Growing up, kids might say they want to become a teacher, a writer or a carpenter. But what about librarian, interpreter or funeral director? It’s time to learn about the careers and RRC programs you might not know you want yet.
Library and information technology
Through elementary school, Christine Janzen’s favourite place was the library.
“I loved being able to access all those books, and being able to take any of them that I wanted,” said Janzen.
Janzen found a way to turn her passion into a career with RRC’s library and information technology program, which will allow her to work as a library technician upon completion.
The program currently accepts only 14 students a year, and it usually has a wait list.
But there’s more to being a library technician than a love of books, explains Kelly Stifora, program coordinator. He said library technicians need to be up-to-date on the newest technology.
“Libraries are not going anywhere,” said Stifora. “They are adapting to new technologies and new needs within the community and will continue to do so as we move into the future.”
“It did surprise me how technology-heavy our classes are,” said Janzen. “It’s been great, but I hadn’t realized how many different aspects of technology can be used in the library.”
The deaf studies program is avail¬able for students who want to learn American Sign Language (ASL) and about deaf culture as a whole.
“We want to bring awareness to deaf culture, including the history,” said Rick Zimmer, program coordinator. “We go far back in history and look at the perceptions of disabilities and how deaf people were perceived.”
The program can be taken alone to achieve a certificate, or taken as part of a joint-degree program with the University of Manitoba, the ASL-English Interpretation Program (AEIP).
Jessica Carroll is in her last year of the AEIP. She said the program has taught her more than just how to communicate without sound.
“The program really opened my eyes to a lot of the ways society is structured for the benefit of certain groups,” said Carroll. “We talked a lot about things we take for granted, things that are natural for the ma¬jority of people. For example, simple things like fire alarm systems are auditory, not visual.”
Being patient, flexible and motivated to learn are key in the deaf studies program, said Zimmer, as ASL can be complicated to learn. He also suggests having an open mind.
“People who are learning ASL sometimes really want to be in that helping role,” said Zimmer. “Deaf people don’t really need help, they don’t consider themselves a helpless group. You are learning to become more of a facilitator than a helper.”
Funeral director and embalmer certificate
This program prepares students to be funeral directors and embalmers in the funeral industry, providing technical and hands-on training, said Randy Lock, health sciences program manager at RRC.
“Students develop skills through a combination of instructor-led instruction, laboratory, and practicum experience under the supervision of licensed funeral directors and embalmers,” Lock said.
Courses in the program, which range from the psychology of grieving to embalm¬ing theory and labs, are mostly done through distance education. But there are some classroom requirements.
Lock said a total of about 70 students have taken the orientation and are in different stages of completing the part-time program over three portions.