TIMMINS, ON: In the midst of uncertain times, Northern College and its students are gearing up for the Fall 2020 semester safe in the knowledge that steps are be taken to ensure the safety of students, staff and faculty.
Over the past several months, staff and faculty have been hard at work to re-adjust educational programming at Northern to better fit the world’s new physically distanced reality. A balancing act between the safety of students and the required curriculum benchmarks of applied learning needed to prep them for the working world has been the goal of the College.
“Northern is uniquely situated to draw from a decade of experience in advanced distance delivery to help meet the need’s of today’s learners,” stated Dr. Audrey Penner, Northern College President & CEO. “Some of our programming is more easily adapted to students studying from home, while others – namely those that lean heavily on in-shop or lab training – has been adjusted to follow the distancing protocols in these new circumstances,” she added.
Trades and Technology programming is first to see activity on-campus with a summer-long pilot project to prepare the learners and faculty at the College for tangible skill building while minimizing spread of Covid-19.
“It’s always our primary goal to make sure that our students receive relevant, hands-on training to accompany their theory work,” stated Aaron Klooster, Northern College’s Dean of Trades & Technology. “To accomplish this, we’ve placed each student into small groups to complete their hands-on training and undertaken practices to best protect the learners and their teachers. These smaller working groups make it possible for us to ensure social distancing when feasible and employ advanced hygiene protocols as outlined by the Ministry, the Provincial Government and public health authorities,” Klooster added.
Alongside the digitization of the curriculum to further enhance classroom experience, many other staples of a new year are seen on the College campuses and employment offices and learning sites, including plexi-glass barriers, hand-sanitizer stations, floor mats and signage as well as sign-in measures to ensure safe distancing. Masks have been distributed to all learners and staff.
“It has been incredible to see how effectively the professionals at Northern have adjusted to these changes that have been thrust upon us,” stated. Glenn MacDougall, acting Vice President of Academic and Student Success at Northern College. “We’ve been a leader in digital platforms, but the advent of this pandemic has truly been a test of those abilities and I am so pleased to say that we’ve met and surpassed these challenges to reshape our educational offerings in such a way that learning continues to be optimized,” he continued.
As 2020 continues, the College will maintain close communications with students, faculty and staff to ensure that the highest level of safety and access to quality education is available to everyone who requires it.
With government-funded assistance for post-secondary studies expected to be nearly double that in past years, a wide array of scholarships, bursaries and awards being offered, and additional incentives in place to begin studying in the 2020 academic year, there has never been a better time to start College.
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