COVID-19 FAQ: Students

The following FAQs have been compiled to help VCC students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Last reviewed: July 13, 2020

VCC has been closely monitoring the situation surrounding COVID-19 and is following all recommendations by the Provincial Health Officer to limit potential risk on our campuses. This has included the temporary suspension of most face-to-face instruction and services, heightened cleaning measures, cancellation of all events and room bookings, increased communications, and more. 

VCC has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), consisting of a dedicated team including medical and safety professionals. This team meets regularly to actively monitor the COVID-19 situation and liaise with local and provincial health authorities. The EOC will continue to implement the government’s recommendations and offer guidance and instructions to the VCC community as needed.

VCC’s senior leadership team also continues to meet regularly to evaluate and respond to the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 and to support the continuation of learning and operations at VCC during this challenging time.

Please bookmark vcc.ca/bulletins and check this page frequently for updates and recommendations. These FAQs will also be updated as needed. 

As B.C. progresses through its reopening phases, HealthLink BC recommends the following to stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • Physical distancing. Keep a physical distance of about two metres between yourself and others when you are out. 
  • Avoid contact. Avoid handshaking and hugs outside of your family. Smile and wave instead.
  • Wash your hands. Especially after returning home and before eating. Clean your phone and work surfaces frequently.
  • Wear non-medical or cloth masks. A non-medical mask or face covering is recommended when you cannot keep a safe distance from others.
  • Don’t touch your face. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues immediately.
  • Isolate if you feel sick. Even if you have only mild symptoms, self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Do not go to work, school, or public places.
  • Get tested. Anyone with symptoms, however mild, can get tested for COVID-19. Find a testing centre.

For further information on how to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, visit HealthLink BC or the BC Centre for Disease Control.

By staying home, British Columbians have done their part "flatten the curve." With each day, the rate of growth in COVID-19 cases has steadily declined and more than 2,600 people have recovered.

B.C.’s Restart Plan lays out a careful, step-by-step process to resume some social and economic activities while maintaining physical distancing restrictions, so that our combined efforts and sacrifices are not squandered.

At VCC, we are planning for physical distancing to continue into the Fall 2020 term, and programs that are able to continue with online delivery will do so until further notice. Specific modes of program delivery (whether online and on-campus) will be determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students directly with guidance about learning modes.

 

 

VCC continues to remain open, although with limited in-person access, to support quality learning and training in alternative ways. We also remain open in order to support our community and the provincial response to this pandemic, and we will be part of the ecosystem that helps rebuild and shape our collective future.

VCC’s actions are consistent with the B.C. government’s objectives to balance health and safety with access to educational programs. Almost all VCC programs and services are now being provided through alternative (non-face-to-face) methods.

VCC is planning for physical distancing requirements to continue into the Fall 2020 term. Currently, we are not anticipating a full “return to normal” in Fall 2020, so please be prepared to continue with online and alternative delivery of programs, with on-campus instruction only when safe and essential. Limited, on-campus program delivery will follow all Provincial Health Officer directives and recommended health and safety measures (i.e. physical distancing, gathering size, regulatory guidelines).

Domestic students

Registration is now open. Registration for programs will be completed as outlined in each student's acceptance letter and upon payment of deposit or first installment.

See the full list of VCC programs with space available


Continuing Studies

  • VCC Continuing Studies is currently offering courses and programs using online learning and alternate delivery modes. Unless otherwise notified, classes will be offered online.
  • VCC Continuing Studies offers three ways to register:
  • Please direct any questions to cstudies@vcc.ca or to individual program coordinators. Departmental contact information can be found in the VCC directory.


International students

  • International students will receive class schedules and registration information from VCC International.
  • For all programs except University Transfer, VCC international students are registered for the entire duration of their programs.

VCC temporarily suspended all in-person classes beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in order to transition to alternative modes of program and course delivery where possible.

Starting the week of Monday, May 25, certain courses may partially returned to safe, on-campus delivery in order to complete necessary learning outcomes. 

On-campus activities may include:

  • Assessments and exams
  • Clinics and labs
  • Hair and esthetics activities
  • Trades practical/shop activities

Please note: VCC is planning for physical distancing requirements to continue into the Fall 2020 term, and programs that are able to continue with online delivery will do so until further notice.

Specific modes of program delivery (both online and on-campus) will be determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students with guidance about learning modes.

If you have any questions regarding your programs or courses, departmental contact information can be found at https://www.vcc.ca/directory/.

As many VCC courses will be running virtual classrooms, students will need appropriate technology to engage and succeed. While some learning tasks may be completed using a smartphone or tablet, a laptop or desktop computer is recommended to ensure students can complete course requirements. View VCC's technology requirements for online learning.

If you have any questions regarding your programs or courses, departmental contact information can be found at https://www.vcc.ca/directory/.

