like ours have demonstrated. On that note, if you have yet to be vaccinated and are eligible to be, I encourage you to visit the Province’s page for information on how to register, as one of the ways we can all do our part to protect the health of OC and our surrounding communities.

As we begin to welcome more employees back to campus in July and ramp up on-campus services for students in August, another way we can all look out for and support one another will be to continue heed PHO mask wearing guidance. Effective July 1, as provincial guidance shifts from masks mandated to masks recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated, all employees, students and visitors who are not fully vaccinated will be encouraged to continue to mask up while in indoor common areas at OC until further notice.

Throughout the planning process, we’ve heard from many that there is growing excitement about the return to campus. We also recognize that anxiety around COVID-19 will linger for some time as we all become accustomed and re-acclimated to offices, classrooms, and campus spaces. We expect there will be many questions at each stage and appreciate and welcome your input as it helps to inform our FAQs and identify resources to add to the College’s COVID-19 / Return to Campus page.

Students: please continue to look for communication via email about important dates and what you can expect for programming this fall.

Employees: Please continue working as you are currently until you receive instructions from your supervisor to make adjustments.

Next week, following the arrival of the Guidelines, you can expect further updates as we continue to move forward in our planning. If anything changes in the meantime, we will provide further information. Thank you, and again, stay cool and stay safe.

Sincerely,

Neil Fassina

President, Okanagan College



Tags: COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students, COVID-19

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

ActiveTransportationCorridor-600x400
Minister and Mayor open Kelowna’s newest active transportation corridor for riders

June 14, 2022

The Casorso active transportation corridor (ATC) between Raymer Ave. and KLO Rd. is the latest addition to Kelowna’s cycling network and it is now ready for riders. The B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Honourable Rob Fleming, visited Okanagan College to recognize and celebrate the completion of this project. The College is one of the main destinations connected along the Ethel Casorso ATC corridor stretching from Downtown Kelowna to the Pandosy Urban Centre. “Having safe and convenient routes for walking, cycling and acti...

Read more...
Animation student
Artistic students design future careers in animation

June 7, 2022

Grads of Okanagan College’s Animation Diploma program are finding their skills have never been in higher demand. First- and second-year students showed samples of their artwork and demo reels to industry partners at OC’s annual Animation Industry Night on May 17. “Lots of the work was very professional,” says James Wood, Chair of Okanagan College’s Animation Department. “Our program is short, but intense. The instructors make sure the students have a realistic understanding of what they need do to succeed in a competitive and demanding wo...

Read more...
JAMK campus
OC Business students embrace international study again

May 30, 2022

Business students from Okanagan College are once again able to travel to Jyväskylä, Finland to experience an international summer school at the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.  Finland’s education system is widely regarded as one of the best in the world.  OC Business Professor Blair Baldwin, who has taught Services Design at JAMK for several summers, says working in Finland has helped him innovate and create new teaching methodologies. “JAMK employs experiential learning across its curriculum,” he says. “They stress critical thinkin...

Read more...
Enactus 2022
Enactus Okanagan College tops the field, sets sights on national championships

May 27, 2022

Okanagan College students will once again be competing for the Canadian title after qualifying for the Enactus National Exposition with a first-place finish in their league during the semi-final round. Enactus teams at post-secondary institutions across Canada competed virtually earlier this month, and Okanagan College scooped up top position in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge, and runner-up in the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge for the Unusually Good Food Co. project. It also included national runner-up in Shaw and RBC accelerators...

Read more...