The seemingly impossible comes true for UCW graduand
A lot of tears likely propelled Jason Della Porta’s four-year journey to today. He is about to collect his University Canada West (UCW) degree and a medal.
The struggle to overcome fears of scholastic inadequacy and maintain a full-time job to feed his family while pursuing an at-first, online Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree has made Della Porta’s success all the sweeter.
He may rightfully shed a tear of pride for himself when he crosses the convocation dais at Vancouver’s Italian Cultural Centre on July 15 to collect his degree and a Medal of Academic Excellence.
The medal (formerly Dean’s Award) recognizes his achievement of the highest cumulative grade point average, 3.78 out of a potential 4.33, in his program.
“Simply completing my degree was more then enough,” says the 33-year-old Montreal native who now makes Dorval, Quebec his home with his wife and two sons. “Being able to obtain the medal for Academic Excellence on top of my degree is outstanding for me, a student who struggled so much in his earlier years but has come to accomplish what he set out to do.”
Remembering his aborted attempts to get a degree before the age of 21, Della Porta credits the flexibility of UCW’s degree program and lessons learned in the workforce with helping him become an academic success story.
By the time he’d started his UCW studies in 2012 he was in his mid-20s, married with a child. He had also lost a career as one of the youngest store managers at Zellers, which Target had taken over. The start of his UCW studies coincided with landing a demanding store manager position at Target.
He drew on his already well-rooted appreciation of time management in the work environment to balance maintaining university studies online, a full-time job and family commitments.
“Taking one to two courses at a time while working full-time in a physically and mentally demanding 50-55 hour job and finding time to spend with the family was demanding. But I was quite motivated from the grades I was receiving,” remembers Della Porta. “UCW’s online format gave me the flexibility I needed to meet competing demands.”
UCW’s flexibility in how it offers its degrees mirrored Della Porta’s flexibility in how he responded to changes in his work life.
“When Target closed, I had once again a similar issue of being back in the market for a job without a completed degree,” explains Della Porta. “It was at this point that I decided to take the necessary time to finish my degree in full-time classes.”
Looking ahead to the future, Della Porta is in awe of how his UCW education, his perseverance and his family’s patience have dovetailed to produce great promise.
“I am quite excited as I have found many doors to have been open to me now, having my degree in which I can start any new career that I want.”
UCW is part of the Global University Systems (GUS) international network of higher-education institutions headquartered in the Netherlands. With institutions and affiliates across the UK, Canada, Germany and Singapore the group educates more than 50,000 students from 160 different nationalities.
UCW delivers programs that provide students with the applied and theoretical basis for success in the workplace and future academic endeavours. Established in 2004 by David Strong, former University of Victoria president, UCW offers quality education with courses that transfer broadly into the public education system. Courses are offered at UCW’s downtown Vancouver campus and online. For more information visit www.ucanwest.ca.
Carol Thorbes, Communications/Media Relations
Note: Jason Della Porta can be contacted directly to arrange for an interview: 1-514-636-6095 (Quebec), firstname.lastname@example.org