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Changing distance education through technology

<p>For some, continuing education conjures up images of classrooms fullof adults staring at a teacher after a long day of work, raising kidsand other daily commitments.</p>

For some, continuing education conjures up images of classrooms full of adults staring at a teacher after a long day of work, raising kids and other daily commitments.

That image can be discouraging and can even prevent adults from making the commitment to return to their education. Today, as technology evolves so do the options for adult learners — making education more accessible than ever.

Imagine, having the ability to earn credentials in your own home, on your lunch hour or even on public transit when it suits you.

The Internet has made online distance education accessible to almost anyone anywhere. Adult learners can easily access institutions from across the province to take a high school, college, university, or even special interest course.

“Online education is fast becoming mainstream and with today’s time crunch that many Ontarians are dealing with, having accessible alternatives to education is one of the keys to success,” says Sarah Irwin, managing director of the Independent Learning Centre.

Success story: Going the distance online

Yvette Sturge is a single parent from Oshawa Ont. She used to work as a human resources manager in the automotive industry, and spent her days counselling employees to complete their education and to reach for their goals. But at 47 years old, she had an ironic secret: Yvette had never earned her high school diploma.

But things changed when Yvette was laid-off and she was faced with trying to find work without a high school diploma.She wanted to stay in her chosen field, but that required getting the credentials that potential employers demanded. She knew that she needed her high school diploma.

After investigating the options available for adult learners, Yvette decided on distance education and enrolled with the Independent Learning Centre. To be successful, Yvette needed to find a flexible model that would allow her to be close to home, her kids, and to take care of other commitments in her life.

Without scheduled classes to attend, Yvette was able to study when and where she wanted or could, year-round, and at her own pace.

“Doing my courses through distance education was ideal as it allowed me an open schedule to take care of all my obligations,” she says.

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