Academic Upgrading opens world of opportunity

    • Prince George
  • February 27, 2019
News Academic Upgrading Kate 1

Academic Upgrading at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) can open a world of opportunity for those wanting to return to school.

When Kate Stanvick, 26, enrolled in Academic Upgrading at CNC in 2017, she was determined to carve an educational pathway that would one day allow her to pursue a career in either nursing or social service work.

“I wanted a job in one of those fields,” she said. “But to do that, I needed to continue upgrading.”

Kate’s academic upgrading journey began years earlier in her hometown of Terrace. Though she did not graduate high school, the birth of Kate’s daughter in 2013 convinced her it was time to finish.

She began with English 9 and Math 8 at Coast Mountain College. Very quickly, she was advanced to English 12 and Math 10

“Before I was finished, I got myself into some trouble and knew I had to leave town,” Kate said, “It took a journey before I found myself in Prince George.”

Years passed by as she worked excessively to support her daughter. Eventually, Kate set her eyes on a career in nursing or social work once again. Unfortunately, enough time had elapsed, and she had to redo her upgrading that she was so close to finishing at Coast Mountain College.

She enrolled in English 11 and English 12: First Peoples at CNC. At the time, Kate was quitting smoking and admits she was on the edge throughout her upgrading. Kate stated that she wanted to drop out so many times. However, it was the patience of her English instructor that got her through.

“If I couldn’t make her office hours, my instructor would find a way to connect with me,” Kate said.

Eventually, Kate applied for CNC’s Social Service Worker University Transfer diploma. Much of her summer was spent accumulating hours volunteering and mentoring to improve her chances of being accepted into the program.

After all that, she still didn’t think she’d get in. That is until, one day, a letter arrived informing her that she had been accepted.

“I wanted to cry,” Kate said. “It was a struggle but made it into the program.”

Having completed the first semester of her program, Kate said she’s inspired by how much she has changed throughout the last two and a half years of living in Prince George. There were many times she wanted to quit, especially when facing financial barriers and the full-time academic course load she had taken on, but she knew she needed to do so in order to presume her career.

“You have to think of the outcome,” Kate said. “Every time I thought I could not do it, I got through it. CNC is very supportive.”

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