For Landyn Blais, Yorkville University was “absolutely” the right choice.
As a 14-year veteran nursing instructor at Algonquin College with two college diplomas under her belt, she knew she wanted to study towards a Master of Education in Adult Education degree, but struggled to find an avenue to pursue that passion without the traditional credentials to do so.
Until she found Yorkville, that is.
“Yorkville offered a pathway for me to actually go in to a Master’s program without having completed an undergraduate degree, based on the experience I had,” said Blais, who celebrated the conferment of her Master’s degree during Yorkville’s largest-ever graduation ceremony in Fredericton, New Brunswick in June 2019.
Yorkville, she said, overlooked her lack of a degree and instead focused on her 14 years of experience as an instructor in Algonquin’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Practical Nursing programs – teaching on a broad range of subjects, including obstetrics, gynecology oncology, surgery, and palliative care.
“I’ve had a lot of people contact me, colleagues asking ‘Why did you choose Yorkville?’ and for me, it was the flexible pathway at first,” she added.
“But it wasn’t just that – once I was in the program, it was just that inspiration to stay in the program, the support that was there, and just the quality of the programming…and the high level of scholarship that was demonstrated by the faculty members – not only were they teaching it, but they were also practicing it, as well, so that was really inspiring for me.”
Another big perk of Yorkville’s program for the 42-year-old mother of four from Greely, Ontario was the flexibility afforded by its online course offerings.
“Working full-time and also having a family, that flexibility to be able study on my own time and when I actually had time to do it, was really important to me,” said Blais, whose quartet of kids range in age from 10 to 21.
“Whether that meant reading articles at a dance competition, or writing bits of a paper while I waited for my son at his karate lesson, I was able to do that. I didn’t physically have to be (in a classroom) somewhere, so I could really tailor my schedule.”
While initially a bit wary of tackling such an advanced degree over the internet, Blais said she was “blown away” by the sheer amount and quality of the support on offer by Yorkville’s online Master of Education faculty.
“The program definitely exceeded my expectations…I was just inspired by how the faculty engaged with the students, even though it was online,” she said, crediting Yorkville’s instructors for helping her navigate through one particularly tough period of academic anxiety.
“There were a couple of points throughout (my independent study course) where I thought ‘What am I doing? Where am I going with this?’ and just feeling really overwhelmed. But being able to pick up the phone and call somebody, or have your professor call you and kind of talk you through those moments…that really made a big difference and settled those anxieties.”
When asked what advice she’d give other full-time professionals considering going back to school to further their education, Blais didn’t skip a beat in her response to “absolutely go for it.”
“It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’s definitely worthwhile in the end. You have to reorganize your time and your life a little bit…but it’s definitely doable,” she advised other prospective Yorkville students.
“It’s interesting, because…one of things I noticed is, you’re really not the same person that you were when you started the program when you finish the program. In terms of overall development, it’s just do it. It’s so worth it. It’s so, so worth it.”