Welcome from the President
Welcome all Great Plains College students!
I hope this note finds you well and ready to make 2020-21 outstanding, as you embark on the new academic year.
Our staff are here to listen and help guide you to completion and successful graduation of your program. As you move through the year, please remember that the pandemic has brought forward a new learning environment for all of us – one that will require your continued patience, cooperation and constructive suggestions, so that we can make improvements, enhancements and adjustments, and move forward in a good way.
The college is committed to making sure that your health and safety is protected. As such, I want to encourage you to follow the provincial health and safety guidelines and protocols that have been put in place, as closely as possible. By doing this, I’m sure we will be able to provide a positive on-campus experience and a successful year.
In the meantime, stay healthy, positive and well. I look forward to hearing about your accomplishments and wish you the very best.
President & CEO
Great Plains College
FALL 2020 RE-OPEN PLAN > Update August 11, 2020
Here at Great Plains College, we are excited to welcome our students and staff for the fall 2020 semester! A full complement of programs and services will be available at all of the college’s seven locations.
However, the delivery of our educational programs and services will look a little different this year due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19. Our programs will be structured in a blended delivery model. Students will be offered a combination of in-person and distance/online learning environments, with the delivery model varied between specific programs and courses.
With our continued priority focusing on the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and the general public within our buildings, our staff have been busy preparing for the fall semester. A comprehensive Fall Re-Open Plan has been developed that outlines the college’s preparations, processes and expectations of students, staff and faculty. It will encompass the timeline of August 17 – December 31, 2020.
To read more about the college’s Fall Re-Open Plan and our attention to the health and safety of everyone within our buildings, please access the plan here.
Within the context of COVID-19 and any provincial health guidelines which will apply, our management and staff will be working hard to provide students with the best on-campus experience possible under these circumstances.
Welcome to Great Plains College! If you have any questions, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-866-296-2472.
COLLEGE PREPARES TO WELCOME STUDENTS FOR FALL 2020 - July 15, 2020
The college's preparations for the fall 2020 semester will welcome students into a blended learning environment. Students will be offered a combination of in-person and distance/online learning environments, with the delivery model varied between specific programs and courses.
All of the college's locations will be open and will provide a full complement of programming and services. The college is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Ministry of Health and other post-secondary institutions in the province to develop plans that will emphasize the health and safety of all students, staff, faculty and the general public while within their locations.
For more information, see the college's full news release at https://www.greatplainscollege.ca/news-and-events/great-plains-college-prepares-welcome-students-fall-2020.
SUMMER RE-OPEN PLAN UPDATE - June 21, 2020
The college has developed a plan to address student and community needs during the summer months of 2020. The plan includes enhanced support for existing and prospective students, providing safety-specific industry training at several campus locations, and preparations for the fall programming.
All strategies will strictly emphasize public health safety guidelines and protocols as determined by the Chief Medical Health Officer.
For more information, see the college’s news release at https://www.greatplainscollege.ca/news-and-events/great-plains-college-moving-forward-limited-services-summer-re-open-plan.
Campus locations are open on various weekdays and various office hours. However, advance appointments are required – call your desired campus office to schedule an appointment to visit that campus, or alternately email email@example.com or phone 1-866-296-2472.
Student Adviser availability – we are pleased to announce that the Student Advisers have returned to campus locations two days per week and will be available for in-person discussions with students. Appointments must be booked in advance – no walk-in opportunities are available. The advisers will continue to be available at other times for telephone consultations as well.
Student Adviser appointments can be secured by directly phoning or emailing the adviser for your program (see campus adviser contact information at www.greatplainscollege.ca/admissions-scholarships/student-advising ). Alternately, you may call 1-866-296-2472 to be referred to the adviser that you wish to see.
Skills and Safety Training courses – a limited number of courses have returned to Swift Current and Kindersley campuses. With an emphasis on health and safety, class sizes will be limited so plan to register early! The Heavy Equipment Operator (HEO) program will be offered in mid-August at the Warman campus.
For more information on scheduled courses, dates, locations and contact details for registration, visit www.greatplainscollege.ca/safety.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - JUNE 2, 2020
As life continues in this unprecedented manner, students are facing more and more challenges. This has become most evident with the rapid distribution of Great Plains College's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Bursary. Over $97,000 was disbursed in a very short time and funds have now been depleted.
