Northern Lakes College alumnus, Selena Sliger, credits having local access to a third level education and university courses with allowing her to pursue her Bachelor of Social Work degree without having to leave the area.
Sliger, who is now a Child Intervention Assessor in High Prairie, initially took the two-year Social Work Diploma program and having successfully completed that program went on to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work offered by University of Calgary and available through NLC in Peace River.
The two-year Social Work Diploma program offers a combination of core social work theory and practice courses, along with various university level courses such as psychology, sociology, and political science.
“Accessibility and opportunity were the reasons why I chose to enter into the Social Work Diploma program,” says Sliger. “I was able to continue working and maintain a family life while going to school.”
Sliger and her family are firmly established in the community and if the option of taking her degree while remaining at home were not available, she would have been unable to take that decisive step.
“If the diploma program had not been offered in Peace River, pursuing a university degree would not have been a possibility,” she says. “I have a family, I am settled in my community and moving away from the community would never be an option for me.”
A block transfer agreement between NLC and the University of Calgary allows students to transfer up to two years of coursework and enter as third year BSW students.
Sliger participated in the community-based program, attending weekend, face-to-face classes at the NLC Peace River Campus. She completed her BSW degree in July of 2017 and continues to live and work in the region.
The transfer agreement provides an opportunity for students to pursue a Bachelor of Social Work degree without having to relocate for the duration of their studies.
“The challenge for me is that there were never enough hours in a day. I really learned the importance of time management,” says Sliger. “In my view, this is a success, because I learned about my limitations. You’re not able to do everything so you learn to prioritize. I thank NLC and the U of C for working together to provide quality education to northern students.”