COVID-19 Information

Durham College is open virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic while courses and services are being offered remotely.
Latest update: Fall Planning and Operations

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Durham College recognizes the class of 2019-2020

They may not have crossed the stage at the Tribute Communities Centre, but Durham College’s (DC) more than 3,800 graduates are being recognized through a variety of online and physical festivities, designed to acknowledge and celebrate their hard work and achievements.

The class of 2019-2020 will be invited to attend an in-person ceremony when it is safe to do so, however, DC recognized the importance of marking the accomplishments of its graduates upon completion of their credentials and created a Convocation Recognition website.

Filled with elements typically seen at convocation, the site features:

  • Messages of congratulations from DC’s leadership team and each school’s dean.
  • Virtual shout outs and recognition for grads submitted by family, friends, faculty and college employees.
  • A list of frequently asked questions related to graduation.
  • Links to order DC merchandise, from grad rings to t-shirts and flowers.
  • Information about life as a college alumni, including benefits details.
  • Digital DC swag so #DCGrad2020 pride can be shared online.
  • Details about what comes next after graduation.

In addition, the site acknowledges this year’s Alumni of Distinction winners. The Alumni of Distinction award honours the extraordinary contributions DC graduates make to society while achieving career success. Congratulations to Judy Pal (Sports and Entertainment, 1983), Nancy Shaw (Practical Nursing, 1985), Lori Lane Murphy (Public Relations, 1988) and Ellen Stitt (Water Quality Technician, 2013).

The DC Alumni Association (DCAA) also helped ensure the class of 2020 was celebrated by providing free, DC-branded lawn signs that are now displayed at graduates’ homes to show college pride while celebrating their success.

More than 745 signs were distributed during three DC style drive-through events, featuring curbside pick up, as grads were cheered on by the college’s leadership team and its school deans. The sign is also available for download for those who missed the events or do not live locally.

“It was so important to find other ways to honour our graduates and their accomplishments,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College.  We’ve all experienced a lot of change and upheaval but our grads were able to persevere and finished what they set out to do when they chose to study at DC. I truly believe these students have graduated with a greater sense of inclusion, empathy and understanding of the roles we each play in making society a better place. They also have the skills they need to succeed in whatever comes next in their personal journeys, which is an incredibly powerful combination. On behalf of the entire college community, I want to congratulate and wish them the best of luck.”

 


DC honoured with Community Care Durham Corporate Leadership Award

Durham College (DC) is proud to announce its receipt of the Community Care Durham (CCD) 2020 Corporate Leadership Award. College president Don Lovisa received the honour during CCD’s annual general meeting, which was held virtually using Zoom, on June 16.

“This award honours and highlights the longstanding, mutually beneficial partnership between Durham College and Community Care Durham,” said President Lovisa. “This is a partnership that truly exemplifies the best of what public colleges can inspire in their students and employees, and contribute to their communities.”

Nominated and selected to receive the award by CCD senior leadership and its board of directors, DC is being recognized for its longstanding partnership with and contributions made to CCD, which include:

  • Regularly providing placement students from programs in DC’s School of Health & Community Services (HCS) to support CCD’s Adult Day Programs and mental health support program, known as COPE, as well as providing students from the School of Business, IT & Management occasionally.
  • CCD’s participation in orientation events at DC to promote volunteer opportunities to students and employees. More specifically, CCD has worked with DC’s Police Foundations program to match students with their Friendly Visiting program.
  • DC Corporate Training Services creating a Personal Support Worker (PSW) Training partnership to provide CCD’s PSWs with important education specific to their clients needs, in addition to other customized training for CCD staff.
  • Most recently, the team from the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) contributing to the successful launch of CCD’s Community Food Box program. Not only did the CFF help launch the program with a generous donation of food in the midst of the college’s COVID-related campus closure, the CFF gardens continue to provide fresh herbs and produce for the weekly food boxes.

