Graduated in 2017 and working in Wawa, Ontario
Isabeau Allard lives in Wawa, a small mining town 200 km west of Sault Ste. Marie. She completed the Recreation and Leisure Services Diploma program online through Canadore College.
Originally from Montreal, Isabeau has lived in Wawa for the past several years. To find a job, she decided to complete her first English language college program. All of her previous education was in her first language of French. She already completed a college diploma program in Equine Sciences but wanted to find work in the tourism sector.
“Contact North helped me find the possible programs I could take online,” says Isabeau. She realized her options were limited in the remote town but learned about how online learning would make it possible for her to study at a distance. Aside from being able to remain rooted with her young daughter, she was able to make her own schedule.
“It helped to be able to come into the centre while also having the option to stay home when I needed to be with my daughter. I was able to record all the classes. I had some classes at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., which were not good times for my daughter, but I could record and listen later,” explains Isabeau.
She appreciated the flexibility online learning offered, however, she does acknowledge how important it is to be self-disciplined and meet assignment deadlines. Many of her assignments involved contributing to online discussions, quizzes and smaller writing assignments she submitted over the Internet.
She appreciated the use of computers made available at the online learning centre as they were faster and more efficient than her own. When she went into the online learning centre, there would sometimes be other students taking online courses as well, and she could share the experience and challenges of learning at a distance with them.
In addition to attending classes online from her own community, she was grateful she was also able to complete her placement in Wawa. With the qualifications from her brand-new college diploma, she secured a full-time job in Wawa after she graduated.