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There’s a lot more to school than getting a degree – Metro US

There’s a lot more to school than getting a degree

Making goals for yourself is popular. Sticking to those goals, however, is not — at least when you’re trying to do it on your own.

For the people out there looking for help achieving their goals or improving their lives, there are a number of places that may be offering what you need. In fact, colleges and universities across the country offer various “life skills” courses to help people gain important knowledge that isn’t academic. Such courses are things like career management, SLR photography, automobile skid control and collision avoidance. Basically, they are courses/seminars that focus on popular skills people wish to acquire.

Mary Devine, chair of the School of Continuing Education at Toronto’s Centennial College, says that the lifestyle and career skills courses and seminars are quite popular.

“We see a need in our community for individuals to build these kinds of skills,” she said. The low cost, flexibility and relevance, combined with the learning environment makes it easy for anyone to get involved, she told Metro.

She said that opposed to learning these skills on their own, students benefit and are motivated by the group setting. Hearing a variety of ideas helps stimulate thought, thus enhancing the experience for those in attendance.

For a list of the lifestyle and career skills being offered by Centennial, check out their web site at http://www.centennialcollege.ca/ce.

Gordon McDonald, of the Training Group at Douglas College in British Columbia, (with locations around the Vancouver area) says that in some cases, these life skills courses can indirectly lead to employment.

“A number of organizations that focus on HR development and education, like the British Columbia Human Resources Management Association, indicate that an individual’s interest in increasing their knowledge — whether for business or personal use — is seen by many employers as a beneficial attribute.”

He does say, however, that courses are focused on building the students skill-set in the area of their choice — for example, operating an SLR camera they may have received as a gift.

The University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies also offers courses that build a persons’ skill set. Lee McTavish, manager of partnerships and programs at the school, explained that the career development course helps people identify their skills and promote them in the workplace.

“There is so much competition that you really need to use your tools to distinguish yourself in the marketplace,” she said. “The course helps students move towards their ideal selves and their ideal jobs.”

Regardless of what you’d like to learn or accomplish this year, there is likely a course available. To check the continuing education courses and seminars at the institutions mentioned above, visit them on the web at douglas.bc.ca and learn.utoronto.ca.

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