- Number nineteen in a series of featured Lambton College graduates or students -
Sarnia, ON, March 29, 2012 - Tony Mallette leads a hectic life.
He’s a husband, father, part-time paramedic and coordinator of Lambton College’s Paramedics Program.
Between his family life and career, it leaves little time for much else. So when he began thinking about upgrading his education he was first at a loss on how he’d be able to make it all work.
“Working full-time I didn’t think I had that option.”
Then he learned about the Bachelor of Arts - Liberal & Professional Studies (LAPS) program, offered at Lambton College in collaboration with the University of Windsor.
“I thought that when I started teaching I would someday follow up and obtain my degree,” says Mallette.
Then life happened.
He’s taken a few gambles in his life, leaving a good-paying job at a car plant after growing tired of the monotonous routine.
He abruptly quit during the middle of his shift and later enrolled in Lambton’s pre-health program.
From there he earned his Paramedic diploma, was hired by Lambton EMS, then helped design the Paramedic program at Lambton.
Yet, he hadn’t fulfilled his desire to complete a degree program that would enable him later to seek his Masters of Education.
“So the LAPS program was exactly what I needed,” says the 41-year-old.
The program is very accommodating to students, with the option to accelerate courses or work away at your own pace as your schedule dictates. Essentially, the full-time program can be completed part-time.
“There’s that amazing flexibility about it,” Mallette says. “If something is going on in your life and you have to take a step back (from your studies) that option is there.”
In his first year he completed 10 university courses, including two summer courses in Windsor.
The classes available to take are extremely varied, from anthropology, to psychology, to English to history and social sciences.
For Mallette, becoming a student again has made him a better instructor, he says.
“I can better appreciate what it is like for my students. I can appreciate some of their frustrations and that they have complex lives.”
Mallette is a firm believer in lifelong learning and he promotes that to his students.
“I tell them your education does not stop once you graduate here. I guess you could say I practise what I preach.”
For more information on the Bachelor of Arts – Liberal and Professional Studies at Lambton College, visit www.lambtoncollege.ca/LAPS.