 VCC campuses are operating, but with restricted access to ensure that VCC is supporting physical distancing recommendations from the health authorities. 

Strict health and safety measures will continue to be implemented for courses and programs opening to on-campus delivery. Instructors have been in direct contact with any students returning to VCC campuses for essential, hands-on learning activities, providing specific guidance and safety instructions in every case. 

If you have questions or concerns about returning to a VCC campus, please contact your instructor or department directly. 


BEFORE COMING TO CAMPUS

Self-assessments and ID

  • Your instructor will send you a self-assessment survey via Moodle. Fill out this survey before any visit to a VCC campus. 
  • Bring your VCC identification card (VCC ID) with you.
    • You will be required to show your VCC ID to security at the Downtown campus.
    • You may be required to show your VCC ID to security while at the Broadway campus.

Entrances

Only the following entrances will be open:

  • Downtown – Dunsmuir St. entrance (at Hamilton St.)
  • Broadway – Broadway main entrance (building A) and 7th Ave. entrances (building B)
  • Annacis Island – Main entrance 


WHAT TO EXPECT ON CAMPUS

To ensure the safety of all VCC students and employees, please:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the campus and regularly throughout the day.
  • Limit your time on campus.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others, and respect all signs posted.
  • Avoid touching surfaces whenever possible.
  • Use proper respiratory hygiene practices.

COVID-19-distancing-signage-samples-620

Washrooms 

Currently, approximately 30 per cent of washrooms at VCC are closed. Washroom availability will be based on ongoing campus occupancy. Open washrooms are clearly marked and located near high-traffic areas, central locations, and areas adjacent to elevators and stairs for ease of access.

Food and eating

Food service outlets including cafeterias, bakeries, and restaurants are closed. If you must spend a full day on campus, please plan to buy food elsewhere or bring a meal with you. Vending machines remain available. Please refrain from eating in classrooms.

Parking fees at both the Broadway and Downtown campuses have been reinstated as of Monday, June 1. Processes for paying for parking have not changed.

Employees who have payroll deductions for parking, your payments will restart in June. If you have questions or would like to make changes to your monthly parking plan, please contact Surinder Aulakh by emailing saulakh@vcc.ca.

Domestic students

Please register for University Transfer and class-based Academic Upgrading courses online. As self-paced courses require permission to register, please contact 604.871.7000, ext 7366.

International students

  • VCC International registers students in University Transfer classes in Term 1 only. International students must register online in subsequent terms.

VCC is currently only accepting online and mailed cheque payments, as face-to-face registration services are temporarily suspended. LEARN MORE >

Online banking
To pay using your bank account (including credit unions), add Vancouver Community College as a “payee,” and use your VCC Student ID number as the “account number.” 

myVCC (domestic students)
To pay through myVCC (using Plastiq), log in to your student account, then select the “Pay fees/Tax forms” box, and “Make a Payment.” Then, select the applicable term, enter the amount as indicated in your acceptance letter or instalment invoice, and complete your payment by credit card or Interac. 

Cheque
Cheques may be mailed to:

Student Accounts Office
Vancouver Community College
1155 East Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5T 4V5

Wire transfer (international students)
Make an international payment by bank transfer, credit card, or other local payment methods through Flywire. LEARN MORE >

Continuing Studies only 
VCC Continuing Studies students may pay by credit card over the phone or by mailing a cheque.

Phone: 604.443.8484
Mail: VCC Continuing Studies
250 West Pender St.
Vancouver, B.C., V6B 1S9


Questions? Call the Student Accounts Office at 604.871.7000, ext. 8409
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Base programs

In extenuating circumstances, students may contact the Student Accounts Office to discuss payment extensions.

Email: sao@vcc.ca
Phone: 604.871.7000, ext. 8409
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Continuing Studies

Please contact the VCC Continuing Studies office by email or phone, or reach out directly to your program coordinator.

Email: cstudies@vcc.ca
Phone: 604.443.8484

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) will provide support for eligible students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit provides $1,250 per month for eligible students or $2,000 per month for students with dependants or a disability. 

The benefit will be available from May to August 2020. Applications can be made starting Friday, May 15, 2020 via the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).


Emergency bursaries

The Government of B.C. significantly increased emergency funding available to post-secondary students, and the VCC Foundation continues to raise money to support student bursaries. Thus far, over $245,000 has been distributed to students in need.

Current status:

Applications for VCC's second round of emergency bursary funding closed on June 15, 2020. Additional rounds of bursaries may be available upon securing additional funds.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, available through VCC Financial Aid


Student loans

Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia and national student loan repayments were temporarily suspended. 


More resources

For additional options available to Canadians and British Columbians who are facing uncertainty or hardship due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our Resources page

Withdrawal deadlines have been extended for those currently taking classes. Students can withdraw up to the final day of class and receive a grade of 'W' for their course.

