A pandemic bright spot? The chance to go back to school

With the country in lockdown and many post-secondary programs being taught remotely, some students have been able to use the work-from-home flexibility to work at their own pace or finish their schooling. Sheila Suprovich, an Algonquin student who is completing her event management post-graduate certificate, is one of them. “I started the program through Algonquin […]
Photo: Ethan Grove
"I think doing school remotely and in class has opened my eyes to both worlds that coincide," said Sheila Suprovich.

With the country in lockdown and many post-secondary programs being taught remotely, some students have been able to use the work-from-home flexibility to work at their own pace or finish their schooling.

Sheila Suprovich, an Algonquin student who is completing her event management post-graduate certificate, is one of them.

“I started the program through Algonquin back in 2014, however was unable to finish my last semester and moved back home,” said Suprovich. “The pandemic forced most programs to take the remote approach which allowed me to finish years later from home over Zoom.”

People who rely on the income from a full-time job, now can start – or restart – college full-time because pandemic learning allows students to get their education remotely.

“I live in a remote community far from most colleges,” Suprovich said. “I have a full-time job, house, family and wasn’t in a position to move to go back to school even though I had wanted to finish the program for quite some time. The credits didn’t transfer over to a similar program to do remotely.”

Supplied photo of Sheila Suprovich
“I currently manage a golf and curling club. My schedule has changed and become more flexible due to the ongoing changes,” says Sheila Suprovich.

Some students who had been laid off due to the pandemic now have more time to continue their education.

When Anthony Chiu saw an opportunity to being placed on a leave of absence from his job with the Ottawa Senators in the security department, it allowed him to return to school.

“I was placed on furlough until further notice,” said Anthony Chiu, a student in the law clerk program at Algonquin College, who will be doing his crossover law degree at Carleton. “That has given me a lot more time to head back to school to finish both programs that I am enrolled in.”

Anthony Chiu, law clerk student at Algonquin College
“Remote learning gave me the ability to work at my own pace and also be able to limit me going out to lower the risk of getting COVID,” said Anthony Chiu.

For some students, the ability to return to school right now has given them the opportunity to follow a new career path or be able to go beyond the position they’re currently working.

“It will give me the ability to grow and be able to find a job quicker since I have been working a placement during my time here at college and I have a job set up to work in a law firm,” said Chiu.

It can also give people the ability to succeed further into the career path they have already begun.

“It has allowed me to finish my credentials and be more qualified in my line of work as my background education was recreation and design,” said Suprovich. “I have also made many connections through networking with professors and classmates.

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