Douglas College > Student Services > COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Douglas College has been closely monitoring COVID-19 and is working to limit the potential risk at the College. We are following the recommendations provided by the Provincial Health Officer.
Since January, a cross-college Pandemic Preparedness Response Team has been meeting regularly to actively monitor the situation and put plans in place for timely response, as needed. This includes updating and enacting business continuity plans should the situation changes. As always, the health and safety of Douglas College staff, faculty and students is our priority.
We recommend bookmarking the Douglas College website and checking back frequently for updates. We will continue to communicate regularly, and update these FAQs as needed.
In support of the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations Douglas College has cancelled all events on campus. The College has initiated a process through its Facilities department to review all future events on campus to determine viability.
In accordance with the Provincial Health Officer recommendations for post-secondary institutions, Douglas College cleans public touch points and facilities several times a day. Washrooms and other high traffic areas are all on accelerated cleaning cycles.
We are ensuring soap dispensers and hand sanitizers are available throughout the College, as well as ensuring they are filled regularly. Please report empty soap dispensers or hand sanitizer stations:
Douglas College campuses are open; however, there is limited access to classrooms, computer labs and some buildings.
Campus access points:
Classroom available for use:
A few classrooms at each campus have been designated to remain open for student use. Heightened cleaning protocols are in effect for these areas and students are reminded to follow social distancing recommendations when using the space.
New Westminster: N3406, N3408, N3410 classrooms opened by security on request
Coquitlam: A1110, A1130, A1150 classrooms opened by security on request
Anvil Office Tower: all classrooms are closed
No. Chartwells, including the Tim Horton's kiosks, are closed until further notice. Vending machines will continue to be replenished on a periodic basis.
Douglas College is issuing a refund for the April 2020 U-Pass. Refunds will be issued to those students who did not use their April U-Pass for more than $41 in stored travel value. A cheque of $41 will be mailed to the address listed on myAccount.
Yes, summer semester courses will be delivered using online tools (e.g. Blackboard, Collaborate and related tools). There will be no in-person classes. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Douglas College cannot guarantee ongoing access to campuses, so students registering for the Summer term need to ensure access to a computer and internet to be able to meet the requirements for instructional delivery.
No. Douglas College will run the entire Summer semester using versions of online instruction.
Tuition and fees, other than U-Pass, will remain unchanged for the Summer semester. While the delivery format of our courses has changed, they continue to be taught by the same experienced faculty as they would be in person. Students continue to earn full academic credit and the College continues to provide student services like library, academic advising, career services and counselling through alternative delivery modes. We remain focused on delivering the best education possible in a safe environment.
Douglas College has worked with other post-secondary institutions, student associations and Translink to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program as of May 1, 2020. We understand that this may add to the financial pressures for some of our students, and we encourage those who are impacted to speak with a Student Success Advisor about financial support at email@example.com.
DSU & The Other Press
Fees collected on behalf of the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU) and The Other Press are the responsibility of those independent organizations. Questions about fees can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com respectively.
Douglas College has worked with other post-secondary institutions, student associations and Translink to temporarily suspend the U-Pass BC program as of May 1, 2020 until further notice. We understand that for those who rely on the U-Pass for inexpensive transportation, this decision may add to financial pressure. With proper documentation, some students may be eligible for Emergency Funding to help purchase a transit pass. More information can be found on the Financial Aid web pages.
The Coquitlam and New Westminster Bookstores are closed to walk-in customers until further notice.
Summer 2020 materials are available for online purchase and free shipping. Summer personalized booklists are also available through MyAccount.
Visit https://bookstore.douglascollege.ca/ for more information.
All library services will remain available on-line. Library support can be found here.
All student services will remain available on-line or by phone. Visit https://www.douglascollege.ca/student-services/covid19 and click on the links under Student Service Links to find out how to access services.
We encourage all students to be patient as we transition to a new way of learning and working. If you have not received direction from your instructor via Blackboard or email, please reach out to your Department Chair.
