92% Spike in Course Registrations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Contact North | Contact Nord generates and supports 120,000+ student
registrations in programs and courses from Ontario’s colleges, universities,
Indigenous institutes and other training providers, and fulfills close to
1 million requests for services
Thunder Bay, ON – Contact North | Contact Nord, Ontario’s community-based bilingual
distance education and training network, helped a record number of underserved residents
in rural and remote Ontario get education and training without having to leave their
communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary shutdown of its 116 online learning
centres supporting 800 small, rural, remote, Indigenous and Francophone communities
across Ontario in March 2020, Contact North | Contact Nord pivoted online to keep up with
a surge in demand and responded to 930,000+ requests for services during the past 12
Local staff worked from their homes, using phones, social media, Zoom and online
resources to inform students of their study options, help them register in online programs
and courses offered by Ontario’s colleges, universities, Indigenous institutes and other
training providers, and offer information on financial aid options. This virtual support
resulted in 120,038 student registrations – a 92% spike compared to its 2020-2021 target
of 62,400 registrations.
Now, as COVID-19 restrictions ease in parts of Ontario, Contact North | Contact Nord is
reopening its physical locations to provide in-person support services for students in rural
and remote communities throughout the province. It has comprehensive COVID-19 health
and safety protocols in place to protect students and staff using its locations.
Students have free use of computer workstations and high-speed Internet access for
students to complete their online courses, free use of web conferencing and
videoconferencing distance learning platforms, as well as supervision of written and online
exams and tests.
Contact North I Contact Nord partners with Ontario’s 24 public colleges, 22 public
universities, 9 Indigenous institutes, 76 district school boards, and 250 public literacy and
basic skills and training providers to provide local access to online education and training
opportunities to underserved residents in 800 small, rural, remote, Indigenous and
Contact North I Contact Nord works closely with Ontario Works and Employment Ontario to
help their clients acquire skills to get jobs. A direct contribution to Ontario’s economic