Meet Rachel Styres – a current student in our Early Childhood Education program!

“Can I handle this?” was a question that went through Rachel’s mind when she was deciding on whether or not to apply to OSTTC’s Early Childhood Education program. With a family of her own to keep her busy, she reviewed the program’s schedule flexibility and knew that she could finally start working towards her end goal; gaining employment in Kindergarten and/or Younger Grade classrooms through our Elementary Schools in the community!

Early Childhood Education is a 52-week online program in partnership with Fanshawe College. This program works through several different learning modules that will provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to work in the field. In addition, students are also able to gain real hands-on experience through various work placements that they will have to complete. At the end of the 52-weeks, students will have received their ECE Diploma!

This program provides students with their workload on Monday of each week where students have until 8pm on Friday to hand in all of their assignments. One of Rachel’s key reasons for pursuing this program was due to this schedule.

“This is something I loved. I am able to find the right times to work on assignments and complete them when I have time. I do not feel overwhelmed at all. Being a mom I usually do it once my children are sleep, I like to do 3 hours each night.”

Not only does this program offer great flexibility, it also allows for students to discuss and collaborate – even with it being done virtually. Rachel’s favourite part of her program is the discussion portion. In reflection, Rachel says “each week we are to post in a discussion and we are to respond to another student’s post as well. My favourite thing is learning from my classmates and hearing their opinions or different experiences.”

After every learning module, the students are directed to complete a 2-week work placement which will give them hands-on experience working with multiple age groups and in different organizations. Rachel notes that every placement she’s been on has been very welcoming and she’s loved that she is able to put her knowledge to the test!

Rachel’s self doubt in the beginning turned to a great decision after all! She says that

“I have wanted to get my ECE for a very long time now. I have attempted once and couldn’t complete for personal reasons. In that time, I felt no support from the school I was trying to complete this with. But, when I seen this program, I thought this is the perfect timing for me! I love that it is all online but is connected to OSTTC too so I would be able to have support in person if I needed it. OSTTC and Fanshawe have been great with support!”

Rachel will graduate from this program and receive her ECE Diploma in May. After this, Rachel hopes to pursue employment in our Elementary School system with focus on working in Kindergarten and younger grade classrooms.

“I love giving back to my community any way I can and we really need more in the ECE field, there is a shortage.”

Rachel’s advice to those who are interested in a program at OSTTC is that “Don’t be scared to start it!” If you would like to follow Rachel’s advice and apply to one of our programs, please visit

OSTTC is so proud of Rachel and how well she is doing in her studies! Keep up the great work, Rachel!