BCITSA COVID-19 Info Hub

During these extraordinary times, we want to ensure you have all the information you need. We are monitoring the situation from the student perspective to provide resources and information to students regarding COVID-19. This information hub will act as a resource to answer any and all questions you may have. Submitting questions helps us help you! Please fill out the form below, and our team will monitor and provide assistance.

This page is updated daily, so be sure to check back regularly.

 

 

Student Questions

Aerospace Practical Courses – New

Question:

At BCIT aerospace, our classes are separated into 50/50 practical and theory. Currently, we are only getting online class time and no practical or examinations due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Because of this, we are only accredited with class hours for Transport Canada. Why would I not drop my courses now and pick them back up when we can go back to school and get a full education instead of having to add on time at the end of the course to finish the practical and testing we were not able to do?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. We completely understand that you would want to come back and complete your studies at a time when you can have the full amount of hours. That said, it’s completely your choice to stay, or to withdraw and come back at a later date. Before making a decision, we encourage you to reach out to your Chief Instructor to talk about the process and weigh the pros and cons—this will ensure you’re making the best decision for you.

 

Course Cost for International Students – New

Question:

As an international student who paid 3 times the domestic rate for courses, do I get a refund since I will be shifting to online and distance learning which only costs 1.25 times the published rate?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. Your question is a very common one among international students transitioning from in-person instruction to online. BCIT is aware of the cost difference for tuition between these two modes of learning, and they are currently working on a process to address this. When we learn more information about this, we will be sure to communicate it to students through the Info Hub—please continue to check back for more updates.

 

Computer Problem – New

Question:

I am concerned that I will not be able to complete my course online as my laptop just stopped working. I’m only one assignment away from completing the course content. What are my options? Could I receive a grade based on the work completed so fart? There is so much stress going around, and I’m worried that I have lost out on the money I spent on this course!

Answer:

Thank you for your question to Info Hub. We are sorry to hear that your laptop just stopped working – you’re right, you certainly don’t need that added stress. First, please let your instructor know as soon as possible that this happened. Then, reach out to Student Financial Aid and Awards. There is a chance that they could help with funding for a new laptop. Finally, the BCIT Library may be able to help, if they have any hardware remaining to loan. They do have a limited supply, but they can refer you to someone else who could assist.

If none of those options work, please let us know. We’d be happy to see if there is anything else we could do for you.

 

Full-time Status for International Students – New

Question:

One of my courses for the Winter 2020 semester was canceled as the instructor was unable to post it online. I now only have nine credits and I may no longer have full-time status. Will this affect my PGWP?

Answer:

Thank you for posting your question to Info Hub. This is not a question that we are able to answer, I’m afraid. We suggest that you reach out to your program head or program coordinator and explain the situation. BCIT’s International Student Centre has an excellent information page that may be helpful as well.

 

Requirements for Online Courses – New

Question:

Will BLDT-1051 Tech Writing & Communications – 61956 be an online course? If so, can the course be taken on any computer? Are microphones needed?

Answer:

Thanks so much for your Info Hub question! At this point, all courses offered by BCIT that can be taught online will be online. Any computer with an internet connection should work. I’m not sure if your course requires a microphone, so it’s best to contact your instructor. The BCIT library may be able to assist you with equipment, but if there is something further that you may need to do your course online successfully, please contact BCIT’s Financial Aid office.

 

Online Courses – New

Question:

I want to register for a part-time course INTD1140 and INTD 1180. Because of COVID19, could they change to online courses?

Answer:

Thank you for your question to Info Hub. At this time, all students should be prepared to take their courses online, as that is currently the safest way for BCIT to deliver its content. We understand that some students may not prefer online learning, and so the SA has provided links on the Info Hub page that may help with getting more comfortable with it. If the classes do change back to face to face delivery, then all students will be notified of that change with sufficient notice.

 

Refund for Canceled Classes – Updated

Question:

I registered for Millwright Level 2, which begins on June 1st. I have paid my $200 deposit, and the rest is due on April 2nd. If I pay, then the class is canceled or postponed, is my money refundable?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

 Millwright Level 2 would be an apprentice student. If the class is canceled, there would be a refund of the $200 deposit. If postponed there would be the option of a refund or a transfer of the deposit to the new start date.

