Summer 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

Douglas College faculty, staff, and administration continue to work hard to provide instructional and support services to our students while following the recommendations of health authorities during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The College is monitoring information and recommendations about COVID-19 from regional and provincial medical health officers and responding accordingly. As always, the health and safety of Douglas College students, staff, and faculty is our priority.

For the safety of the entire Douglas College community, the College has:  

  • Reduced the number of people on campus
  • Enforced occupancy limits and physical distancing
  • Posted clear directional and safety signage
  • Encouraged reduced service visits through “appointment only” protocols
  • Limited outside visitors
  • Made the use of non-medical face-coverings mandatory in all public areas of the campuses
  • Introduced additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the campuses
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules (see Douglas College COVID-19 Safety Plan for cleaning schedule)

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:

Students are encouraged to study remotely as much as possible. Active safety screening of all students, employees, and visitors will be in place at campus entrances. Please note that masks are now mandatory in public spaces at all campuses.

The College is open to employees and students to facilitate essential on-campus learning and working, and to support the remote working and learning environment. The College is otherwise operating in a limited-access mode, with no public events on campus or community event bookings accepted at this time. 

For campus hours and access points, please check Campus Information.

    Students are encouraged to study remotely as much as possible. Active safety screening of all students, employees, and visitors will be in place at campus entrances. Please note that masks are now mandatory in public spaces at all campuses.

    The College is open to employees and students to facilitate essential on-campus learning and working, and to support the remote working and learning environment. The College is otherwise operating in a limited-access mode, with no public events on campus or community event bookings accepted at this time. 

    For campus hours and access points, please check Campus Information

    Classrooms available for use: 

    • New Westminster: N4308, N4310 (classrooms opened by security on request)
    • Coquitlam: A1130, A1150 (classrooms opened by security on request)
    • Anvil Office Tower: All classrooms are closed until further notice

    Drop-In Computer labs:

    • New Westminster: N6109, N6111, N6212
    • Coquitlam: A2030
    • Anvil Office Tower: All labs are closed until further notice

    As of November 10, food services are suspended until further notice at both campuses. Please note, microwaves are also not available for use at either campus.

    School

    No. Courses will run for the duration of the Summer semester as listed on the College calendar (online, in-person, or hybrid) unless otherwise directed by the Provincial Health Officer.

    Tuition and fees 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.

    Students registered in on-campus classes, co-op or practicum placements that are a minimum of three credits are eligible for U-Pass and will be charged the U-Pass BC fee. For Summer 2021, that means a majority of students, who are taking online classes only, will not be eligible for U-Pass and will not be charged. More information about the U-Pass program is available here: https://www.douglascollege.ca/student-services/student-resources/u-pass-bc-compass-card.

    The Coquitlam and New Westminster Bookstores are closed to walk-in customers until further notice.

    Summer 2021 materials are available for online purchase and free shipping. Winter personalized booklists are 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 are available remotely. Visit the Covid-19 information and resources page and click on the links under Student Service Links to find out how best to access individual services. If you have any questions about a specific course or program, contact your instructor directly.

    Individual instructors will determine the best assessment method for their classes.

    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 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.

    International Students

    Yes. You are required to have a valid study permit throughout the duration of your program at Douglas while you are in Canada.

    If you plan to study online from overseas and apply for a PGWP after graduation, you need to meet one of the following requirements:

    1. have a valid study permit;

    2. have been approved for a study permit;

    3. have applied for a study permit before starting your study program and the permit must eventually be approved. 

    Yes, provided none of your classes have in-class components that required you to be on campus. The government is aware that travel restrictions are limiting travel to Canada and they have adjusted the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility rules to allow time studying online to be counted towards eligibility. You can review Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) student updates to study permit processing, study while abroad, and PGWP eligibility here.

