Embracing technology has college in a good position to weather COVID-19 storm

Northern Lakes College is in an interesting position to be able to handle the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Ann Everatt says the college was well positioned to deal with the health crisis.

“We were more able to transition to working from home, and students connecting from home than most institutions,” says Everatt.

“Our entire curriculum is already designed for technology and our faculty didn’t skip a beat for the most part so students can continue with their studies.”

In terms of college staff, Everatt says there have been no layoffs yet and most staff are able to work from home.

“Not everyone, but most of our staff are working from home and that was easier because we have the technology, expertise and ability to do that,” she says.

When it comes to programs in the skilled trades, Everatt says the theory component is mostly online, but she realizes there are hands-on aspects of getting an education in the trades.

“In a carpentry shop, you have to have your hands on the tools,” explains Everatt. “The ministry (Innovation and Advanced Education) understands the need for social distancing measures so any of the programs less-than 50 percent into their lab times were cancelled and will be rescheduled.”

Everatt says there has been a slight decline in applications for the new school year, but also points out that some programs have more applicants than seats available.

“Even if this is still going on in September, we will still be able to welcome students to the college,” concludes Everatt.

– Kenny Trenton, Trending 55 Newsroom