Career changes and advancement opportunities are most often enhanced with further education; however, the prospect of returning to school can be intimidating. Realizing that the concerns and responsibilities of mature students are often different from those of a student who has recently graduated from high school, Loyalist has resources available to ease the return to academics. One of these services includes a networking group for mature students that is coordinated by the Student Success team. Students discuss the challenges of attending college and participate in activities organized by the group. They share assignment and study strategies, and discuss ways of balancing school and family responsibilities.
Two Building Science graduates describe their return to learning experience and the resulting growth in their careers.
“I started working for the City of Belleville as soon as I graduated from high school,” said Joseph Reid. “After working there for a few years I realized that my opportunities for advancement would be much greater if I completed more formal education. I researched the programs that applied to the type of work I was doing and enrolled in the Civil Engineering program at Loyalist College. There have been challenges as I continued to work full-time while attending college, working nights so I could attend classes during the day, using my vacation time for the same purpose, but it has definitely been worth it. In June 2008 I graduated with my diploma as a Civil Engineering Technician and I’m now in my third year working toward an advanced diploma in Civil Engineering Technology. The faculty is knowledgeable and supportive — they understand the different needs of the students. I have advanced to the position of Supervisor of Road Services with the city and it is exciting to look ahead and imagine the opportunities my career holds for me. I find this work very rewarding because you can see the results of what you do — new buildings, new roads. I’m a firm believer that if there’s a will, there’s a way and that a person shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help if they need it. I am so glad that I am doing this. It makes me much more confident knowing that I am prepared for future advancement opportunities that will come my way.”
Richard Wismer was a dairy farmer from the Stirling area who had always been interested in surveying. He sold his cattle, enrolled in the Survey Engineering Technician program at Loyalist and graduated in the spring of 2008. Since graduating he has been employed full-time at Paul Miller Surveying Ltd. in Stirling and continues to farm on a part-time basis.
“What a fantastic program Survey Engineering is,” Richard said. “I cannot think of one class that I took that I am not making use of in my current job. This made it possible for me to hit the ground running when I started to work. Initially, I was concerned that I would have difficulty absorbing all the information because I had been away from school for a very long time. It soon became clear that the faculty were experienced in getting mature students on track. I love what I’m doing — mainly fieldwork with some drafting and drawing up plans. I would definitely recommend Loyalist. It was a fabulous experience for me.”
For more information regarding college programs and services call (613) 969-1913, ext. 2204 or visit www.loyalistcollege.com.