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Online Learning Centre
Area of Study
Creative Arts and Business
Calling all aspiring students
Let Contact North | Contact Nord be your frontline support
Contact North | Contact Nord is a free, local bilingual service to help residents in 1,500+ rural and remote Ontario communities access online programs and courses from colleges, universities and training providers without having to leave their communities.
For support navigating online study options please contact us:
With a master’s degree in fine arts and theatre from the American Conservatory Theater, 61-year-old Laura Nicholls’ career has flourished in myriad ways, including her many years as a successful event planner.
But with the COVID-19 lockdown coinciding with a new stage of her life, Laura realized there were gaps in her education she wanted to close.
She had a fair bit of time on her hands, and given the restrictive nature of life in a pandemic, choosing to learn online rather than in person was an easy decision.
“Online learning was the only choice in the pandemic as far as furthering my education,” Laura says. “I was thinking about becoming self-employed, maybe starting a business that was creative-based. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do.”
“Contact North really listened to what I needed and really pulled together all these options for me. That they were able to fit me into the exact thing I needed was so great and so helpful. Listening to me and checking in with me … it’s been a great experience.”
After reaching out to Contact North from her home near Oshawa, Laura was floored at the sheer volume of options from training providers like Brampton Library, Gale and Creativebug.
Whatever struck her fancy — fashion, sewing, drawing, communication, French, event planning, project management — the courses were there for the taking. And when she told Contact North she wanted to learn how to start a craft-based business, she was amazed to discover there was a course with that very name.
“There are so many different programs now,” Laura says. “Since I’m home, I thought, ‘I’m going to fill in the gaps so I have a more secure foundation, so I can move ahead easier and more successfully. And when [the economy returns to normal] I’d like to be able to get a job that suits me more than jobs I’ve had in the past.”
Throughout this new stage of her learning journey, Laura has been feeling grateful for the support.
“Contact North really listened to what I needed and really pulled together all these options for me,” she says. “That they were able to fit me into the exact thing I needed was so great and so helpful. Listening to me and checking in with me … it’s been a great experience.”