North Island College is giving students a clear picture of how it will deliver education in the fall.

Courses and programs will be offered in one of two ways; either fully digital or a blended on-campus and digital option.

“We know many students are planning for fall and want to know what September will look like,” said Lisa Domae, executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. “We want to ensure our students that their courses and programs will be available and let them know well ahead of time how they will be offered.”

With fully digital courses and programs, students will be able  to learn from wherever they are – all they will need is access to a computer and internet. 

Some digital classes will meet live online with their instructor on specific days and times, while others will have a more flexible schedule. 

Most courses will begin in September and end in December, but some will also start throughout the year.

Courses and programs offered digitally include: University Studies Arts and Sciences, Business, Tourism, Office Administration, Upgrading, Indigenous Education and DIGITAL Design + Development.

“One benefit to this change in delivery is that more of our programs are now open to students across the region, across the province and across the world, since they will not have to travel to campus this fall to take part,” said Domae.

With the combined on-campus and digital option (blended), students will do much of their learning digitally, but will also come to campus for required hands-on learning in NIC’s first-rate labs, shops and studios. Practicums and other work placements will continue to be held at community locations.

Courses and programs offered both on-campus and digital include Fine Arts, Trades, Technology, Health, Human Service programs and lab-based Sciences.

“To ensure the safety of our students, rigorous safety measures, including high cleaning standards and physical distancing requirements, will be in place on campus and only small numbers of students will be in class at any one time,” said Domae. “We will ensure it’s a safe environment for the entire NIC community.”

NIC says it “also recognizes that access to technology for distance learning may be a barrier for some students, and supports will be in place this fall through the Library & Learning Commons at each NIC campus.”

All NIC services and supports will continue to be available to students as well, through alternate methods. These services include counselling, accessible learning supports, educational advising, writing and math supports, research help, student technical service and student employment services. 

Financial aid advisors are also available to help students explore their funding options.

NIC’s student life team is also launching new, virtual initiatives to ensure students continue to have an opportunity to connect with other students in the NIC community.

“NIC has always been a leader in distance education and providing access to education throughout the region – it’s how we started more than 40 years ago and continues to be the heart of what we do,” said Domae. 

“The current challenges have pushed us to be more innovative. It’s been inspiring to see the solutions our faculty and staff have come up with to make sure students can continue their learning and access the services and supports they need.”

NIC has campuses in Courtenay, Campbell River, and Port Hardy.

To view the full list of NIC’s fall programs, visit www.nic.bc.ca.