COVID-19 Updates: FULL DETAILS

COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) Information

Latest Update

  • Posted April 07, 2020 at 08:52 AM

    Limited Campus Operations

    Following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services around social distancing, we have moved to a limited Campus operation. Only essential service employees will be working on campus, all other staff are required to work remotely. All buildings on campus are now closed, with the exception of  the Olds College Brewery, which remains open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon - 6 p.m. 

    All computer labs on campus are now closed. If students require access to a computer please email ITSupport@oldscollege.ca. 

    Students or staff who require IT assistance can call 403.507.7777, email ITsupport@oldscollege.ca or fill out the Support Form for account or password issues. 

    Students can access the Office of the Registrar by calling 403.556.8281 or email info@oldscollege.ca

    Students can access the following Health & Wellness services through email:


    Online Classes Continue 

    Olds College is working closely with Alberta Health Services to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. 

    Under the recommendations of the Government of Alberta, all in-person classes have been cancelled for the winter and spring/summer semesters. Classes have resumed in an online format. We wish to extend our appreciation to all of you for your patience and kindness as we navigate these new circumstances together. Please note: all faculty and student meetings must be done virtually. 


    Final Grades for Winter 2020 Term

    Thank you for your incredible work in ensuring we can complete this winter semester. I recognize this is a very challenging time and appreciate the efforts from our students, faculty and staff.  As a college community, we continue to evolve our response to the COVID-19 situation. We have received considerable feedback about final grades in credit courses for this term. After careful consideration, with a focus on academic quality and student success as well as to help alleviate the stress that both staff and students are experiencing, we are implementing the following final grade guidelines:


    Students will have the choice to accept their final course grade, or alternatively  opt for a Credit Received (CR) or No Credit Received - Fail (NCF) for each of their courses in the Winter 2020 term. The decision to allow this option is a direct acknowledgement of this unprecedented situation. We know how hard our faculty have worked to redesign their courses to maintain a high quality learning environment. While students will have the choice to accept their final course grade or opt for a Credit Received (CR) or a No Credit Received - Fail (NCF) grade, this does not impact our expectations that students will continue to stay highly engaged and committed to their learning and assessments.

Final Grades for Winter 2020 Term

Why is Olds College providing the Credit Received (CR) or a No Credit Received - Fail (NCF) choice to students?

This approach will help students who need their grades for certain programs and placements either now or in the future, while not penalizing those whose performance is affected by difficult circumstances.  We fully expect and trust our students to continue to apply themselves academically and act with integrity as they complete this Winter term.

What are some of the things I should consider when making my choice between a final grade or opting for a Credit Received (CR) or a No Credit Received - Fail (NCF)?

This is an important decision for students and one that should be considered carefully. There are circumstances where students will need their grades in order to pursue further studies, either now or in the future. There are also cases where students need their grades to write exams (ex: Apprenticeship) or where future employers may consider grades as part of their employment decision. It is highly recommended that if students have any questions about their decision, they reach out to their instructor or Associate Dean to discuss further.

When will I be able to decide on the choice to accept my final grade or opt for a CR/NCF?

Once students receive their final grades, which are expected to be released to students by May 4, they can exercise their choice: to accept their grade or choose CR/NCF, for each course.

What is the minimum grade I need to receive a Credit Received (CR)?

A minimum of 50% is required to receive a CR.

Can I choose this option course by course?

Yes, you can choose to accept your grade in one course and choose CR/NCF in another.

How will this impact my GPA?

Courses with Credit Received or No Credit Received - Fail will not be included in GPA calculations.

Will courses with a CR grade still count towards my certificate/diploma/applied degree requirements?

Yes, if you opt to accept a CR in a course, it will count towards your program requirements.

If I receive NCF in a course do I need to take it over?

Yes, just like a grade below 50%, NCF indicates you have not passed the class and you will be required to take it again.

How long will I have to decide if I want to accept my final grade or choose CR/NCF?

Students will have until May 15 to indicate their choice to the Registrar’s Office through an online submission process. A Final Grade Choice Form will be posted on the Student Forms Webpage by May 4, 2020.

If I want to accept all of the final grades as they stand, do I need to do anything?

No, if you do not notify the Registrar’s Office using the Final Grade Choice Form, your final grade will stand.

Does this option apply to any other term?