However, there are still many financial options available for students:
- Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB)
- Canada Emergency Student Benefit
- Metis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S) Emergency Response Program
- Canada Service Corp Microgrants
Additionally, Great Plains College is extending the scholarship deadline for new student applicants to June 30 and have implemented free counselling services for students. To access free counselling, students simply go to www.inkblottherapy.com/greatplains and register using their college email address. It is our hope that students will be able to easily access the services, bursary and scholarship options and get the support they need to pursue their educational goals during this unusual time.
On the operational front, we continue to work closely with our ministries to determine our “next steps” for reopening the campuses and continuing our programming. Please check back for regular updates.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - APRIL 27, 2020
Great Plains College, with support from the Ministry of Advanced Education, is pleased to announce that an Emergency Relief Bursary will be available as of April 27, 2020. The bursary is meant to provide assistance to college students whose continued education is at risk due to unexpected financial issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One-time payments of $750, $500 or $300 will be available to successful applicants that meet the student eligibility criteria.
Applications can be downloaded at www.greatplainscollege.ca/bursary and must be received prior to September 30, 2020. Please note that funds for the bursary are limited.
Additionally, the Government of Canada has announced several programs at www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#individuals offering financial support for individuals. We encourage you to investigate these alternative financial options.
The Government of Saskatchewan, through the Ministry of Social Services, also has programs that provide funds to individuals in emergency situations. Information about these programs is available at saskatchewan.ca/income-support or by calling Toll Free: 1-866-221-5200.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - APRIL 3, 2020
In an ongoing response to COVID-19, employees and students of Great Plains College are to continue working and studying from home until further notice. The general public will no longer have physical access to college locations. However, college staff can be reached by calling 1-866-296-2472 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As such, major events, including convocation, will be postponed until further notice. This does not mean students will not graduate, but that the celebration and formal recognition of doing so will take place at a later date.
The college is following recommendations from the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Advanced Education. We will continue to follow the advice of government and health officials in the coming weeks and will provide notice when current work and study-from-home arrangements will change.
If you have questions and/or require support from a health perspective, the following tools are available:
- Free counselling services (Great Plains College students only) – To access free counselling simply go to www.inkblottherapy.com/greatplains and register using your GPC email address. In the past, you were required to contact your student adviser and the adviser would sign you up for the free counselling service. In order to make this service more confidential, you can now access free counselling directly through the service provider. If you happen to encounter issues then you will need to contact your student adviser to assist, but it is our hope that you will be able to easily access the service and get the support that you need during this unusual time. If you are currently receiving free online counselling through Great Plains College, you do not need to re-register, you can either continue to receive the services as you have in the past or you can access the services from the link provided above.
- HealthLine 811 – Call 811 for health-specific questions about COVID-19.
- Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Toll Free Line - Call 1-855-559-5502 for non-health specific questions about COVID-19 and to report violations of the mandatory public health orders.
- COVID-19 Health System Information - The www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 website is an online source for all COVID-19 information in Saskatchewan and hosts the SK Health Authority’s Self-Assessment Tool, which can help determine whether you need a referral for COVID-19 testing. Public inquiry email is also available at COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.
Additionally, it’s important to know about Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit.
The Federal government has just announced funding to support people who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for this open April 6 through the Service Canada online. In order to be eligible for this program you need to meet the following criteria:
- You must be in a situation where you have not received income in the past 14 days.
- You must have earned a minimum of $5,000 in the past 12 months through employment, self-employment, maternity or parental leave benefits.
The majority of information available to date can be found at: www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 20, 2020
Effective March 21, the general public (including students) will not have access to Great Plains College locations without an appointment. On-site services, such as exam invigilation and Safety Training, will not be available from March 21-April 5 inclusive.
Alternative methods are being used to deliver programming during this time. Current students are encouraged to contact their program coordinator directly for details.
The college will continue to maintain its services remotely and will be answering inquiries via email (email@example.com) and phone (1-866-296-2472).
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 18, 2020
Earlier today, Saskatchewan was put into a State of Emergency with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, Great Plains College locations will move into a "restricted access" status. This means that campuses will remain open with minimal staff for March 19 and 20.
