Flexibility of online bachelor’s puts university education within reach
Transforming Lives: Learners of AU is an ongoing series where real students and alumni share how AU’s flexible learning model made a difference in their lives and, in turn, the communities in which they live and work. Submit your story.
I chose Athabasca University (AU) so I can work and have a life while going to school.
Growing up in a little town in the “middle of nowhere,” Alberta, meant I didn’t have a lot of resources and educational opportunities. I always knew that I wanted to go to college and major in something that would allow me to help people.
Two weeks after my high school graduation, I packed all my things and moved in with my aunt and uncle 8 hours away from my little hometown. From there, I began working full-time while weighing my options for college. I knew I wanted to go but I didn’t know how I could balance work and school.
Athabasca University was my first choice as it allows me to do my classes wherever and whenever I want. My hours at work are unpredictable, but with AU’s flexibility it doesn’t matter. I am able to take classes and continue to work at a job I love.
“Athabasca University was my first choice as it allows me to do my classes wherever and whenever I want. My hours at work are unpredictable, but with AU’s flexibility it doesn’t matter. I am able to take classes and continue to work at a job I love.”– McKayla Ambury, student, Bachelor of Arts, Sociology Major
Finding support online
I am working to obtain a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology Major, and I could not have made the progress that I have without the help of the support staff at AU. Anytime I have questions or am unsure of any course material, I just send out an email or make a phone call; I am always helped quickly and concepts are explained in ways that truly make sense.
My goal, after completing my bachelor’s, is to help those who need it most. I grew up in a single-income household where we often lived paycheque to paycheque. I did not have funds saved to go to college (hence why I needed something where I could continue to work) and I found applying for scholarships, grants, and student loan daunting.
“I want to help rural students access … resources and allow them to find scholarships and the resources they need to have a brighter future. ”
I want to help rural students access these resources and allow them to find scholarships and the resources they need to have a brighter future. After all, students are the future and I want to see them succeed. I also want to help the students who don’t want to go to college identify career paths that will set them up for success, even if they go straight into working after high school.
All in all, Athabasca University has made my goals achievable, and they have helped me plan my steps to earn a degree. I enjoy the flexibility I am offered and having the power to take classes and work on projects anytime, at my own pace.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me as I grow and develop through AU and then graduate.
Transforming Lives: Learners of AU
Read more profiles of AU students and grads in our series Transforming Lives: Learners of AU.