You can attend college here at home

Summer is passing us by quickly and some will have a decision to make: “should I stay or should I go?”
For many, staying home and attending post-secondary education at Confederation College isn’t something they considered as an option. The fact is, roughly 30-40 individuals enrol in Confederation College in Fort Frances annually.
Stacey Gouliquer, a graduate of General Business—Business Human Resources from the Rainy River District campus, was like many students graduating from high school; she wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to pursue or whether she was ready to leave Fort Frances to pursue her education.
This year, about 50 graduating Grade 12 students are returning to high school for various reasons, similar to Gouliquer’s and others that attended college locally.
Gouliquer believes there are two distinct benefits to attending post-secondary education at home in Fort Frances.
“Not leaving the area makes it much more affordable and the class sizes are smaller so you can have more one-on-one time with the instructors, which is more difficult to do in larger centres,” she noted.
Thomas Rose took his first year of General Business in Fort Frances before transferring to Red River College to pursue his major in marketing.
“A benefit to staying here for my first year of college was the responsibility I had for my own education; this was a big change,” he admitted. “Post-secondary is much different that high school.
“I was able to learn this before moving away.”
Today, Rose is a marketing Intern here at Confederation College. The reason he stayed home for his first year of college was to save money and, at the same time, explore the business major he wanted to pursue.
“I don’t feel that I would have done as well if I had not gone to college here [in Fort Frances] first,” Rose said. “The college really helped prepare me for the ‘work world.’”
“I wanted to take a business course but was not sure what
to specialize or go further into,” noted Gouliquer. “When I decided to go to the Rainy River District campus of Confederation College, I was able to stay at home and keep my part-time job [at the time] while going to school.
“This was much more affordable and I still received the college experience!” she enthused.
Upon graduating, Gouliquer gained employment locally at Family and Children Services as a human resource assistant. Today, she is the payroll/executive assistant there.
“Absolutely Confederation College helped prepare me for my job,” she remarked. “I definitely have the college to thank for my career success!”
Jen Cawston, a graduate of the Social Service Workers program in Fort Frances, currently is working at the Association for Community Living here.
“Cost savings and family considerations are the two benefits I can directly relate to,” she said.
“The college prepared me,” Cawston added. “I feel I received a good education with current curriculum because it’s the same curriculum used in Thunder Bay.”
Rebecca Tolen graduated from the teacher aid program, which has since gone through a renewal process and is now the Educational Assistant program.
“When I hear Confederation College, the first thing that comes to my mind is definitely convenience,” said Tolen. “I had two children and the college enable me to stay home, get my education, and care for my kids.”
Tolen was working as a supply teacher aid with the Rainy River District School Board when she decided to go back to school and further her education.
“Before I graduated, while I was a supply aid, I was able to help the teachers but only to a point,” she explained. “Today, with my diploma now, I can do my job better, with more confidence, more efficiently, and with much less supervision.
“So the college really prepared me very well.
“Small classes, [and] interaction with your teachers or instructors are definite benefits to attending college in Fort Frances,” Tolen added. “As well, you can get really close with other students and you can get really involved with the college if you choose.”
Graduates are not just gaining employment locally; they also are working in other regions of Canada. Two of this years graduates, for instance, are working in Alberta.
One is working at a day care facility in Calgary while another is the regional manager of Laura-Laura, a women’s clothing store based in Edmonton.
A third graduate this year is a social service worker in Marathon. Countless others are working locally and nationally.
Another option to attending college locally is our “Pre” programs. Programs such as Pre-Health and Pre-Technology are programs for individuals who want to go into the health fields and technology fields, but want to improve their science, math, and English marks.
These programs are one year in length and help prepare students for diploma or degree programs in the respective fields.
“Pre” programs also give students the experience of attending a post-secondary program locally before possibly moving away.
Summer definitely is passing quickly. If you or someone you know has the decision “should I stay or should I go,” suggest to them that Confederation College is an option.
Stay local and gain a post-secondary education that local and national employers identify with, respect, and support.

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