    If you choose to study online from your country, please review these considerations:

    • Some courses have scheduled times and students are expected to be online in the sessions
    • Please account for time zones when you select courses
    • You will be required to stream videos and video conferencing
    • You are responsible for all internet costs associated with your connections in your country
    • If there are mailed materials required for the course, you may be responsible for additional costs of mailing outside of Canada.

    Some content posted by instructors can be restricted to viewing within Canada only. This may require the use of a personal VPN set to view content from Canada.

    Students who applied for study permits before starting your program, who are approved of a study permit, or who have a valid study permit, may count all your time studying online outside Canada before December 31, 2021 according to the recently updated rules posted on the IRCC website. The website covers these questions in detail:

    • What are the conditions to begin studies outside Canada?
    • How much of your program can you complete outside of Canada?
    • Until what date /when you can study outside Canada to be eligible for PGWP?

    This is not recommended for a few important reasons:

    1. You may not be allowed to come back to Canada for work even with the approval of your PGWP if you plan to apply for a PGWP from overseas after your graduation. Currently, PGWP holders will need to have a job offer in order to come back to Canada.
    2. Online study outside of Canada may lead to some unforeseen issues related to the following:
      • Geo-fencing of Canadian resources, making them not available outside of Canada
      • Time zone differences that make online in-persons sessions difficult to schedule
      • Variable internet speeds and controls in different countries
    3. Individuals returning to British Columbia MUST submit a self-isolation plan to the government and to Douglas College. Please visit Travelling to Canada for the most up-to-date information on restrictions and recommendations.
    4. Travel and immigration rules can change quickly during these uncertain times. This could lead to being locked down in your home country and not being able to return to Canada when you desire and/or having your study permit expire while abroad. 

    While classes are primarily being delivered online, the following considerations are recommended as part of your decision regarding when to come:

    Course planning:

    1. Course requirements (online, in-person, or hybrid). You can review your courses in your “my Account” or look-up any courses being offered in the Course Scheduling Tool.  
    2. Timing: If your courses have in-person requirements, you must self-isolate on arrival for 14 days and NOT come to campus for classes during self-isolation.

    Travel planning:

    1. You can travel to Canada as an international student if you have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit.
    2. Students travelling to Canada should visit our Travelling to Canada page for information, resources, and procedures on how to prepare for entry into Canada.You will be required to submit your plans to both Douglas College and the Canadian government. Links can be found on our Travelling to Canada. To submit your plans you will need to plan the following:
    • The location of your 14-day self-isolation
    • How you will travel to your isolation location
    • Arranging the necessary supports:
      • -Food
      • -Medications
      • -Child care
      • -Cleaning supplies
      • -Pet care
    • Social or family support

    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 this page for options.

    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 a regularly scheduled break. Please refer to IRCC’s Working as a student section for full details.

    To find the latest information on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s policy and service adjustments due to COVID-19, please review the International Student IRCC Coronavirus Disease: International Student page.

    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 global@douglascollege.ca.

     If you are an international student looking to study abroad, please contact an International Student Advisor via email dci.immigration@douglascollege.ca regarding study plans, credit transfer, and PGWP eligibility.

    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, contact us

    For academic advising related questions, contact us

    For immigration advising related questions, contact us

    Health and safety

    According to HealthLinkBC, the best thing individuals can do to reduce risk of infection is to:

    • Wear a mask while on campus and in any other public spaces.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
    • Dispose of tissues appropriately.
    • Clean your phone twice a day and don’t take it to the bathroom with you.
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Stay home when you are sick.

    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.

    Travel

    The BC Health Officer is recommending that all non-essential travel inside or 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, any person returning from outside of Canada is required 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 safety@douglascollege.ca 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.

    Support and resources

    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:

    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:

    • New Westminster Security Kiosk: 604-527-5405
    • Anvil Security Kiosk: 604-777-6666
    • Coquitlam Security Kiosk: 604-777-6254
    • Surrey Training Centre: 604-218-8902

    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:

    • 1-888-COVID19 or 1-888-268-4319

    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: