Coast Mountain College has cancelled general interest and workforce training courses on Haida Gwaii, and postponed the upcoming field school due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Keili Bartlett/The Northern View File)

COVID-19: Coast Mountain College cancels, postpones programs on Haida Gwaii

General interest and workforce training courses cancelled, field school postponed

Coast Mountain College (CMTN) has cancelled or postponed courses and an upcoming field school on Haida Gwaii due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Sarah Zimmerman, the executive director of communications at CMTN, all of their general interest and workforce training courses on Haida Gwaii have been cancelled “with the view to reschedule when the COVID-19 pandemic threat is over and it is safe to do so.”

Zimmerman also told the Observer that the “mainstay” First Nations Culture and Language field school that was scheduled for June 2020 has been postponed to a later date. Students who were registered in the university credit program will be contacted by their instructors.

“We respect the Council of the Haida Nation’s desire that non-resident travellers not come to the islands during the COVID-19 outbreak,” CMTN President and CEO Justin Kohlman said. “This, and ongoing recommendations from the provincial health officer regarding travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements during the pandemic response will be considered in selecting a future date for the field school.”

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The two students on Haida Gwaii enrolled in the CMTN business administration program have been able to continue their coursework as planned despite the pandemic. They have been taking their courses via video conference and will continue to do so as the situation evolves.

Acting Dean of Instruction Regina Saimoto said CMTN was “fortunate that the business administration classes in Haida Gwaii were already using a distributed learning model.”

“Students from other communities on the mainland such as Hazelton and Smithers are also enrolled in these classes,” Saimoto said.

CMTN plans to continue delivering video conferencing courses to the Masset campus in the 2020-2021 academic year, so long as there is student interest.

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