Graduate receives Award of Academic Excellence for work in Web Design Certificate program.
Debbie Lawlor believes in the value of
life-long learning. She has served as a full-time information technology
analyst for McMaster University’s Library & Learning Technologies Department
for 17 years. And in 2015, she made the decision to go back to school herself.
“I wanted to make sure I was up-to-date
with modern code and the latest trends in web design,” Lawlor explains.
After considering her options, Lawlor
decided that the Certificate in Web Design offered through McMaster University
Continuing Education met all her professional and personal
“The program was recently redesigned, so I
knew I would be learning current best practices from expert instructors,” Lawlor
The online program also offered Lawlor the
opportunity to learn at her own pace while raising a family and working
full-time. Taking one course at a time, she was able to complete her
Certificate in Web Design in two years. This past fall, she was honoured with a
McMaster University CCE Award of Academic Excellence.
Lawlor says she appreciated the flexibility
of the online learning format, which included weekly readings and video
lectures as well as scheduled group tutorials and discussion forums.
Group project work was another program
highlight. Lawlor enjoyed meeting and collaborating with students from right
across Canada. “Everyone had diverse skills, so we all got to learn from one
another,” she says.
In addition to teaching current web design
principles and practices, the McMaster University Centre for Continuing
Education Certificate in Web Design offers students instruction in project
management, collaboration, and communication skills.
“Learning how to be part of a large team is
important,” Lawlor says.
At work, she recently served as the web
developer for a project that involved several university departments and an
external branding agency. “I was able to use the skills I learned during the
certificate program to become a valuable contributor to the project,” she notes.
Lawlor says she would recommend McMaster
CCE to anyone who wants to upgrade their current skills or transition into a
“If you are working full time or raising a
family, the online format is great,” she says.
Her advice for those going back to school
is simple. “Start your projects early, and accept the feedback from your
instructors. They are there to help.”