No, this applies only to the Winter 2020 term.  As well, this does not apply to courses that were completed prior to March 16, 2020.

What if despite this option, I still want to withdraw from my course(s)?

We realize that in spite of these accommodations, some students will simply not be in a position to complete their course work and may wish to withdraw from their course(s). Due to this unprecedented circumstance, we have extended the deadline to withdraw to April 17. While there will be no refund for withdrawals, we encourage students who are considering this option to first speak to their instructors or Associate Dean to seek solutions that might best support them.

  

Current Conditions

What is the current status of COVID-19 at Olds College?

Olds College is taking the COVID-19 situation seriously. The health and safety of our students remains our number one priority. We are actively monitoring the situation and working closely with Alberta Health Services, who are the lead on COVID-19 in our province. The College has enacted our emergency response team to monitor the COVID-19 situation and the impact it may have on employees and students. 

Under the recommendations of the Government of Alberta, all in-person classes have been cancelled for the winter and spring/summer semesters. Classes resume Monday, March 23 in an online format.

We are also taking precautionary measures on campus including extra diligence on cleaning with a focus on high-touch areas like handrails, door handles, and washrooms. Employees are encouraged to work from home when operationally possible. 

What is being done to protect the health of the Olds College Community?

We are also taking precautionary measures on campus to prevent the spread of illness,  including:

  • Enacting the Olds College emergency response team to manage our response to COVID-19. The team is working closely with Alberta Health Services to monitor the situation and the impact it may have on Olds College employees and students.

  • Under the recommendations of the Government of Alberta, all in-person classes have been cancelled for the winter and spring/summer semesters. Classes resume Monday, March 23 in an online format.

  • Extra diligence on cleaning with a focus on high-touch areas like handrails, door handles, and washrooms.

  • Promoting good hygiene practices among members of the college community (e.g., handwashing) and providing appropriate hand-cleaning facilities and alternatives like alcohol hand rub.

  • Social distancing protocols have been put in place. 

  • Providing regular and ongoing communication to the campus community. 

  • Employees are encouraged to work from home when operationally possible.  

  • All events on campus have been canceled until April 30, 2020.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and have travelled outside Canada or may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811 or fill out the COVID-19 Self Assessment tool.  

  • Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention.

Employees should fill out the Reporting Staff Absence form and notify their direct supervisor.

What if someone does test positive for COVID-19 at Olds College?

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be under the direction and support of Alberta Health Services. Alberta Health Services will follow-up with potential close contacts of the individual. Olds College will take direction from Alberta Health Services as to what follow-up measures are to be implemented, should the need arise.

Employees should fill out the Reporting Staff Absence Form and notify their supervisor.

Is there a chance that Olds College will be closed to help limit the spread of COVID-19?

Working with Alberta Health Services, Olds College continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and the potential impact on our community. Under the recommendations of the Government of Alberta, all in-person classes have been cancelled for the winter and spring/summer semesters. Classes resume Monday, March 23 in an online format.

The campus remains open with restrictions.

If I need to self-isolate because of possible exposure to COVID-19, whom do I need to tell at Olds College?

Staff and faculty must fill out the Reporting Staff Absence form and notify their supervisor or Association Dean.

  

Campus Operations

What are the current restrictions for accessing campus?

Following the guidelines of Alberta Health Services around social distancing, we have moved to a limited Campus operation. Only essential service employees will be working on campus, all other staff are required to work remotely. All buildings on campus are now closed, with the exception of  the Olds College Brewery, which remains open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon - 6 p.m. 

All computer labs on campus are now closed. If students require access to a computer please email ITSupport@oldscollege.ca. 

Students or staff who require IT assistance can call 403.507.7777, email ITsupport@oldscollege.ca or fill out the Support Form for account or password issues. 

Students can access the Office of the Registrar by calling 403.556.8281 or email info@oldscollege.ca

Students can access the following Health & Wellness services through email:

Will Convocation still be taking place?

At the moment no decision has been made. We will let our community know by April 15, 2020 if convocation is to be cancelled. 

Do I need to renew my library items?

Any library items that are checked out have a due date of May 31, 2020. You do not need to renew, and no library fines will accumulate over this period.

I was scheduled to begin the meat processing program in May, will this program be offered online?

