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VCC students and employees,
As VCC continues to receive updated information and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic from the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, I would like to update you on VCC program delivery and operations, campus services, and ongoing health and wellness for the VCC students and employees.The college, along with the public post-secondary system in B.C., remains open as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Please remember, as the recommended response to COVID-19 continues to change, so too may the information.
I want to extend my personal gratitude and thanks to everyone for the collaborative and extensive work by all of you, in a very short and disruptive time, to make the shifts and changes to the way we deliver education and operate. I am heartened to see the support and care for each other, and inspired by the innovation and creativity many of you are showing in situations where time is of the essence. You have all been REMARKABLE!
1. Delivery of programs for students next week
This week, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), faculty, instructors and staff have put a tremendous amount of work into shifting course delivery from in person to online or alternative methods. These adaptations have been made to support the continuity of teaching and learning through the evolving situation of COVID-19. Our overarching goal is to ensure we are actively contributing to society’s greater efforts to stop the spread of the virus.
With most of our programs moving to alternate methods of delivery, we are pausing all face-to-face classes for the time being. Alternative delivery methods that have been established will continue to take place. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students accordingly.
At this time, our educational leadership teams are continuing to assess what needs to happen with some of these complex, hands-on courses and programs that are not easily shifted to on-line delivery. We understand that this uncertainty can be frustrating and worrisome for students and faculty.
Instructors will be in communication with students about delivery and service changes soon, if they have not already done so.
2. Staff and the ongoing operations of VCC
VCC is currently transitioning to have some VCC staff working remotely. For employees wanting or needing to continue to come to work, plans and approaches are being developed to provide as much flexibility based on the provincial health officer’s guidelines.
3. Access to campus services
To ensure we are actively supporting ‘social distancing’ recommendations from the health authorities, we are temporarily moving all in-person/face-to-face on-campus services for students and the public, to online/phone call only options.
For detailed information about accessing campus services online go to: vcc.ca/bulletins/covid19-faqs
4. Health & Wellness
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.
Counselling and supports are available online to students and VCC employees who are affected by COVID-19. We encourage everyone who may need support at this time to contact one of the following services:
Employees: Employee & Family Assistance Program
Also, the BC Ministry of Health developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website. Monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information and resources.
For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line is available at 1-888-COVID-19.
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College