“Community Care Durham is an exemplary organization that provides vital services to vulnerable residents in our community,” said Dr. Judeline Innocent, executive dean of HCS at the college. “It is with great appreciation that Durham College receives this honour, which marks our latest milestone as we continue to lead the way in educating students to deliver community-based care, partnering on innovative ways to respond to community needs and building a brighter future for the residents of Durham Region.”


Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with DC

In cooperation with Indigenous Peoples’ national organizations, the Government of Canada has designated June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day, an annual celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ culture, heritage and outstanding contributions. This date was chosen because it corresponds with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is an excellent opportunity to become better acquainted with the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, discover the unique accomplishments of Indigenous Peoples in a variety of areas and celebrate their significant contribution to Canadian society. It is an opportunity to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, contributions, and strength of these communities. It’s important to keep in mind that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples each have their own unique histories and within each group, there are distinct histories.

Durham College (DC) recognizes that Indigenous communities have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and since we are not able to gather to celebrate this year, our community members are encouraged to continue to learn and celebrate the culture. One way to get started on this learning journey is to sign up for the Indigenous Histories and Reconciliation modules available through DC Connect. This will help to support an understanding of Indigenous histories in Canada and engage with reconciliation and decolonization, personally and professionally.

DC is situated on the Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas and the territory that is covered by the Williams Treaty, and we are thankful for the opportunity to teach and learn on the lands of the Peoples of Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. Please visit durhamcollege.ca/indigenous to continue to learn about Indigenous culture.

You can also stay connected by following the First Peoples Indigenous Centre on social media:


Durham College named one of Canada’s 2020 Greenest Employers

Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce that it has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the fourth consecutive year. Awarded as part of the 2020 editorial competition that is organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, this designation recognizes employers who create remarkable workplaces that minimize the environmental impact of their operations.

Winning employers are those that incorporate environmental values into their everyday culture, and attract employees because of such values and are evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. The unique environmental initiatives or programs they have developed.
  2. Whether they have been successful in reducing their own environmental footprint.
  3. Whether their employees are involved in these programs and contribute any unique skills.
  4. Whether their environmental initiatives have become linked to the employer’s public identity, attracting new employees and customers.

This year, DC has been recognized for its comprehensive approach to sustainability at both its Oshawa and Whitby campuses. From waste reduction initiatives to the way the college heats and cools its buildings, changes have been implemented at both a personal level and on a broader scale.

For employees this means using communal waste bins as opposed to personal garbage cans and removing individual printers in favour of centralized ones, all part of the in-house Green Office certification program, which encourages adopting sustainable practices in each office’s day-to-day operations.

At a macro level, capital projects such as the Simcoe Geothermal Field, which began running in the summer of 2019, help to reduce the demand for natural gas for heating and cooling, as well as electricity generation. The Energy Innovation Centre, which is also part of the geothermal field project, processes the power and is a living lab for DC students learning about green energy.

At the Whitby campus, the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) is home to numerous sustainable features. There are agricultural growing fields, an apiary, greenhouse, pollinator garden and an arboretum, as well as more experimental projects, such as an old shipping container that has been transformed into a vertical hydroponic garden capable of producing 700 heads of lettuce per week, all year round. This innovative growing space uses 90 per cent less water than traditional farming methods, features LED lighting for growing and eliminates food miles – the distance food travels from where it is made to where it’s consumed – by providing fresh produce to the community without having to transport it by plane or truck from elsewhere.

“Durham College’s sustainability story continues to develop with each passing year,” said Don Lovisa, president. “It is something we weave into every aspect of our operations as an institution, and we are incredibly proud to be recognized for those efforts as one of Canada’s greenest employers.”

For more information on living green at DC please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/livinggreen.


Durham College Fall Planning and Operations Update

This message is being sent on behalf of Don Lovisa, president, Durham College.

