With some students returning to the classroom at North Island College, the school has added new safety measures across all of its campuses.

The improvements include signage, hand sanitizing stations, floor tape to indicate appropriate physical distancing requirements, and physical barriers to separate student workspaces.

Students will also have to bring and wear non-medical masks around campus when physical distancing is not possible..

NIC’s Vice President of Finance and Facilities Colin Fowler says these safety measures are only for the select few who need to be on campus this semester. 

“When we say we’re returning to campus it’s really only a small number of programs that are here what we call experiential learning. The best examples I can provide are in areas like trades and healthcare where there is a hands-on component of the training and that you can’t really learn the subject matter without that hands-on component.”

He added that for the majority of students who will be learning from the comfort of their own home, NIC is always ready to help or answer any questions. 

“Our student supports are still there. If they need to come in and talk to somebody in our student support area or even a student that needs to get additional help with their studies, they can still make appointments and come in and use those learning aids but they would have to do that by appointment,” explains Fowler.

In order to help prepare students for the return to campus, the college has produced a short video with guidelines so students know what is expected of them on campus. 

Each program has its own individual safety plan and a required orientation that students must take. Details of those orientations will be sent to students via their NIC email.

He added that as the college gets through this year and looks ahead to next semester, while plans are uncertain, it will be ready for any situation.  

“ I think what I would say is we are ready no matter which way this pandemic should shift. If things open up more because there is a vaccine or we’re seeing our numbers in B.C are down and we could open up more and have more programs open face to face, we would be ready to do that for January. If we needed to go back to even less face-to-face delivery we would be ready to do that as well.”

For more details, including frequently asked questions, visit www.nic.bc.ca/safe-start-fall/.