Archive for November, 2009

The World of Web 2.0

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious, Tumblr, LinkedIn, blogs and wikis – the list goes on, but you get the idea. There have never been more ways to connect with others. The online explosion of user-generated content begs the question – how do you, as a business, harness its power?

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It’s a concept that many organizations have been toying with. The Ontario Association of Career Colleges waded into the world of web 2.0 a month ago, with a new blog and accounts on Twitter and Facebook. So far, the experience has been positive. Our small base of followers is slowly growing.

Many organizations have jumped to include social media in their communications strategy. A recent survey done by Sage North America found that 88 percent of U.S. and Canadian nonprofits are using some form of social media, although less than half of this number have been using the channel for more than a year.

According to a 2008 survey done by agency Com.motion and Pollara, two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) who use social media say social media tools are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands, up from 59 per cent in 2007. Nearly four in five Canadians (79 per cent) say they have used social media tools. That’s up from 71 per cent in 2007.

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This all spells potential for savvy marketers. For private career colleges, the most obvious benefits could be in student recruitment – it could be a direct channel to people considering going to school.

So tell us – what has your experience been with social media, professionally or personally? Does your business have a blog? A Twitter account? A Facebook page? What are the challenges with using social media? How can private career colleges use it effectively?

Social media has emerged as a topic of interest to OACC members. Several respondents requested a speaker or workshop dealing with online marketing and social networking for OACC’s conference in April. What would you like to learn? Could you suggest a speaker?

Let’s start a discussion…

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Personal Support Worker Equipment

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Do you have personal support worker equipment to sell?

Look no further –a new private career college would like to purchase some equipment for a PSW program. They are looking for a life-size mannequin, a baby mannequin and a travel lift.

For more information, please contact Judi Smith at judismith@rogers.com.

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Candid Moments from Conference 2009

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Second Career, Second Chance. Part Two.

Bob Kilar

Bob Kilar

Bob Kilar is deeply grateful for the Second Career program. In this touching letter, Bob finds the words to describe how becoming a career college student has changed his life.

To whom it may concern,

Information regarding the Second Career program “slowing down” and “raising the bar” has evoked me to reflect about recent events in my life.  It has made me think about what would have happened if Second Career had denied my application.  Well… it is hard to predict the exact consequences, but I certainly would not have been able to become a college student.  I would not have been able to afford it.   

My first day of class in the Addictions and Community Service program at Everest College in London, Ontario was a very special day.  It was the day that ended a long period of uncertainty, fear and sadness.  This very day opened a new chapter in my life.  Before that day, I was an unemployed individual desperately looking for a job.  With no degree of success, I ended up financially and emotionally bankrupt. 

The news about the Second Career program came to me as salvation.  After a long and complicated application process, Admissions Representative Darlene Martin took over, and in a very professional way, converted me to a student.  In the blink of an eye, the sun started to shine again.  I was brought back to the surface from a very deep depression. 

Due to the hard work of people who helped me succeed, I took on the academic challenges and realized how lucky I am.  The “era of sadness” was behind me and the era of creative advances, victories, and fulfilment, had just begun. Addictions Instructor Megan Phillips, an impressive person and a “living library,” effectively fuels her students’ dreams for a better life. Here, at Everest College, surrounded by professional staff, excellent instructors and friendly classmates, I started to build my way to the future; with very optimistic expectations and opportunities. 

What I learned on my first day of class was how much it means to be a Canadian, an Ontarian and a Londoner.  There are thousands of lucky Ontarians across the province who, like myself, received support from Second Career in this very tough time.  There are thousands of thanks flowing back from our hearts.

Thank you Canada!

The changes in the enrolment requirements have made the Second Career program difficult to approach for a lot of people.  It appears that they are not as lucky as I have been.  My wish for them is that the program “speeds up” again, and “the bar drops down” to the previous position, because I do not deserve more, than they do.

Bob Kilar

Did Second Career make a difference in your life? Do you know a student with a story to share?         E-mail kristas@oacc.on.ca to submit a story or write a comment below.

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