By Christine Roy
Attending college later in one’s life can be a challenge, especially considering today’s consistently evolving technologies and the differences in age between average college students age and mature students.
Luckily for Algonquin, the Mature Student Network (MSN) offers assistance to those mature students starting over and going back to school to learn a trade.
Monthly MSN meetings last about two hours and provide a chance to connect with older students closer to their ages. Usually, about 10 to 15 people attend meetings, which take place the second Monday of every month.
Mature students often encounter challenges that make post-secondary education a struggle the average college student won’t face for some years still. Often, mature students have raised families or face lay-offs after years in an established career or industry.
MSN’s current president, Geoffrey Johnson, received a cognitive science degree from Carleton but when no jobs were forthcoming in his chosen field, he decided to return to school. He’s now a first-year student in Algonquin’s computer system technician program.
Patrick Carrier, 32, also a first-year student in the computer system technician program, signed up for the Second Career program offered by the Ontario government. The Second Career program supplies tuition and a living allowance to those who are eligible for its benefits, though Carrier states that it took a lot of paperwork but is worth it.
For Johnson, he must also consider who will take over the role as president of the MSN.
“My biggest goal is to get someone to help out next semester. It’d be nice if we get a staggered flow, where someone takes over for a year,” he says.