This led Zaharchuk to Yorkville University’s Bachelor of Business Administration program, from which she graduated in December of 2016.
“I felt there was something lacking in myself knowledge-wise in terms of my being able to fulfil my role as principal—espcially because [Tall Pines] is a for-profit school,” said Zaharchuk.
“I was still teaching [when I became] heavily involved in decision-making as to the direction the school would go. As time progressed, there were different things I would learn and bring to the school.”
Running a school is very much like a business, and Zaharchuk was committed to making Tall Pines a success not only academically, but business-wise.
“I didn’t feel I had the necessary background that I thought was important for me to have, and I was trying to figure out, ‘How the heck am I going to do this’, while still working full-time.”
Yorkville’s BBA program had all the elements that would allow Zaharchuk to pursue her degree, and to remain working full-time.
“I was in the car, listening to the radio when [Yorkville University] was mentioned. So, I contacted [one of Yorkville’s admissions advisors], and I found out that it was do-able,” she said.
Initially, Zaharchuk did consider pursuing a Master of Business Administration since she already had a Bachelor’s degree. And before settling on Yorkville University’s Bachelor of Business Administration, she considered several other programs through other institutions.
“‘Why even bother with a BBA, you can just apply to our Master’s program and get it done in a year,” Zaharchuk recalled others saying to her.
“But I felt that it would have been too much too soon, and I didn’t have that business foundation. Doing the Bachelor of Business Administration program at Yorkville University really provided me with the foundation that I needed.”
Although Yorkville’s Bachelor of Business Administration program is challenging, Zaharchuk thrived, thanks in part to Yorkville’s flexible delivery.
“There was no brick and mortar; I didn’t have to travel anywhere. The ease and comfort of doing it at my pace was important to me. Also, I was extremely driven,” Zaharhuk recounted, referring to the fact that she successfully finished two courses in one, allowing her to graduate in the late fall, rather than the following spring.
Not only did her time as a student at Yorkville give her the groundwork needed to effectively manage the business side of her role as principal of Tall Pines School, but she was able to work on projects that had immediate relevance to her ongoing work.
“One of the courses that I studied involved actually creating a strategic plan for my place of employment. I presented that plan to the owner of the school, and she was more than impressed,” said Zaharchuk.
“[My BBA] is really going to help [Tall Pines School] moving forward.”
A significant component of Zaharchuk’s strategic plan involved putting together a roadmap for boosting enrolment at Tall Pines School.
“There are so many aspects that one has to consider. There is the strategic management component, and the marketing that’s involved, and the organizational behaviour that has to be taken into account within a school,” Zaharchuk explained.
“Yorkville’s program allowed me to also realize and recognize the importance of doing an operational audit, which helped me and others around me understand what our weaknesses and loopholes were; where we should be cutting back, and areas we should be spending on.”
While it may seem as though Zaharchuk took the conservative route in pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree rather than launching into a Master’s, she continues to look to the possibility of enhancing her education even further.
“I’ve talked about doing a Master’s for sure, and I’ve looked at Yorkville again—I know they offer a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, which is something that is of interest to me, obviously, considering the position I’m in,” she said.