Update to Students, October 27, 2020
As many of you know, Alexander College has prepared its COVID-19 Readiness Plan, which is available to view on this Alexander College COVID Response Page via the link above.
This plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training for processing, and it has now been forwarded to the Public Health Agency of Canada for final review.
The College is awaiting formal ratification of its COVID-19 Readiness Plan, and we will inform students as soon as it has been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), after which we will be added to the list of approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) for travel to Canada. We thank you for your patience. If you have any questions about Alexander College’s COVID-19 Readiness Plan, please email email@example.com.
Alexander College Administration
As we welcome our new and returning students virtually for Fall 2020 term (September-December 2020), we are also reviewing plans for the upcoming Winter 2021 term (January-April 2021). As always, your health and safety are our first priority when making decisions regarding the delivery of classes during this time.
On review of the provincial government’s BC Restart Plan to ease some restrictions in BC, which included guidelines for colleges and universities, and in consultation with other BC institutions, Alexander College has determined that all courses (including those with a laboratory component) will continue to be delivered virtually for the duration of the Fall 2020 (September-December 2020) and Winter 2021 terms (January-April 2021).
Course registration for Winter 2021 (January-April) opened on October 19, 2020.
Until further notice, campus facilities are not accessible to students, and all student support and administrative services, including technical support for MyAC, Canvas, and Zoom, continue to be offered virtually via email, phone, or video conferencing. Please see our website FAQ section for answers to frequency asked questions, and contact information for various departments and services.
We are continuing to monitor the changing conditions in BC, and following the guidance of health authorities. Alexander College will post regular updates on our website homepage, www.alexandercollege.ca/campus-notifications
Alexander College Administration
Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do I self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Canada?
Read our Self-Isolation Plan for Alexander College students by clicking here (Updated August 24th, 4:25pm PST. Please download latest version.)
- Why are my classes in virtual classrooms?
Alexander College is following the advice of the Provincial Health Officer, and wants to help slow the spread of COVID-19 through temporary social distancing measures. By teaching our courses virtually, students can continue to study while maintaining social distance during this time.
- Are the school facilities open?
To promote social distancing during this critical time, all in-person student support services are currently being offered virtually via email, phone, and for some services, by video conferencing. Our staff will continue to work remotely, and facilities will not be accessible until further notice.
- What process is in place to ensure that new-arriving international students will be able to safely quarantine and receive education during this time?
Alexander College is committed to the safety of its community in ensuring that we are not overextended in our capacity to welcome incoming international students along provincial and federal guidelines.
The college continues to maintain a program of support for all incoming international students while classes are currently online, and will maintain this program in the future when classes and services are gradually brought back to campus. Measures include our increased staffing and comprehensive training program for protection against COVID outbreaks, and the repurposing of existing staff in order to manage students under supervision. We have allocated an entire department for intake and assessment, and we have restricted the number of new students enrolling so as to protect our capacity to manage the incoming arrivals.
Alexander College commits to holding each of its Enrollment Advisors to a ratio of 1:25 students in terms of managing cases and personalized contact, and all other AC units have been trained and mobilized to offer support in terms of onboarding, campus culture, health and safety among other services.
The comprehensive 14 Day Self Isolation Plan provides resources and information, including multiple options for places of isolation, however the personalized services and cultural onboarding are vital components of ensuring that mandated quarantine measures are held in place.
- What student support services are available virtually and how can I contact them?
Administrative student support services (e.g. Admissions, course registration, Registrar’s Office, Office of Student Affairs, Student Financial Services, Library, Writing and Learning Centre, Health and Wellness Counseling, etc.) continue to operate remotely.
Each department is monitoring their emails as usual. You can find department emails on department web pages or you can find staff contacts through the Staff Directory also on our web page.
For general inquiries by email, our reception team is available to assist you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
We have established a Student Information Line, which can be reached at (604) 435-5815. The Student Information Line is open during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:00pm. By calling the Student Information Line, you will be able to select from available services and be transferred to a staff representative.
By Video Conferencing
Some services, such as Academic Advising and Writing & Learning Centre, will also be available by appointment through video conferencing.
- Where can I get help with Zoom, Bluejeans, and Canvas?
