As the countdown to the first day of school continues, Portage College is getting ready to welcome students virtually for the fall term.
Students that are coming back for another year already had a taste of learning completely online last year. Beginning in March, all classes moved online because of COVID-19.
In September, classes will be online but there are also some in-person options available.
“The majority of the programs will be live and online using computer technology,” said Nancy Broadbent, president and CEO of Portage College.
“We do have labs or other programs that have in-person requirements that students will be coming into campus for on a staggered basis.”
For those that will be stepping foot on campus this coming September, the college is taking all the necessary precautions to ensure it is a safe learning environment for students, staff, and teachers.
“We will have all the cleaning and social distancing in place to accommodate them,” said Broadbent.
“We have what we call our return to work plan, and so every classroom and every lab has been measured out and has a limit of the number of people that can be in the room at any given time. Some of the instructors have even gone below that physical limit to make sure the students are safe.”
There are no definite plans on when the college will have regular classes again, but there will be meetings in October to decide what to do for the winter term.
“We have a checkpoint that we are going to do in October to talk about how we are going to be moving forward,” said Broadbent.
“We are likely going to have to look at it cohort by cohort to determine which classes will be moving face to face, if COVID will allow it, and which ones might stay online.”
In a survey, Portage College students were asked to let the college know their views on online learning at the end of the last school year. Broadbent says the results showed the majority enjoyed being able to take their classes online.
“We asked them very specific questions about the pivot to online and how they felt about it. Overall, students said were pretty satisfied still with their training experience and they gave us some feedback they could use to improve for this fall,” said Broadbent.
Students can expect to have more support from their teachers this coming school year with longer office hours so students can get more one-on-one time with their teachers, and extra tutoring help as well.
“We are excited to see them virtually, and we are really looking forward to some of the new changes with work integrated learning,” said Broadbent.
“We are looking forward to the future, and welcome all the new students to the Portage family.”