In her early-50s Jolene Swanson faced a problem.
“My body was falling apart.”
Working in home support with seniors was rewarding, but her career was stalled and the physically demanding aspects of the job were starting to strain.
“I was scared to death to have to retrain,” Swanson says, but she took the leap and enrolled at the Academy of Learning Nanaimo.
She says the Integrated Learning System at the college made it easy to succeed. Swanson earned her Community Support Worker diploma in just nine months, and it was thousands of dollars less expensive than other colleges in the area.
And just like that she’d boosted her career.
Seriously useful skills
Now Swanson works for a Parksville non-profit coordinating counselling for low-income adults and nutritious meals for seniors. And she uses her diploma every day.
She hadn’t worked in an office since 1999, so Swanson appreciated that training in Microsoft Office was part of her Community Support Worker diploma with the Academy of Learning.
“Now my colleagues turn to me for assistance using MS Office.”
The Academy of Learning gave Swanson the skills she needed to flourish in the workplace, and it’s easy to see how her education helped her in her career.
“I did my practicum at the non-profit where I’m working now.”
That transition didn’t happen right away, but with a diploma-in-hand Swanson didn’t stress. The non-profit where she’d done her practicum didn’t have any openings when she graduated, so she found other work at an extreme weather shelter.
“I wouldn’t have qualified for that job at all without my diploma.”
In the spring her dream-job opened up, and Swanson snagged it.
“Community Support is important work, and it’s a versatile field. There are about 200 different jobs you can do with your diploma.”
Flexible education experience
Doing her Academy of Learning studies through their Integrated Learning System gave Swanson more flexibility. She enjoyed having classmates across the country, and bonded across the distance.
“I’m still in touch with some of my classmates,” she says.
With education a-la-carte, she was able to choose the courses that made sense for her career goals.
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Visit AOLcollege.com to get started on your new career today, or call 866-336-6566 to set up a career planning session!
To brush up on your Microsoft Office skills just like Jolene Swanson, check out the Academy of Learning free workshop happening Jan. 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sign up on Facebook or Eventbrite. Get an introduction to MS Word and Excel, and become your office guru!