‘It will certainly not be a return to ‘normal’ – that simply isn’t an option yet.’
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
As the British Columbia government eases restrictions and schools return on a part-time and voluntarily basis—Douglas College President Kathy Denton posted a message about the upcoming fall 2020 semester.
“I’m writing to let you know that we are working on our plans right now, but much is still to be decided,” she states.
The letter reinforced Douglas’ commitment to student and staff health and stated that the college is awaiting Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health guidance to safely return to in-person instruction.
President Denton also revealed that most of the Douglas College courses offerings will be online; however, stated that the college would be finalizing this point in the upcoming weeks. There were assurances from the president that students would know the method of instruction of a prospective course by the registration period.
“In regard to services for students, we will do our best to have in-person options available there as well. As good as our online services are, we know that seeing a friendly face in person can sometimes make a big difference,” read the Denton statement.
The Other Press reached out to Douglas College to ask whether students will be able to use the campus libraries and campus recreation services and received a reply through the Marketing and Communications office via email.
“We would like to provide as many in-person service opportunities as is safely possible,” said Regan Lal, the Associate Director for Communications at Douglas College.
Several Canadian universities have scheduled classes to be remotely offered in the fall semester, and with the switch to online class offerings students—through the Canadian Federation of Students—have been advocating for a decrease in tuition costs.
“In recognition of the fact that classes will mostly be taking place online, which is not optimal for certain disciplines, students are asking institutions to offer reduced tuition rates,” wrote Sofia Descalzi, national chairperson of the federation.
According to Lal, Douglas College does not plan to decrease tuition nor fees due to remote or online class offerings. Class sizes will remain the same.