University Transfer grad Jacob Hadley hopes to inspire those unsure about post-secondary school

jacob-hadleyGrad Recruiter Jacob Hadley does not take his college certificate and university degree lightly. For Jacob, who dropped out of high school at 16 years old, crossing the convocation stage at Trent University this year was a dream come true, and he thanks Fleming College’s University Transfer  program for helping him achieve this milestone.

Jacob stopped attending classes in grade 10 and when he decided to go back the following schoolyear, seeing his friends a year ahead of him in grade 11 made Jacob decide to drop out. He began the process of trying to earn his Ontario Secondary School Diploma through online and Independent Learning Centre courses, and earned his GED at 20 years old.

“It was taking a long time to complete each course and I had many credits to complete to obtain my high school diploma,” said Jacob, who was anxious to catch up to his high school peers. It was Jacob’s mother who found Fleming College’s unique General Arts and Science – University Transfer program, which enables students to experience university-level general arts and social sciences courses while earning credits towards a university degree. Jacob’s older brother attended the program first and was successful, so Jacob decided to enrol.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to study, or if I wanted to study at all, but the program gave me five university credits at Trent and I could pick what I wanted to focus my studies on when I got there,” said Jacob. “It was a broad course of social sciences and writing techniques, which gave me a good perspective of what I wanted to study after. Most importantly, I learned how to write at a university level, which helped me immensely when it came to essays and research papers at Trent. I don’t know how my mom found out about this program but I’m forever grateful she did— thanks mom!”

Jacob enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and sense of community at Fleming. He said students not only build relationships with their peers, but also get to know their professors and stay connected after graduating. “This is especially beneficial with the professors who work in their field and can help find jobs for their students,” he added.

Jacob credits college with helping him become social and outgoing, explaining, “I was very reserved before coming to Fleming College and, while at school, I learned to come out of my shell and I really enjoyed meeting new people.” His favourite spot at Sutherland Campus is the Steele Centre, where he played pool, attended events, and enjoyed concerts.

He completed the two-semester certificate program in 2013 and went directly to Trent University, graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a specialization in Marketing and Consumer Culture, this past June (2017).

“Fleming’s UT program completely prepared me for university, especially entering the first and second-year courses where such a large portion of grades were based on writing ability,” said Jacob. “The preparation and feedback I received from my professors in the UT program helped me receive high marks in this area, which greatly reduced stress and anxiety.”

Now that Jacob has completed his studies at Trent University, he is returning to Fleming College– but this time as a staff member. Jacob was hired by Student Recruitment for a Grad Recruiter position, where he will travel the province this fall speaking to a variety of audiences about Fleming programs, services and facilities.

“Fleming gave me the opportunity to get back into education after a lengthy hiatus and I wanted the chance to talk to other people who may not believe college is right for them. There’s always an opportunity for someone in post-secondary education, you just need to find the right place for you,” said Jacob. “I hope I can help guide these students down the right path and one day they will be as grateful as I am to have chosen Fleming College.”