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Continuing Education Available Across BC

Posted by Dave Campbell

5 ways AOLCC is offering Continuing Education during COVID-19

With the COVID-19 crisis, you may be wondering what options are available for ongoing learning and career training. Academy of Learning campuses across the province have great options!

What are your options for Continuing Education during COVID-19?

Academy of Learning offers many options to adult learners with a focus on skills for the workplace. Maybe you need some simple upgrades in computers skills like the Microsoft Office Suite or bookkeeping. Or maybe you are looking to invest in your future with a certificate or diploma program such as Medical Office Assistant, the Business Office Skills Diploma, or Accounting Bookkeeper.

Whatever your current employment and education situation in these changing times, Academy of Learning offers you options to meet your needs. Now and in the future – even during these most “interesting” times – we have courses and programs to help you succeed safely!

How we keep our students safe and continuing to learn

Safe options for Adult Learners in continuing education
We are pretty used to these signs now… But what does it mean for adult learners and continuing education?

So how do we offer ongoing education to adult learners in a safe, supportive environment when organizations like Camosun College can’t? In early March 2020 our campuses created a plan for how to transition our students to safe learning environments, well ahead of the earliest government recommendations. Within two weeks, every Academy of Learning adult learner was successfully learning remotely.

Here are the 5 ways we managed this transition when schools like Camosun College have been experiencing challenges.

1. One-on-One Learning Coaches… at a distance

The Academy of Learning offers the most supportive environment possible for adult learners. Pre-pandemic, this meant our staff worked one-on-one with students on the campus to help them over the hurdles that every student encounters. That hasn’t changed. Instead of on-campus assistance, our Learning Coaches are available by phone, email and direct message.

The Learning Coaches can login to your virtual machine with you (more on that later!) and see exactly what you are doing and answer questions that you have. With their help, safely from your own home, they can guide you through your practice work and help you learn the skills you need for the future.

2. Cutting edge technology for remote learning

A big part of this was leveraging existing technology that we had already been using for years. This includes the ILS, our Integrated Learning System, that lets students log into their online learning materials including video, text, audio and interactive portions from any device with an internet connection.

Students had been using this tool already, so transitioning to using it from home, or any other location, wasn’t difficult.

3. Virtual Machines – Remote access to software

Continuing Education Adult Learners Remote Classes
A machine within a machine within a machine… Remote learning in 2020

A huge aspect of many of our courses and programs are the business computer applications. Most people own some version of Microsoft Word or Excel, but most adult students don’t own costly software such as MS Access, Adobe Photoshop, or Sage 50 (among many others). And how do you learn an application without owning it yourself?

Academy of Learning solved this problem by implementing remote access to any and all software that each student needs. At no additional cost, our students can access “virtual machines” that let them practice on and work with all the applications they are learning, without having to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in software. All you need is access to the internet to use this software!

4. Old School Textbooks

Even before the virus, many education organizations were moving towards digital-only textbooks. This is a shame because being able to use a physical textbook is vital to many learners, especially hands-on or kenetic learners.

Academy of Learning has in-depth textbooks for virtually all of our courses. These textbooks cover all of the course material, include images and screenshots, and have tons of white space for your own notes. These texts are included in the cost of every course and program and are yours to keep for reference.

5. Flexible Schedules for Continuing Education

The new normal has changed how we view our time and responsibilities. Almost all of our Academy of Learning students have tons on their plate now. Employment with changing hours and duties, school age children to care for (and teach from home!), aging parents that need more assistance in recent months, and everything else that makes up our lives outside of school.

Academy of Learning has always offered flexible full-time or part-time options, but we’ve extended that during the current crisis. All instructor lead courses (like we have for Medical Office Assistant or Community Service Worker) are available online and recorded for you to review any time you like. And our ILS and virtual machines are available 24/7! If the only time you have available for learning is in the evening or early morning, no problem! You can login any time and our Learning Coaches can answer your questions by email, phone or messaging during regular work hours.

Flexible schedule options for continuing education
Work Life balance got a whole lot harder… AOLCC offers super flexible options for adult learners in continuing education

Continuing Education has changed but is still available

So much of our lives have changed in recent months. But the need for up-to-date skills has not. If anything it is only increasing. It’s unfortunate that some local organizations aren’t able to continue this vital support for our workforce but great options still exist!

Academy of Learning is available to help you get the skills and learning you need in a safe, supportive environment. Contact your local campus today to find out how we can help you!

Link to Times Colonist article

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