How the ITC whanau has supported students through 2020Posted on 03/12/2020 by Hayley Clark
The year 2020 has been a tough one for everyone. Every New Zealander has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in some way, and even though Aotearoa has pulled through exceedingly well compared with most countries, it doesn’t negate the fact that thousands of Kiwis have struggled this year.
When New Zealand announced it would be heading into Alert Level 4 lockdown, ITC immediately jumped into action. Our biggest goal was to support our students, and ensure they could continue their studies.
How ITC supported students from day one
As soon as the lockdown announcement was made, our first goal was to check in with students. We reached out to every single one to ask them how they were doing and to offer our support.
We even created a short video to ensure our students knew we were thinking of them. You can watch a quick version below, or watch the full version on YouTube here.
Our next goal was to help students get online, and ensure they had everything they needed to make that happen.
Moving students online was a priority, as ITC never stopped teaching during the lockdown – we simply moved online! We were able to immediately shift to an online platform thanks to our sister company Study From Home, our distance learning option for ITC courses.
This way, students were able to continue to learn and work towards achieving their qualifications, all with continuous support and contact from tutors and fellow classmates. Not only did this offer some normality and a practical way to pass the time during lockdown, we also managed to make it a lot of fun.
During the first week, staff and students donned their ‘best outfits’ at home, and we continued with new themes throughout the lockdown to add a little silliness and enjoyment during those tough months.
The Hardship Fund for Learners
In May 2020, the government announced a Hardship Fund for Learners in response to the covid-19 pandemic. The fund was set up to provide temporary financial assistance to tertiary education providers in order to assist their students through the pandemic.
The goal was to ensure students could afford to continue to study and therefore complete or continue their qualifications, and not have to leave their schools, universities, or colleges in order to take up a job. With this fund, tertiary education providers could either purchase resources on a student’s behalf, cover living costs, provide food, pay for rent or utilities, or simply offer cash payments.
ITC was one of many tertiary providers throughout New Zealand that was automatically provided with funding, and we have been immensely grateful to be able to support our hard-working students through such a difficult year.
How ITC has used the Hardship Fund and supported students in 2020
Throughout the year, ITC has worked closely with students to build an ongoing relationship and make sure they feel comfortable to come to us, talk about their struggles, and ask for help. We have always considered ourselves to be a big supportive whanau, but 2020 has pulled us and our students closer together than ever.
This year, we appointed staff at each campus to look after the fund and find ways to use it to support our students. We have been able to use the hardship fund to help students with everything from bus fares and petrol costs to lunches, personal items such as hand sanitiser, phone cards, and clothing.
One of those staff members was Marcella Johnston, from the Auckland City Campus.
“The students who used it, used it for transport – they kept calling in saying they weren’t able to come to class because they had no money to get to college (their student allowances were going to their family members who lost their jobs), so the extra $30 each gave them enough money to get to school, and since then they’ve been coming consistently,” she said.
We have also had campus student reps making themselves available to fellow students for support and guidance whenever needed, and each campus has also created a food pantry where students can help themselves to whatever food items they have needed.
Of course, we know that making any big decisions for 2021 has become even harder because of such a challenging year in 2020. If you’re struggling, know that at ITC we are not just a college, but a family. We are about quality education, supporting our students, and making sure they get the very best from their studies. We make your study journey stress free and memorable in order to set you up with skills and qualifications you can use for life.
If you’d like to become part of the ITC family, and enrol in a 2021 course, we’d love to have you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have.
Campus Study – firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.itc.co.nz/contact-us/Posted in In the Community, News | Tagged ITC Award winning training, ITC support, ITC whanau | Leave a reply