Olds College Campus News Nov/Dec 2020

by Jason Pick

Campus news this week from Olds College provides an update on enrollment, current students,  internships and field schools!

It’s been an interesting year for Olds College, preparing for another winter in Alberta, while also preparing for a new COVID motivated instructional model.  Like all Institutions around the world, delivery methods turned online last March to ensure student safety amidst the pandemic.  Since then, advancements and subsequent adoption of remote and online learning has improved exponentially.  

In my view, the public perspective of online learning has changed.  COVID forced adoption of new remote technologies, has helped the world see that online learning is more accessible, affordable, interactive, and for certain topics, even preferred.  Olds College have long been viewed as early adopters of technology.  Among one of the first “paperless” classrooms, we began using ipads for learning back in their first generation.  

The college has remained true to its commitment to training its instructors while advancing the technology.  Already having integrated learning into digital platforms, delivery methods previously introduced are now fine tuned.

Well positioned to adapt, at the height of the pandemic our diploma and degree programs finished online last March-May.  With only a week's pause to get students back home, all programs continued and just last week (October 31) the turf program graduated another full section of diploma turf managers.   

Looking to the new year, the faculty and administration of the college have kept faculty and student safety at the forefront.  As such our diploma turf program will continue on time Jan 6th, in a compressed schedule in years one and two.  The first 3 block classes in yrs 1 and 2, will return to campus for critical on-campus hands-on training Jan 6 - Mar 4.  With protocols in place to ensure student safety and social distancing, virtual instruction completes their diploma training Mar 9-May 6.  The compressed schedule will not affect the internships which continue seamlessly among students respective golf courses May 16-Oct 30. 

The Bachelor of Applied Science and 3rd year, will be delivered exclusively online in 2020/21.  With 4 of 10 courses already online, the predominant theme of management and business training is already well suited for interactive, online delivery.   

Students site visits and guest speakers will be replaced with virtual conferences, as many industry associations are also accepting as necessary this year.  

Our enrollment numbers into the diploma remain at capacity despite the pandemic, maintaining a waiting list into 2022. If you are interested, get your application in!   

To learn more check these links: 

LINK - Turf Science Certificate
LINK - Turfgrass Management Diploma
LINK - Golf Course Management Applied Degree

For more information about our Turfgrass diploma, and degree programs at Olds College, check out our website http://www.oldscollege.ca/programs/horticulture/turfgrass/