Base programs

VCC students requesting a withdrawal can either submit the Course Drop/Add and Program Withdrawal form (PDF) form or e-mail the Registrar’s Office at ro@vcc.ca. Please provide your name, student ID number, and the name of the course or program you wish to withdraw from.

Continuing Studies programs

For Continuing Studies course withdrawal, please complete and submit the Course Drop/Add and Program Withdrawal form (PDF) and forward it to the Continuing Studies Registrar’s Office at cstudies@vcc.ca.


Please note that withdrawing from a VCC course does not mean that tuition fees are refunded. Students who withdraw despite the college’s shift in learning modes must appeal for any refund in excess of the college’s normal refund policy and demonstrate why their discontinuation is exclusive to COVID-19 factors and not learning preference.

We understand that, for some students, the transition to online education is not the learning experience they may have envisioned. Please know that our departments and instructors have worked extremely quickly and continue to do everything possible to ensure that enrolled students will be able to meet their course outcomes and program requirements.  

Students in courses that that continue to be offered, including online or in modified formats, are not eligible for tuition refunds, partial refunds, or ancillary fee refunds.

For more information, consult VCC's Tuition and Fee Refund policy (D.3.4).


Please note that withdrawing from a VCC course due to COVID-19-related factors does not mean that tuition fees are refunded. Students who withdraw despite the college’s shift in learning modes must appeal for any refund in excess of the college’s normal refund policy and demonstrate why their discontinuation is exclusive to COVID-19 factors and not learning preference.

The U-Pass BC program is resuming Sept. 1, 2020 for students who are in classes that require regular on-campus attendance.

The U-Pass BC program was temporarily suspended from May to August 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions and the majority of classes moving to online instruction. VCC will update all U-Pass fee assessments made prior to Sept. 1 to ensure any U-Pass fees match student eligibility.

Refunds

Students who have paid for their U-Pass from May to August 2020 have been refunded in full. Refunds were issued by e-transfer to students’ VCC email accounts on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. An email was also sent to students’ preferred (personal) email accounts notifying them of the refund. 

Questions about refunds? Email VCC Student Accounts Office at sao@vcc.ca.

VCC’s Spring 2020 convocation (originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2020) is postponed. VCC is looking at alternatives to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. Including the possibility of holding an additional ceremony in conjunction with our Fall 2020 ceremony. However, this will be dependent on being able to ensure everyone's health and safety to gather in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. VCC will be in contact with our graduates as additional information becomes available.

View special messages to the VCC Class of 2020.

Canada Student Service Grant

A new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 to students who choose to do national service by helping their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Visit the governnment's I Want to Help platform to find information about available service opportunities, as well as the application process. 


Student Work Placement Program

Post-secondary students hired through the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP) may now access more flexible start dates and duration of placements. Students may also be permitted to work from home, and post-secondary institutions may access a wage subsidy.


Canada Summer Jobs Program

Through the Canada Summer Jobs Program and other youth employment strategies, the Government of Canada plans to create 76,000 summer jobs for youth between the ages of 15 and 30, and will be adjusting hiring policies and increasing wage subsidies.


International students

The Government of Canada has announced the removal of the maximum 20-hour per week work restriction for international students in essential service jobs.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on B.C.’s economy and the job market. Visit VCC's Career Guidance site for valuable resources including employer lists, resume help, and current labour market research. 

No. For our international students concerned about their status in Canada, please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that the transition of Canadian post-secondary programs to online studies will not impact study permits.

According to IRCC, post-graduation work permit eligibility will not be affected for international students whose Summer or Fall 2020 courses have shifted online due to COVID-19. Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50 per cent of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.

Time spent in distance learning will not be deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit. These measures will be in place until December 31, 2020.

If you have questions, please contact VCC International or visit the IRCC website.

 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is allowing international students with study permits for programs starting in the Summer or Fall 2020 terms to begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50 per cent of their programs via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.

To learn about your specific program requirements, contact VCC International

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, do all you can to avoid contact with others. Even if your symptoms are mild, self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Do not go to work, school, or public places. Do not use public transit, taxis, or ride shares. Do not have visitors to your home. VCC students and employees should follow the normal protocol in their department for reporting absences due to illness.

Common symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of sense of smell or taste. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. If you are unsure about your symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call HealthLink BC (8-1-1).

Anyone with symptoms, however mild, can get tested for COVID-19 in B.C. Find a testing centre.

No. Following the government's advice, VCC instructors have been 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 request was initiated to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will also help to preserve clinic access for people requiring immediate medical attention. Please otherwise follow the normal protocols in your classes for reporting absences due to illness.

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, strictly self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days as described above.

