Selkirk College Prepares for Safe Return to Campus in September
Under guidance from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Selkirk College is joining post-secondaries from across British Columbia in preparation for a return to in-person education on campuses for September 2021.
On Monday, Dr. Henry released a letter outlining the process that post-secondary institutions will be expected to follow as in-person learning resumes for the majority of programs. Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the pivot to remote post-secondary learning in March 2020, Selkirk College has instituted health and safety protocols that has provided in-person education where possible and online where required.
“It has been a challenging year for post-secondary faculty, instructors and staff,” says Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education & Skills Training. “I would like to acknowledge the significant efforts public colleges and universities made to continue meeting the needs of students during the pandemic, while successfully preventing the spread of COVID-19 on BC campuses. While we update the guidelines to ensure on-campus safety, I encourage students and families to start planning for in-person instruction on a campus of their choice in September.”
Selkirk College is currently operating 30 per cent of its educational delivery in-person, through various programs on different campuses. Following provincial protocols, the college’s health and safety plan has been successfully tested with results that provide confidence moving forward into the next stage of pandemic recovery.
“It has been a difficult 12 months for our college, but students, faculty and staff have proven their resilience as we have all continue to work towards desired outcomes in a most unusual year,” says Rhys Andrews, Selkirk College’s Vice President of Education. “Students have said to us that the in-person element of their education is vital. We are encouraged that we can now prepare plans for programs that previously had in-person learning. This will give new and returning students an experience that meshes with the overall provincial landscape in September.”
The expected immunization timelines for the COVID-19 virus currently project that all vulnerable and high-risk groups should have the vaccine by spring. The majority of the adult population in British Columbia is expected to have access to immunization by the start of most Selkirk College programs in September.
Health and safety protocols will remain the priority at Selkirk College with reducing the opportunity for infectious contacts a key component to revised plans. With the safety of all who arrive on campuses the number-one priority, what will remain in place is the now-familiar prevention activities of self-administered health checks, facilitating hand cleaning through access to soap and water, encouraging the use of hand sanitizers, use of masks, physical distancing, early detecting and rapid testing, and case and contact management.
As the college moves forward in its planning for a safe return to campus in September 2021, there will be further details on what this means for specific programs, services and activities provided in the coming weeks. To continue meeting its strategic goals of access, Selkirk College will also incorporate what has been learned over the last year with regards to providing delivery of programming that is available to a wider cohort of students.
“I have been inspired by the ability of our faculty and staff to adapt to the situation while continuing to ensure that students are delivered the education and training they need to succeed after graduation,” says Andrews. “We have learned so much about different ways to deliver programs and new light has been shed on how we can provide even better services that will enable learner success. The institution will take what it has learned over the last year, add it to what has been proven successful in the past, and provide an in-person campus experience that will be exciting for everyone.”
Applications for Selkirk College’s 2021 fall semester are now open and more information can be found at: https://selkirk.ca/admissions/admissions-office/application-process-information