Thank-you to our staff, students, faculty and our community for your patience and understanding as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We know this is a challenging time and the Coast Mountain College leadership team is continuing to monitor the situation under the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The health of our college community, students and employees is our top priority.
Is Coast Mountain College still open?
Yes. All public colleges in BC, including Coast Mountain College, remains open and classes are continuing to take place as per our normal schedule but we are looking at some changes to support social distancing.
Transition to distributed learning options
We are currently working with our staff, faculty, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and other education providers in the province to examine alternative educational delivery methods to our usual face-to-face classes. This distributed learning model will look different for students depending on the program or courses they are enrolled in.
This step is being taken out of an abundance of caution and a desire of the College to do its part in supporting social distancing protocols. At this point the risk of infection remains low and there is no direction from the Provincial Health Officer to close.
Like many other colleges, Coast Mountain College has a complex array of programs and courses with varying methods of instruction delivery and many of which don’t fit in to the traditional semester system. It’s imperative that we have a multi-pronged approach to find solutions that fit each program and course. Where possible, CMTN will implement distributed and tech-based learning solutions, but students should be prepared for a variety of solutions depending on the nature of their program and courses.
Instructors are currently working with CMTN’s Centre of Learning Transformation (COLT) to identify the most appropriate distributed learning and assessment tools available to them and their students. These plans are ongoing and will be communicated to students as solutions are identified. We intend to have alternative plans confirmed by Friday March 20.
Learning happens in the minds of individuals. Learning means a change – a student can do something better now than compared to before, understand something differently, gain knowledge they didn’t have before, get faster at something, better recall something, become clearer in their communication of something. The classroom is not a necessary condition for any of this to happen, it is just one tool among many for facilitating it. We are committed to furthering the learning of students during this time with the use of alternative and creative means.
We invite all instructors to take part during the COLT lunch and learn this week. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be offered from 12-1 with a focus on distributed learning tips and tricks.
These new methods will apply to all programs and courses at least until the end of this term. Further changes or developments will be communicated as they occur.
Coast Mountain College is reminding all staff, faculty and students who have returned from travel outside of Canada (including the US) this past week to self-isolate for 14 days, as per the advice of the Provincial Health Officer. Employees should communicate with their managers if they need to self-isolate. Students should communicate with their instructors to find alternative ways of keeping up with assignments while in self-isolation. This is not optional. If you have been away, please stay home and follow the self isolation guidance available on the website of the BC Centre for Disease Control.
We also remind staff and students that non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States, is not recommended. Travel advisories and updates can be found at the Health Canada web links on the CMTN COVID-19 updates page.
In an effort to ensure that our staff, students and faculty are kept up to date, CMTN is implementing the following communications protocols as the situation requires:
Daily COVID-19 updates posted on-line, distributed by global staff email and posted via social media.
Printed copies of the daily update will be printed and posted at all registration desks at all CMTN campuses. In Terrace, updates will also be posted in the Cedar Café on the central white board/bulletin board. This is in an effort to ensure students remain well informed.
Weekly teleconferences open to all staff to discuss the latest COVID-19 developments will take place every Wednesday at noon PST. A conference call number will be provided to all staff. This is a chance to ask questions and learn up to date information. These teleconferences will be increased in frequency if required.
Coast Mountain College’s leadership team is in regular contact with health authorities and other post-secondary institutes across the province in an effort to share information and keep on top of this quickly-evolving situation.
It is very important to note that the Provincial Health Officer’s message is that the public health risk associated with COVID-19 remains low. As of March 16, 2020, Coast Mountain College still has no confirmed reports of presumptive COVID-19 infection.
Coast Mountain College will continue to follow the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre of Disease Control for the most up-to-date, evidence-based information.
Anyone who feels sick should stay home, seek rest and if symptoms persist, seek medical attention. As per social distancing guidelines, we also encourage that where possible, faculty and staff meetings take part via video or teleconference.
The College will make a decision regarding the May intake in early April. As information is changing rapidly, the College wants to wait at least ten more days before making a decision on the next term and the available courses.
All events planned to take place on Coast Mountain College or organized by Coast Mountain College staff until the end of April will be reviewed. If events are not considered mandatory, the events will be cancelled or rescheduled.
Sarah Zimmerman, APR
Executive Director, Communications