All instructors have been asked to allow students to email assignments and conduct meetings by phone or on-line. If there are challenges with these arrangements, students should contact Department Chairs or the Dean’s Office.
Individual instructors will determine the best assessment method for their classes.
Students are encouraged to connect with their instructor to discuss any impacts illness may have on their participation in class. Faculty have been encouraged to exercise flexibility as this situation continues to evolve, and decisions on grades rest with individual faculty. The requirement for medical documentation (i.e., a health care practitioner’s note) has been waived for students who are ill for less than two weeks.
Students and employees are requested to stay home if they are ill, even in the presence of light flu-like symptoms.
Employees, please connect with your supervisor and follow usual sick-leave protocols.
Students, please connect with your instructor to discuss any impacts this may have on your attendance or participation in class. Faculty have been encourage to exercise flexibility as this situation continues to evolve, and decisions on grades rest with individual faculty. Instructors are asked to waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e., a health care practitioner’s note) for students who are ill for less than two weeks.
The B.C. Government asks all British Columbians stay home and away from others if they or their household members are sick. As a result of this advice, instructors are asked to waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e., a health care practitioner’s note) for students who are ill for less than two weeks.
This strategy—approved by the Vice-President Academic and in place until further notice—is being initiated to contain and prevent the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19. It will also help preserve community medical services for those who require immediate medical attention.
At this time, yes, individual students may book practice rooms using the usual process.
We are committed to students being able to complete their courses and programs to graduate with all the necessary requirements.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we have made the difficult decision to suspend the Summer 2020 graduation ceremonies. Graduating students who applied for graduation and have met requirements for their program will have their credential awarded in June 2020 and their parchment mailed to them.
All students who are awarded credentials in June 2020 will be invited to attend either the February 2021 or June 2021 ceremonies. More information about these ceremonies will be shared at a later date.
We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation together.
The student ID request process has moved to an online request format. New students can request their ID cards by logging into myAccount and submitting a request through a link in myAccount. We’ll then mail out the student ID cards through regular post.
Students at Douglas College now have access to more than $600,000 in emergency funding to help reduce financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Douglas College’s Financial Aid office can assist students with finding support during trying times, including the current pandemic. Support is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on each student’s situation. Students should visit the Financial Aid page to understand and start the process.
Additionally, those students enrolled under the Provincial Tuition Waiver program can apply for emergency funding by contacting Student Support Navigator.
Yes. You are required to have a valid study permit throughout the duration of your program while you are in Canada. During academic sessions, you would still be required to comply with your study permit conditions. During the COVID-19 situation the government is posting updates on adjustments to their processes and rules here.
Douglas College will accommodate students who are able/willing to travel to Canada, can abide by the 14-day mandatory self-isolation period, and who wish to take courses online. It is important that students are aware that in-person College resources and campus services may be reduced.
Douglas College is aware that on April 7, 2020, IRCC updated their COVID-19 update page to state: “If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.” [Emphasis added]
The College is currently evaluating whether certain courses will be delivered online outside of Canada to new students. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Yes. On April 7, 2020, IRCC updated their COVID-19 update page to state: “If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.” [Emphasis added]
If you choose to study online from your country, please review these considerations:
No. On April 7, 2020, IRCC updated their COVID-19 update page to state: “If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner."
This is not recommended for a few important reasons:
1.Your PGWP may be negatively effected by this choice because the IRCC exemption on April 7, 2020 for study outside of Canada was for people “who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions.” We are currently interpreting this to mean it only applies to people already outside the country on April 7.
2.Online study outside of Canada may lead to some unforeseen issues related to the following:
a.Geo-fencing of Canadian resources, which makes them not available outside of Canada
b.Time zone differences that make online in-persons sessions difficult to schedule
c.Variable internet speeds and controls in different countries that may limit online access
3.Currently individuals returning to British Columbia have to submit a self-isolation plan to the government. If your accommodation plans are not suitable for self-isolation, this could lead to additional expenses for hotel-like individual housing.