If you have any questions about using Zoom, please email email@example.com
or book an appointment with the Writing & Learning Centre on the WCOnline
04. ONLINE CPSC Schedule.BlueJeans
Please visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/student-success/writing-and-learning-centre/
If you have any questions about using BlueJeans, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or book an appointment with the Writing & Learning Centre on the WCOnline
04. ONLINE CPSC Schedule.Canvas
Please visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/canvas/
Contact the Canvas Help Desk at: email@example.com
or call: 604-558-6195
. Please make sure your message contains the following information:For students:
Your full name; Your student number; Your birth date; a brief description of your problem.
For Faculty: Your name, course name and number and a brief description of your problem.
Phone calls will be responded to during regular business hours, usually within 24 hours of receiving your message.
IT Helpdesk for General Computer Issues
Please visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/student-success/writing-and-learning-centre/it-helpdesk-support/
The IT Helpdesk supports Alexander College students with basic troubleshooting questions about their computers and software issues.
To get in touch with the IT HelpDesk, you may phone or email during regular business hours.
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm PST.
By Phone: 604-558-6198
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- How will I take my midterm and final exams?
Midterm and final examinations will take place virtually or as take-home exams, and you will be able to finish all components of your course(s) virtually.
- How can I pay my tuition fees?
Option 1: Online Banking bill payment
Allow at least 3 business days for Online Banking payment to be received by Alexander College. For detailed instructions on how to pay tuition fees by online banking, visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/bookstore/
Option 2: Western Union
Allow at least 5 business days for Western Union payment to be received by Alexander College. For detailed instructions on how to pay tuition fees by online banking, visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/bookstore/
Option 3: Bank Draft. Alexander College is offering a bank draft drop-off service at the front door of Burnaby campus.
Please note that the staff member on site will be receiving bank drafts only, and will not be providing assistance with any other matters, nor providing access to the campus.
Bank Draft Drop off service is available only on the following dates:
Bank Draft Drop Off Hours:
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Bank Draft Drop Off Dates:
Oct. 22, 29
Nov. 5, 12, 19, 26
Dec. 3, 10, 17, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
Jan. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11
Please write, very clearly, the student name AND student ID number on the Bank Draft prior to drop off, in order to ensure that the payment is assigned to the correct student account.
- I am an international student and considering travelling back home during this time. Can I complete my course(s) from outside of Canada?
Yes. For health and safety reasons, classes are currently running in a virtual format, and you can continue to study from any place in the world. Alexander College does not advise students to leave Canada, however every student’s circumstance is unique.
It is important to note that classes continue to take place, virtually, at the same day(s) and time as schedule, and these class times are based on Vancouver local time (PST).
Additionally, students who travel out of Canada during this time may also be unable to return to Canada in time for next semester, either due to border closures or flight limitations. Students should be aware that some private medical insurance providers, including Guard.Me, have suspended coverage for any policy holder who chooses to leave Canada at this time. If a student is currently relying on private medical insurance or travel health insurance, they will likely not be covered in the event that they become ill outside of Canada.
Finally, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that students already taking in-person classes in Canada which are now being taught virtually due to the current COVID-19 situation will not experience negative impact on their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. International students are advised to consult with IRCC prior to deciding whether or not to travel back to their home country for a period of time.
- Will temporary virtual classes affect my study permit and/or post-graduation work permit eligibility?
No. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that courses of study being delivered virtually during this exceptional period of time will not affect permit eligibility. The information quoted below is from the Government of Canada. For more information, please see this link www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html
If your in-person classes have been changed to virtual classrooms because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
The same applies to the Fall 2020 term. The information quoted below is from the Government of Canada. For more information, please see this link
PGWPP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date.
Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.
- Will COVID-19 have an impact on my study permit, visa, or other immigration matters? Where can I get more information?
The information quoted below is from the Government of Canada. For more information, please see this link https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html
“If you’re an international student who has a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, you are exempt from the travel restrictions.
If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.
When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory. “
If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website account for up-to- date information on special measures put in place by IRCC to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by COVID19. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19.html
Please note: IRCC Client Support Centre’s telephone services are unavailable until further notice. For alternate ways find information, including the IRCC contact web form, visit this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/contact-ircc/client-support-centre.html
- How can I pick up my original documents?
