“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

A recent study in Ontario showed that regulated career colleges’ flexible skills training programs are attracting a significant number of mature students who have children and families. The study found, 57% of learners were over the age of 30, 50% had children and 12% were single parents.

Every week, I like to discover a new learner that is beginning their own journey of education and improvement.  Taking a step towards education is never an easy step and doing it while juggling parental responsibilities and economic, personal, and employment challenges must take incredible courage.

Regulated career colleges in Canada are experts in training these students in small class sizes, with a personal focus on the learner and their individual learning needs. For all our students, but especially for mature students, career colleges focus on employment opportunities and support students in developing a study plan that meets the needs of their own personal situation.

Today, I hope you can take a moment to read this story about a mature student, who is starting on a new career path thanks to a regulated career college.

Sandra Trenholm is currently attending the 9-month full-time hairstyling program at MC College in Calgary.  Sandra returned to school in her 50’s to pursue the career she had wanted since she was in her teens.

I reached out to ask Sandra about her journey and her answers embody the experience of so many of our ready-to-work graduates and why it’s never too late to go “Back to School”:

“I’ve wanted to be a hairstylist since I was a teen. I have had many different careers but never felt a true passion towards any of them.  I was watching my daughter at work; she is a hairstylist/barber and realized I was jealous of what she was doing.“

“While I was hesitant at enrolling knowing I’d be considerably older than everyone else. I have been totally accepted by all other students and I am happy with my decision to enroll.”

“MC College not only taught me how to do hair, but I have learned all about customer service, product knowledge and have been given the knowledge to start my own business.”

Regulated career colleges support learners without government funding for operations and infrastructure and they focus on local engagement with the business and labour communities to ensure that they are providing the skills training graduates need to fill labour gaps and support Canada’s economic recovery. They are training the workforce needed now in health care, logistics, business administration, accounting, supply chain, cyber security, and so many other critical fields.