Tammy took us all by surprise with her heartfelt story of success in a small town.
Q. What drew you to the programs at CD-ED?
“I was drawn to the programs at CD-ED due to the fact that it was Government and Ministry of Education registered. I was on EI at the time and needed to find an online school that would be approved by them for Funding.”
Q. Why did you then decide to take a home-study college program from CD-ED?
“I had decided to take a home-study college program from CD-ED as I am hearing impaired and it best suited my needs. The course was flexible as to whether or not I could finish ahead of schedule. I had tried in my younger years to take a college classroom course and due to my limitations with my hearing I was unable to finish.”
Q. What were your expectations of distance education?
“My expectations were no different of distance education than if I had been sitting in a classroom, except for one very important thing where I was concerned and that was being able to understand what the teacher or in my case with my books, were trying to teach. The other thing was the ability of being able to contact my teacher through email rather than by phone. My expectations were met in both of these issues.”
Q. Have you ever taken other post-secondary schooling? Was this more or less difficult, or just different from in-class learning?
“Yes, I have taken other post-secondary schooling the year after I had finished my grade 12. For me it was extremely difficult due to the challenges of my hearing. I am good with a one-on-one, but in a class setting where there is more noise, I was missing too much of what was being said my teachers and therefore struggled so much with each of my classes that I finally just gave up. Being able to take a post-secondary course online gave me my confidence back, and allowed me to follow my dreams. Online post-secondary schooling is a major plus for those with disabilities like mine. I have only a ¼ of my hearing left and wearing a hearing aid is not an option due to the type of hearing loss I have, so most aids that they do have now-a-days are not an option for me as they have been tried before and don’t work in my case.”
Q. Which part of the course did you find the most challenging?
“The part of the course I found the most challenging was trying to understand the programming part, though it was not extensive as it was only to make repairs, I think that if there had been a video showing what it was that the course was trying to get across it would have made understanding it better, as well as being able to ask the teacher direct questions on that part in a live chat. For me, I have a program that put’s captions in any video I watch, so that part would not have been an issue.”
Q. Which part of the course was the most enjoyable?
“I enjoyed learning how to build the different types of computers, (networking, stand alone, etc), from start to finish. Being a visual learner, I was able to put into practice what was taught and enjoyed seeing the finish product.”
Q. Where do you feel the program could be more helpful to future students?
“Anyone who is thinking of getting into the field with computers should take this course. It gives you a better understanding of how they work and how to troubleshoot problems. Some technicians that I have spoken to, seem to have no idea what it is they are telling you to do.”
Q. What was the highlight of the program for you?
“The Major Highlight of the program for me, was finishing with Honours and getting my diploma. For me, that was quite an achievement and one I will always remember.”
Q. How was the instructor support during your program?
“Shaun MacAdam was my instructor and was very supportive to me. Thanks Shaun. When I had a question or a problem, I had no problems with being able to speak to Shaun by either phone or Email. He always answered my questions in a manner where I was easily able to understand the answer.”
Q. How did you schedule your study time to work around your home life?
“Sometimes this was not easy. But I did manage. I would study every spare minute I had. There was a time where I had a family emergency and even trying to study was something that I couldn’t seem to do and of course fell behind. At that point Shaun called me to find out what was going on and with his support once the crisis was over I was able to easily get caught up to where I was supposed to be.”
Q. Once you found the time to study, how difficult was the actual material?
“The material itself wasn’t difficult, though in the more advanced areas I would suggest a video to accompany it or a online lesson instruction to make understanding those parts easier.”
Q. Who contributed the most support towards your completion of the program?
“I would have to say that it was equal between my family, friends and my instructors. Of course the majority of work was mine, having the support of everyone is a huge boost in wanting to finish what I had started.”
Q. Do you have any goals/future plans set for yourself after graduation? If so, what are they?
“As I fill out this survey, I have already put into action my goals/future plans of opening up my own computer services store in my area. At the present time, other than myself, there is not local computer repair/service/sales store unless you travel about 45 minutes or more. As of August 15, 2009 my store will have been open for a year.”
Q. What kind of job do you hope to obtain when you graduate? Have you had any luck in the search so far?
“My job involves computer repair, servicing and sales. I have had great luck with my new business and I hope it continues to do so.”
Q. Do you offer any advice to other students who may want to begin their search before graduating?
“Try to decide what field it is you exactly want to go into before Job hunting. With computers there is such a wide variety of fields that it is best to decide before job hunting.”
Q. How well do you feel that your program is preparing you for the current job market?
“I felt the program prepared me quite well for the current job market.”
Q. What was the job hunt like after you finished your course? For instance, what kind of jobs are in the market?
“I didn’t actually job hunt. Long before my course was done, I had decided to open up my own store here in the town of Noelville, Ontario with the knowledge that CD-ED gave me.”
Q. Do the salaries offered out there meet your expectations?
“Yes they do.”
Q. Are you employed?
“Yes I am currently Self-Employed. I have my own business called ‘Daub’s Computer Services’ located in Noelville, Ontario.”
Q. What is your job title? Can you tell us about how this job came about for you?
“My job title is Owner. I posted some surveys around to decide whether this was a good way to use my skills that I had learned and considering that there is no other computer store located within the area, it was the best opportunity.”
Q. What is a typical day like for you at work? Is it what you expected?
“Let’s see, a typical day for me is; personal basic computer lessons for clients or servicing of a business computer in the mornings, and when not doing that, catching up on my bookwork from either 9 am or 10 am to 12 pm: working in my store itself from 1pm to 5pm, whether it is selling computer parts, ink/toner, computer accessories, or just repairing computers and answering the phone.”
Q. What is the most predominant skill you use on the job that you acquired with your program?
“The predominant skill that I use on the job is actually two skills. 1. repairing computers, whether it is hardware or reformatting a computer to factory defaults; 2. Information technician: giving aid to a customer over the phone or in an email on a minor problem.”
Q. Do you enjoy working with the skills you learned at CD-ED?
“I love working with the skills I have learned at CD-ED. It is usually the highlight of my day to stand back and look at what I have done. Sometimes a computer comes in, that will stump me for a time and I will have to step away for an hour or more to rethink how to troubleshoot the problem, but it is very rarely that I have a computer that I can’t fix. Most problems are what I consider minor and fixable. I have had a few computers where the problems is not feasible, price wise to fix and the customer has opted to just purchase a new system rather than upgrade or replace the part, such as the motherboard.”
Q. Do you feel you were prepared for the job by your program at CD-ED?
“Yes I do feel I was prepared for the job by my program at CD-ED. My success at making it with my store, with my year’s anniversary coming up, says it all.”
On a Personal Note
Q. Would you feel comfortable recommending CD-ED to a friend or co-worker?
“Oh yes, I would feel comfortable doing so, and have to some friends. Whether they decide to go ahead with it, is totally up to them, but I myself would take another program from CD-ED should I need to do so.”
Q. Do you have any advice for students taking a program with CD-ED?
“Yes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if there is something that you don’t understand. For those of you with disabilities, CD-ED is a good place to take a program. They will do everything they can to accommodate you. I have no regrets of deciding to take the program ‘PC Maintenance and Repair’. It was the best decision I ever made in my life.”