Red River College is the latest local post-secondary institution to formally announce it will continue online learning in the fall.
The college said it will focus on online delivery come September, although its plan will allow for a switch to in-person learning should public health directives change.
In-person instruction was suspended in recent weeks because of the pandemic.
Aileen Najduch, acting vice-president academic, said Wednesday the administration has asked all program managers to "rethink and reorder" their fall semester schedules to postpone hands-on learning to future terms, if possible.
At the same time, Najduch said the college wants to ensure students can return to their practicums as soon as possible, if it has been deemed safe.
Red River has eased practicum suspensions for students in the health care field, such as nursing students.
"There have been some challenges, but… we want to express that it’s a great opportunity for both the college, as well as for our students, moving into the future, as all of the industries that they will be moving into are being disrupted, just as the educational institutions are," said Derek Kochenash, dean of Red River’s School of Skilled Trades and Technologies.
While some courses have been suspended indefinitely, including the aviation and aerospace program, Kochenash said instructors have had success reaching their students via virtual labs. Among the changes, students use software to access machinery online and apprentices take videos of themselves doing demonstrations from afar.
That will likely remain the norm as the campus remains closed.
Najduch said Red River is examining how fees might be altered. She cited the fee to use on-campus recreation facilities as one example.
Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.