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.
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.
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.
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.