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Corissa's Story: From Practitioner to Educator

Posted on Apr 26, 2024

Corissa Arsenault’s experiences at Northern Lakes College demonstrate the power of perseverance, resilience, and unwavering support. As an alumni turned employee, Corissa has not only excelled in her own educational endeavors but has also become an integral part of shaping the educational experiences of future paramedics at NLC.

Originally trained and licensed in British Columbia, Corissa was a practicing primary care paramedic with the Slave Lake Ambulance Service, when she enrolled in the Advanced Care Paramedic program at Northern Lakes College during its inaugural year.

Reflecting on her early experiences in the program, Corissa acknowledges the challenges she faced juggling full-time work and school during her first practicum. "I found myself struggling as I tried to balance work with my practical training," Corissa recalls. "And my personal study habits routines were definitely not as disciplined as they should have been. Unfortunately, I ended up not being successful in my first practicum. I didn’t even manage to see it through to the end.”

However, Corissa found solace in the support offered by employees at Northern Lakes College. Through one-on-one sessions, Corissa received the guidance and encouragement she needed. "The College was very, very accommodating," Corissa acknowledges. "One of the instructors, Megan, was a major support, and I now consider her a good friend. I believe I was successful in my second practicum because I had finally utilized all the resources NLC had to offer. I think the first time I was too caught up trying to get through the experience myself, without any supports. It didn’t need to be that way.”

Armed with improved study habits and ongoing encouragement from her instructional team, Corissa embarked on her second practicum attempt with renewed determination. Better prepared and more confident, she succeeded and earned her Advanced Care Paramedic licence.

Having demonstrated her passion for learning and expertise as a paramedic, Corissa was eventually invited to work as an instructor in the Primary Care Paramedic program - a role she embraced wholeheartedly. "By the second day of teaching, I just thought, I love this! The College is never going to be able to get rid of me!"

Looking ahead, Corissa hopes to continue practicing as a paramedic and expand her role as an educator. Considering pursuing a master's degree in education to further enhance her knowledge and skills, Corissa remains committed to offering the best possible learning experience to her students.

Today, she offers valuable advice: "Never underestimate the lessons and education your co-workers and teachers can provide," she emphasizes. "Value the knowledge your team, your instructors, and other health care staff have to share. There's a lesson to be learned from everyone."

Through dedication, perseverance, and a commitment to lifelong learning, Corissa has not only realized her own aspirations, but has also become an inspiration to others on their educational journeys.