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Focus on Leadership University of Lethbridge adapts to help Calgarians reskill

Azra Ladha, manager of programs at the University of Lethbridge’s Calgary Campus downtown. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

The University of Lethbridge hasn’t let the pandemic get in the way of helping Calgarians learn the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Even before COVID, the university was actively pursuing new initiatives responsive to the labour market, and that enabled economic diversification,” says Trisha Henschel, executive director of the University of Lethbridge’s (U of L) Calgary Campus.

The post-secondary institution is no stranger to flexible learning options such as evening and weekend courses. Yet, programming mostly involved face-to-face learning, and that became challenging during the pandemic.

In response, the university moved classes online. It also launched new learning opportunities to help Calgarians considering a career change. Among the new offerings is the Career Transitions Program, a suite of non-credit courses that aims to help workers displaced by the pandemic and the energy industry downturn to gain new skills to quickly return to work, says Azra Ladha, manager of programs at U of L’s Calgary Campus.

“Our first cohort will be dedicated to women because a large number of women in the workforce have been adversely and disproportionately affected by COVID,” she says.

Certified career development practitioner Lise Stransky helped build the new program. She says a key focus is re-orienting Calgarians toward growth areas. She points to two government reports forecasting “growth and demand for trades and health occupations” that, along with consultation with industry, shaped the new course.

Another new non-credit course is the professional digital marketing certification. First offered last fall, students learn about social media marketing and search engine optimization, among other related skills.

“The pandemic created an unprecedented opportunity to offer even more flexibility through the expansion of online course delivery and incorporating more hybrid approaches to learning to meet the evolving needs of the non-traditional student, who are the core of our Calgary Campus,” says Henschel.

For more information about the learning opportunities available, visit the University's website.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development. 

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