~i_OnlineStudents - Moffatt
Technical writing student Chelsea Houde is one of several Algonquin learners who choose to study online. She also works full time as a technical writer.

One December afternoon, Juanita Clarke was waiting for a bus when she got dizzy. The sensation prompted her to hail a cab and go to the nearest hospital.

Clarke, a social media program student, now walks with a cane, and doctors can’t figure out why. She’s partially disabled but she hasn’t let that stop her.

“It would be difficult for me to come to class here,” said Clarke, “but I thought there must be a different alternative.”

She needed to find a career that would suit her new life.

“Social media is really growing,” said Clarke. “It looks like it’s going to be around for a while. I created a business, but I needed to have a foundation.”

Clarke said the social media course was perfect for her. She finds it difficult to be in a moving vehicle, and this way she can learn from home.

“You can work your own schedule,” said Clarke. “You almost have to have an entrepreneurial spirit, self motivated. So anyone that’s goal-oriented would excel at this.”

Clarke is among the college’s population of students learning online. For them, a fully-digital education makes a real difference in their lives.

Chelsea Houde, a technical writing student, is another example of this.

“I am kind of the anti-procrastinator,” said Houde. “I get nervous if I let things go for too long. I often work ahead because I’ll worry if I don’t.”

Houde works full-time as a technical writer and is using the program to streamline her career. She also has a masters degree in English. She fits her course work into her down time during her day.

Julie Eaves, manager for product research and marketing centre for continuing and online learning, also stressed the importance of independent learning.

“Online learning is not for everyone,” said Eaves “You really have to be self sufficient. But we have a wonderful support team.”

Clarke stressed that online learning helped her continue with her life.

“For anyone with disabilities,” said Clarke, “This is something that is a viable way of progressing in life and continuing on.”