FOCUS ON SENIORS: Conestoga so nice, student graduates twice

Opinion Mar 30, 2017 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Marlene Ballantine graduated twice from Conestoga College.

The first time was in 1982. Then once more in 2016.

“I guess you can say that I enjoyed my time at Conestoga College so much the first time, that I knew it would be the right thing to do again last fall,” Ballantine said. “Time flies when you are having fun.”

Ballantine, a 60-year old married grandmother, has had an interest in photography all her life.

“The first time, I was in a part-time photography course held in the evening. Back in those days we learned how to develop our own film. That’s how long ago that was,” Ballantine said with a laugh.

In the intervening years, Ballantine married, moved to a 29-acre hobby farm outside Brantford, and more recently has worked as a bookkeeper in Dundas.

So why return to Conestoga College in Brantford at this point of her life?

“My husband, John, who is an engineer working in Cambridge, and myself purchased a 40-acre farm near St. Thomas,” Ballantine said. “While John looks after the cattle, I want to develop the skills I learned at Conestoga College and begin a business as a real estate photographer. Next up for me is an architecture course. At Conestoga College, of course.”

Bridget Beiwinkler also attended Conestoga College. However, it wasn’t until long after she completed secondary school at Brantford’s St. John's College.

“I always had an interest in business,” the 37-year old bank employee said. “But I was busy with my life in Brantford. Going out of town to college seemed too far away.”

Working full-time as a senior customer service representative with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Beiwinkler decided to pursue a two-year business program at Brantford’s Conestoga College as a full-time student.  

Beginning in 2013, Beiwinkler studied various aspects of business including marketing, accounting, economics, law, computers, human resources, sales, and mathematics.  

According to Beiwinkler: “It included about 20 hours of classes and homework each week.”

“My classmates were mostly right out of secondary school. However, it wasn’t difficult even though I hadn’t been to school for over 20 years. They were a great bunch of kids.”

Beiwinkler said her instructors were “awesome" and made sure all the students in the class were provided every opportunity to succeed.

Succeed she did.

Beiwinkler earned her business diploma, graduating on the dean’s honour list, and also received an academic award of excellence.

Conestoga College is still in its early stages at its Brantford campus, offering part-time studies.

“No matter your interest or passion, Conestoga’s part-time studies programming offers great opportunities for people to update their knowledge and skills whether it is for career advancement or personal interest,” said Sheila McGlashan, manager of continuing education and special projects for the college.

“I encourage people go online at www.conestogac.on.ca/ce and see what we have to offer.”

Karen Towler, manager of operations and program planning for the Brantford campus, said Conestoga is always considering adding new courses that meet community needs.

“We want to hear from the community,” Towler said. “Whether it is secondary school students or seniors interested in part-time studies, Conestoga is open and flexible. With 12,000 full-time students and 30,000 enrolments each year in part-time studies, Conestoga continues to build on providing education.”  

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes Brant becoming an age-friendly community.

“Conestoga College provides excellent opportunities for all our citizens to enhance their skills as they progress through life,” president Lucy Marco said. “We are certainly fortunate to have Conestoga in our community.”

For further information, visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Conestoga so nice, student graduates twice

Grand River Council on Aging encourages lifelong learning with partners such as community college

Opinion Mar 30, 2017 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Marlene Ballantine graduated twice from Conestoga College.

The first time was in 1982. Then once more in 2016.

“I guess you can say that I enjoyed my time at Conestoga College so much the first time, that I knew it would be the right thing to do again last fall,” Ballantine said. “Time flies when you are having fun.”

Ballantine, a 60-year old married grandmother, has had an interest in photography all her life.

“The first time, I was in a part-time photography course held in the evening. Back in those days we learned how to develop our own film. That’s how long ago that was,” Ballantine said with a laugh.

In the intervening years, Ballantine married, moved to a 29-acre hobby farm outside Brantford, and more recently has worked as a bookkeeper in Dundas.

So why return to Conestoga College in Brantford at this point of her life?

“My husband, John, who is an engineer working in Cambridge, and myself purchased a 40-acre farm near St. Thomas,” Ballantine said. “While John looks after the cattle, I want to develop the skills I learned at Conestoga College and begin a business as a real estate photographer. Next up for me is an architecture course. At Conestoga College, of course.”

Bridget Beiwinkler also attended Conestoga College. However, it wasn’t until long after she completed secondary school at Brantford’s St. John's College.

“I always had an interest in business,” the 37-year old bank employee said. “But I was busy with my life in Brantford. Going out of town to college seemed too far away.”

Working full-time as a senior customer service representative with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Beiwinkler decided to pursue a two-year business program at Brantford’s Conestoga College as a full-time student.  

Beginning in 2013, Beiwinkler studied various aspects of business including marketing, accounting, economics, law, computers, human resources, sales, and mathematics.  

