Plans to graduate Spring 2020
Parenting four high functioning autistic children motivated Cindy McKenna to consider a career in early childhood education. With the support of staff at the Contact North | Contact Nord online learning centre in Shelburne, she applied for financial support from the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and enrolled in Algonquin College’s online Educational Assistant program.
As a mature student, she had to upgrade her English credential and enrolled in Georgian College’s online Communications course prior to starting the Algonquin College program.
“Any questions or concerns, staff are right there to do the research,” she shares about the support she receives from Contact North | Contact Nord. She says it takes motivation and determination to take an online program, but she knows it’s up to her whether she succeeds or fails.
“It was a little bit scary going back to school at my age, wondering if I could do it,” she says. “In second term, I made it on the Dean’s List with an overall average of 92%.” With high grades, she knew she made the right decision to start this program.
She has an office in her home that her kids know as “Mommy’s zone for school”. “I only have schoolwork on my computer, no social media, no games. When I have a moment of frustration, it’s easier just to walk away for a while, rather than surf the web and be lost for hours.”
Cindy is enjoying her studies immensely and plans to graduate in Spring 2020. With the support of Contact North | Contact Nord staff she is exploring options for an online university undergraduate degree.