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Back to School to Build Your Career

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Why should schoolchildren have all the fun this time of year? New pencils and notebooks are for everyone! As summer holidays draw to a close, many families focus on getting ready to return to the classroom in September.

It’s also a great time for adults to return to the classroom (whether it’s a real classroom or an online course) to polish up their career skills. Continuing Education classes are gearing up in September, so now is the perfect time for adult learners to choose their fall courses to earn a credential, take a course for personal interest or even prepare to switch careers.

Registration is ongoing and classes start throughout the fall months. Some courses last all semester while others take place over a few weeks, a weekend or even one day. There is a learning opportunity to fit even the busiest schedule.

New programs being introduced this fall are:

Check out our complete list of programs or check the following program categories for a course that meets your needs or interests:

Our program staff would be happy to answer your questions. Look for contact information at the bottom of each program web page.

Hoping your employer will help to fund your training? Tell them about the Canada-Alberta Job Grant so they can have 2/3 of the cost covered.

Once you’ve chosen your program you can register online, by phone, in person, by fax or by mail. (No carrier pigeon, though.)

Once you’ve registered, download our Welcome brochure for information on books, campus amenities and more. Or visit our FAQ web page.

Happy learning!

— by Karen McCarthy

 

5 Ways to Thrive as an Adult Learner

intl-adult-lrnrs-week 200pxIt’s Adult Learners’ Week from April 11-19, 2015. In celebration, we’re giving you our top tips for success as an adult learner at MRU’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension.

Been a while since you were a student? Don’t worry — it’s a little like riding a bike. Technology may have changed but the basic principles of academic success have not.

As an adult, no one is forcing you to come to class. It’s something you choose yourself to meet your professional development goals. You’re already motivated to succeed, so here are some tips to guide you on your learning journey.

1. Before you go to your first class, find out where your classroom is.
There’s nothing worse than showing up on your first day late and flustered because you couldn’t find your classroom. Reduce your stress level by finding out your classroom location in advance.

This information — and other requirements for your first day — can be found on your Confirmation of Registration. Here’s how to access it. (Click on “How do I find out where my classroom is?”)

You can refer to campus maps to locate the class once you know the number. Tip: classrooms starting A through Y are in the main building. EA classrooms are in the Faculty of Arts building; EB in the the Bissett School of Business building; and EC in the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning.

2. Figure out how to get to campus and where to park.
Never mind your classroom — what if you’ve never been to the Mount Royal campus before? Where can you park?

The MRU campus is located 10-15 minutes from downtown Calgary at 4825, Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary, AB T3E 6K6. It is served by several Calgary Transit bus routes. Get information about bus routes and parking lots here.

This information and more is in our Welcome Guide for Continuing Education students.

3. Do you need textbooks or other course materials? Check your Confirmation of Registration to find out.
Almost as bad as arriving late to class is arriving unprepared. Make sure you know about required textbooks and other materials in advance. These are also listed on your Confirmation of Registration. Here’s how to access it. (Click on “How do I get my textbooks?”)

You can order your books through the MRU BookStore online. If you prefer to shop in person, these are the BookStore hours. They even have special tips and advice for Continuing Education students.

4. If your course is online, there are things you need to know before it starts.
If you’re new to online learning, you can take our free Online Tutorial to become familiar with the online learning environment.

You should be prepared to log in to your online course right on the start date to find out about course expectations, assignments and other important information. Instructor contact information is available on the online course site. Make sure you’re in the know right from the start of your course.

5. Come to class prepared and stay on top of your assignments.
There’s really no special trick for this. It can be difficult to find time for studies in your busy life, but skipping classes and leaving assignments til the last minute definitely won’t help you reach your goal.

Mount Royal University has some tips and advice on studying and writing effectively that are applicable to adult learners, too.

Happy learning — this week and all year round!

— by Karen McCarthy

Learn Something New This Year

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A lot of New Year’s resolutions focus on self-improvement. Some of them are notoriously difficult to achieve and good intentions quickly fall by the wayside.

One relatively easy-to-keep resolution is to engage in lifelong learning. Taking a class can fit into even the busiest schedule.

There are many reasons to continue your education: to improve your workplace skills, to earn a credential or to prepare for a career change.

Those are common reasons to learn, easily measured by your professional results. But are you aware that numerous studies indicate that lifelong learning improves your:

  • confidence
  • creativity
  • self-esteem
  • adaptability to change
  • brain health
  • long-term cognitive ability
  • interpersonal skills

We would love to promise that it can also help you lose those last 5 pounds, but that’s a whole different New Year’s resolution.

