Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Graeme's story

Graeme Beverley

"Contact with the OL Faculty Members was important as they were able to direct me towards the course goals and they were quick to push me to learn more and express myself in more eloquent terms."

With a little help from Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning (TRU-OL), Graeme Beverley reached his goal to obtain a Health Science degree and satisfy his personal and professional need to be educationally equal to his peers.

Only four short days after moving from Newcastle, England to British Columbia in April 1983, Beverley began his Canadian physiotherapy career. In order to legally practice here, he had to join the College of Physical Therapists of BC.

All physical therapy practitioners, from foreign and home soil alike, must be registered with the College in order to practice physical therapy in BC. In 1993 it was provincially mandated that all new foreign educated physiotherapists practicing in BC must be able to prove their education is equivalent to a Canadian degree in physiotherapy. Having practiced physiotherapy in Canada for about 11 years prior to the legal amendment, Beverley was not affected by the new provision.

However, his personal resolve led him to beat BC’s credentialing bullet and enrol in the Health Science degree course in 1992. And achieve degree status Beverley did, although not without some challenges. After more than a decade away from the school environment, Beverley returned but this time he shouldered much more responsibility.

It wasn't just the strain of entering into a student mentality and a new learning format; it was also the challenge of doing so with a young family and full-time job. With these commitments in tow, Beverley knew his course work would have to be very flexible so that it could be organized into his minimal amount of spare time. In order to fit education in, Beverley utilized time when he could, like early mornings and evenings after the kid were tucked tightly in bed. Despite his tenacity, Beverley initially found the course work difficult to adjust to. However, Beverley said that communication with OL Faculty Members provided the guidance required to understand the format coursework was expected to be in as well as the nuances inherent to course expectations.

"Contact with the OL Faculty Members was important as they were able to direct me towards the course goals and they were quick to push me to learn more and express myself in more eloquent terms," he said.

OL Faculty Member communication and guidance, the straightforward layout of course instruction and the ability to gain credit for courses he previously gained at the College of New Caledonia added to Beverley’s positive and successful experience. Beverley simply had to send his course transcripts to Open Learning in order to transfer credits toward his OL degree, reducing his total course load.

After completing his Open Learning credential, Beverley said he "felt more professional and better able to carry out all the aspects of my work" in his position as Professional Practice Leader for the Physical Therapy department in Merritt.

Graeme Beverley
Merritt, British Columbia