Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology unveils return to campus plan for fall 2020

Originally posted: May 29, 2020

Henlow Campus exterior

Fall plan strikes balance between protecting public health and student success through blended delivery of online and scalable on-campus learning, services.

Two words that define MITT are nimble and adaptive. It’s how we develop solutions for industry and students, it’s how we transitioned to alternative program delivery when the COVID-19 school suspension commenced, and it describes our blended campus re-opening plan for Fall 2020, which we are sharing today.

We are a learning institution and at every phase of this journey our staff and students have shown remarkable innovation, creativity, and resilience as we’ve gathered knowledge and refined our plans and procedures. We are beyond grateful for their engagement and support, and we are excited to move forward in a way that returns our students and staff to vital in-class learning in the quickest and safest manner possible.

Safe resumption of in-class lessons

The experience of the past few months is without precedent but not without purpose as we have seen the efficacy of province-wide social distancing, hygiene, and PPE measures reflected in our low COVID-19 case numbers to date. With this in mind, the guiding principle of MITT’s fall campus re-opening is strict adherence to public health orders of the day, which will in turn directly inform our level of on-campus capacity and activity.

Active fall, winter intakes

Our fall 2020 and winter 2021 intakes are open and seat availability by program is viewable at New and returning students will be advised of the status of their program for fall well ahead of their program start date—whether it is delivered online, on-campus, or blended.

Fall term will see a blended program delivery

Our academic team is in the final stages of completing a program by program analysis to determine specific program plans to provide for online/remote delivery and on campus delivery.  MITT is currently implementing the D2L Brightspace learning management system which will provide a myriad of options to enhance the teaching and learning experience across all programs—whether their delivery is primarily on or off campus.

Why not stick to fully online delivery?

The objective of our fall campus re-opening is student success. Many of our programs require demonstrated proficiency in hands-on tasks (for example, in many skilled trades) to earn accreditation, and most of our health care programs require one or multiple work practicum placements for graduation. We recognize that online learning is an effective delivery instrument, and it will always remain a strong and effective backup plan in the event that our hands-on options are not possible due to the pandemic.  Ultimately our approach needs to be balanced—we need to keep staff, students, and our communities safe, but we also have a responsibility to our students to equip them with the skills, knowledge, and hands-on experiences they need for their academic and career success.

“I think our fall campus re-opening plan will effectively balance the safety of our campus community with the academic needs of our students,” says MITT President and CEO, Ray Karasevich. “We’ve prepared ourselves for a variety of scenarios—in fall or any other time during the life cycle of the pandemic—and created rapid adaptations to ensure we strike this balance at all times.”

Enhanced on-campus public health measures

MITT’s campus re-opening plan for fall meets the Province’s June 1 requirements for post-secondary institutions as part of Phase 2 of its Restoring Safe Services plan. We will continue to monitor the public health orders in Manitoba and follow the Province’s lead, adapt our planning, in the event of any changes. Returning students and staff will see a range of measures in place to ensure their protection and guide their participation in safe on-campus learning.

Scalable campus activity

Our fall campus re-opening plan includes a four-coloured advisory (red, orange, yellow, green) that will advise staff, students, and stakeholders on the level to which we need to ramp up or ramp down on-campus delivery of learning and services. This system is directly informed by public health orders of the day and will be clearly communicated daily (and updated as necessary) on for all staff, students, and guests to see. 

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