Distance education at your doorstep

Independent, flexible studies help professionals balance careers, lives and learning
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/05/2008

It only takes Sylvia Kovacikova 15 minutes to drive from her home to Thompson Rivers University in Vancouver. But in pursuing a bachelor of commerce in HR management, she rarely makes the commute. Instead, she prefers to do her studies at home, receiving or sending materials or assignments through the mail or her computer.

“I’m working full time and I don’t want to spend too much time in a classroom if I don’t have to,” says Kovacikova, who has been a collections officer at Revenue Canada for three years. “This is a perfect scenario for me right now.”

It’s the flexibility of off-campus learning that has the greatest appeal. Originally set up to provide post-secondary access to people who live far from a college or university, distance education is largely made up of working professionals who may live nearby but prefer to take courses anytime, day or night, at their own pace, says Andrew McKay, academic director for business studies at Thompson Rivers.