Dear employees and students,

As we near the end of our third month apart, I want to thank our entire campus community for your patience as we have adapted to this ‘new normal’. Our students faced the challenge of remote learning with courage and resolve, and our employees were unwavering in their commitment to supporting our students while offering innovative and transformative education.

You have all done incredible things during this pandemic. You’ve supported our community by giving time, developing valuable resources for frontline workers and providing for vulnerable populations. Even the small kindnesses, like checking in on a colleague or classmate, have made a difference. I am DC proud of how we have all come together, even though we are apart.

In the coming weeks, more information about plans for an eventual return to campus will be shared. Today, I am happy to report on a few of these items.

Fall planning

Earlier last month, we announced that DC will offer a hybrid program delivery for our fall semester programs. We now have a clearer picture of what that may mean for our students, and have published a list of programs and how they will be delivered for our Fall semester on our COVID-19 program delivery page.

To help students receive the valuable hands-on experience their DC program offers, DC has also adjusted the sequence of courses within some programs of study. Some practical courses which are typically offered in the fall semester may be moved to another semester and replaced with a different course.

Despite a fall semester that looks different from what we were hoping to offer, students can rest assured that they will still receive a high-quality academic experience that will prepare them for their future.

July 2020 pilot for in-person training

As part of the July 2020 pilot for Ontario colleges, DC will be allowing a limited number of students to return to campus in a range of college programs requiring hands-on work to fulfil program requirements. Impacted students will receive further communication directly from their academic school office, providing specific details and information on start dates and timetables.

In the coming days, we will release further information on this pilot project, including processes and procedures for on-campus learning that follow public health and safety recommendations.

Return-to-Work Taskforce

As Ontario’s government continues a staged approach to re-opening the province, DC is developing plans for a phased return to campus when it is safe to do so. To ensure protocols are in place to support employee health and safety, DC and Ontario Tech University established a joint Return to Work (RTW) operational task force. This taskforce is involved in planning for the fall semester, as well as the July pilot project, which will see students back on campus as early as next month.

More information will be shared as decisions regarding the reopening framework for the safe resumption of on-campus operations are made. Ensuring the health and well-being of our employees, students and the broader community will always remain our first priority.

Student services

Our student services will continue to be offered in a virtual environment for our students – however, we continue to follow the advice of public health authorities, and when common spaces, libraries, food services and athletic facilities are able to open, we will work with our RTW taskforce to ensure we do so safely and with the health of our campus community as a top priority.


DC on the Frontlines – meet our frontline heroes!

Last month, Durham College (DC) launched a new initiative, DC on the Frontlines, to honour and shine a light on our college community members who are serving and protecting others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and well beyond.

You can now meet some of our DC frontline heroes through a virtual gallery.

We invited students, alumni and present and past employees to submit a photo and share a glimpse of their experience serving on the frontlines. Over the past few weeks, our call was answered. First responders, nurses, personal support workers, volunteers and so many more have stepped forward.

Contributions to the gallery are still welcome and encouraged.

Submit your frontline story and help DC continue to celebrate the important work that you do.

Thank you to everyone who has shared their story so far. Today and every day you make us #DCProud.


COVID-19 Update: Limited number of students returning to campus to complete hands-on training graduation requirements

Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano announced today a framework for reopening the post-secondary sector in Ontario. This framework will see some in-person classes resuming in July in a range of college programs requiring hands-on work to fulfil program requirements.

Returning in July for the pilot framework are “stranded students” who need to finish outstanding practical requirements that are currently preventing them from graduating or completing their semester, resulting from the COVID-19 shutdown of face-to-face activity.

The transition to remote learning was very successful due to the dedication and tremendous efforts of faculty and staff. With a focus on academic continuity, DC implemented innovative practices to ensure students continued to receive high-quality programs, and most were able to complete their semester.

In the coming days, impacted students will receive further communication directly from their academic school office, providing specific details and information on start dates and timetables.

