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An Education as Unique as my Needs

Elizabeth's Story


Northern Lakes College Column Growing up, Elizabeth Gedcke was no stranger to hard work. And, although it seemed out of reach, she yearned to finish high school and pursue post-secondary education.


In her early twenties, Elizabeth left the family business, married her husband, Tim, and started a family.


Elizabeth, however, never lost sight of her post-secondary education dreams. When her third son began kindergarten, she told herself it was her time.


For some, planning to return to school would be a daunting task, but this busy mom of three had a dream of working in healthcare. Excited, nervous and hesitant, Elizabeth started searching.


Elizabeth began researching post-secondary institutions in Alberta and found that many did not have a clear path for someone without a high school diploma.


She was excited when she discovered that Northern Lakes College (NLC) offered just what she was looking for—a path as unique as her needs.


“I love that NLC is a ‘come as you are’ type of school. NLC took me as I am,” said Elizabeth.


Elizabeth first took advantage of the College and Career Preparation (CACP) program at NLC to help her gain entrance into the Practical Nurse (PN) program. CACP allowed her to take the prerequisite courses she needed.


She was delighted to learn she did not need to have her high school diploma, and she could take courses from home while her boys were at school. It was the perfect start to her post secondary journey.


Following the CACP program, Elizabeth entered the University Studies program to take a few core courses to lighten her load during the PN program. While in the University Studies program, two of her professors encouraged her to go beyond a diploma. They suggested she pursue a degree or even a master’s program.


Elizabeth decided to remain in the University Studies program and work on gaining credits to transfer to a university program.


“I love NLC’s motto, ‘Start here, go anywhere,’” said Elizabeth. “With the help of these professors, I began to believe that, despite my lack of an early formal education, I might be able to achieve something that seemed out of reach before my time at NLC.”


Elizabeth’s story is just one of many that exemplifies how NLC can take students from where they are to where they want to be.

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