When Erin Mitchell had to spend a month in Newfoundland due to a family illness in the fall of 2018, the Northern Lakes College University Studies student did not miss a beat when it came to her studies. Thanks to the College’s unique NLC LIVE Online delivery model, Erin was able to attend her classes, submit her assignments, and keep on track. “I would have likely had to withdraw for the term had I been studying at a school with traditional face-to-face classes,” she comments.
The online delivery model allowed Erin to continue her studies while in Newfoundland spending quality time with her gravely ill grandmother. Her instructors were aware of the situation with which she and her family were dealing and offered to extend the due dates of assignments to allow her to have time with family. Erin was able to maintain the schedule of assignments, but knowing this flexibility was available reduced the stress in an emotional and difficult situation.
Erin feels that the amount of flexibility extended to her during this time would not have been available at a larger institution. The benefits of small class sizes and the personal touch at a community institution such as Northern Lakes College made it possible for her to balance her schooling and personal life and to spend time with family when it mattered.
Born and raised in Slave Lake, Erin graduated from Roland Michener Secondary School in June 2018. She elected to enrol in the University Studies program at Northern Lakes College because she wanted to stay in her home community, close to the support of her family and friends. Erin says that she would have found moving away from home, family, and her community too difficult.
Erin, whose long-term goal is to be an elementary teacher, has worked part-time at the local day care since eleventh grade. She has maintained her part-time job and is managing to save money while attending university. Erin’s goal is to finish her degree with little to no student debt.
Of her choice to study at Northern Lakes College, Erin says, “I did not have to move or change my lifestyle. I am happy that I am not facing some of the challenges that my friends who did move away from home are now facing.” Erin would absolutely make the same decision today. If anything, as she goes along she is more convinced that she made the absolute right decision by staying home and studying locally at Northern Lakes College.