If you are taking in-person classes on any campuses, satellites, or clinics:

  • Contact your instructor immediately to inform them of the last time you were on campus and which classrooms and other areas you visited.
  • Following a positive COVID-19 test, your local the health authority will guide you on what to do. A case worker from your local health authority will call you every day to check on your health and symptoms.
  • If necessary, the health authority will also work with you and VCC to conduct contact tracing to ensure the safety of the community. If there are concerns of any exposure to others, the health authority and VCC, where necessary, will make the appropriate notifications or other communications.
  • After you have recovered and are cleared by the health authority to come back to school, please contact your instructor. This generally occurs around 10-14 days from the onset of symptoms, depending on the situation.
  • Please ensure you fill out VCC's pre-screening form and follow all COVID-19 procedures before coming to a VCC campus. (You are not allowed to visit a VCC campus within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19, even if you do not show symptoms).

If you are taking online classes and are not attending classes in-person at any campuses, satellites, or clinics:

  • You do not need to report your health information to VCC.
  • Following a positive COVID-19 test, your local the health authority will guide you on what to do. A case worker from your local health authority will call you every day to check on your health and symptoms.
  • If you do need to come to a VCC campus for any reason after recovering from COVID-19, as with all students, please ensure you fill out VCC's pre-screening form and follow all COVID-19 procedures. (You are not allowed to visit a VCC campus within 14 days of testing positive for COVID-19, even if you do not show symptoms.)

The Government of Canada is strongly recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Keep up to date by visiting the Government of Canada Travel Advisories.

Yes. VCC's counselling and other student services continue to be available and will be offered by phone/email or online options only.

Phone: 604.871.7000, option 2


Here2Talk

The Government of B.C. has also launched Here2Talk, a new mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Students can access free, confidential, single session counselling services by:

If anyone in your family develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should do all they can to avoid contact with others. Even if symptoms are mild, they should self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Do not go to public places. Do not have visitors to your home.

Common symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of sense of smell or taste. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. Anyone with symptoms, however mild, can get tested for COVID-19. Find a testing centre.

If you are caring for someone with COVID-19, review detailed information on isolation and care giving on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

Every member of the VCC community has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and to be welcomed and supported. No one should subjected to discrimination based on a perceived disease or disability, or their race, ancestry, etc. This kind of targeting is discriminatory and a breach of VCC’s policies and procedures:

  • Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination, and Bullying Policy (A.3.1)
  • Prevention of Harassment, Discrimination, and Bullying Procedure (A.3.1)
  • Violence Prevention Policy (A.3.8) 
  • Student Code of Conduct (Non-Educational Matters) Policy (D.4.3)
  • Student Educational Code of Conduct Procedure (D.4.5)

If you feel you have been targeted based on any of the above factors, please report this behaviour. If you need immediate assistance because you fear for your personal safety, contact 9-1-1. For an college-related safety concern, contact VCC Security Services at:

If you do not need immediate assistance, or after you have received help, please report the behaviour to VCC's Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs Officer by emailing dstevenson@vcc.ca. The officer's first action will be to invite you to have a confidential conversation about the policies and response options available.

Yes. VCC’s dental, esthetics and makeup, hairstyling, health, science, jewellery, and auto collision programs have joined VCC's Facilities and Security departments to donate over 60,000 pieces of PPE to Vancouver Coastal Health. 

Many of VCC’s COVID-19 relief projects involve skilled professionals and are operating under strict health and safety protocols. VCC’s efforts are also closely coordinated the City of Vancouver and the Province of B.C.

If you are able to make a financial contribution or donate other resources to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, please consider doing so via the City of Vancouver. Learn more by visiting https://www.giveahandvancouver.ca.

VCC has partnered with the City of Vancouver to prepare meals for vulnerable populations in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Please check the City of Vancouver's website for meal distribution locations. 

Note that VCC’s cafeterias and food service outlets are temporarily closed, and access to our campuses is restricted.

The B.C. Government is working with Health Authorities to compile a list of available child care spaces, and will assist essential workers in accessing them. An application is required

 

Visit HealthLink BC’s Translated Content page for COVID-19 handouts and videos in multiple languages, including Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi, French, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).

According to Health Canada, wearing a non-medical mask in the community has not been proven to protect against COVID-19, however, it can be used as a measure to protect others around you. Canadians are currently advised to wear non-medical face masks in situations where proper physical distancing can’t be ensured.

According to Health Canada, because letters and packages are generally in transit for days or weeks at room temperature, the risk of COVID-19 contamination is low. 

To ensure your safety, do the following when handling items shipped to your home:

  • clean and disinfect surfaces,
  • wash your hands, and
  • do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

 


COVID-19 EMERGENCY BURSARY FUND


Help students meet basic needs during COVID-19

          Donate Now                     Donate Now          
https://www.vcc.ca/makeagift