The Meat Processing program requires students to demonstrate hands-on skills in a lab environment. Given the current COVID-19 restrictions around social distancing, it is not possible for us to offer the required lab environment that is needed. As such, we are postponing the May intake of the meat processing program until September 2020. 

I was enrolled in the Spring/Summer Animal Health Technology program, is this program still scheduled to take place?

The Animal Health Technology program requires students to demonstrate hands-on skills in a clinic environment. Given the current COVID-19 restrictions around social distancing,  it is not possible for us to offer the required clinic environment that is needed. As such, and after consulting with the appropriate Government Agency, the spring/summer intake (beginning on campus May 4) for the Animal Health Technology program will be postponed to September 2020. Please continue with your online classes. You will continue to receive communication from your instructors. 

As a student enrolled to start the on campus portion of the program May 4, 2020, you will now start your program on September 8, 2020. Additional information about the Fall term will be shared via email.

I was enrolled to take an Apprenticeship program, is that still happening?

As stated by the Alberta Government, the March-April and May-June intakes for apprenticeship training are cancelled, this includes any Apprenticeship program that started after March 2, 2020. Students in these programs will be refunded their tuition. Watch your email for more details. For more information visit the Trades Secret website.

Will I be refunded for my parking pass?

Yes, students will receive a refund for parking, prorated to March 13, 2020. Staff will receive a refund for parking prorated to March 20, 2020.

  

Student Supports & Resources

Is there any COVID-19 financial assistance available to me as a student?

The following is a compilation of available financial aid resources, as of April 2, 2020, for students during this period of active COVID-19 protocols. Please note that some of these supports may not apply to you and that resources are frequently updated. Please continue to check the links below as new information may become available. 

Students can still apply for Student Loans until 30 days remaining in their program. If you are struggling financially make sure to apply under your provincial loan provider as soon as possible. If you have a current student loan and require additional funding, you can submit a request for review on your Student Aid Account outlining your circumstances to be assessed for additional funding (if eligible). 

COVID-19 Provincial Financial Supports (Alberta) 

  • Emergency Isolation Support – for working adults who must self-isolate.
  • Utility payment deferral – residential customers can defer utility payments for the next 90 days
  • Alberta student loan repayment deferral – students in current repayment for Alberta student loans will have payments paused until Sept. 30, 2020. with no accrual of i…..nterest starting Mar. 30, 2020 (please visit Student Aid Alberta website)
  • ATB banking customers and Alberta Credit Unions – deferral of loans, lines of credit or mortgage payments (please contact your individual institution for information)

COVID-19 Government of Canada Financial Supports

  • Canada Student Loans – students in current repayment of Canada student loans will have payments paused until Sept. 30, 2020 with no accrual of interest starting Mar. 30, 2020 (please visit the National Student Loan Service Centre website)
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: If you have lost income because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide you with temporary income support.  Please note, this benefit also applies to temporary foreign workers and international students.
  • Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit for workers who are not eligible for EI and are facing unemployment (when the new benefits are available, Canadians can apply through the CRA My Account secure portal, through a My Service Canada Account or by calling a toll-free number the government plans to introduce, which will be equipped with an automated application process.)
  • One time special payment for low and modest-income families
  • Increase of Canada Child Benefit
  • Indigenous Community Support Fund
  • Taxpayers can file income tax no later than June 1, 2020 and can defer payment of taxes deemed owing as of Mar. 19, 2020 until after Aug. 31, 2020

Other Financial Support 

  • Consult directly with your banking institution for additional possible options when managing hardships caused by recent developments.
  • Students requiring short-term assistance with food are encouraged to contact local food banks:

Student Awards

Winter awards have been selected and students were sent notification to their Olds College email account.  

Students that are currently enrolled may be eligible to apply for external awards.  External awards are not administered by Olds College and most post-secondary students are eligible to apply.  To get you started, a list of external awards is posted on the scholarship page of the Olds College website.  Each award has individual criteria and deadline. It takes a bit of searching, but there are endless student award opportunities available.  Search scholarships, bursaries and awards using keywords such as; your program, your home county, your parents’ or your employers, local agricultural society or other service clubs.

If you are experiencing extreme financial difficulties or need assistance in applying for funding please reach out to the Financial Aid Advisor - Hannah Ayearst Hayearst@oldscollege.ca or by phone: 403.556.8285

Is campus housing still open?

