SFU NOW program co-ordinator Kim Hockey (right) with Yvonne Tabin, associate dean of lifelong learning. Says Tabin, “We originally thought we would attract mainly mid-career 30- to 45-year-old nine-to-fivers, but we also get a lot of younger students who just need flexible schedules.”

Courses when you need them—NOW

October 25, 2012
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For working students seeking a degree part-time, SFU’s Nights or Weekends (SFU NOW) program is the most flexible and accessible option in B.C., if not Canada.

Since it began four years ago SFU NOW has been helping people obtain their degrees. People like Reza Nazarinia, a full-time sales manager, who took daytime, evening, distance education and SFU NOW courses, graduating last summer with a BA and plans to become a lawyer. He found returning as a mature student an engaging experience.

“There was a mix of younger students and older students, which was really refreshing,” says Nazarinia, adding he would “definitely recommend” the program. Developed for students who work 30 or more hours a week, SFU NOW offers undergraduate courses from Arts and Social Sciences and Communication, Art and Technology.

“The only difference is, SFU NOW courses are reserved for identified SFU NOW students for the first three weeks of enrolment,” says coordinator Kim Hockey. “If they have the right pre-requisites, the courses are easily accessible.”

Students take classes evenings and weekends at SFU’s Vancouver and Surrey campuses, but they earn the same degree as any full-time day student. And they’re not just restricted to SFU NOW courses. They can also take daytime courses. They can take SFU NOW courses exclusively or supplement their degree with electives. And they can take distance-education courses online.

“Without SFU NOW I don’t think I would have been able to fit studying into my life,” says bachelor of general studies grad, Parm Gill, who took courses at the Surrey and Vancouver campuses, and online.

“We originally thought we would attract mainly mid-career 30- to 45-year-old nine-to-fivers, but we also get a lot of younger students who just need flexible schedules,” says Yvonne Tabin, associate dean of lifelong learning.

“We’ll see young baristas and sales clerks, mid-career managers, RCMP officers, government employees, oil rig workers out of town half the year, seniors and full-time SFU students—all together in the same classes,” adds Hockey.

“Professors say the differences in experiences and opinions fosters great dialogue. Many of them ask to be assigned more SFU NOW courses because they find it such a treat.”

For more info: www.sfu.ca/sfunow

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