Response on March 21: If classes are canceled, students can expect a refund, as the situation was beyond their control. If the course is postponed, BCIT (or the Millwright program) will be contacting students to inform them. We suspect that students will be given the option to withdraw and get a refund, or keep their spot and wait for the postponed class to begin. That said, as BCIT ventures into these unchartered waters, things may change. We would advise that you contact your chief instructor to be sure.

 

Spring/Summer 2020 – Updated

Question:

I have three classes in the spring/summer 2020 term, and they are starting in just two weeks. Is the semester going to be online, or will BCIT cancel it? If it will be online, is that going to be for the whole term, or could it move to in-class courses after a month or two?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

As you might expect, we are reviewing and adjusting this constantly but, given the current health guidelines, students should prepare for online delivery of all courses for the next several weeks.

Response on March 21: What program are you taking, as that will help define the answer? We can assume that the classes will be online, as physical distancing is still in place and face to face instruction is not currently an option for most programs. As we’re not sure what direction BCIT and the government will take next, it’s incredibly difficult for us to surmise what the next semester will look like. At this time, please assume that classes will be online for the full semester. Cancellation of courses will be case-dependent, so we really can’t say for sure what that will mean for you specifically. If a few weeks into the semester students and faculty can return to face to face teaching, then great! However, we suggest that you prepare for online studies. Feel free to connect with your program head, your instructor, our program coordinator for information specific to your courses.

 

Partial Refund – Updated

Question:

Since students are not taking full advantage of the BCIT facilities and services this semester, is there a possibility for students to receive a partial refund of their tuition?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

Ancillary fees including student activity, capital levy, building fees, and medical fees are determined by the BCIT Student Association. Learning resources and student service fees are determined by BCIT. At this time, there are no plans for a partial refund as the learning resource and services, other than the gym, are still available to students. The U-Pass fee is determined by TransLink. BCIT will follow the direction of TransLink once further guidance is provided.

Response on March 21: At this time, we do not believe that there will be a pro-rated or partial tuition refund. BCIT and BCITSA services are on-line and still available to students but yes, there are some operations, such as the gym, that students cannot access on-line. While we do not expect that BCIT will be offering students partial refunds, this may be revisited in the future. For now, we suggest that students take advantage of all of the on-line services that are currently being offered. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

 

Registration for Fall 2020 – Updated

Question:

I’m a part-time student planning to register for Fall 2020 classes. Will tuition payments be postponed or altered because of COVID-19’s impact on students’ finances?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

Deferral of tuition payment deadlines for the fall semester is currently under review. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Response on March 21: Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you at this time. BCIT is currently focusing on students who are enrolled in active courses, and they have not yet determined a plan for the fall semester. Given the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, any information we give you now could very well change. We will continue to check in with BCIT about their plans to address registration for the fall semester, and we will update students as we know more.

 

Study Visa

Question:

Are online classes going to have any effect on Student Visa holders?

Answer:

Thank you for your question, it is certainly one we have been seeing frequently from international students. From what we know so far, online classes will not have any effect on post-graduate work permits; but we cannot say for sure that the same applies for Study Visas. We would highly recommend that you check directly with IRCC regarding this information or check the BCIT International Student page.

 

Tuition Refund

Question:

What is BCIT’s plan to reimburse students that paid tuition for face-to-face classes and now will have those classes online due to the COVID-19 isolation period?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, students should prepare to take their classes via online learning, until such a time comes that students may safely return to campus. If you are registered for a class that has not yet started, you’re welcome to request a refund from BCIT using this form. If, however, your class is currently in session, unfortunately, refunds will not be provided. Please keep in mind that refunds (for classes that haven’t started) are not automatically given, so you must complete and submit the form to BCIT. There are instructions on the second page that outline where you can send the form.

 

Uncertain Situations

Question:

I have yet to hear a confirmation that classes will stay online until the end of the term. I’m concerned because BCIT has many students from outside the city who may have gone home for now, and they do not know if they will need to return. This is financially taxing for some students (as they continue to pay rent for a space they are not currently living in), it may be emotionally taxing for others who are away from their families in isolation. Furthermore, if classes were to resume on campus again, many students may be uncomfortable returning to a building with thousands of people. Unknowns like these are often more emotionally challenging than knowns, regardless of the situation. I would like to know if BCIT has considered alleviating the unknown and shutting down the school for the rest of the term so we can move forward with a bit more of a stable and predictable life in these already uncertain times?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. We can appreciate this is a stressful time for everyone and we will attempt to address your concerns to the best of our ability. We would love to give you a solid answer, but currently,  we know very little about how this and future terms will be affected. The situation is fluid, and changes will be made daily.

