Mature Students: Learn how to get your education funded through Second Career
No matter your place in life, you can always get educated and always find your ideal career. If you’ve been laid off, and are looking to change careers or develop your skills in the college setting, then you can actually get your education at Centennial College funded by the Government of Ontario, thanks to a special program called Second Career. If you’re considering Second Career, there’s an information session happening this Wednesday, November 4 at Progress Campus from 6 to 8 PM that you can register online for. It’ll tell you everything you need to know, but for now, here are some of the details.
Funding your new education
Second Career is an Ontario provincial initiative that gives eligible mature students who’ve lost their job the funding to go back to school. Unlike OSAP, the funding doesn’t have to be paid back, essentially making it a government grant.
Gail Derrington is the Manager of Centennial College’s Employment Centre, involved in the college’s Second Career initiatives since 2009. “The funding covers books, living expenses, tuition, child care and transportation, all on a case by case basis,” she explains. “Everyone’s assessed based on your personal financial situation.”
She explains how someone would go about applying to Second Career. “You have to first meet with an Employment Counselor at an Employment Ontario Assessment Centre to check your eligibility for Second Career,” she says. The Employment Counsellor assesses your eligibility, not the college.
“Eligible means have you been laid off, how long have you been laid off and what’s your past education,” Gail continues. “If the Employment Counsellor says you’re eligible for Second Career, your next step is to research the college. That’s where we come in.”
“In 2012, Centennial College was ranked #1 in terms of new students being funded amongst community colleges,” she says, “and I think a lot of that is because we have a great advising structure in place, and our staff are wonderful at connecting with people and helping them come into the college.” One part of this structure is the information session itself, coming up on Nov. 4.
Learn the details
“It’s an exciting and informative evening and meant to promote what Second Career is to the community,” Gail says, referring to the session. “We explain what Second Career is so they understand it better and know that it’s a Ministry-funded program, and the next steps in the process if they’re looking to come to Centennial. We’re here to promote our programs, and how one can access Centennial College through Second Career funding.”
“We have a Career Counsellor there talking about returning to school as a mature student since many people have been out of school for a long time, so it gives them that hands-on opportunity to learn what to expect,” she continues. “We also have a panel of some of our graduates that finished programs at the college a few years back through Second Career and got jobs in their field, so they get to hear stories from them and their experiences.” There’s also an opportunity to win a $200 gift certificate towards a part-time course at Centennial.
The Nov. 4 information session will be held at the Progress Campus Auditorium, Room L1-02. It’s from 6 to 8 PM, and attendees can register online.
By Anthony Geremia