The Office of the Registrar is providing limited access for students to pick up original/irreplaceable file documents (e.g. international transcripts, test score documents, etc.), by appointment only, on the first Monday of each month. This schedule is subject to change depending on health and safety conditions and the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer.
Students must first make a request by email to email@example.com and receive an email invitation. Requests must be received at least four business days prior to the next scheduled pick up date. Documents will not be returned to students who drop-in without prior arrangement.
The schedule for original document pick up dates for 2020 is:
|Monday, August 31, 2020
||Burnaby campus, front entrance
|Monday, October 5, 2020
||Burnaby campus, front entrance
|Monday, November 2, 2020
||Burnaby campus, front entrance
|Monday, December 7, 2020
||Burnaby campus, front entrance
- Can I still order my official Alexander College transcript?
Yes, transcript ordering is available as usual, however students will need to select mailing options as in-person pick-up is unavailable during this time. Express courier service is also unavailable, however transcripts can be mailed to student’s homes or to other institutions through regular mail service.
- What financial resources are available from the Canadian government?
As a response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada as announced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). For the latest information, to see if you qualify, application process, and frequently asked questions, please follow this link: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html
On April 22, 2020, the Department of Finance Canada announced new measures to assist students impacted by COVID-19, which includes enhanced Student Financial Assistance for Fall 2020 and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB).
You may be able to receive hardship assistance, depending on your circumstances. To learn more about Income and Disability Assistance, please follow this link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/income-assistance/access-services
For information on paused repayment of Canada Student Loans, please see here:
To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately (April 22, 2020), the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19 and how can I check my symptoms?
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease.
Symptoms have included:
- difficulty breathing
- pneumonia in both lungs
You may use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to check your symptoms online. This resource is available 24 hours a day, available at this link: https://ca.thrive.health/
For more information on symptoms, please visit this link:
If you have questions you can call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C. By calling 8-1-1, you can speak to a health service navigator, who can help you find health information and services; or connect you directly with a registered nurse and other health care professionals.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go directly to your nearest emergency department:
- Severe difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling to breathe or speaking in single words)
- Severe chest pain
- Having a very hard time waking up
- Feeling confused
- Losing consciousness
These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
- How can the spread of COVID-19 be prevented or controlled and what is quarantine and isolation?
For detailed up-to-date information from the government of Canada regarding prevention, quarantine and isolation requirements, please follow this link:
- What is Physical Distancing?
Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other. Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an
outbreak. With patience and cooperation, we can all do our part.
This means making changes in your everyday routines in order to minimize close contact with others, including:
- avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
- avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
- limiting contact with people at higher risk (e.g. older adults and those in poor health)
- keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others, as much as possible
Here’s how you can practice physical distancing:
- greet with a wave instead of a handshake, a kiss or a hug
- stay home as much as possible, including for meals and entertainment
- grocery shop once per week
- take public transportation during off-peak hours
- conduct virtual meetings
- host virtual playdates for your kids
- use technology to keep in touch with friends and family
- use food delivery services or online shopping
- exercise at home or outside
- work from home
For more information on physical distancing:
- Can COVID-19 be passed on through foods from the grocery store or take out?
According to the BC Centre for disease control, COVID-19 does not appear to be transmitted by eating food contaminated with the virus, however, is is important to wash your hands before preparing or eating food. For information on grocery store etiquette and food safety, please visit this link.
COVID-19 Shop Smart Video
COVID-19 Shop Smart – English from Retail Council of Canada on Vimeo.
- I feel anxious, stressed or angry about the COVID-19 situation, is there anyone I can talk to?
Alexander College is very proud to announce its acquisition of the MySSP Counselling App, part of the KeepMeSafe program for students. Keep.meSAFE is a mental health counselling service that specializes in student mental health support and provides access to: live 24/7/365 immediate and unlimited access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat, even when travelling abroad. Most importantly, it provides mental health care in over 60 languages, including all the primary languages our students speak.
For more information and to download the MySSP app, please follow this link: https://alexandercollege.ca/student-life/myssp/
Additionally, all students have continued access to our Health and Wellness Counselor, Kerry Anne Holloway. Please contact by phone 604-780-1799 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All students are eligible for up to 10 free sessions a year.
