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Academy of Learning College Blog

Adult students studying together

Choosing going back to school as an adult learner can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. Even for those who love learning, the pressure of taking exams, being graded, and writing essays can bring back some anxieties you haven’t felt in years. However, don’t forget that you’ve had more years of work and life experience than students of traditional college age; you know your strengths and weaknesses, which will give you direction and motivation to help steer your education to success.

As an adult learner, you tend to be more self-directed; you have a goal-centered orientation to learning. You know why you’re here, and you have a clear goal that you’re looking to achieve from your studies. So don’t fear the younger minds, because your learning will be more successful if you take an active role in planning, monitoring, and evaluating your education, and steer your education towards the direction where you want your career path to lay. 

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Know your learning style.

There are three main learning styles that students excel in to different degrees—visual, auditory, and tactile. Visual learners, for instance, learn by reading or seeing pictures,  and understand and remember things by sight. They should sit at the front of a classroom so they won’t be distracted by things going on around them; and they will also benefit from using visual aids such as highlighters and diagrams. Auditory learners find soothing music helpful to their study process, and they memorize their material best by explaining it out loud to others. Tactile learners must do things in order to learn—clicking on a computer screen, using sticky notes, and taking exercise breaks are all helpful tools for this kind of learner.

There are many online quizzes you can take to help determine your learning style, and to further find the best study tips and strategies to help you reach the best learning result.  Knowing what kind of tactics will help you absorb and remember your learning materials faster can really push your education one step forward. 

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Spend some time (doesn’t have to be long) to study everyday, and schedule weekly reviews.

Pulling an all-nighter before a test in the hopes of understanding and retaining all information doesn’t work anymore if you’ve past the age of 20; just think about the amount of sleep you’ll loose! As an adult learner, the best way to plan your study is to break down your study time to each day, and pace yourself throughout the week or month. 

Aside from spending a certain amount of time learning everyday, you could also schedule a review session of your courses each week. Sit down and review your textbook, your notes, your readings, and your assignments. This will pay off when exam time arrives as the information you reviewed will stay in your long term memory. Cramming only works if you are relying on short term memory. You will later forget most of the material and all that studying will go to waste. Use sensible study techniques to achieve the full benefit of your degree.

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Go to class prepared, and take good notes. 

Try not to miss a class, or get behind in your assignments. If you get too far behind, it can be difficult to catch up, and using your classmates’ notes to study will never achieve you the same good results as using your own. Don’t go to a class empty-headed; read the assigned chapter beforehand and note any questions before attending class. This will help you develop a pre-structured knowledge base which you will embellish more later on with the explanations given by instructors. 

After class, review anything you didn’t understand and talk to the instructor during office hours, look up answers to any quizzes, and tackle the book’s study guide. Use a method of notetaking that makes sense for you during class. The most important practice for effective notetaking is reviewing and editing your notes. Review and edit your notes as soon as possible after classes, and you will find everything you wrote down or edited is imprinted in your head in no time!

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Let your experience shine!

Whether you choose to go back to school online or in person, remember that you have a lot to bring to the table. Brush up on your skills and have confidence that you will adapt quickly. From the beginning of your studies, share your thoughts and experiences with other students through classroom discussions and get involved in campus activities.

You’ll soon find that being able to meet people of various ages, from different backgrounds and with different types of experiences can really connect you with new industries very quickly. Adult students can impact their wisdoms gained from past experiences amongst each other, and build networks and relationships that potentially lead to future opportunities. Your experience and life story might just become one of the most valuable things some other students took home from their education. 

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Always take time to maintain balance in your life. 

By going back to school you are beginning an exciting and extremely rewarding journey, once again. Reflect on the fact that the best part of an education is not the destination but the journey itself. Manage your time wisely and don’t let unnecessary stress bring you down. 

Take time to make to-do lists; prioritize things that are most important to you; and balance work, family, and leisure to avoid stress and academic burn-out, as well as maximize your learning potential. If you have families commitments, especially children to take care of, try do your homework at the same time and in the same space as your kids. This will create “homework time” in your family, which is a success strategy for both adult learners and young students; because what’s more fun than learning and improving together with you kids?

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country,  Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!

