Aurora College has developed a plan for the fall semester, offering tuition refunds and primarily distance education classes.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of courses will be delivered by distance, but there are plans for safe “face-to-face instruction,” a press release said. Some courses are not scheduled for the fall, due to safety risks.
“One of the advantages of studying at Aurora College is the interaction between students, instructors and College staff. We get to know our students as individuals, not just another face in a large lecture hall,” says Andy Bevan, president of Aurora College, in a press release. “Students are comfortable bringing their concerns forward, which allows us to incorporate their perspectives into our planning.”
The college said it will follow the Government of the Northwest Territories’s Emerging Wisely plan as well as advice from the Chief Public Health Officer.
The subject of Aurora College’s status was discussed on Monday in the Legislative Assembly. Rylund Johnson, MLA for Yellowknife North, said he hopes the college will add more programming and worries the pandemic may delay this.
R.J. Simpson, minister of education, said now is not the time to introduce new programs.
“The landscape has changed, and we went from in-person to distance learning in the matter of weeks,” he said.
However, he added growing programming is an important future plan for the college.
Aurora College will also offer a tuition refund guarantee for all students who are not satisfied with the quality of their experience. They have the option to withdraw by October 9 to receive a full tuition refund and no academic penalty. Or withdraw by November 6 and receive a 50 per cent tuition refund and no academic penalty.
Student housing on campus will be available in September, to help students who may not have the resources in their communities, the press release said. It added student housing will follow all public health rules.
Aurora College said it is working with the GNWT and other partners to support students who face technology barriers and a lack of internet access.
Programs offered through distance education include:
- Business Administration
- Office Administration
- Early Childhood Development
- Certificate in Adult Education
- Full time Personal Support Worker
- Part-time pilot Personal Support Worker
- Occupations and College Access
- University and College Access
- Adult Literacy and Basic Education
- Literacy and Essential Skills courses
Programs offered through a mix of face-to-face and distance courses include:
- Environment and Natural Resources Technology
- Early Learning and Child Care
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Apprenticeship Carpentry Levels one and three
- Electrical Levels one and two
- Plumber Level
Programs not scheduled for the fall include:
- Heavy Equipment Operator
- Mining programs
- Non-apprenticeship trades programs
- Non-academic courses at Community Learning Centres.