In my last post, I promised I would do a write up on my experience in the upgrading program thus far, so here we go. Initially, I had no idea this type of program even existed. When I was unsuccessful in my attempt to get into nursing school the first time, I moped around for about two weeks and then got back on the horse. I knew what I wanted and had to make it happen.
I found out about the program through the schools (that I am currently taking it at) program advisor. In almost all correspondence, she kept telling me to look into upgrading. I was of the mind that it would be an inconvenience and since I had to work, I would rather take my upgrades at night. When I finally took her advise, I realized that it might be a viable option. Now, for me, my boss has been very nice and let me take off in the middle of the day to attend class. This might not be allowable for everyone. I do make up my time so that means I work a lot of after hours and hardly ever take lunch. It is worth it though. The beauty of the program is that it is free. Each of the courses offered by colleges overall, if you take it outside of the program, is around $350.00 each. So, that is a major saving.
So far, the courses are really interesting and good. In comparison to taking the pre-health program (which is university bound), the upgrading courses are almost a cake walk. Almost. It is full and the course material is extensive but in comparison, pre health is a lot more intense. To compare and contrast, pre health went extremely deep, to a micro level, on body systems. Upgrading did also but not as deep.
My school's upgrading program is a highly run, smooth machine. When it was time to send our grades to OCAS, they did it within a few days and the applicant schools had received them quickly. It was all run pretty smooth. The only fly in the ointment for me is that the classes are run in the day. That is a huge turn off for me and was upsetting. I personally have to work so taking the time off when needed and rearranging my life to accommodate this was a struggle. Now that I am close to completely it, I would still say that if you have to work during the day, this program is a bit cumbersome.
Overall, I would recommend the program due to a few things. One, it's free. Two, the subject matter is interesting and accepted by all colleges in Ontario (at least). Three, it gives you what you need and nothing else (ie, no fluff). Four, the books are free as well. Five, the material is intense but doable. Downsides? One, I would have to say the time of day it is offered. Two, the online courses are not available for each class and three, most in-class courses run anywhere from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Not very handy if you have to work. Overall, I would recommend this any person out of high school at least 7 to 10 years and needing a career change or returning to school for whatever reason. Just be prepared to work.
If you need more information on this program, please leave me a comment below.