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Business writing refers to memorandums, reports, proposals, emails, and other forms of writing used in organizations to communicate with internal and external audiences. Business writing is a type of professional communication. Also known as business communication and professional writing.

Business writing is an essential skill that all business students and professionals should acquire. It is significantly needed and widely used in occupations such as Business Administration, Business Management, Marketing, Sales, Conference and Event Planner, Human Resources Administration, Project Administration, and many more. 

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Beware of why you’re writing.

When writing in business environments, you need to be clear about your objectives. Knowing the purpose a piece of writing serves gives you a sense of direction. It is important for you to know whom you’re addressing and what kind of goals you want to achieve through the documents you’re writing. State the goal convincingly in each sentence of your proposal with an easy-to-understand manner to ensure the right message delivers to your audience. Unlike blog writing, speech writing, or script writing, Business wiring often serve a specific purpose. It delivers the direction, the reference, and details of the goal you’re trying to achieve. 

Having a clear purpose in mind will help you set the tone, the style, and structure of your business writing. Defining your purpose will set things right at the beginning. For example, if your purpose is to excite and invite stakeholders to join an annual charity gala of the company as a public relation effort, not only do you need to explain how this benefit the community, you also need to convince them how this will benefit their public image while help building the company’s reputation. Having a clear objective and purpose helps keep your writing logical, straightforward, yet professional.

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Understand your readers. 

You need to know your audiences in order to find a way to speak to them effectively. Get to the point quickly, focus on what’s relevant to them and use a tone that fits your audience. When writing to a wider audience, try to avoid jargons and technical terms specifically used in your profession but not commonly used anywhere else. Imagine you’re writing to someone who is smart but not a specialist in your field. Use common vocabularies and try to explain things in ways that the general public will easily understand and accept.

Your audience should be your compass; keeping in mind what the recipient seeks to learn narrows down the possible directions your writing should take. Style, tone, and vocabulary use should be in line with your audience and situation. This is not just a matter of appropriateness and content effectiveness, it’s about your flexibility to communicate adeptly with different audiences, to empathize with them, and thus be able to connect at an appropriate and effective wave-length.

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If you can explain in one word, don’t use three. 

If you can explain things in one sentence, don’t use more. Complex nouns, long sentences, and wordy lines should be avoided. Also, less jargon – unless you’re writing a technical document – and more specific words and brief yet strong phrases should be used. Moreover, use an active voice instead of passive voice to sound more assertive and powerful. When audience feel your confidence and sincerity in writing, it’s easier to get your message across to them.

In order to writing effectively without using long sentences, you can eliminate some unnecessary words or sentences. Deleting prepositions, especially “of”; change “point of view” to “viewpoint”. Replacing –ion words with action verbs; change “provided protection” to “protected”. Replacing “is”, “are”, “was” with stronger verbs; use “indicates” instead of ”is indicative of”. 

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Practice every day

Just like the old saying states, “practice makes perfect.” Writing is a skill, and skills improve with practice. Reading well-written material every day will help sharpen your writer eyes; it will train you to be more attentive to word choice and sentence structure. 

Also, read your writing through critical eyes, and make sure that each word works toward your larger point. Most importantly, build time into your schedule for editing and revising. Editing and embellishing your own writing is where crucial change happens. It takes time to perfect your writing, and one of the most significant step is spotting your own mistakes and finding a better way to solve it. 

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country,  Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!

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1.Walt Disney was a (fired) newspaper editor. 

Walt Disney, the founder of The Walt Disney Company was originally a newspaper editor in his early years. In 1919, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” according to his former chief editor. Disney then worked as a draftsman and inker in commercial art studios before starting his own small studio with a partner. The two made short advertising films for local businesses with a second-hand camera while working on their animation projects on the side. Unfortunately, the company later on ran into numerous issues and Walt was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1923.

Despite this major failure, Walt reorganized his animation projects and moved to California to start his own animation production gig with his brother Roy in their uncle’s garage with $250 initial capital. In 1928, Mickey Mouse was born. Mickey’s first film appearance in Steamboat Willie (1928) made quite an impact. Eventually, they started to making profits; and the Walt Disney Company soon became the most famous animation production brand at the time and every kid in this world is excited to hear the name Disney. Walt Disney tried different paths and failed multiple times over the course of his career; he eventually succeeded in his last try. He credited his early failure that development strength and courage for him to take on bigger challenges in the future, which paid off in big rewards as the success of Disney’s dreamy successful career.

