Students throughout Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) are living proof that ‘Learning makes a world of difference.’
This was the theme for this year’s provincial Adult Learners’ Week and it is a phrase that means so much to NSCC students like Nancy MacDougall at Marconi Campus. “One of the scariest things I have ever done in my life was to press the submit box on the enrollment application I filled out to return to school,” she says. “Now I can actually help my daughter with her homework because we are both in the same grade and will both graduate this year.”
The importance of life-long learning wasn’t lost on Lunenburg Campus student Cecil Haughn. An experienced cook and restaurant owner, Cecil says, “I’ve always felt that I must have missed something early on in my schooling to have struggled so with the written word. After 30 years, I finally said to myself, ‘It’s now or never.’”
He explains that his faculty in NSCC’s Adult Learning Program were two of the most knowledgeable people he’s met. Because the schedule was adaptable to his busy lifestyle, he was able to fit in his studies and finish in about a year. “My experience at NSCC has bridged the gap between my thoughts and my ability to put them in proper written form.”
According to Literacy Nova Scotia, about four in ten Nova Scotians are at risk of not having sufficient skills to fully participate in the workplace, family or community; 110,000 working age Nova Scotians do not have a high school diploma.
Marconi Campus ALP faculty member Kimberley Sultan explains, “Students come to us with a wealth of experience, not all of it positive. Respecting students’ past experiences is vital to building positive relationships with them.” Kimberley adds, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
The students’ accomplishments speak for themselves.
Nancy was one of five winners of the 2013 Literacy Nova Scotia contest. "What a great feeling of accomplishment I carry with me now," she said in her winning essay.
Cecil succeeded in getting hired as Director of Environmental Services – a position he had been preparing for at Hillside Pines Home for Special Care. He credits the many years of studying safety, hard work and his return to school for his success. “It certainly proves to me that education can be a rewarding experience.”