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our top priority. The majority of students living in Campus Housing have moved out. We continue to work with students to help them vacate residence, and support them through the process. Campus Housing will be closed as of March 30, 2020. 

Please note, effective immediately no visitors are being permitted to visit campus housing.

I am feeling very overwhelmed and anxious about COVID-19, is that normal?

It is completely normal to have feelings of being sad, confused, angry or scared when dealing with these kinds of situations. We will do everything possible to communicate accurate information, in a timely manner, and to explore options that will continue to ensure the safest learning environment possible for all. 

Additional tips to stay mentally and physically healthy include: 

  • Limit watching news reports and social media

  • Use only trusted sources of information, such as the Olds College website and the resources we have listed).

  • Keep to regular routines as much as possible.

  • Be sure to look after yourself physically by getting enough rest, fresh air, exercise and nutrition.  

  • Don't isolate yourself from other people (unless ill) but do use reasonable precautions when in close physical contact. Talk to people you trust such as friends or family by phone or email.

  • Avoid using substances to deal with emotions. Instead focus on your strengths and what has helped you through difficult times in the past and use these skills to try to help manage your current situation.

  • Virtual counselling services remain available to students, email councellor@oldscollege.ca to book a phone or google meet appointment.
I cannot log into Moodle/MyOldsCollege/Student Email, who do I contact?

Please contact IT Support 403.507.7777 or ITsupport@oldscollege.ca. For Account issues or password troubles you can also complete the support form that will go to our Learning Commons IT Support team.

Is the College offering any virtual health & wellness events?

The Health & Wellness team has organized the following virtual events for students and staff: 

  

Faculty Supports & Resources

Should staff and faculty be working from home?

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our top priority. As of Monday, March 30, only essential service employees should be on campus. All other staff are required to work remotely.  

See the Working from Home Technology Tips article on OC Connect.

I am having technology issues, who do I contact?

Please contact IT Support 403.507.7777 or ITsupport@oldscollege.ca. Our IT and TLCI teams are ready to help.

What travel restrictions are currently in place for Olds College?
  • Olds College business related travel, outside of the province, is not permitted. 

  • Effective March 25, any Olds College employee choosing to travel outside of the province for personal reasons are required to self isolate for 14 days and work from home. If working from home is not possible, this period of self isolation will have to be taken as vacation days. 

  • Olds College does not classify Professional Development as essential at this time.  All non-essential Olds College related travel should be canceled.

Should I be attending meetings in person?

Olds College employees are advised when possible to meet over the phone (conference) or electronic web meetings, etc. Only those external meetings (onsite or offsite) deemed essential to College operations are permitted.

Social distance protocol must be followed for all in-person meetings.

As an employee who should I tell if I am sick or cannot attend work?

Staff returning from travel outside the country (or living with family members who are returning from travel outside the country) should self isolate for 14 days and work remotely, if possible, while monitoring symptoms, and complete the Staff Absence Form.  

Staff who are ill with cold or flu-like symptoms:

  1. Should stay home and complete the COVID Self Assessment.
  2. Based on the outcome of the assessment, decide whether to call Healthlink (811) for instruction.
  3. If instructed to self-isolate by Healthlink, staff should inform their direct supervisor and complete this Staff Absence Form which can also be found on oldscollege.ca/covid19.

Staff who are absent due to COVID-19 illness or advised to self-isolate:

  1. Will be paid for time absent while sick or otherwise self-isolated.
  2. Are not required to produce a doctor’s note. 
  3. Are required to notify their supervisor/manager of their intention to self-isolate.

Staff who are instructed to self-isolate, and are not sick or symptomatic, should discuss with their manager whether they can work remotely and complete the Staff Absence Form.  

At this time, staff who cannot find alternative child care due to the closure of schools and daycare centres should notify their manager to discuss whether they can work remotely and complete the Staff Absence Form.

Please contact Human Resources if you have other unresolved concerns. We will continue to support our staff members as we face this challenge together.

As an Olds College employee, am I expected to work from home while I am in self-isolation?
Staff who are instructed to self-isolate, and are not sick or symptomatic, are encouraged to work from home, if possible. They should discuss with their manager. 
What if I have concerns about someone else who is ill in my work area?

If you are concerned about a co-worker in the workplace who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, speak to your Supervisor/Manager. Supervisors/Managers can contact Human Resources for further information as needed.


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