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Athabasca University

Arlene M.C. Young, Ph.D.




  • B.A., University of Alberta
  • Diploma of the Faculty of Education-Educational Psychology, University of Alberta
  • M.Ed., University of Alberta-Counselling Psychology
  • Ph.D., University of Alberta-Educational Psychology


I have worked at Athabasca University (AU) since 1975. During that time, I have been in a number of positions, primarily as a counsellor, academic, tutor or instructor.

While my two children were growing up, I worked at paid employment and studied for a master's degree in counselling psychology, and after they were grown, a doctorate in educational psychology. My studies were all at the University of Alberta. My challenges and experiences were similar to many AU students in that managing work and family commitments was a challenge.

Distance education can help with balancing life roles, but may require a new set of skills in learning and personal management. It's hard to know which ones are the most difficult. Suffice to say that I have worked with many students over the years to overcome barriers to their learning, and develop effective study skills.

My research has focused on women and their careers and related work continues as a tutor in women’s studies, and as an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church. Teaching effective communication skills is one focus and another is helping women make sense of their experiences. Both topics were addressed in my master’s and doctoral research. Other research I've worked on has focused primarily on evaluating AU support services for students.

I love dogs, hence my photo with Scully. He was a Humane Society foundling and has been with me for over 11 years. Once I received serious training, he became a great companion!

Selected Publications

Cavanaugh, C., Ellerman, E., Oddson, L., & Young, A. (2001). Lessons from our cyberclassroom. E. J. Burge, & M. Haughey (Eds.), Using learning technologies: International perspectives on practice (pp. 61-71). San Francisco, CA: Routledge/Falmer.

Young, A. M. C. (2010). Telling stories to make sense of job loss. L. R. Ross (Ed.), Counselling women: Feminist issues, theory and practice. Toronto: Women's Press.

Young, A. (2008). Selected study skills books in the AU Library and some websites. Athabasca University.

Young, A. M. C. (2003). Making sense of women's job loss experiences. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Course Author

Spronk, B. & Young, A. (2009). MDDE 651: Gender Issues in Distance Education.

I have collaborated with Barbara Spronk, the author of the original course, on two major revisions of the course. Barbara led the team on the first revision in (1999), I led the team on a revision in 2004, and was sole author of a complete revision in 2009.

Updated February 25 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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