Raymond Brackett

Upgrading cultivates confidence and opportunities for adult learners

The future is looking bright for Raymond Brackett, a hardworking, mature student in the Academic Upgrading program at Medicine Hat College (MHC).

Born and raised in Medicine Hat, the husband and father of two longed to make a better life for himself and his family, and knew it was time to try something new.

He had grown tired of working for minimum wage, and having dropped out of high school at the grade 10 level, the opportunities seemed limited. Then a friend recommended the Academic Upgrading program at MHC. Interested and with nothing to lose, Brackett applied to the program and hasn’t looked back since.

Brackett says he thoroughly enjoys the program, the instructors and the classroom atmosphere.

“It’s a great environment to be in. The students make you feel welcome and everyone treats each other well. I’m motivated to work hard when I’m in the classroom, and the help is right there when I need it.”

“MHC has great instructors and supports for students,” he adds. “The instructors are available to help in class and during their office hours, and you can access additional support from a tutor through the Open Learning Centre if you need it.”

Marla Taylor, an instructor in the Academic Upgrading program for the past 15 years, says Brackett has been a star student during his time in the program.

“He is a primary example of how our program prepares students to enter into other programs, either at MHC or other educational institutions. Students who move through our program learn to manage their school and home life, and in doing so many of them find success that they did not have before.”

Brackett admits that his scores on the initial assessment test were not very high due to his early departure from high school, however his commitment to his studies has paid off and his grades have improved immensely over the past two years. His success in the program has given him the confidence to “reach for the stars and be anything that he wants to be.”

He is currently working to complete his science courses, and plans on applying to the University Studies Engineering program at MHC once he’s finished upgrading.

“This program has done so much for me and I have nothing but great things to say about my time here at MHC,” says Brackett. “If you work hard, it will pay off. But you have to put the work in.”

Learn more about academic upgrading at MHC.