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CDI College Growth Story: Carly S, Program Lead

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Carly S is a living example of the “Practice What You Preach”-mindset.

Her journey with CDI College started in 2018, when she became a dental instructor at the Edmonton City Centre campus. Prior to that she managed a dental office for 16 years as a dental assistant. Her entry into teaching stemmed from a desire to seek new challenges in a career field she had a vast amount of experience in.



Transitioning from an Instructor to Program Lead

After spending time as a dental instructor and having successfully taught her first cohort, Carly got the opportunity to start leading the dental department in 2020. Her experience has been so fulfilling that she still considers each new workday to be as exciting as her first day on the job.

Since day one at CDI College, Carly wakes up every morning wanting to inspire students. According to Carly, there is an unmatched joy in watching her students grow from learning the basics of dental practices to finding jobs and excelling in the field. Her happiness lies in watching her students succeed.

Even though her role as the program lead mostly revolves around coordination, Carly is passionate about teaching and remains the instructor for two courses in the dental assisting program. This allows her to stay involved with students’ success and follow her heart for teaching. According to Carly, the teaching aspect of her role has a great return of investment. It is a chance to improve as a professional and receive active feedback—not just from her peers, but also from her students.

Carly reiterates that seeing students succeed is the most rewarding aspect of her career. She firmly believes that an optimistic attitude can have a profound impact on others. Be it among students or members of her team, Carly is a force of positivity. This intentional mindset keeps her motivated to garner respect and recognition for graduates of CDI College’s dental assisting program.



Navigating Through Challenges and Plans for the Future

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most challenging aspect of the job for Carly so far. While it has not necessarily hindered coursework, Carly believes that the mental health impact is felt by everyone involved in education programs.

We asked her how she stays positive during these trying times, both personally and professionally.

Carly shared that she is thankful to CDI College for all the resources being offered to students and staff alike. The college has even set up a mental health hotline for those in need of help.  

Carly said that it is important for CDI College to uphold public health standards, and, in some cases, go beyond the basic requirements mandated by the government.

“Being a credited program, we have to stay ahead of the curve and lead by example,” Carly said.

Carly believes that promoting good mental health in the community starts with practicing personal well-being. Only then can it be extending to others surrounding us as well.

Carly plans to continue her professional career in her current role at CDI College in Edmonton City Centre. Her plans for the future revolve around the desire to continue actively making a positive impact on her students and the team at CDI College.



Being Inspired and Inspiring Others

When asked about her inspirations, Carly immediately pointed to her desk covered in cards and Thank You-notes from current and former students. She said that all the beautiful notes written by students and fellow team members inspire her to keep inspiring others as well.

When she sees students return to the program after failing to succeed the first time, she feels extra motivated to improve as an instructor.



Life Outside of Work

Carly is a mother to two teenagers and a Golden doodle named Jasper. When not busy with work, she likes to practice yoga and meditation.

An avid traveler, Carly has been part of a dental mission in Costa Rica where she helped less privileged people gain access to dental care. Carly describes this as an eye-opening experience in a remote area where she could not even communicate with the locals without the use of an interpreter.

She plans to continue to spread awareness about dental health and strongly believes in the act of giving back to the community.


If you would like to work with an amazing team of dedicated and experienced instructors like Carly S, connect with us today!

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