Durham College begins the 2020-2021 academic year

While the COVID-19 pandemic means Durham College’s (DC) 2020-2021 academic year looks different than in years past, more than 11,200 full-time and apprenticeship students have embraced the opportunity and are now studying at DC.

This includes more than 6,280 first-year students, more than 1,500 new and returning international students from 72 countries, and 7,000 registrations occurred through Professional and Part-time Learning.

“As an institution, we recognize the unique circumstances facing our students, faculty and campus community as a result of COVID-19,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president, Academic. “However, after our successful pilot program in July, which saw more than 1,500 students from across 20 programs return to campus following our initial closures to complete outstanding practical requirements for their programs, we felt quite confident and prepared heading into the fall semester. We learned a lot during the pilot and have carried that knowledge into the new academic year to the benefit of students and faculty alike.”

Through a combination of remote and in-person delivery, students are studying in a variety of industry-driven programs including the new Esports Business Management and Autism and Behavioural Sciences graduate certificates, as well as the Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management (pathway to degree).

“Since the outset of the pandemic our focus has been on ensuring the continuity of learning for our students. With the arrival of the new academic year, we remain committed to offering the same quality programming DC is known for,” said Popp.

Remote classes allow for rich engagement opportunities between students, their professors and peers thanks to a variety of online platforms and technologies, which are not only maintaining but also enhance learning. Cutting-edge simulations and hands-on opportunities, when possible, are also helping to fulfill the experiential elements of DC’s programs.

“In the spring, DC unveiled its new Strategic Plan, anchored in our new mission statement, together we’re leading the way,” said Don Lovisa, president. “It’s an extremely fitting sentiment given our current circumstances, as the launch of this academic year has truly been a team effort. I want to thank our faculty and staff for supporting our students as they learn the job-ready skills they need to pursue their careers, and the students themselves for their patience, perseverance and commitment to their education. If the start to the fall semester is any indication, they are destined for success.”