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2. Vera Wang was an average figure skater 

Vera Wang was a “nobody” just like you and me, before she became a superstar in the field of fashion and design. She was an average figure skater and journalist before she entered a completely different industry at age 40. Wang looks back at her early life as a young ice-skating trainee with aspirations to present at the Olympic games. “As hard as I tried and as hard as I worked, I never really achieved the level that I wished. It was a very hard realization that since I was in my late teens, I was never going to get better. I wasn’t going to make the Olympic team, and there were younger skaters coming up. So I quit,” Wang explains. 

After that, Wang took a complete different spin of her career: she jumped into the fashion industry and later on became the senior fashion editor at Vogue for 15 years and then a design director for Ralph Lauren. She designed her own wedding dress and soon launched her own signature bridal collection. Now she has a large Hollywood following and became the fashion icon in bridal apparels. 

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3. Harland Sanders,  who became the internationally renowned chicken mogul at age 65

Sanders grew up in a family where his father died when he was 6 and mother remarried when he was 12. He dropped out of school in the seventh grade and spent the first half of his life working a series of jobs in different industries, including stoking the steam engines of trains throughout the South, selling insurance, selling tires, making lighting systems, and operating a ferry boat.

He acquired a service station in Corbin, Kentucky, in 1930 and began serving classic Southern dishes to traveler. The location became known for its food, and Sanders eventually got rid of the service station’s gas pump and converted the location to a full-fledged restaurant. His success came through in 1939 when he discovered his signature fried chicken with “11 herbs and spices.” He then began touring the country selling Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, and by the time he sold the business for $2 million in 1964, there were over 900 of them.

In 1950, the governor of Kentucky named Sanders colonel, the highest title of honour the state can give. From then on, Sanders’ restaurant become the worldly renowned brand-KFC, which brought him a significantly amount of profit and fame.

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4. Martha Stewart: model, stockbroker, homemaking superstar 

Stewart had the dream job of most young girls, modelling for Chanel while she was in college. After graduation, she went on a totally different direction: she became a stockbroker on Wall Street, selling securities at brokerage firm Monness, Horstman, Williams and Sidel. After the major economy crisis on Wall Street, Stewart lost her job and moved tout of the city with her husband, who purchased a small family home in Connecticut. She soon walked out of the job-losing depression, and found her passion in decorating her home and making delicious cuisines for her family and friends. This inspired Stewart to enter the catering and homemaking  business; her ambition and dedication soon made her the icon in the lifestyle industry. 

Although Martha Stewart was involved in some legal issues, we could still learn a lot from her’s career change experience: A former model turned into stockbroker in her 20s, and then from a housewife to a professional homemaker and caterer that every women dreamed to be in her late 30s. After her established her catering company Stewart published her first book and began to sell home-products in her 40s. In her 50s, Stewart became a famous TV show host, an editor-in-chief of her own lifestyle magazine, and the billionaire CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.

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5. Ray Kroc, milkshake machine salesman for 17 years, before buying McDonald’s at age 52

Ray Kroc was an American entrepreneur best known for expanding McDonald’s from a local restaurant to the world’s most profitable restaurant chain. Kroc was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on October 5, 1902. He participated in World War I as a Red Cross ambulance driver, lying about his age to begin serving at 15.

After World War I, Kroc explored a number of career options, including paper cup salesman, pianist and DJ on a local Oak Park radio station. He then discovered his passion in restaurant and worked from shops to shops, hoping to learn the business. He first put his knowledge to use as a traveling milkshake machine salesman. The machines that Kroc sold made five shakes at a time, attracting more customer for restaurants. He remained a salesman for 17 years. In 1954, Kroc visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California that had purchased several Multimixers. There he found a restaurant owned by brothers Dick and Mac McDonald. Grasping the franchising potential of McDonald’s, Kroc offered to work as a franchising agent for a cut of the profits. In 1955, he founded McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of the McDonald’s Corporation, and six years later bought the exclusive rights to the McDonald’s name. By 1958, McDonald’s had sold its 100 millionth hamburger.

