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College to continue alternative delivery of programs and services; on-campus classes remain suspended until fall

April 3, 2020

Red River College will continue providing alternative delivery models for programs and services for the upcoming spring and summer terms, which means there will be no on-campus classes or public events until September.

Work integrated learning (practicums, clinical, work experience) will continue to be suspended except for those instances that can be completed using online or alternative approaches. Co-op/industry placements will continue at the discretion of the workplace employer.

Today’s announcement extends the timeframe that students, faculty and staff are expected to work off-campus in order to meet increasingly stringent public health directives aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Manitoba.

“We know this is a challenging time for students, faculty and staff,” says Dr. Christine Watson, interim president and CEO of RRC. “With public health advice changing regularly, we felt that it was important to make a decision that allows for planning certainty throughout the rest of spring and summer.”

Watson lauded the hard work, commitment and creativity of faculty and staff in making the transition to alternative delivery over the past few weeks.

“We have seen our faculty and staff re-imagine their work via technology in a way — and at a pace — that we never thought possible. I also know that we have students who are struggling to adapt to this new reality. We are thankful for all of those who are working together to find a way through this unprecedented situation.

“We would love to be able to re-open our doors and go back to the hustle and bustle of our vibrant campuses. But that simply isn’t an option. We also know that when we begin to rebuild our economy, Manitoba will need Red River College — students will need training to get jobs and launch their careers, and industry will depend upon our grads to fill their workforce needs.

“Our core mission has never been more important to the future prosperity of Manitoba.”

Watson said she is proud of and inspired by RRC employees. In addition to working remotely and taking care of family and loved ones during an uncertain time, many in the RRC community continue to go above and beyond the call of duty.

She cited several examples, such as the 14 Health Information Management students who are helping public health track the spread of the coronavirus data, the TACAM and Smart Factory equipment being used to manufacture wheel bases for IV stands, and the donation of nearly 1,700 N95 respirators from Safety and Health Services to help health-care workers on the front lines.

“Not everything we are trying is going to work perfectly — but what we’re doing is working and working hard to help our students, our employees and our province get through an unusual and unpredictable time. We know there will be disruption. We also know that if we persevere, we will be well positioned to quickly resume regular operations once it is safe to do so.”

The College continues to operate in accordance with public health directives and is in regular contact with the Province of Manitoba.

As the situation is fluid, the College will revise and update its operating procedures and policies as needed. This includes the possibility of re-opening RRC campuses to classes prior to September if public health advises that it is safe to do so.

The College will continually update faculty, staff and students; the latest information will always be available at rrc.ca/coronavirus.