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Team Work and Success in a Pandemic

By Dylan Pelletier, DTI Program Coordinator

Sep 8, 2021

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Photo by: Caitlin Hume. Left to Right Kristen Rutten (Instructor), Samantha Roche, Michelle Carr, Jessica Fayant, Bethany Wintonyk, Jennifer Redwood, Kayla Pelletier, Enya Revoy, Samantha Green, Allishia Desarno, Kayla Schmidt, Desiree Guillermin, Danyel Wait, Paige Richard, Derek Stovin (Instructor)


During the 2020-2021 school year, the Dumont Technical Institute (DTI) was proud to offer the Office Administration (OA) program in Regina. Like most DTI programs that year, Regina OA started in a hybrid delivery model. Students would attend class two to three days a week and study online for the other days. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation grew worse throughout the year and the Regina OA Program was forced to deliver programming completely online starting in November 2020. The program continued to be completely online until the end of the program in June 2021.

Thanks to the stellar efforts of the instructors, Kristen Rutten and Derek Stovin, the program thrived while being delivered online. Student attendance, academic achievement, and morale all stayed extremely high despite no face-to-face instruction for months. This transition to an online learning environment was handled seamlessly by the staff and students. Credit also goes to DTI Director, Brett Vandale, and senior DTI management for having the vision and doing the hard work to prepare for digital and online instruction when the pandemic first hit.

In the spring of 2020, a committee was formed to implement DTI’s learning management system, Brightspace. Tracy LaPrise, Taryn Ward, Bonnie Hrycuik, and Gareth Griffiths were on the committee and worked hard to make Brightspace an integral part of DTI’s instructional delivery. By fall 2020, DTI had Brightspace in place and that helped Regina OA to be successful in spite of the challenges.

During the year, there were several leadership changes; adding more challenges to the delivery of the Regina OA program. Bonnie Hrycuik was the program coordinator in the fall of 2020, but she went on maternity leave in March 2021. Michelle McNally took over as program coordinator from Bonnie, but she took a new position in late May 2021. Finally, Dylan Pelletier took over the program from Michelle for the last month of the program. This amount of change-over in supervisors would normally disrupt a program at least a little bit, but not for the Regina OA instructors. Kristen and Derek just kept on doing their exceptional work, and student success is the proof.

The Regina Office Administration program started the 2020-2021 school year with 15 Métis female students and finished the school year with ten graduates and five successful completers. They did not lose a single student over the entire year! These are remarkable numbers for a regular year and even more remarkable during a pandemic. Despite changing supervisors, online learning, and COVID-19 outbreaks in the community, all students persevered. Thanks to all of the hard work of Kristen, Derek, and the rest of the DTI support staff. The students were able to be successful against the odds. Congratulations to the students of the 2020-2021 Regina Office Administration program!

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