Queen's Arts & Science Online Featured in The Toronto Star
Silver surfer upgrades skills
Queen’s University is one of several classroom-based schools offering online courses
Photo by Peyman Soheili / For the Toronto Star
Jusni Hilwan was 52 when he began taking online courses from Queen’s University.
“I was working at IBM Laboratories at the time and I was a team leader. I knew the company had a policy for tuition refund,” Hilwan says.
“I decided to study psychology even though I was a programmer, so I could understand my teammates better.”
Now, 14 years later and retired, the 66-year-old is still taking online courses with the school — “more or less for fun, to exercise my brain,” he explains.
To date, the Scarborough resident has earned close to 50 credits.
“I need 90 credits to graduate so at this rate, I’ll be 80 years of age when I graduate,” Hilwan laughs.
Hilwan is one of thousands of students from across the country — and across the world — pursuing online education with Queen’s for personal or professional development.
The Internet and ever-evolving technology has made studying at the school more accessible than ever before.
“We have to acknowledge that technology — and specifically education technology — has advanced to the point where we’re actually able to offer really good quality learning experiences online,” says Brenda Ravenscroft, associate dean of teaching and learning in the faculty of arts and science at Queen’s.
“We have to harness all these wonderful opportunities.”
The university has been offering some form of distance education since 1889. Today, the school has more than 50 courses available online, as well as online bachelor’s degrees in English, history and psychology, and certificates in online strategy and global development strategies. Ravenscroft says online and distance options help remove barriers to education.
“We’re able to reach out to people all over Canada, the continent, and in fact the globe. Accessibility is one of the most important parts of what we’re doing,” Ravenscroft says.