The decision of when to come is personal if you have a valid study permit. The entire summer semester will be delivered online, allowing you some flexibility in arranging your travel plans. Please watch Canadian travel advisories. When travel to Canada is possible for you, you must complete a self-isolation plan for the BC Government detailing the following:
The plan is submitted online. Please enter email@example.com in the form where it asks for “Email address to receive a copy of the form.”
If you are planning to return to your home country, please make sure you have the most updated information on how Canada is responding to COVID-19 pandemic and plan for 14 days isolation upon return to Canada:
Document requirements to return to Canada: To return to your studies in Canada, you need a valid study permit and a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).If your documents will expire while you are outside Canada, you can apply for a new study permit either online or at your local Canadian visa office/embassy. Online applications are available here. You can also choose to apply with a paper application. You may find and download the instruction and the entire application package here, and click here for the specific visa office you should submit your application to.
If your medical insurance is expiring, now is the time to ensure you are covered. For information on medical insurance for international students, please visit the link below for options: https://www.douglascollege.ca/study-at-douglas/international-students/new-students/medical-insurance
If your study abroad or your exchange was cancelled in 2020 you will be offered priority for 2021 field schools and 2020/2021 exchange programs should you wish to apply and provided you meet current requirements. Your study abroad scholarship will be deferred to your future study abroad programs on condition that you are applying for the same type of program and continue to meet eligibility requirements. The submission of a new application for scholarship will not be required.
For all study abroad program enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an international student looking to study abroad, please contact an International Student Advisor via email email@example.com regarding study plans, credit transfer, and PGWP eligibility.
International students who are eligible to work on or off-campus can continue to do so regardless of their online or in-person course status, but are still subject to the same number of authorized hours i.e. 20 hours off campus during the academic session and full time during what a regularly scheduled break.
Please review our website on working in Canada as an international student.
UPDATE 4/24/2020: *For students currently studying and currently working in essential services, please see FAQ: “Can I work more than 20-hours/week during COVID-19 while classes are in session?”
Yes, but only if your job is in a designated essential service area. On April 22, 2020, IRCC removed “the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.” Read the full announcement here. For a list of essential service jobs, please see the Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please note Douglas College will not advise students on whether or not their job is an essential service.
No. The choice of which jobs are essential services rests with federal and provincial governments. The IRCC has linked their announcement to the following resource as a reference for all Canadians regarding essential services: Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has published: “Special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” page. Processing times for applications can be looked up on the IRCC website. Be sure to make all applications with extra time due to predictable slowdowns during times of uncertainty.
Service Canada Offices and many other offices have suspended biometric collection. The biometric instruction letter cannot be amended, but 90-day extensions are being granted for those unable to book an appointment. Locations and their status can be found here.
When contacting the international office, please include your full legal name and student ID for verification.
For information on our online services please visit our online service page.
For admissions related question, email: DCIadmissions@douglascollege.ca
For academic advising related questions, email: DCIadvising@douglascollege.ca
For immigration advising related questions, email: DCI.firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the online learning tools available to me?
Blackboard - https://douglascollege.blackboard.com/
Where can I find information about Blackboard student resources?
Blackboard Student Resources - https://douglascollege.blackboard.com/webapps/portal/execute/tabs/tabAction?tab_tab_group_id=_648_1
Is there a Blackboard User Guide for more information on Blackboard’s features?
Is there an option to connect with my instructor online?
Your faculty will be in touch with you with more information on what tools they will use to communicate / teach. Following are the tools available to the College community. Solely at the discretion of the faculty.
What tool should I use to access my Douglas College email?
Office 365 As a Douglas College student, you can use Office 365 for free for the duration of your academic study. Use your student ID to sign in.
Where can I store all my files?
How can I install MS Office on my device?