What we do know is that BCIT is working hard to address how they will continue with this and upcoming terms, all the while knowing that things could change at any day. To ensure that students who are currently enrolled and actively taking classes don’t lose the work they’ve accomplished thus far, the decision was made to transition classes to online learning. This has been an incredible learning curve for both students and faculty.

Once we know more about how this and future terms will progress, based on the information we receive from the provincial health authority and the government, we will be in a better position to address your concerns. We will continue to work with BCIT to ensure students are provided the best available support, and we ask for your patience during this time.

 

Nursing Program

Question:

What will happen to the nursing program? So much of our learning is done in our clinical sites and simulation labs and case studies are not going to help me learn the content. Could we have a term canceled completely with an extended graduation date?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, all clinical placements from terms 1-6 and level 5 have been canceled; level 6 clinical placements will continue. We can appreciate that many programs are hands-on at BCIT, so please know that all departments are working hard to find ways students can still meet the course learning outcomes through online learning. To our knowledge, the term has not been canceled. If any changes are made, you will hear about it from BCIT, so please continue to check your my.bcit email regularly.

 

Classes Starting in April

Question:

I am signed up for a class starting April 7th and I haven’t heard anything about what will be happening. Could you please give me an update?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, all courses scheduled to begin in April will be running online for the semester. That may change in the future given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, but please prepare to engage in online learning for the foreseeable future. If classes are canceled, you will be notified by BCIT, so please continue to check your my.bcit email regularly. If you don’t receive an update from your instructor in the two days leading up to the first day of classes, please connect with your program head.

 

Updates from Instructors

Question:

I’m registered for two courses for part-time studies, OPMT 1197 and COMP 1002. I’ve yet to receive an email regarding what is happening with the courses. Are instructors going to reach out to students soon?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. If your classes are already in session (Winter 2020) and you have not yet received any information from your instructor, we strongly encourage you to reach out to them or your program head for direction. If, however, your classes have not yet started (Spring/Summer 2020), please wait to hear from your instructor in the days leading up to the first class. If you don’t receive direction the day before the class starts, please reach out to the program head. At this time, BCIT is mainly focused on courses that are currently in session and will reach out to students regarding plans for the upcoming semester as information about the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

 

International Student Part-time Workers

Question:

I am an international student, and I work at Winners and Homesense as a part-time sales associate. Now that the store may be closed for a couple of months, will I receive any financial help from the government?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. Temporary foreign workers in Canada are eligible for Canada Employment Insurance (EI). To meet the requirements, they must have a valid work permit and meet the required number of hours needed (between 420-700 hours in a 52-week period). We encourage you to visit the EI Regular Benefits page to determine if you are eligible and, in doubt, please contact IRCC for more information.

 

Bookstore

Question:

I am a sponsored student who has a credit for books. How do I access this credit if I can’t go into the book store?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub and thank you for your patience while we reached out to the BCIT Bookstore. Since sponsored students are not able to use their credit online, if you would like materials from the bookstore, please send an email to bookstore@bcit.ca to request an order. In your email, please include your current sponsorship letter, along with what materials you need, your name, student number, shipping address, email, and phone number. The bookstore is currently waiving all shipping fees, and they have a small staff on hand to process orders. Please do provide them with some leeway in getting the materials to you, as shipping times may be slower than typical.

 

Spring/Summer 2020 – Updated

Question:

I have three classes in the spring/summer 2020 term, and they are starting in just two weeks. Is the semester going to be online, or will BCIT cancel it? If it will be online, is that going to be for the whole term, or could it move to in-class courses after a month or two?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

As you might expect, we are reviewing and adjusting this constantly but, given the current health guidelines, students should prepare for online delivery of all courses for the next several weeks.

Response on March 21: What program are you taking, as that will help define the answer? We can assume that the classes will be online, as physical distancing is still in place and face to face instruction is not currently an option for most programs. As we’re not sure what direction BCIT and the government will take next, it’s incredibly difficult for us to surmise what the next semester will look like. At this time, please assume that classes will be online for the full semester. Cancellation of courses will be case-dependent, so we really can’t say for sure what that will mean for you specifically. If a few weeks into the semester students and faculty can return to face to face teaching, then great! However, we suggest that you prepare for online studies. Feel free to connect with your program head, your instructor, our program coordinator for information specific to your courses.