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You’re not alone

You’re in a career that you once thought was great, but you don’t feel the passion for it anymore and you realize now that you are no longer in love with what you do? Trust me, you are NOT alone. Maybe the last time you received education or training feels like a decade ago, it is actually very common for professionals who dislike their current jobs to look at going back to school for a new career as a next-step. According to National Center for Education Statistics, of the 21 million people who enrolled in post-high school education programs, 2.3 million are between the ages of 40 and 64, and about 1.5 million of them are part-time students.

To know if going back to school is the right move for you, you need to be highly aware of what you want in your life and work. You also need to understand yourself thoroughly, to know what your passions are, what you are good at, what motivates you to succeed and what you enjoy doing. You need to evaluate your current life stage very carefully. This is not the time to be in denial or to pretend you’re someone else. This is the time to figure yourself out with honesty, awareness and insight.

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The right education has never been more valuable 

You may hesitate on returning to school since you are bearing the choice of giving up salary in your prime income years. In fact, it’s not about how much you are paying for school, it’s the program you choose that truly matters. Going back to school can make even more sense for people with a lower income that are looking to reach a higher level of salary in the future; by receiving further education, you’re giving up something that doesn’t satisfy you and reaching for a better stage of life.

The cost of going back to school may cause many adults to reconsider their decision. However, in a long term perspective, when salary increases are associated with education, your expense in going back to school could be viewed as an initial investment. Additionally, many schools offer federal or provincial fundings that can help students financially. There are also many companies that provide conditional fundings for students who are willing to work for them after graduation. Before you frown upon the cost of education, consider the potential career advancement and opportunities you’ll engage with as well as the salary increase you’ll receive from getting advanced training and education.

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You need to plan ahead of time

Before you make any decisions about continue education, find out why you want to change careers. If you dislike your work environment or coworkers, you may need a new job in the same or similar field. However, if you’ve lost passion in what you do, or if there are no potentials for your professional development in your current industry, it’s time for you to consider further education and a new career. This will not be your first time attending a higher educational institution after high school, you can’t just pick a program that looks interesting without a comprehensive career plan. You’d try your best to avoid stress and disappointment in job hunting after graduation. 

As an experienced adult, you know you can’t afford to waste time and money on education that won’t improve your future. Before heading back to school, you need to have a thorough analysis on yourself, on your personality and your past experience; you need to find out what exactly that you want in the working world, whether it’s higher salary, better environment, slower working pace, or less interpersonal interactions. You need to find a program that will best assist you in finding jobs in a new industry, and sometimes you may need advice from professionals. If you do this correctly, you’ll graduate with a major career asset and on the path to a better future.

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You can do it while having other commitments

It’s not unreasonable for working professionals to feel overwhelmed with their current responsibilities. As a result, adding school on top of everything else can be intimidating. If you’re working full-time, raising a family, and also fulfilling other responsibilities, attending school and receiving further education can make your schedule even fuller. However, it’s possible to make time to return to school – and many adults do it quite successfully. It may require sacrificing time spent enjoying leisurely activities, but it is possible to make the time. 

Setting goals while making commitments according to timelines you set for yourself can help you develop the ability to make sacrifices, as well as to further accomplish your educational objectives. For working professionals desiring to return to school but are concerned about scheduling and time commitment, many schools provide online or virtual programs that bring students more flexibility in their learning experiences. Moreover, most educational institutions are equipped with counselling professionals to help you with time management as well as stress management while you undertake numerous responsibilities in life. 

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You need to choose the right school

Although the rise in continue education has offered major opportunities for adult students, it’s important to remember that not all programs and schools are created equally. If you’re interested in earning a legitimate diploma or degree that your future employers will respect, it’s important to choose an properly accredited educational institutions. When researching schools, always look closely at their accreditation status and the organization providing the accreditation.

As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country,  Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student, while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Academy of Learning Colleges are registered with their respective governing Provincial Authority. Many colleges are members of their Provincial Private School Associations and members of the National Association of Career Colleges. Academy of Learning College is extremely proud of each college that has received a Consumers’ Choice Award as it represents the hard work, commitment and dedication to our students of each team member of the college. Campuses in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Winnipeg are recipients of this great honour. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs! 

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