Scott Isaac’s decision to attend CBU came at a pivotal point in his life. At age 49, and after more than 13 years of service as a Correctional Officer, Scott discovered the University’s In-Community Bachelor of Arts Community Studies (BACS) degree available to him in his hometown of Listuguj, Quebec, and decided to take the opportunity to gain post-secondary education.
“Being a CBU In-Community student gave me the opportunity to discuss with my classmates, who are also from my community, the real issues we face as Mi’gmaq on a daily basis. Theory is theory, but reality dictates the discussions and it is also informative on how each individual views these same challenges. We were able to do projects that involve research within and for our community that we could not have done on a campus or in some cases, online because there is either no information or the information only applies to other communities.”
A major advantage to this degree program, Scott notes, was having facilitators from the community available to help students with their school work. Having these community members who had direct connections with the students as resources is something Scott says was highly beneficial. He also recognizes and appreciates the work of facilitators from outside the community, saying, “I will miss the discussions with facilitators that were not from the community, but who came to our community to not only teach us, but to learn about and from each one of us.”
Working as an office clerk for the Department of National Defence along with his time served as a Correctional Officer for Correctional Service Canada has had a great influence on Scott’s work ethic as a student. He has carried forward his motto of being the best he can be in whatever he does from the workplace, to the classroom. Having tried post-secondary education when he was younger, Scott acknowledges that it is his maturity and appreciation for the opportunity that he now has that has made him successful this time in the BACS program.
Scott says, “I am grateful that our graduation ceremony took place in our very own community of Listuguj to not only honor the graduates but to show the rest of the community that a postsecondary education can be obtained within their very own backyard, and to showcase the success that has been achieved by those within the program as well as those who made this dream possible in getting the BACS program up and running in Listuguj.”
Upon graduating, Scott hopes to work with Social Services in his community and continue his academic journey to obtain a Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Bachelor of Social Work from Saint Thomas University in 2017.