According to Beiwinkler: “It included about 20 hours of classes and homework each week.”

“My classmates were mostly right out of secondary school. However, it wasn’t difficult even though I hadn’t been to school for over 20 years. They were a great bunch of kids.”

Beiwinkler said her instructors were “awesome" and made sure all the students in the class were provided every opportunity to succeed.

Succeed she did.

Beiwinkler earned her business diploma, graduating on the dean’s honour list, and also received an academic award of excellence.

Conestoga College is still in its early stages at its Brantford campus, offering part-time studies.

“No matter your interest or passion, Conestoga’s part-time studies programming offers great opportunities for people to update their knowledge and skills whether it is for career advancement or personal interest,” said Sheila McGlashan, manager of continuing education and special projects for the college.

“I encourage people go online at www.conestogac.on.ca/ce and see what we have to offer.”

Karen Towler, manager of operations and program planning for the Brantford campus, said Conestoga is always considering adding new courses that meet community needs.

“We want to hear from the community,” Towler said. “Whether it is secondary school students or seniors interested in part-time studies, Conestoga is open and flexible. With 12,000 full-time students and 30,000 enrolments each year in part-time studies, Conestoga continues to build on providing education.”  

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes Brant becoming an age-friendly community.

“Conestoga College provides excellent opportunities for all our citizens to enhance their skills as they progress through life,” president Lucy Marco said. “We are certainly fortunate to have Conestoga in our community.”

For further information, visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Conestoga so nice, student graduates twice

Grand River Council on Aging encourages lifelong learning with partners such as community college

Opinion Mar 30, 2017 by Gary Chalk Brant News

Marlene Ballantine graduated twice from Conestoga College.

The first time was in 1982. Then once more in 2016.

“I guess you can say that I enjoyed my time at Conestoga College so much the first time, that I knew it would be the right thing to do again last fall,” Ballantine said. “Time flies when you are having fun.”

Ballantine, a 60-year old married grandmother, has had an interest in photography all her life.

“The first time, I was in a part-time photography course held in the evening. Back in those days we learned how to develop our own film. That’s how long ago that was,” Ballantine said with a laugh.

In the intervening years, Ballantine married, moved to a 29-acre hobby farm outside Brantford, and more recently has worked as a bookkeeper in Dundas.

So why return to Conestoga College in Brantford at this point of her life?

“My husband, John, who is an engineer working in Cambridge, and myself purchased a 40-acre farm near St. Thomas,” Ballantine said. “While John looks after the cattle, I want to develop the skills I learned at Conestoga College and begin a business as a real estate photographer. Next up for me is an architecture course. At Conestoga College, of course.”

Bridget Beiwinkler also attended Conestoga College. However, it wasn’t until long after she completed secondary school at Brantford’s St. John's College.

“I always had an interest in business,” the 37-year old bank employee said. “But I was busy with my life in Brantford. Going out of town to college seemed too far away.”

Working full-time as a senior customer service representative with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Beiwinkler decided to pursue a two-year business program at Brantford’s Conestoga College as a full-time student.  

Beginning in 2013, Beiwinkler studied various aspects of business including marketing, accounting, economics, law, computers, human resources, sales, and mathematics.  

According to Beiwinkler: “It included about 20 hours of classes and homework each week.”

“My classmates were mostly right out of secondary school. However, it wasn’t difficult even though I hadn’t been to school for over 20 years. They were a great bunch of kids.”

Beiwinkler said her instructors were “awesome" and made sure all the students in the class were provided every opportunity to succeed.

Succeed she did.

Beiwinkler earned her business diploma, graduating on the dean’s honour list, and also received an academic award of excellence.

Conestoga College is still in its early stages at its Brantford campus, offering part-time studies.

“No matter your interest or passion, Conestoga’s part-time studies programming offers great opportunities for people to update their knowledge and skills whether it is for career advancement or personal interest,” said Sheila McGlashan, manager of continuing education and special projects for the college.

“I encourage people go online at www.conestogac.on.ca/ce and see what we have to offer.”

Karen Towler, manager of operations and program planning for the Brantford campus, said Conestoga is always considering adding new courses that meet community needs.

“We want to hear from the community,” Towler said. “Whether it is secondary school students or seniors interested in part-time studies, Conestoga is open and flexible. With 12,000 full-time students and 30,000 enrolments each year in part-time studies, Conestoga continues to build on providing education.”  

The Grand River Council on Aging promotes Brant becoming an age-friendly community.

“Conestoga College provides excellent opportunities for all our citizens to enhance their skills as they progress through life,” president Lucy Marco said. “We are certainly fortunate to have Conestoga in our community.”

For further information, visit the Grand River Council on Aging website at www.grcoa.ca.