Red River College has been working hard to make sure we can continue to support our students, employees, and industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our campuses are re-opening in four phases, and we successfully began Phase 2 on July 15.
Planning for academics
In April, we established an Academic Re-Entry Team to start preparing for what learning and teaching would look like as we began to resume activities on campus. This group, made up of representatives from academic and non-academic areas, is committed to finding innovative ways to continue to deliver education during this time.
“Through hands-on learning and state-of-the-art instruction, we prepare our students to become leaders in their fields – the pandemic hasn’t changed that,” says Fred Meier, President and CEO. “Students are learning important new skills as they adapt to the changes COVID-19 brings, and will play a crucial role in contributing to Manitoba’s economy more than ever.”
COVID-19 impacted post-secondary institutions across the province; however, as we work through re-entry, Phase 2 is enabling the College to resume important hands-on and industry training activities, and has allowed us to prepare for the fall delivery of our academic programs.
“We restarted essential learning activities on campus in Phase 1, and we’re pleased to keep that momentum going as we proceed through this next phase. Students whose learning or hands-on training was disrupted earlier this year are well on their way, and it’s encouraging to see,” says RaeAnn Thibeault, Executive Director, Academic.
What learning looks like in Phase 2
What’s the same? Courses, as part of our spring academic term will continue to be delivered online, and essential hands-on training will continue on campus.
What’s new? Students from additional programs in the Construction Trades, Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Indigenous Culinary Skills, Veterinary Technology, Dental Assisting, Medical Radiological Technology and Diagnostic Imaging, and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering will resume hands-on learning on campus. Apprenticeship programs will also resume during Phase 2 through a blend of online and hands-on training.
An online directory of courses and how they’ll be delivered for the Fall term is available at rrc.ca/coronavirus/return-to-campus/delivery-methods.
Flexible, online program delivery will become a normal facet of most, if not all, programs and courses even after the pandemic ends. However, it’s important to recognize the hands-on, applied, and experiential learning opportunities have always set Red River College apart.
“We know essential hands-on learning is critical, but we also know there are new ways we can help students learn those skills virtually, such as through online simulation. There will still be opportunities for students to meet their classmates, instructors, and to connect with industry through course work,” says Thibeault.
The College has developed a new Flexible Online Delivery Model to ensure we continue to provide the highest standard of learning while also meeting the requirement for physical distancing caused by COVID-19. This model will also allow for the delivery of hands-on learning where it’s deemed essential.
“Our ultimate goal is to slowly have students and employees return to campus, but to do so in a manner that is safe and consistent with advice from public health officials. I want to always reinforce that we’re committed to meaningful learning experiences for students,” says Thibeault.
What to expect on campus
COVID-19 is still present, and we must continue to take precautions to reduce our risk of contracting and spreading the virus. If you’re permitted to learn, teach or work at any campus, you’ll notice the following hygiene and physical distancing measures have been put in place to help keep you safe:
Hand sanitizing stations
These stations have been placed throughout our buildings and near designated entrances.
Posters with messaging such as “Please wait here” are posted near washrooms, elevators, microwaves, etc.
Floor markers are placed six feet apart to comply with public health requirements. Please watch for these markers as you approach service desks, bathrooms, elevators, classrooms, etc.
In some spaces, you will encounter barriers similar to those you may have seen in grocery stores or banks. Please follow any directions provided by staff when you approach a service window.
Caution tape has been used to mark off common areas and classrooms with restricted access or seating throughout the College. These areas have been deep cleaned and cannot be used at this time.