by Gloria Welton
Academy of Learning College in Charlottetown has adapted the way it delivers training in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have transitioned everything to a virtual class environment, and students are able to start courses any time,” says Katherine McQuaid, Director of Training. “Students have instructors with them every step of the way in a virtual environment, and they are able to engage one-on-one live as they work through their studies.
“Response to the virtual environment has been very positive and we are finding students are very engaged with this new way of learning. We miss seeing the students in class every day, but it has been nice to see them online.”
Katherine says that over the last few years, there has been an increased demand and more requests from employers looking for people with accounting and payroll skills.
The 42-week Accounting and Payroll Administrator program can be taken on a part-time basis over a longer period of time. There is also an on-the-job training component at the end of the program.
“Our students take the payroll portion of the program through the Canadian Payroll Association and receive the educational credits required to be certified as a Payroll Compliance Practitioner.
They receive an Accounting and Payroll Administrator Diploma from Academy of Learning College as well as the educational credit certification from the Canadian Payroll Association.”
Student talks about his experience in the program
Jijo K. John and his family moved to PEI in 2017. “My wife was a student in Ontario studying Licensed Practical Nursing and I was working in the Middle East,” says Jijo. “By God’s grace, once she was able to get a work permit, I was able to come to Canada.
“We decided on PEI because we didn’t want to be in a place where you spend hours in traffic and take time away from family. PEI is a good place for my family.”
He has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Masters of Business Administration from a university in India, along with 10 years’ work experience as an accountant in his home country and in the Middle East. He started a job on PEI that was not directly related to his background, but then the company had to downsize.
“I thought it was time to get back to my profession, and started applying for jobs related to accounting, but I was not successful. Although I knew I could do the work, I thought it was best to attend college to get Canadian credentials as a starting point and to get myself connected to employers, and then I could prove my abilities once I start working for a company.
“I started to research the educational options in accounting on PEI. A friend recommended the Academy of Learning College program. I started in April, 2019 and completed in March, 2020. My on-the-job training placement is at Murphy’s Healthcare.”
Jijo says he needed training that offered flexibility. “We have no other family here, so getting to appointments and other responsibilities were very important to me.
“The ability to work from home or at the college made it convenient to complete the program. I had all the material I needed at my fingertips. The program was very self-directed, and I had an Instructor to guide me and answer my questions. I had not been in an educational setting like this before, and I wondered how I was going to learn without an instructor-led class.”
He says he realizes the world is changing and that this type of learning an effective way to learn at his own pace and convenience. “This learning style helps me to be more independent and self-reliant.”
The job search aspect of the program helped him research and decide which company to ask for a job placement. “I knew someone wh worked for the company, so I asked them questions that helped me to decide. I learned the best approach with job search is to contact employers directly and not just reply to job ads or send out resumés.
“I have four weeks to see if the work is a right fit for me and if they think I am the right person for their company and if there is a job opening. I look forward to this opportunity very much.”
He says he finds accounting work to be plentiful on PEI but you need to do your research and have the right qualifications and local experience. “I would recommend that people moving to this country will be better candidates and get a job faster if they are open to return to education.”
For more information about Academy of Learning College, call 1-888-328-8973.