- What initiatives has Alexander College taken to support the community during the pandemic?
The following services are available virtually:
- Bookstore and Tuition Payment
For more information on how to pay tuition fees online, visit: https://alexandercollege.ca/bookstore/
General information about admission requirements and required application documentation. Our Enrolment Advising team assists students to apply for admission, prepare necessary documentation, etc. If you are a prospective student, or an applicant with an application in progress, your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate Enrolment Advising team member. email@example.com
- Placement Testing services (English and Mathematics)
English Placement Testing is currently being offered by a third party, Duolingo. Math Placement testing is currently being offered using video conferencing (BlueJeans). Appointments for either test can be booked from the MyAC student portal. For questions about placement testing, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Course Registration
Course registration and registration systems, course prerequisites, waiting lists, appeals email@example.com
- Academic Advising
Assistance with program planning and university transfer planning. Appointments can be booked by emailing Academic Advising, and appointments will be conducted through video conferencing using (BlueJeans). firstname.lastname@example.org
- Transfer Credit
Assistance with transfer of course credit(s) from other institutions to AC. Documents and forms can be submitted via email. email@example.com
- Student Records
Assistance with updating your information or academic history, submitting documents to complete your student file, ordering transcripts or other documents, grades, academic standing. Note that in-person pick up of transcripts or original documents is currently unavailable. firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduation questions about a pending application for graduation, or graduation documents (including orders of duplicate degree parchments). email@example.com
- Health and Wellness
Our counsellor, Kerry Anne Holloway, will be continuing to provide counselling services during time. She can be reached by phone at 604-780-1799 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will also be available by BlueJeans – check back here for the link shortly.
- Office of Student Affairs
All elements of student advocacy will continue through the Office of Student Affairs, including all appeals processes such as Bereavement, Grade appeals, Academic Alert appeals and Complaints, among others. All forms are available on the Alexander College website here – they have been made online pdf fillable and can be submitted directly to email@example.com.
If you are currently being provided with Accommodations, all efforts will be made to continue these during this time. Expect Student Affairs to reach out regarding your plan.
Library services will continue for students in the form of database maintenance and accessibility to all resources from offsite – please see the library webpage and its instructional videos on how to access all the articles necessary to complete your assignments from home.
One on one research appointments will be continue to be booked through WCOnline and made available through BlueJeans chat rooms throughout the day. Chat services through AskAway remain operation for the duration of the semester. Library will continue to offer classroom presentations through BlueJeans in your courses on how to use all software relevant for your courses.
WLC will continue to provide one-on-one tutoring services via WCOnline. The online tutoring schedule will be available Tuesday morning. Just log into your WLC account and select the ONLINE: Subject Area schedule, and book an appointment as you normally would. If you have previously booked an appointment with us, we’ve moved it online, but your tutor is still available at the same time.
When it is time for your meeting, just click on your appointment and “Start or Join an online consultation” to begin. To start your appointment, just click on “Start or Join an online consultation”. View a tutorial here. You will be able to upload your assignment or copy and paste it to the work space. You can use the chat function on the side to type in your questions.
The same rules for lateness/no shows still apply. If you are more than 5 minutes late for your appointment, your appointment will be marked as missed. If you have two no-shows, your WLC account will be suspended for 1 week. If you have a remediation workshop, please look for an email. You will need to download 4 documents before you begin.
- Student Services
Over the next few weeks, students will still be able to access various Student Services. For general questions and inquiries and for questions related to Convocation or Spring 2020 Orientation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For students starting at Alexander College in Spring 2020, Orientation will be moved completely online. More information, including links to Online Orientation will be emailed to students directly. Student Services will continue to maintain AC 101, your source for information regarding your campus, courses and services around Alexander.
In person programs, such as Peer Mentorship, Textbook Buyback and Focus Groups will be suspended until further notice. Student Services will continue to collect nominations for Winter 2020 scholarships. Recipients will be notified in the beginning of the Spring 2020 term.
- Student Life
Student Life is pleased to announce that we will be offering exciting activities, clubs, competitions, contests, and support chats (i.e. healthy lifestyle tips) through BlueJeans. Stay tuned and be sure to join us on a daily basis to keep up with the latest and greatest that is happening in Student Life!