AT Institute Launches Hybrid Online Trades Training: Here’s How it Works
Appliance Service Technician students doing the hands-on portion of their training at the AT Institute Mississauga campus.
When Covid-19 hit Ontario and the lockdown began, schools and students faced some major challenges.
Programs that had never been delivered online suddenly shifted to virtual. Students who had never taken a single online class found themselves doing Zoom or RingCentral courses every day.
It’s been a bumpy transition for teachers, students, school staff and parents.
The challenge has been particularly hard for hands-on training programs like the skilled trades. How can you learn HVAC or Appliance Servicing skills online?
How can you get actual experience with tools and equipment via Zoom?
Appliance Technical Institute of Canada has answered the challenge by developing a “hybrid” learning model for skilled trades students.
Using a mix of on-campus and online learning, our students have been able to complete their skilled trades programs, find employment, and get to work—despite the pandemic.
Curious about how the hybrid online learning system works? This week, we interviewed Andrey Czupiel, the Executive Director for Appliance Technical Institute of Canada.
He explains what to expect in training, how AT Institute keeps students safe, and why now is an excellent time to begin your trades career.
How does the hybrid online training work for skilled trades students?
Andrey: Our skilled trades students are doing a combination of online and on-campus learning. We launched the hybrid program on Spring 2020, when the government approved us to enrol new students.
It’s very simple. Students complete the theory portion of their training online. And then they come to campus to do their hands-on work. This way, students can get some of their courses done from home, and we minimize the number of people on campus.
For example, our HVAC and Appliance Service Technician students do 1-2 days a week of online classes. They come to the AT Institute workshop 3-4 days a week for practical training with a licensed instructor.
The online classes are live (not pre-recorded) sessions. The instructor is there to answer questions and keep students on track. We use platforms like Zoom, RingCentral, and BrightSpace.
What Covid-19 safety measures are in place at the campus? Any reported infections so far?
Andrey: To date, we haven’t had any reported cases of Covid-19 at our campuses. Appliance Technical Institute of Canada is following all the government safety regulations for schools.
Every day students fill out a Covid-19 form as soon as they arrive on campus. We track who is in the school and whether anyone has symptoms. If there’s a red flag, the student cannot enter the building.
Also, the instructor checks each student’s temperature at the door. They can only enter if it falls within safe parameters.
In addition, we have a cleaning crew that comes in every night to sanitize the school. We use a hydrostatic sprayer on all the main walkways and surfaces.
And we provide students with disinfectant spray to sanitize tools and equipment after use.
We’re lucky because our Mississauga campus workshop is a huge 2,000 square–foot facility. So, there’s plenty of space to spread out!
How are students responding to the new “hybrid” learning system?
Andrey: Many of our students really appreciate being able to study from home a couple of days a week. It saves them time and money on transportation.
On the flip side, a lot of students say that coming into the shop for practical training is a nice break from being stuck at home. We’ve struck a good balance with the hybrid system.
Everyone is adjusting and adapting. This has become the new normal for us. At first, it was a challenging transition, but everything is rolling very smoothly now.
Are all the trades programs open for enrolment now?
What’s great about the Appliance Service Technician and Gas Technician trades is that there is no apprenticeship hours to be completed. You can get your Gas Technician license without doing an apprenticeship, and there’s a ton of work out there. We already have over 90% of our Appliance Servicing and Gas technician graduates working in the field.
Is now a good time to start trades training? How is the industry doing?
Andrey: The government is making a big push on the skilled trades right now. This industry hasn’t been impacted as harshly as many other fields during the pandemic.
Appliance Technical Institute of Canada has broad partnerships with Trans Global Service, Whirlpool Canada, LG Canada, and Electrolux. With these key partnerships, our Appliance Service Technician graduates are finding employment in many cities across Canada, like Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa.
In both the commercial and residential sides, AT Institute graduates are finding a lot of employment opportunities. On the residential side, renovations and remodels are booming. People stuck at home are spending big on indoor and outdoor projects. They’re building home offices, home gyms, pools, finishing basements, and backyards.
Are you holding online information sessions? How can people learn more about training?
Andrey: All of our Admissions staff are holding information sessions and advising appointments online.
We arrange campus tours by appointment only, to maintain social distancing on campus. Many of our new students have never even visited the campus. They’re doing the admissions process completely online.
Appliance Technical Institute of Canada has been doing online advising and enrolment for years—long before the pandemic hit. We have a really good system in place.
AT Institute Advisors walk you through everything: class schedule, costs, student funding, government training grants, how to apply— everything is arranged for the student online. We make the process as simple and painless as possible.
Is Appliance Technician Training Right for You?
What does it take to become a successful appliance service technician? How do you know you’re a good fit for this work?
Appliance Technical Institute of Canada offers the only comprehensive Appliance Service Technician training program in Ontario, and Eastern Canada. Our program offers a direct, mandatory, access into the LG Canada or Whirlpool employer network in order to complete your 12-week co-op placement. Students have been offered employment contracts even before completing their co-op placements!
Your first step is to talk with an Admissions Advisor, to learn more about the program and what you need to get started.
An Advisor will confirm you meet admission requirements, and help you figure out financial aid, class schedules, and how to apply.
Call the Mississauga Campus at (905) 629 – 1447, or email email@example.com, to receive more information about the Appliance Service Technician program.
Start your new career, right away. Reserve your spot in class today!
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