To use Office, you have two options:
I forgot my CNA password. How can I reset my password?
Use the self-service password reset portal to reset your CNA password. You can follow the steps here https://password.douglascollege.ca/accounts/Reset to reset your CNA password without having to contact the Service Desk.
Can I call Service Desk for immediate assistance?
Due to the current Covid19 situation, Service Desk will be streamlining our services and using email as our main point of contact. Please email us at email@example.com and a technician will respond in priority sequence.
As faculty and staff transition to online classes and home offices, visit DC Connect for more information about Technology Tools and Resources you can use.
A few computer labs at each campus have been designated to remain open for student use. Heightened cleaning protocols are in effect for these areas and students are reminded to follow social distancing recommendations when using the space.
New Westminster: N5105, N5107, N5109 computer labs are open with reduced seating
Coquitlam: A2030, A2110 computer labs are open with reduced seating
Anvil Office Tower: 807, 616 computer labs are open with reduced seating
Yes. Zoom audio call charges might apply for some sessions at present. Please ensure you check with your instructors about call charges before your session.
According to HealthLinkBC, the best thing individuals can do to reduce risk of infection is to:
For further information on how to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, visit HealthLinkBC or BC Centre for Disease Control.
The Province has released a self-assessment tool to help individuals to determine whether they may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
Additionally, individuals can contact HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for guidance. This is a service where you can discuss your symptoms and receive advice about what to do next.
Yes, it is safe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people receiving packages from countries affected by COVID-19 are not at risk of contracting the virus. From previous analysis, the WHO has determined that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
The BC Health Officer is recommending that all non-essential travel outside of Canada be cancelled.
If you are planning to travel in the coming weeks and months, please check the Government of Canada Travel Advice website to make informed decision.
Keep in mind that conditions in countries around the world can change quickly. Additionally, the BC Health Officer has also recommended that any person returning from outside Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.
Yes, please connect with your Global Engagement contact to discuss viability of out of country programming for future terms.
As of March 12, the BC Health Officer is recommending that all travelers returning from outside Canada to self-isolate for 14 days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if this applies to you.
Monitor yourself and those close to you for symptoms similar to the flu or common cold such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever or difficulty breathing. If any symptoms arise, connect with your primary health care provider, local public heath office or call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 and tell them of your recent travel. Note that the HealthLinkBC 8-1-1 service is available in several languages.
British Columbians should monitor their health while they are travelling and after they return. If you have any symptoms at all of a cold or influenza, even if they're mild, stay away from others. If you have been to areas, particularly where we know there has been transmission of COVID-19, then call your health care provider, call 8-1-1, call public health. Always tell health care providers about recent travel if you become ill after returning to Canada.
Go to Government of Canada for more questions and for the latest travel alerts.
Every member of our College community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be welcomed and supported on our campus. No person should be targeted in any way or subjected to discrimination resulting from a misplaced perception that they may be a carrier of a communicable disease based on their perceived disability, race, ancestry, place of origin or otherwise. This kind of targeting is discriminatory and a breach of college policy (Standards of Student Conduct, Respectful Workplace, Violence Prevention & Response).
If you feel you have been targeted based on any of the above factors, you should report this behavior.
If you need immediate assistance because you fear for your personal safety, contact 911 or for an on-campus safety concern contact Campus Security Services at:
Otherwise, report the behavior to Student Support and Conduct Office. The Office’s first action will be to invite you in for a confidential conversation about the policies and response options available.
The province has set-up a phone-line focused on answering non-medical questions about COViD-19:
You can get answers about travel recommendations, social distancing, and what kinds of support, resources and assistance are available from the provincial and federal governments. The service is available 7:30am-8:00pm seven days a week.
For medical related questions, contact HealthLink 8-1-1.
The Province has also released a self-assessment tool for individuals to determine whether they may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.
Counselling and support is available to members of our campus community who are affected by the COVID-19. We encourage students, faculty and staff who need support at this time to contact one of the following services: