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Colleges praise decision to allow more students to complete their programs

2020-06-10

The Ontario government’s announcement today that in-person education and training at colleges will resume next month on a limited basis ensures more students will complete their programs and acquire the expertise sought by employers.

“This is tremendous news for students and employers in key sectors who will need qualified people to help drive Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Glenn Vollebregt, SLC President and CEO. “We’re very pleased with the government’s ongoing commitment to our students’ success and to the colleges’ continued delivery of high-quality programs. I want to reiterate that the health and safety of our students and employees will remain our number one priority and that we will operate with the highest standards possible to ensure everyone’s protection as we welcome them back to our campuses.”

Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano announced today that in-person classes will resume in July in a range of college programs that require hands-on work to fulfill the programs’ requirements.

The in-person instructions returning in July are in programs that are critical to the current economy such as nursing, personal support work, engineering, child care, building construction and apprenticeship training in welding.

Ontario’s colleges cancelled in-person classes in March and shifted to more online delivery to protect students, faculty, employees and others from COVID-19.

Due to the dedication and tremendous efforts of faculty and staff, the transition to remote learning was very successful. Colleges found a range of innovative ways to ensure students continued to receive high-quality programs.

However, some programs require lab work and other in-person classes to fulfil the programs’ requirements. In a number of cases, that work was deferred until the summer.

Colleges have continued to collaborate with Minister Romano and public health officials on the safe return of in-person classes. Each college has developed a plan that includes guidelines for physical distancing, protocols for cleaning and rules for using personal protective equipment (PPE).

Ontario’s colleges are also pleased the government has announced plans to develop a framework to modernize post-secondary education.

“As the work begins to rebuild Ontario’s economy, it’s essential that colleges have the flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to changes in the labour market,” said Vollebregt. “We’re pleased the government is taking a proactive approach to strengthening Ontario’s colleges at this critical time.”

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For more information:

Laura Tulchinsky
St. Lawrence College, Communications
613-329-2451
ltulchinsky@sl.on.ca