Career Pathways Project paves way to post-secondary education and employment training programs
After settling in Toronto with her family, Shivani needed to upgrade her skills before looking for employment. But as a mother of two, how could she get back into the classroom? The Career Pathways Project, an initiative we developed with funding from Status of Women Canada and in partnership with Seneca College, provided that opportunity. And along with other newcomer women with young children, Shivani found a way to take upgrading classes and pursue continuing education.
For our graduates – a whopping 75% of the program participants – a certificate from the Career Pathways Project will open the door to post-secondary education and employment training programs by fulfilling the academic requirement that newcomer applicants need. Following the graduation in June, Shivani continued her studies at Seneca College this month. Here’s what she had to say.
WWCC: Congratulations on completing a program that will help you further your employment goals. How would you describe your experience of being back in the classroom?
Shivani: It was really fantastic, you know, to be back in the classroom. I was really excited when I joined classes, even though I faced some challenges like time management because I’m a mother of two [to a 3 ½ and 10-year-old], and I take care of them, and the program meant starting again. But I knew I needed to do something for my career and my future.
WWCC: Why did you decide to pursue a post-secondary education at this stage of your life?
Shivani: We are new to Canada and arrived last year. So, when we came here, I needed work to support my family, but it was hard to find a job and I decided to take some courses. For my college application, I needed some school credentials that would be recognized and that’s the reason why I took the program. It was good for someone like me.
WWCC: In what ways did the Career Pathways Project support your decision?
Shivani: I was able to participate in classes because childcare was offered, otherwise it would have been too difficult. The teachers were also supportive if we had difficulties and gave us time in class to finish homework. After completing my courses, I mentioned them in my application to Seneca. This program helped a lot because I got a push in my studies and accepted into college because they [Seneca College] recognized the courses I’d done.
WWCC: So, you’ve continued your studies at Seneca College this month! What are you studying?
Shivani: I am taking a 2-year Computer Programming diploma. When I graduate, I’ll look for a job in the IT industry. My younger one has started school, so it’s easier for me to be a full-time student now.
WWCC: What advice do you have for mothers like yourself who go back to school?
Shivani: The biggest challenge about going back to school for me was starting again with two kids. But it’s worth it because you learn a lot and the experience builds up your confidence. All the hard work is worth it.