Lakeland College will be going forward with a blended approach of in-person and online learning this fall.

Hands-on learning critical to some programs such as the agriculture programs will continue with students wearing personal protective equipment and following physical distancing protocols. These precautions will be in place for all lab work, field work and student-managed farms.

All lectures will be available to students either via livestream or a recording on the college’s learning system. Some lectures may be done in-person depending on the class size and Alberta Health Services guidelines.

Classes will be scheduled and staggered to avoid having a large number of students in the hallways at the same time. Programs are going to be grouped on different days to limit the number of students physically on campus. Lakeland is also making preparations for students who opt-to complete all of their studies online.

Lakeland says since moving to online learning in mid-March they have invested in many platforms to support students and instructors. President and CEO Dr. Alice Wainwright-Stewart says students want the in-person experience and they are doing everything they can to provide it.

“The nature of our many programs are work integrated learning opportunities and we’ll ensure, through smaller cohorts, they will get that in-person experience. We believe that’s also their best learning experience and we want to maximize every opportunity that we have.”

Other health precautions the school will be following are no more than 50 people in a room, the installation of barriers and partitions where needed, hand sanitizing stations, more cleaning protocols and PPE use. The post-secondary will also be holding a daily survey-based screening for symptoms.

“[It’s] a self-assessment and it’ll be fairly quick survey that asks, have you been out of the country in the last 14 days? Have you been sick? And that gives us that information that is required through the Saskatchewan and Alberta health safety guidelines.”

Dr. Wainwright-Stewart says details are still being worked on and it will be on either their learning system or on the college’s app.

Lakeland College is hosting a series of webinars to answer any questions students may have about returning to classes in September. The webinars are divided into different fields of study and will take place on the following days:

  • Human services on June 23 at 4 p.m.
  • Health and wellness on June 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Business on June 25 at 1 p.m.
  • Interior design technology on June 29 at 1 p.m.
  • Energy on June 30 at 1 p.m.
  • Agricultural sciences on July 9 at 7 p.m.

The webinars will be hosted by the program deans, chairs or academic advisors and are open to new and returning students as well as those who may be interested in the program. An environmental sciences webinar will be held in the future. The recruitment and enrolment team will host a webinar about the college’s support services and financial aid on July 8 at 10:30 a.m.

“It helps the students feel more comfortable about what the situation their going to come in at the institution. Hopefully, that’ll alleviate some of the stress of how to access the materials they may need. When and how they can get on campus? Are there limitations and if there are then how does that work?”

“We’re trying to provide a college experience for our students that is as close to what any student would want to have on campus,” Wainwright-Stewart adds.

Residences at both campuses will be open to students with single occupancy bedrooms and double occupancy bathrooms. Sanitizer will be available in each residence, kitchen and laundry room.

Most programs will begin on August 31 with an online orientation and pre-employment programs will start on September 21. The school’s first intake of apprenticeships will be on October 13. Firefighter training will go ahead at the end of July with the necessary PPE and physical distancing protocols.

The college says they are also monitoring the Government of Saskatchewan’s guidelines. Wainwright-Stewart says they are ensuring that both provincial guidelines are being followed on the Lloydminster campus to avoid any confusion for students and staff.