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Caring instructors make the difference

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Jared McCrae’s Northern Lights College (NLC) story is, in many ways, like many other students’ stories. Over the past two years, he has made good use of the college’s career planning services and upgrading to prepare for electrician’s training, which he will be starting this February. 

Jared says he hasn’t ever been an academic type. He was an average student who did not care much for homework, and school was something to be endured. He had also been bullied throughout school, and eventually learned to stand up for himself during his high school years. 

“I wasn’t a delinquent, per se, . . . I just didn’t focus on school that much,” said Jared, laughing a little. 

After he graduated high school in 2015, he did what most do — he went to work. Over the next few years, he worked in construction, and then went to work at the same concrete plant as his mom. 

Early in his time with the plant, an incident happened, and although he continued working there for almost a year, it was not ideal. At this point his aunt, a former student recruiter with NLC, suggested he leave the Lower Mainland, come stay with her in Dawson Creek, and possibly go back to school in a community full of work opportunities and access to post-secondary education. 

Jared had been considering post-secondary education — and had been working and saving — but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do career-wise. Friends had recommended various options in the Vancouver area, but he was anxious about just diving in, in a — What if I’m wrong?! What if I fail?! It’s so expensive! — type of way. 

So, in August of 2021, Jared came to Dawson Creek, got settled in, and landed a job at a local grocery store.  His aunt suggested he get in touch with our Career Advisor, Tammy Potratz, to get some direction. 

Tammy took Jared through the Career Cruising program, and when he was done, he not only knew his three best career choices, but also that it was the right time to move forward. From his top three choices, Jared chose electrician’s training. 

Although Jared is a high school graduate, there were marks he thought he should improve, which led to him enrolling in adult upgrading at NLC. As Jared progressed, he realised that working towards his own goals, for himself, made applying himself easier. He has even surprised himself with his grades. After completing three (almost four) Career and College Prep courses, he noted how affordable it is to upgrade through NLC.  

He has also been impressed with his instructors. His first class was an English course with Carole Taylor as his instructor. Jared says “Carole has been superb all the way through… She tries to give you kind of a path or flow through everything.” He also said that his math instructors, Bev Hussey and Chris Gallant, were excellent and very good with students.  

Now that Jared is nearing the end of his fourth course, a pre-trades training upgrading course — Advanced-Level Essential Skills for Trades (ESTR047), it is time to start planning and getting ready for his February start in electrician’s training at the Fort St. John NLC Campus. According to him, “January will be hectic.” 

Good luck to you Jared! You are going to do fine.