For many Ottawa residents, recession, resulting in job losses, can mean going back to school.

And while Petra Watzlawik-Li saw adults furthering their education as mature students before the recession, she may very well see an influx now.

“A lot of people are going back to college, so I’m sure that will be the same for university,” said the bridging program co-ordinator and centre for initiatives in education instructor at Carleton University.

The 13-week non-profit program, which has been running at Carleton for the past seven years, allows prospective students ages 21 and older to see if university is suited to them.
The latest round of courses, which start at the end of the month, can lead to taking university courses for credit in the fall.

“It’s really for people to see what their options are,” Watzlawik-Li said. “We seek to help students overcome barriers to post-secondary education, such as lack of prerequisites, specific academic skills, and confidence.”

Although it’s an option for people who are out of work, many students are employed as well.
“It helps people upgrade their skills for jobs,” Watzlawik-Li said, adding that many students in the program may not have thought they were capable of tackling university courses.

“The course gives a very good idea of how much time they would spend on a course, how long it would take them to do readings and assignments,” she said. “It takes the mystery away.”