By Justin Seward
This year’s Medicine Hat College students will have to adapt to a different way of learning as the COVID-19 pandemic moves along.
MHC has been working three scenarios since May for the fall re-entry.
Scenarios include the green light, yellow light and red light classes for either online or face-to-face. “We have some programs, for example Business Administration- the bachelor degree, diploma in commerce and the diploma in business administration, they will be online the whole semester,” said Dr. Vicky Roy, MHC’s vice-president academic and provost, on the green light courses “We have the ones that are more yellow light. You know like relate with specific machinery, for example. I’m thinking the Bachelor Degree in nursing. A lot of theory and courses will be online, but more of the applied part will be face-to face with a number of reduced students in the classroom. We cannot have 30 or 40 students in the classroom.”
Roy says the College won’t run more than 10 or 12 students per classroom, depending on its size.
“Then you have those programs who red light. The easiest ones are the trades,” said Roy.
“When we’re talking about power engineering, just to mention one of all of our programs in the trades, will be mainly face-to-face. (Some small portions of the theory and the follow up by the instructor using our learning management system blackboard.”
Roy said MHC is doing the scenarios this way because “In the normal semester, like example for the fall (semester) last year, just during the day we may 2,500 students. If you count both campuses in Brooks and Medicine Hat, you may be counting around 3,000 students.
“It’s no way-plus the staff and faculty- that we can get 3,000 people on a daily basis.”
With the changes upcoming, MHC realizes the student experience will be different this fall.
“We are working hard to ensure that we have all the support and service in place for those students,” she said.
“We invested in new technology to improve the face-to-face blended and online experience. We have hand safety protocols and procedure to protect the ones that need to be on campus. We’re following the directive from the provincial government and our chief medical officer to support the healthy relaunch in Alberta.”
MHC doesn’t expect more than 20 per cent of students back on campus in the classroom.
Roy says 400 to 500 students will be on campus daily and maybe just twice a week.
“We’re not telling the student to don’t come on campus because we will offer services like the gym recreational facilities and our libraries,”
“But we will minimize the amount of students and staff on campus.”
The College has implemented the accountability of self-assessment to staff, faculty and students.
“You can’t come in the College if you’re sick,” she said.
The post-secondary institution will not be enforcing masks like the nearby University of Calgary, unless there is an area where social distancing can’t be practiced.
The cafeteria will not be opened and a coffee stand will be set up for come-and-go service.