Recipient of the 2014 UBC Continuing Studies John K. Friesen Excellence in Teaching Award.
Change. It’s all around us. Sometimes change happens to us, and sometimes we make it happen. Learning to manage it and take positive steps in their lives is what brings adult learners to Ann Rice’s courses at UBC Continuing Studies.
“For some, an external event such as job loss, the breakdown of a relationship, retirement, children going to school or leaving home can trigger change," she explains. "What they know is that there is no going back and that the way forward is unclear. They take courses to gain the skills and strategies to find direction, set goals and formulate action plans.”
Many participants come to develop soft skills such as self-awareness, assertiveness and listening. “They realize that these attributes enable them to add value to their teams and organizations. I recently spoke with a woman who is planning to take the UBC Certificate in Peer Counselling because the supervisory position she wants is inaccessible to her without the powerful ‘soft skills’,” says Ann.
Whatever their reasons for taking her courses, students come away with practical skills that can be applied to personal and professional situations. According to Ann, this includes models for making assertive requests and negotiating for positive change, strategies for responding to criticism without losing control, tools for clarifying strengths, skills and values, criteria for setting achievable goals, and strategies for building confidence and resilience, to name a few.
Ann is an effective instructor in managing change because she has experienced it herself. She began her career in journalism, but realized that it wasn’t a good fit. As a career transition strategy, she enrolled in a life planning program at the former UBC Women’s Resources Centre (now the UBC Continuing Studies Life and Career Programs). Through that program, Ann recognized that her strength lay in helping others realize their potential, and she has worked in that capacity for over 20 years. Ann recently graduated with a Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University, and transfers her own passion for learning into her courses.
“My goal as an instructor is to create a motivating and supportive learning environment, to provide a wide variety of instructional techniques and resources to meet different needs, and to facilitate the shift of learning from the classroom to real life,” expresses Ann.