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Coast Mountain College to move primarily to online learning in the fall

Campuses to focus on distance learning wherever possible

Coast Mountain College is making some changes to how it delivers learning in the wake of the pandemic.

Post Secondary Schools are part of Phase 3 of B.C.’s reopening plan meaning during the current Phase 2, the college is in the same position they have been throughout the pandemic. They continue to offer virtual services and most staff continue to work from home except for people who need to be on the campus to do their job, but they are respecting social distancing and practicing good hand washing hygiene.

“We do have some classes that require face-to-face that have come back to campus to complete some of those practical components,” explained Executive Director of Communications Sarah Zimmerman. “It has been in very small, small groups - maybe two to four people and under very controlled circumstances so ensuring there is proper protocols in place to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

This applies to the campuses in Terrace and Smithers but the campuses in Hazelton and Prince Rupert don’t currently have any programming that requires face-to-face and are working toward planning for fall delivery of instruction.

In the fall, the college has made the decision to move head with distributed learning.

Distributed learning, or distance learning, is a broad category that includes all modes of delivery of instruction to remote students including online learning, videoconferencing, synchronous and asynchronous learning, face-to-face learning and blended learning which combines online and in-person learning.

“Basically it means learning by any means possible but primarily online,” added Zimmerman. “Most of our classes that can be taught online will be done online with the few exceptions for programs that have elements that need to be taught face-to-face. In those cases, a plan will be made in accordance with the public health officer’s recommendations. We are also waiting for guidelines from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training that will help us to formulate what reopening will look like.”

This won’t change the small class sizes the college offers.

“We continue to have small classes and we continue to have really good one-on-one relationships between our instructors and students and I think that will help students in the fall as they register for distributed learning because they know they will have that one-on-one opportunity with their profs and the opportunity to be part of a smaller cohort than some of the big, huge classes that might be going on at some other schools.”

Marisca Bakker

About the Author: Marisca Bakker

Marisca was born and raised in Ontario and moved to Smithers almost ten years ago on a one-year contract.
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