COVID-19 – Limited return to on-campus learning

Posted on May 21, 2020

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

An American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message will be available early next week.

Dear VCC students,

Last week, we sent a message to all students that shared how VCC will be approaching the Spring/Summer and Fall 2020 terms.

Today, I would like to share how VCC is working to build safety measures around courses and programs that need to partially return to on-campus delivery.

At VCC, we have seen a dramatic and swift transition to online and distance-based educational delivery modes over the past three months. However, as we continue to do our part to stem the spread of COVID-19, we also recognize that many of our programs require a significant portion of hands-on learning. For some courses, it is not possible to complete the learning outcomes entirely online.

As early as next week, some programs and courses will be re-incorporating face-to-face activities/experiential learning on campus.

Will you be returning to campus? 

Face-to-face/on-campus activities that are under consideration include:

  • Assessments and exams
  • Clinics and labs
  • Hair and esthetics activities
  • Trades practical/shop activities

Over the coming days and weeks, if a portion of your program or course needs to be delivered on campus, your instructor will contact you directly.

Please note: programs that are able to continue with online delivery will do so until further notice.

What you'll need to know

It is important for students to understand that, in the coming weeks and months, returning to campus will be a very different experience.

Our leadership teams, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and facilities personnel have created health and safety protocols that all students, staff, and faculty will need to adhere to when visiting any of our three campuses.

Some of these measures may include:

  • Checking in through Moodle and completing a COVID-19 checklist
  • Cleaning work areas before and after use
  • Maintaining recommended physical distancing at all times, including in elevators and stairwells
  • Adjusting class sizes and schedules to ensure safe working conditions and capacity

If you are enrolled in a course that requires face-to-face and/or hands-on delivery, your instructor will be your main point of contact. Your instructor will give you clear information on safety measures that you and your classmates will need to follow. These safety measures may differ depending on the course or department.

We're here for you

For students continuing to study online only, I know that learning during the COVID-19 pandemic may be challenging, and not everyone’s conditions are ideal. That’s why I want to remind you that VCC has numerous resources to support you in meeting – even exceeding ­– your educational goals during this unusual time. 

Please reach out to VCC’s counsellorsLearning Centre tutors, or other student services for any support you may need. If you have questions or concerns about your programs or courses, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor.

You likely have many more questions about the coming months. We may not have all the answers right now, but we also know we’ll never go wrong by putting your safety and well-being first. With this guiding our way, we’ll continue to work hard to make your time at VCC a success.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College

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