 

Hands-on Courses

Question:

I am set to start Heavy Mechanical Foundations on April 6th. Is this course still happening?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. At this time, trades are still a bit of an ‘unknown’ given the hands-on, 1:1 training that students receive. We believe that programs that do run will be ‘front-loading’ the theory portion of the program and then working on ways to make sure that BCIT students get the right training. As to whether your specific program will run well, we’re not sure. Yet. We do know that BCIT is working with government and trade organizations to serve students as best they can. Your best bet right now is to contact the chief instructor and ask them what the plan is.

 

Final Exam

Question:

Are final exams for the Advance Diploma in Business Management (Full Time) going to be online? They start on April 21st.

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, all business courses, including exams, have transitioned to online learning. Given the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please prepare to take your courses and exams online for the foreseeable future. If any changes are made, you will receive an email from your instructor.

 

Course Registration

Question:

Next semester is my last, and I need an online course. Can you please help me register for my course?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to register students in courses. Please visit BCIT Part-time Studies to register your courses. If the class is full, you can subscribe to receive an email if a spot becomes available. If you would like to get on a waitlist for the course, we encourage you to connect with your program coordinator for assistance with that process.

 

Next Semester Plan

Question:

What is next semester’s plan? Is it going to be online or in-class?

Answer:

Thanks for your question to Info Hub. Currently, that question is unanswerable. It would be prudent for students to prepare for online learning to continue into next semester, just in case. A lot is changing, and it’s changing very quickly. Unfortunately with this type of situation, we have to take a ‘wait and see’ approach. As BCIT is known for its hands-on, experiential learning approach, we know that they would love to get back in the classroom and the lab with students. However, right now, that’s just not possible, and BCIT is working to find answers for students as quickly as they can.

 

Study Permit Extension

Question:

My study permit will expire on March 31st and I applied for an extension in January. My biometrics are done and I’m waiting for approval. Is there anything that I have to upload on the BCIT website or are there any concerns about this process?

Answer:

Thanks for your question! This isn’t something that we can answer, I’m afraid. You will need to connect with Student Information and Enrolment Services and the International Student Center.

 

Partial Refund – Updated

Question:

Since students are not taking full advantage of the BCIT facilities and services this semester, is there a possibility for students to receive a partial refund of their tuition?

Answer – updated on March 27 from BCIT:

Ancillary fees including student activity, capital levy, building fees, and medical fees are determined by the BCIT Student Association. Learning resources and student service fees are determined by BCIT. At this time, there are no plans for a partial refund as the learning resource and services, other than the gym, are still available to students. The U-Pass fee is determined by TransLink. BCIT will follow the direction of TransLink once further guidance is provided.

Response on March 21: At this time, we do not believe that there will be a pro-rated or partial tuition refund. BCIT and BCITSA services are on-line and still available to students but yes, there are some operations, such as the gym, that students cannot access on-line. While we do not expect that BCIT will be offering students partial refunds, this may be revisited in the future. For now, we suggest that students take advantage of all of the on-line services that are currently being offered. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

 

Online Lectures

Question:

When are we gonna start online lectures?

Answer:

Thanks for your question. It would be a good idea to connect with your instructor, as most classes have started their online platform. Unless you’re in a trades program, you should be having instruction on-line. What is the course or program that you are in? Perhaps we can help figure this out for you.

 

T2202 Tax Form

Question:

Is BCIT Student Association going to organize an online workshop regarding the T2202 tax form? If not, are they going to organize any other tax-related sessions?

Answer:

The Accounting Club had decided to cancel the tax clinic for this year. However, this was before the government had extended the deadline to June 1 with payments due September 1. We will be connecting with the club to learn whether they’ve reconsidered their position considering the date postponement.

 

Online Courses

Question:

Will we be going online for the full semester?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, it’s very difficult to say how long the online classes will continue. Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months before we see any changes. We know this is a difficult time and we can only imagine that the changes to your term are causing some undue stress. Just know that BCIT and your instructor(s) will work to make this transition as smooth as possible. If there is any support you may need in the short term, don’t hesitate to let us know, and we will do our best to refer you in the right direction. Please continue to check in with BCIT Breaking News for the most up-to-date information.

