The North Cariboo Community Campus in Quesnel is home to the College of New Caledonia and the University of Northern British Columbia. (File photo)

College of New Caledonia outlines fall semester COVID-19 plans

Quesnel campus will feature reduced class sizes, social distancing measures and enhansed cleaning

If all goes according to plan, the College of New Caledonia (CNC) will open their doors to students in Quesnel on Sept. 8.

“I’m feeling pretty confident we are ready for this semester,” the CNC vice-president of academics, Chad Thompson, said. “I’m feeling pretty confident that students are ready for this semester.”

The college will be running as many courses as possible online, but as a college, rely on in-person learning in labs, shops and classrooms for proper instruction.

“When you actually measure out two metres of social distancing, at how few students fit in classrooms that used to hold much greater numbers,” Thompson said. “Our registrar’s office has had to do an awful lot of work in terms of scheduling as lab sizes drop dramatically.”

Thompson said students can expect to see signage, dedicated entrance and exit doors and increased cleaning. Students will even be told how to safely enter and exit classrooms.

“The staff at the Quesnel campus have been doing a really incredible job identifying the community needs, making sure we keep running programming that’s key for the community and getting themselves ready for the fall semester,” “It’s too bad we’re going to have such reduced numbers of students on campus, but we’ve got classrooms ready, we’ve got shops ready, we’ve got labs ready, and that group deserves a huge amount of credit for the work they’ve done.”

The college is expecting increased absenses from both students and faculty because of COVID-19.

Thompson encouraged students to stay home, even if just to care for another family member.

“You’re not doing yourself or anyone else a favour if you come in to any of the campuses when you should be staying at home,” he said. “I think everyone has learned over the past five months that we need to take this seriously.”

While some classes have to be in person, as much content as possible has been moved online.

READ MORE: College of New Caledonia convocation goes virtual

“[Instructors] have been really busy working on how to make their online courses more exciting for students, more engaging for students and how to make students more successful in classes,” Thompson said. “The entire B.C. system is in really good shape going into this fall.”

Thompson said now, more than ever, it’s important to commit to post-secondary education.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Classes resume at College of New Caledonia using alternate delivery

“This is not the time to step back from your education,” he said. “The skills and education that you’ll get in post-secondary will leave you better prepared to handle whatever kind of uncertain future we might have.”

A full list of programs offered by CNC in Quesnel is available at cnc.bc.ca.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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