CAREER OPTIONS CARRIÈRES - Post Secondary, Pour les étudiants cégeps, collège et universités Fall 2018 - 5

By Paul Ferrara


ight years ago, if someone told me that I would
have graduated university with a master's
of education degree; be the recipient of the
Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award and the
Dean's Medal for Education; and be on track to having my
own classroom, I would have had a hard time believing
them. My road to graduation was unlike the typical path
most postsecondary students have - I was diagnosed
with a learning disability in elementary school and
underwent treatment for thyroid cancer twice throughout
my undergraduate studies.
But despite completing treatment during my studies
and having to navigate the postsecondary system with
a learning disability, I persevered in both my academic
and extracurricular involvement. Today, I am a successful
Ontario-certified teacher, and it was all made possible due
to the support of my family, friends and the opportunities
that were made available to me at Brock University.

Utilizing Services to Thrive
When I was accepted to Brock's Concurrent Teacher
Education Program, I was thrilled to begin my journey to
becoming a teacher. But at the same time, I had some
concerns navigating university with a learning disability
and trying to balance my medical treatments. Brock
made the transition to university easy for me, treating
me as an individual and making me feel welcome
in their community. Through the Student Wellness
and Accessibility Centre, the department worked in
collaboration with my professors and Student Health
Services to put in place support to make a fair and
equitable learning environment based on my learning
and health needs.
Not only did Brock provide me with the support based
on my learning needs, but they also helped me grow as a
learner, providing me with opportunities to help expand
my learning skills and strategies. I quickly realized that
in order to successfully complete my courses, I would
have to dedicate extra time to my studies and find my
strengths in order to counteract my learning differences.
It took me a while to find strategies that worked well for
me as a learner, and I often took advantage of Brock's
A-Z Learning Services workshops about study and
writing skills, as well as work-life balance in university.



l y a huit ans, si quelqu'un m'avait dit que j'obtiendrais ma
maîtrise à l'université, que je serais le lauréat du prix Spirit of
Brock et de la Médaille du doyen, et que je serais sur la voie
d'avoir ma propre salle de classe, j'aurais eu de la difficulté
à le croire. Je n'ai pas suivi le cheminement typique de la plupart
des étudiants postsecondaires. J'ai reçu un diagnostic de trouble
d'apprentissage à l'école primaire et j'ai subi deux traitements
pour le cancer de la thyroïde tout au long de mes études de
premier cycle.
Cependant, même si j'ai terminé le traitement pendant mes
études et si j'ai dû naviguer dans le système postsecondaire





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