I hope you have enjoyed a safe and happy summer. As we begin a very busy fall 2020 semester, I wanted to share some reflections on the last few months and to update you on some of our plans at Selkirk College for the months ahead.
First, let me express my gratitude towards the broader Selkirk College community for all of your support. Your steadfast commitment to our learners throughout this global health crisis has enabled Selkirk College to be a leader in the adaptation and resilience of our region. Your donations have ensured hundreds of students could afford rent, groceries and emergency-related costs. As we transition from crisis to renewal, we are committed to building remarkable and hopeful futures for learners.
With all the disruption and change around us, you may be wondering what life at Selkirk College will look like this fall. Through the tremendous leadership by our Health & Safety team, staff across all campuses and learning centres have prepared us for in-person delivery in many programs where possible and for online delivery where required. Following the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, we have created an environment that prioritizes health and safety as number-one for both students and staff.
The tireless effort by faculty and instructors to both finish the winter semester, deliver spring courses and programs, and prepare for the fall 2020 semester has made the required change truly inspiring. Students in all our programs will continue to get the finest education possible, delivered by educators who are passionate about making a difference in a student’s life.
I know many of you have particular interest in a specific program or school at Selkirk College. Detailed information about the delivery of the programs you support can be found here.
Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, we will continue to build on the momentum you created with the resounding success of the COVID-19 Student Relief Campaign that took place back in the spring. Some of our main priorities in the coming months include:
Access is a cornerstone of Selkirk College. Our regional college continues to offer the programs and services that ensure every individual who wants the opportunity to enhance and advance their lives through education, skills and training will find it within reach. The current times compound barriers to access and inclusion, but programs like our Digital Equity Initiative will help bridge a gap for those lacking the technology to adapt to the learning environment thrust upon us due to the pandemic.
An educated and prepared workforce will be key to the recovery and regeneration of our region. Selkirk College is taking a lead in this capacity as we identify and respond to the specific needs of our communities. As we emerge out of this global crisis, it is vital to keep focus on the small steps we can take to brighten the long-term future. We will ensure that those who want career-ready programs and a ladder to further education can find it on our campuses, where they live and where post-secondary is an affordable option.
Financial aid for students remains a critical priority. This pandemic has compounded budget challenges for many and we need to continue to help decrease the financial pressures our learners face. Scholarships, bursaries and other financial awards are instrumental in providing incentives and removing barriers. When a student feels strong community support behind them, they are destined to succeed.
The road ahead will not be easy and there are many more challenges we all face, but I am fully confident that we can get through this together. On the journey ahead in an uncertain world, your encouragement for students is appreciated more than ever. Please hold them in our thoughts as we hold you in ours.