Please be assured that several health and safety protocols will be in place, including:

  • A limited number of students per learning environment.
  • Strict physical distancing requirements.
  • Required use of personal protective equipment where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Campus entry limited to students and faculty who are scheduled for on-site programming and essential employees only.
  • Enhanced screening protocols before coming onto campus.
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection protocols implemented across all campuses.
  • The continued closure of common spaces.
  • Virtual access to student services.
  • Food service will not be available on campus.

Additionally, it is expected that students and employees attend on-campus only during scheduled programming times and do not congregate in groups in order to respect the social distancing protocol.

DC is very pleased to see these students and employees return to campus and will continue to put the well-being and safety of our campus community at the forefront of our decisions as we carefully make this transition back to campus.

For up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and campus operations, please visit www.durhamcollege.ca/coronavirus.


Celebrate DC Pride 2020!

June is Pride month, which is a time to come together and celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community and their freedom to be themselves.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our communities, Durham College (DC) recognizes that many individuals may be experiencing feelings of disconnection and loneliness and that without access to safe spaces, many community members may not be able to live openly.

DC works to foster and sustain an environment of inclusiveness and empowers everyone to achieve their highest potential without fear of prejudice or bias. For DC Pride 2020, the college wishes to encourage everyone to review resources, participate in programming, and virtually connect with their supports. Most importantly, celebrate Pride.

Remember that you are not alone and, though we are apart, we will recognize, celebrate, and continue to support our 2SLGBTQ+ community at DC.


Senior experienced leaders assume chair and vice-chair of Durham College Board of Governors

The Durham College (DC) Board of Governors (BOG) is pleased to announce Michele James as the new board chair and Kristi Honey as vice-chair, respectively, effective Monday, July 1, 2020.  The appointments are for a one-year term.

As chair for the BOG, Michele brings over 30 years of leadership in the health care sector to the role. Currently the vice-president of People and Transformation at Scarborough Health Network, Ontario’s third largest community hospital. Michele’s diverse portfolio includes oversight of the human resources function for the organization’s 5,200 employees. Michele also spent several years in the private sector at IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Michele is a life-long volunteer and has been involved in a number of community organizations.  She is a strong advocate for inclusion and is currently the volunteer chair of the Advisory Committee for the Black Physicians Association of Ontario. Michele has been selected as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2020.

As vice-chair for the BOG, Kristi brings over 20 years of private and public executive leadership experience to the role. Currently the chief administrative officer for the Township of Uxbridge, she is also a DC graduate and Alumni of Distinction recipient for her success as an entrepreneur. An active volunteer in the community, Kristi is a champion of human rights and environmentalist causes having been recognized for her efforts by Women of Influence in their Global Series as one of Canada’s leading women driving equality, diversity, and inclusion nationally and internationally.

Michele and Kristi have both served on the Board of DC for four years.The BOG is responsible for the governance of DC. It is accountable to the students, employees and communities the college serves, making sure that it is effectively and appropriately managed to achieve its established mandate and to provide needed services.

As chair, Michele will be responsible for ensuring the board meets its responsibilities and established mandate through leadership, openness and transparency. To learn more about the roles of chair and vice-chair of the board, read the Board policy.

Please join in congratulating Michele and Kristi on their new roles.


DC congratulates recipients of Lakeridge Health nursing bursaries

Durham College (DC) wishes to congratulate all of the nursing professionals – including a number of DC alumni – who were recently honoured with 2020 Lakeridge Health Nursing Education Bursary Awards.

The annual awards, which were given at the end of this year’s National Nursing Week, are distributed by the various Lakeridge Health hospital foundations to support continuous learning for nurses that enables them to continue providing the safest and highest quality of care.

Special congratulations go out to DC student Arielle Baubie, the recipient of this year’s Dr. George Blake Mentorship & Bursary, on which the college is proud to partner. The bursary provides a student in a mental health nursing placement with the opportunity for mentorship and learning in the specialty of Mental Health and Addictions Nursing.