The past weeks have been challenging for all of us. As you know, doing our part to protect our community during this coronavirus epidemic required the College to significantly change our learning culture. As a result, we suspended all classroom courses and in-person examinations until it becomes safe to resume them. We understand that these changes have disrupted our students' educational plans, and have caused some frustration at not being able to move forward for the time being.
But we haven't been idle. We are committed to finding solutions that will enable students to continue their studies, and we wanted to share with you some updates on what we have been working on behind-the-scenes. Our goal is to ensure that each student has fair chance to successfully complete the educational requirements needed to pursue their dream of a career in real estate. We do not want the delay caused by COVID-19 to stand in the way of these dreams.
Online proctored exams
Our development team is focusing on implementing live-proctored online exams. The plan is to offer online exams that are accessible to as many learners as possible, ensure a student's privacy, and maintain the integrity of the examination process. You have put a lot of effort into your education and the final exam experience must respect that work. We have met with a number of vendors who specialize in delivering online exams, to find the solution that best meets our collective requirements. As you might imagine in these times, there is great demand for online exam services and not all vendors are able to provide what we need when we need it. Nevertheless, we continue to make good progress and expect to have the implementation and testing done in the coming weeks. We expect that the introduction of online exams will provide students greater flexibility around scheduling times than we had in the past, and will allow students to move through their programs more quickly. Additional details about how online exams will work and what you will need to do will be posted on our website as they become available.
While online exams are an option that works for some members of our student body, we appreciate that it is not a solution for everyone in our programs.
Paper-based exams and iPad exams delivered in our exam centres are still the most customary option for many of our students. During this time we have been following developments in the federal and provincial spheres as we develop our own back-to-school plans. We are in regular discussions with our partners at exam venues province-wide. As soon as it is safe to do so, the college will resume in-person examinations to the fullest extent possible. The most likely scenario is that of a gradual, phased approach that keeps your safety as its overriding element. With safety in mind, we will work to secure more seating capacity for in-person exams in additional facilities, to maximize the exam options available to students and off-set the delay that we have been experiencing.
The college closing and last exam date
The OREA Real Estate College is currently scheduled to close at the end of the year. We understand, though, that this timeline is an area of concern for some students. Together with RECO and officials within the Government of Ontario, we are exploring all possible options, including an extension of the College closing date, that would help to mitigate the delay caused by the COVID situation.
We understand your desire to continue your coursework and we will do everything we can to get you back to your studies. Thank you for your patience as we put the necessary solutions in place. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.