When Judy Toupin, a busy grandmother of two, wanted to make a career change in her 60s, she knew she wanted to get out from behind a desk and discover the world of travel.
“Going back to school was the best decision I ever made,” said Toupin, who just finished her tourism, marketing and product development program at Georgian’s Barrie campus. “It was also a difficult decision, but with the changing job market, I knew tourism was a growing industry and an excellent prospect for employment.”
Toupin said going back to school as a mature student was a bit daunting, but Georgian made the process an easy transition.
“In the beginning, it was challenging,” she said. “It had been a long time since I was in school, things had changed quite a lot with all the technology, but I was determined to put my best foot forward and finally do what I always wanted to do.”
Georgian is hosting a series of three events to support incoming mature students by offering one-on-one help, after work hours.
Aptly named, Get Help to Go Back, the events offer an opportunity to connect with college admissions, financial aid and recruitment staff. Participants can get help with college applications, financial aid requests, program research and more.
“In high school, guidance counsellors support young students with ideas and information about how to take their next step,” explained Kailey Hawkins, Georgian student recruitment interim manager. “At Georgian, the student recruitment team can play a similar role for adults in the community who have been out of school for a while and who need someone to talk to about their options. We’ve created Get Help to Go Back to make the process easier for mature learners. We’re a friendly team and we’re here to help.”
Anyone interested in participating should RSVP online, to ensure adequate staffing. Get Help to Go Back will take place at the Barrie, Orillia, Owen Sound, Orangeville and South Georgian Bay campuses, from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 19, July 17 and Aug. 14.
At each event, the first 20 people to apply for college across all participating campuses will receive a voucher to cover their application fee. Participants are welcome to bring family and friends. Parking will be free.