Classes are starting soon — classroom, online, evening, weekend. Start looking for your learning opportunity on the Continuing Education website and happy learning in 2015!

Bonus!
Here are some other Calgary organizations that can help you keep a whole slew of New Year’s Resolutions, via Notable Calgary.

— by Karen McCarthy
— photo by Kevin Yee

Meet Our New Dean

Charles F. Webber, PhD
Charles F. Webber, PhD

We were pleased to welcome our new Dean on August 15 as he took the reins from retiring Dean Norma MacIntosh, who had led the Faculty since 2006.

Here’s some background on our new Dean, who has been a leader in education for his entire career.

Dr. Webber is a respected teacher, a distinguished senior administrator and an internationally published researcher. He was Dean of Human, Social and Educational Development at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops from 2010-2013. His most recent book explores the area of student assessment. He has written, edited and contributed to dozens of books, book chapters, journal articles and editorials.

Dr. Webber is a leading expert in educational administration and frequently presents at universities, professional organizations and conferences around the world.

Prior to joining Thompson Rivers University in 2010, Dr. Webber held a full professorship at the University of Calgary, where he also served as Associate Dean, Graduate Division of Educational Research, from 1999-2007.

During his early career, Charles Webber taught in Medicine Hat and Lacombe, and served as a school principal in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, from 1985-90.

Charles Webber is originally from the Calgary area and is delighted to be in the same city as his family and friends.

What Students Ask Us About

Eleanor and Kathy are here to help.
Eleanor and Kathy are here to help.

Ah, September. There’s a hint of autumn in the air, a sense of new beginnings. Many adults have caught the back-to-school bug and are registered to take continuing education classes.

Our friendly Reception staff, Eleanor and Kathy, share the most common questions they field at the front desk.

Q. How do I find my classroom?

A. Kind of important to know for your first class! Your classroom location (and other info you need for your first class) is on your Confirmation of Registration letter or Student Schedule/Bill. If you register by phone, it will be mailed to you if there is sufficient time before your first class. If you register online, you should print your Student Schedule/Bill once your payment has gone through. No receipt or confirmation e-mail is sent by the online system.

You can also find this information at any time via MyMRU. Log in – you’ll have to set up your account the first time – click on the Student Resources tab, go to the Student Online Resources box at the top left and click on Registration. Then click on Student Schedule/Bill and follow the prompts.

The receptionist on the main floor or the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning can also direct you if your class is in that building, as many Continuing Education classes are.

Unfortunately Eleanor and Kathy can’t give you this info over the phone due to privacy regulations.

Q. Where can I park? Can I buy a permit instead of daily tickets?

A. Here’s a parking map. Check the Parking website for up-to-date parking information. Here’s info on evening/weekend permits ($25 per month).

Q. I’m registered in a course but it’s not showing on the Blackboard course site and/or I don’t see my materials.

A. Courses/materials are usually uploaded to Blackboard a few days to a week before the course start date in order to ensure that the most up-to-date information is available.

You will be sent a welcome e-mail when the course is available on Blackboard. Here’s some info on getting started.

Q. I need to buy textbooks but I don’t want to make a special trip. Can I buy them the day of my class?

A. You can order your materials through the BookStore online. If you prefer to shop in person, here are the BookStore hours. They usually have rush hours at the beginning of the semester.

Q. I need to get hold of my instructor but they’re not responding.

A. Make sure you are using your instructor’s preferred contact method. If you don’t hear from them, contact your Program Assistant or Student Program Liaison – their contact info is included in your Registration Confirmation letter / Student Schedule/Bill. You can also contact Eleanor and Kathy and they will make sure you get to the correct person. Call 403.440.6875 during office hours or e-mail conted@mtroyal.ca.

Q. How do I receive my certificate?

A. When you’ve completed all your course requirements (congratulations!) fill out an application form to receive the appropriate credential. You can send the completed form by mail, fax, e-mail or in person. More info here.

More questions and answers are on our FAQ web page.
Here’s a Welcome Guide specifically for Continuing Education.

Got a question that hasn’t been answered? Leave it in the comment section.

by Karen McCarthy with files from Eleanor Leach & Kathy Chyla

New Year, New You

The year 2013 has arrived. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

If improving your career, learning a new skill or exploring your creativity were on your list, Continuing Education at Mount Royal University might be able to help. Polish up that resume with professional development courses or expand your mind with personal development courses. Many of our programs take place in the evenings and/or the weekend. A lot of them are offered online or with online components. Perfect for people who have a lot on their plate already.

MRU Cont Ed has too many courses to list here. Check out the link above and start looking. You can use the search box on the website if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.