 

Financial Aid

Question:

Switching to online learning means that students need immediate access to high-speed, unlimited internet. These days the best price comes with two-year contracts. Students like me cannot afford this and will need financial assistance. Also, as we haven’t started the online learning yet, I am not sure what hardware/software I will need to have.

Answer:

Thank you for asking your question. At this time, students who may be financially impacted by going to on-line learning should contact Student Financial Aid & Awards. They are fully on-line now and should be available to answer your questions.

 

Career Options

Question:

What should I do to make income at home and keep moving on to my career and success?

Answer:

Thank you for submitting a question to the SA’s Info Hub, and it’s an excellent question. We would recommend that you connect with BCIT Student Association Career Services regarding what steps you may be able to make to move your career forward successfully. They are currently working remotely to continue to support students. As to earning an income at home, we would suggest looking at things you excel at and can monetize – are you an excellent typist? Try transcription or medical dictation perhaps. While things are changing quickly, people still do need services. Depending on your skillset, you may be invaluable to someone right now. BCIT Student Association Career Service Specialists are always open to assist BCIT students and alumni, so please reach out to them today.

 

BCIT Library

Question:

How can I get a book from BCIT library?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Currently, the BCIT library is doing what they can to provide students with online resources, and they are answering questions online from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday. I hope that helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns.

 

Tuition Review

Question:

Is there any possibility that you may recalculate the tuition fee for on-campus classes since online courses cost less?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. We can appreciate this is a trying and stressful time for students, given the change from in-person to online learning. At this time, the only options available for refunds are for courses that have not yet started. To our knowledge, BCIT currently has no plans to recalculate tuition. It’s difficult to know how long the online learning will last, but if anything changes, we’ll be sure to inform students as soon as we can. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

 

Safety

Question:

Will the social distancing span until the end of the semester?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. The most recent information from the BC government is to practice social distancing for the foreseeable future—this could be weeks or months. Unfortunately, it’s not known how long the pandemic will last. For now, please practice social distancing by staying approximately 6 feet (or 2 meters) away from others when you’re outside your home. This will not only protect yourself but will prevent the virus from spreading to our most vulnerable populations. Also, we suggest checking in with friends and family via text or phone, we all need to support each other right now.

 

Applied Programs/Courses

Question:

I am in the Carpentry Framing and Forming Foundations class and I don’t know what is happening with my course. I was supposed to come Wednesday morning for more info, but I didn’t, because I was told the school was closed. I want to know if my class is switching to online or if we are done.

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. As you can well imagine, there will be some applied programs and courses at BCIT that cannot be transferred to online learning. BCIT is aware of the complex nature of these programs. At this time, BCIT staff and faculty are working to ensure that courses that cannot be completed solely online are transitioned to a blended method. This means that some work will be done in-person with social distancing measures taken into consideration. Please connect with your instructor or chief instructor to ask when students can expect to hear more information about your program. If you don’t hear back from them by the weekend (keeping in mind they may be quite busy right now and their response could be delayed), please let us know and we’ll see what we can find out for you.

 

BCIT Housing

Question:

I’m currently living on the Burnaby campus and I applied for housing for the summer as well. Will BCIT housing be shut down?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub and I appreciate your patience while I confirmed your question with the Housing office. BCIT Housing will remain open for the foreseeable future. That said, please keep in mind that the COVID-19 updates are evolving every day, so things could change quickly. If things do change, students who are connected to BCIT Housing will be informed as soon as possible. If there’s any support you need in the meantime, please let us know and we’ll do our best to connect you to the right people.

 

Spring/Summer Part-Time Courses

Question:

What is BCITs refund policy for part-time classes? Will it be changed in any way due to COVID-19? I’m signed up for BCIT tutorials for professional exams but the exams are canceled now. Will BCIT refund any portion of what I spent, if I drop out of the tutorials 10 days before they were meant to start?

Answer:

Thank you for your question on BCITSA’s Info Hub. At this time, students who are registered for Spring/Summer 2020 part-time studies courses that have not yet started may request a full refund. Please complete the following withdrawal form, paying attention to the instructions for submission on the 2nd page.

 

Additional Resources