Skills and Safety Training has also been suspended for the remainder of the week, in addition to post-secondary, Adult Basic Education, English Language Training and Essential Skills programming.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 16, 2020
In partnership with the province's other post-secondary institutions, Saskatchewan Regional Colleges, including Great Plains College, is suspending all classes and programming, with the exception of Skills and Safety Training, for the remainder of this week (March 17-20). This includes post-secondary, Adult Basic Education, English Language Training and Essential Skills programming. Skills and Safety Training will continue as scheduled.
Great Plains College programs will be offered through alternative delivery options, where possible, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, effective March 23.
The class schedule for this week is below:
- March 17-20: in-person classes are suspended.
- March 20: more information will be provided regarding alternative delivery where possible.
- March 23: alternative delivery programming for students will begin, where possible.
Updated information for students will be provided via Great Plains College email by their relevant program coordinators.
Great Plains College campuses and program centres are not closing at this time. Regular staff services will be available at each location.
All non-essential gatherings and events will be cancelled until further notice. Events and activities not directly connected to academic programs are postponed. This includes, but is not limited to: Safety Breakfast, Toastmasters, Line Dancing and the 567 Workshop Seminar that were to be/are hosted at Swift Current Campus. Public exams and invigilation will continue to take place across the college locations, as will services provided by Fresh Start in Maple Creek.
Over the weekend, the Federal Government and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer recommended that any residents currently travelling internationally should return to Canada while commercial options are available. The Federal Government and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer also recommend avoiding all non-essential international travel until further notice.
All travellers returning from international destinations - including the United States - need to self-isolate and monitor their health for 14 days upon return. Travellers returning from within Canada are advised to self-monitor for 14 days upon return. If they have or develop acute respiratory or flu-like symptoms, they should contact 811 Healthline.
These measures are put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, protect residents from exposure to the virus and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health system.
If you have questions, please refer to details via:
- email COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca
- contact with a regional Public Health Office
- contact with your direct supervisor or program coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We know COVID-19 is causing unusual and challenging times. Thank you for your patience and cooperation - we all can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if we each do our part and work together. The health, safety and security of our students and employees is of the utmost importance.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 13, 2020
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) is impacting various countries throughout the world, including Canada. As part of our emergency preparedness, Great Plains College has a pandemic plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that they are required. Great Plains College continues to monitor the COVID-19, in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and will provide relevant information to staff and students as needed.
While Saskatchewan has recorded its first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus on March 12, 2020, Great Plains College continues to operate as usual. Should that change, it will be under the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, which are closely monitoring this situation.
It’s not unusual that the current COVID-19 outbreak may cause some people additional concern when it comes to the regular cold and flu season. While staff and students are encouraged to contact their family physician or Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line with any individual health concerns or questions, it’s important to remember that there are a number of recommended precautions that can help prevent illness:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- stay home if you are sick
- make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date
As cases of COVID-19 are detected globally, the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan public health will update travel notices. As such, the Government of Canada has issued travel health advisories for COVID-19 in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Spain.
All travellers are asked to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with COVID-19. Watch for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, contact Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line or your family physician for assessment and direction. Note that countries with a level 3 travel advisory (Italy, China and Iran as of March 11, 2020) require limited contact with others for a total of 14 days.
Duty to Report
Great Plains College is committed to creating and maintaining learning environments in which students, staff and others feel safe. The college cannot and will not ignore any threat of violence. To keep college communities safe, staff, students, caregivers and community members must report all threat-related behaviours to a Great Plains College staff member or call 1-866-296-2472.
A Student Violence Threat Risk Assessment will be initiated for behaviours including, but not limited to:
- Serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill
- Verbal/written threats to harm or kill self/others
- Online threats to harm or kill self/others
- Possession of weapons (including replicas)
- Bomb threats
- Fire starting
- Sexual intimidation or assault
- Gang-related intimidation and violence
What you need to know
- An investigation may involve students, staff members, the police of jurisdiction, or other community agencies and may involve locker or personal property searches.
- Interviews will be held with the threat maker and other students or adults who may have information about the threat.
- Threatening behavior may result in disciplinary action.
- An intervention plan may be developed for the student making the threat and a support plan developed for any individuals targeted by threats.
For more information, download Great Plains College's Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol.
In Case of Emergency
Your instructor will review Great Plains College emergency procedures at the beginning of your program. You will be made aware of what to do in case of emergencies (such as fires, tornados, lockdowns, etc.), where to assemble outside and who to report your presence to.