Small Town, Broad Horizons
NACLAA program was fundamental for Rachel’s appointment as CAO
Rachel Wueschner was an accountant with the Town of Sexsmith when she heard from a co-worker about the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA). “I thought it was a good fit for me and dove right in,” she recalls. An avid learner, she quickly completed the program and moved on to NACLAA Level II. Then the position of CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) of the town became vacant — and Rachel was the obvious choice to move into the role. “They wanted somebody who had some specific education related to municipal administration. So I can definitely say that my studies at the Faculty of Extension were fundamental in moving me ahead in my career.
Now a graduate from NACLAA II, Rachel is already working toward her third certificate with the Faculty of Extension, Applied Land Use Planning. “As a CAO in a small community, you need a broad general knowledge in different areas,” she explains. “You don’t have a lot of employees and can’t spend much on consultants, so you need to educate yourself.
Besides the certificates in municipal administration, Rachel holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Part of her motivation for engaging in continuing education is professional, as she thinks that “employers nowadays expect their staff to be always bettering themselves.” But there is also a component of sheer enjoyment to it: “I may be addicted to learning,” she laughs. “I have taken some breaks, and I always miss it. I think I will always continue to take courses.
“The NACLAA certificate is a great program that can move you forward in your organization.”