Posted on March 15, 2020

COVID-19 update – VCC open, transitioning to alternative delivery

VCC is open, transitioning to alternative delivery to allow students to continue programs

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

To students and employees at VCC,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has the health of our college community, students, and employees as our top priority.

The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and deans met today to discuss additional measures on how we can maintain social distancing on campus to minimize close contact with each other. This is in alignment with the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, and we are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Until further notice, our campuses will remain open and services will continue to be provided. The college will continue to review its actions as the situation evolves.

Alternative program delivery

Where possible and reasonable, VCC is transitioning to alternative modes of instruction and assessment for the rest of the term, which may include online delivery for some students.

Given the wide range of programs and courses at VCC, it will take time to transition to these new measures. Classes will continue as scheduled unless students learn otherwise from their instructors, who will be taking guidance from their department leaders and deans.

Because of the diversity of the types of programs we offer, we recognize that not all programs, courses, labs, and shops may be suited to alternative deliveries. Our deans will be working with instructors, departments, and program areas to determine whether and how best to accommodate alternative methods of instruction and assessment. Students will learn of the changes affecting them through their instructors as the changes are implemented. 

COVID-19 and the VCC community

This step is being taken out of an abundance of caution and a desire of VCC to do its part in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that, at this time, there are no known COVID-19 cases at VCC. At this point, there is no direction from the Provincial Health Officer to close campuses, and the risk of infection remains low.

Providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students and employees is a focus for our deliberations and decision-making in these matters. We also want to ensure that students receive the education and assessment that will deliver the learning outcomes they seek.


What is VCC doing?

Our announcement on Friday, March 13 was the latest in a series of steps we have already taken as we have followed the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and health authorities. In response, other recommendations from government that we have put into place include:

  • All events over 250 people are cancelled until the end of April 2020.
  • All events planned to take place on VCC campuses within in the next two months will be reviewed. Information about cancellations or postponements will be shared as soon as possible.
  • All VCC work-related travel outside of Canada is cancelled immediately until further notice. We recommend against all travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
  • Staff and students returning to VCC from travel outside of Canada are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. VCC is working with government and other agencies to determine best approach and implications for those who self-isolate.

  • All external bookings for meeting space have been cancelled on all of our campuses (to be reviewed end of April).

  • Additional cleaning measures have been implemented at all our campuses, as well as distribution of additional hand-sanitizing stations and posting of information about recommended measures to help avoid the spread of the virus.

My gratitude to all students and employees for your hard work and understanding during this challenging time. It is our desire to ensure students complete their studies this term.

Please continue to visit for updates and relevant information.


Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College