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Learning still going strong in all programs at Okanagan College

Start 2021 on positive note

After a year of serious ups and downs, 2021 could be the fresh start you are looking for.

“During uncertain times, education is the best investment for the future,” says Yvonne Moritz, Okanagan College’s associate vice-president of education services.

“Our communities are incredible places to live, work, play and learn, and Okanagan College has been at the heart of education in the region for over 55 years. This coming year offers students a chance to advance their career and passions, while staying safe.”

OC is gearing up for a full complement of arts, science, business, technologies, health and social development, trades and continuing studies programs in January, as the college continues to refine its educational delivery methods in the middle of a pandemic.

“Hands-on learning is still happening at Okanagan College,” Moritz explains. “Practical, real-world training doesn’t have to wait. We’ve reconfigured our labs and shops so students can engage in applied learning safely.”

Science labs and trades shops have been set up to allow students more room between each other, following physical distancing guidelines. Personal protective equipment, including gloves and face shields, are also provided to keep students safe.

And when students do learn at home, professors and instructors have come up with creative ways to bring the classroom to students’ homes.

Lab kits allow students to apply at home what they’re learning online. Students in the Sustainable Construction Management Technology Diploma program received a home lab kit to build a scale model of a single-storey house, including a building plan, wood, a scaled mitre saw and an architectural ruler.

Esthetics and Nail Technology Program students received kits to practise hair and nail-styling techniques at home.

Simulation technology also helps some programs, like practical nursing, apply theoretical knowledge in areas such as communication, critical thinking, medication knowledge and gathering patients’ medical history. Simulation software takes students through interactive case studies that test their knowledge and ability to make the right decisions when facing scenarios such as a patient showing up with possible COVID-19 symptoms.

And true to OC’s reputation, the commitment of faculty and instructors is making all the difference.

“OC is a truly supportive community of learners and teachers, and students experience that sense of community, support and engagement in the classroom, no matter if they meet in the lab, shop and even online,” Moritz adds.

Students are taking notice and recognizing that in these challenging times there is opportunity to start fresh.

“Studying at home gives me the flexibility to be available for my son when he needs me,” says Mare McHale, who returned to class in September. “It fits my life, and I wouldn’t have been able to go back to school if there hadn’t been online options. My instructors are giving us creative assignments to showcase our learning, too. Going back to school has been a great experience. I wish I could complete all of my studies at OC.”

And future students don’t have to wait until fall. In fact, it’s not too late to apply for January 2021.

Choose your program and get started here.

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