Continuing Education + Job Training // Publishing since 1999

New Perspectives: One Student Redefines What Education Means for Him

By ADMIN - June 20 2019

By Yvonne Voulgaris

There is no static profile for students who come to PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs. Some students know exactly what path they’d like to follow; others have a general idea that they want to improve their skills but are not yet sure to what end. Simone Morrison, Program Manager at PTP East, often says, “We meet students where they are.” This mandate allows for flexibility and offers peace of mind to students, regardless of whether they feel the need to slow things down or speed things up during this leg of their journey.

Steven Trussler is one such student. Like many successful people who learn to use the tools at their disposal, he is enrolled in both the Literacy and Basic Skills upgrading program, as well as PTP’s newly acquired GED Achievement® Program, which is conveniently offered in the same space as the LBS program.

Time away from formal education has given Steven a new perspective about the concept of it, seeing it now “as something that I need to further my goals in life rather than something that I should rebel against.”

It is not uncommon for some adults to arrive on PTP’s doorstep with a rebellious attitude towards education based on their subjective experiences, reluctantly accepting it as a necessary step towards something different. Ironically, a frequent commonality amongst students is truly just how many varied, sometimes difficult, life paths have led them to attend school and upgrading programs as adults. Adult education carries different connotations for everyone.

And Steven has embraced it. Having previously completed his formal education up to grade 11, his support system includes family and friends who want to see him succeed, lovingly “breathing down [his] neck” to get his GED. These caring and thoughtful nudges have led him to step up his educational game.

He works diligently to finish assignments and continues to strive for academic success. Between classes and assignments, he can be found completely engrossed in a novel, which has undoubtedly contributed to his ability to answer questions involving definitions during vocabulary lessons. He is eager to complete extra work, always looking to be challenged. 

He has improved quickly in his time at PTP. His recent practice test for GED indicates that achieving his goal is imminent. He plans to write his final test this summer, hopefully finally fulfilling another wrung on the ladder towards his goals.

Steven’s plan is to enter college and one day own his own business. “I’m hoping to one day own and operate a restaurant or bakery.” Conveniently, PTP also offers special programming two afternoons a week, one of which is classes for Food Handler Certification. This may even lead Steven back to PTP in the future. The other special programming includes Computer Skills for Job Search, Readiness for Learning, and a Pre-Entrance Preparation class, which is an early stepping stone for people who may have a touch farther to go before achieving GED success.

Steven feels that attending LBS and GED Achievement® Program classes simultaneously at PTP have helped him prepare for his final test.

When asked what advice he could offer to prospective students teetering on the idea of whether to continue their education, he puts it simply:

“Advice I would give is to just go and get it done. Don’t make excuses as to why you can’t and just do it.”

Excellent advice, Steven.

We value your opinion. Please let us know what you think about this column. Send comments to 

Career Focus

Soft Skills or Resiliency Skills?

July 15 2021

For the past 10 years, I have worked with a career centre called Achēv. Our office is located at 595 Parliament Street and it is still there even though since March of 2020 all staff have been working remotely from home. Despite this, Achēv has found a way to keep everyone very connected by using Zoom, MS Teams and emails. I never feel alone and a day never passes that I do not have a conversation with one of my colleagues.


Career Focus

Time Savers and Shortcuts

July 15 2021

When I was in Grade 2, I discovered what a “shortcut” was. Instead of walking to school along the side of the road, my brother showed me a path through a farmer’s field that could save me five minutes of time.


Love of Learning

University in the Community

July 15 2021

From time to time, you may have seen an article about University in the Community (UitC) in Learning Curves and wondered what it was and whether it was something that you might like to join.


Student Resources

How the Macro Level of Decision Making Affects the Micro Level of Courses for Adults

July 15 2021

Often as adult learners we are focused on finding a course at a time we can make it, that meets a specific learning need, the micro level. But there are activities going on at a macro level which shape what we are offered at the micro level. Canada- A Learning Nation report describes the work of the Future Skills Advisory Council, an advisory council to the federal Ministry of Employment Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. This report came out in December 2020 but I just found it scanning the net for what I can’t remember now.