April 22, 2021
Transition planning for fall 2021
From the College Executive Team
The hard work of faculty and staff amid the pandemic is ensuring students at Camosun College receive the best possible education and services. Thank you. As we all move forward together, the college is always looking for ways to support students and employees, while maintaining the health and safety of our community.
Despite the signs of spring outside and the roll out of B.C.’s largest immunization program, the province is seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases. We need to continue to do our utmost to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe by following the public health orders and recommendations that have been extended through to the May long weekend.
As a reminder, students, employees and campus visitors are required to wear a mask in all indoor public areas and where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Employees should work from home wherever possible, unless it is essential to be in the workplace. Please stay home if you feel sick or have new or worsening symptoms. We all have a role to plan in helping stop the spread of COVID-19.
We continue to plan for a full and safe return to campus by September 2021 as outlined in the letter from the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry sent on March 8 to the presidents of all 25 public colleges and universities. As we await the updated Go-Forward Guidelines, we are working on a transition plan that will see a full and safe return to campus from August through to the end of September. We have carefully looked at all our classrooms and are also assessing the needs of office spaces and assessing the needs of areas – indoors and outdoors – where students typically come to receive services. Our safety programming is informed by guidance and direction from the Provincial Health Officer, Go Forward Guidelines and WorkSafeBC. The updated guidelines will overlay the work already done.
Education delivery in fall
Each of our schools is considering the appropriate mix of courses, or portions of programs, that should be delivered face-to-face or on-line. In doing this, meetings are being held across the college with Deans, Chairs and faculty groups. We know that face-to-face learning has been our strength over the years, and we will continue to be an organization that delivers primarily in-person, applied learning. To serve those students who appreciate the flexibility of distance education, we will work to include some online and blended offerings where it makes pedagogical sense to do so. As the schools move forward in completing scheduling for the fall and as we schedule future classes, please know that as decisions are being made keeping the needs of the students at the forefront.
It is important students do not feel obligated to come on campus or participate in any in-person activities when feeling sick. As we navigate the months ahead, the college expects students will receive the necessary support to stay home, whether this is the option to participate virtually or the opportunity to catch up in another way. The requirement for a doctor’s note continues to be waived at this time. The college also commits that students, who are sick, will not be negatively impacted where exams are scheduled or assignments are due. Both timelines will be adjusted to reasonably support students.
While the college has not yet determined long term direction regarding remote work, we know that in-person campus interactions enrich learning and personal development and can be more effective and supportive for students and employees. Throughout the pandemic, we have aligned our approach to remote working with the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer. Remote working arrangements that were not in place before the pandemic should be treated as temporary. Any longer-term changes to the college’s approach to remote work, post-pandemic, will need to be considered at the appropriate time in the context of academic design, operational requirements, and the needs of our students as well as various communities, in accordance with college direction and policies. It will not be up to individual preference or at a supervisor’s discretion.
With this in mind, we will be working to establish some guiding principles and decision-making processes to help bring people back for a full and safe return to campus, while considering options in the future for the possibility of remote working. We want to consult with departments and ensure people feel they are heard.
Updates on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including available vaccines, their application and the sequencing of administration are posted to the BCCDC immunization plan website. According to the BCCDC, all adults in the province who are eligible to receive the vaccine will have the option of receiving a first dose by July 1, 2021. The college encourages all students and employees to learn about the benefits and safety of the vaccine and consider vaccination to protect themselves and their community. No vaccines are mandatory in Canada. Vaccination status is a person’s sensitive personal medical information. Even with vaccination, students and employees will still be required to follow our safety plan and public health orders and guidance until community immunity is achieved and the Provincial Health Officer changes or rescinds the public health orders and guidance.
COVID-19 contact tracing and notification
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training created a sector-wide approach to COVID-19 case management, contact tracing and communication. In the event of a lab confirmed COVID-19 case on campus, Island Health manages the contact tracing process and directly notifies the individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The college works very closely with Island Health and when asked will notify the involved college members of the potential exposure and its severity, as well as the college community when appropriate. Contact tracing is the process used by Island Health to identify any potential exposure among persons. The college works collaboratively with Island Health to support contact tracing management and to enable appropriate communication with the campus community as needed. For complete details, see page seven in the Go-Forward Guidelines.
- COVID-19 safety employee and workplace leaders training and initial screening
- On-campus attendance & daily health-check form
- Camosun College COVID-19 Safety Plan
- Safe Start Request Form
- BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
- Go-Forward Guidelines
Supports and contacts:
COVID-19 Safety Plan
The most current copy of the college’s COVID-19 Safety Plan is available here.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Travel & Tourism Canada
- COVID-19 Stigma Guide
- Ministry of Health BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool
- How COVID-19 is affecting IRCC
- For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc):