What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that gets asked of young kids when they are three or five or maybe even seven years old; but the question takes on a great deal more importance for a 17- or 18-year-old high school student.
Do you want a trade certificate? How about a diploma—that’ll take two years. A degree will set you back four years. And which institution are you going to choose?
To help the Grade 11 and 12 students sort it all out, BCSS held a post secondary institution day last Friday in the gym.
Student recruiters were there from Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers, Okanagan and Selkirk Colleges, Trinity Western and the Canadian Forces to provide information to students seeking higher education, programs and trades.
Cpl. Laura Matern, with the 44 Engineer Squadron 39 Combat Engineers out of Trail, said there are reserve unit opportunities for students while they are still in high school. “One weeknight a month—one exercise a month earns them an extra $200 a month,” she said. “You can even go away for training or tasking for the entire summer vacation.”
She said there are units in Trail (combat engineer) and Kelowna (armoured). “It’s not about going overseas. it’s just about serving your country and I think it is important to serve your country,” she said.
Okanagan College sent two recruiters, one from their business administration school and the another to cover everything else. With campuses in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton, Okanagan College is set to embark on a $33-million expansion to their trades and apprenticeship programs.
Selkirk College also offers close-to-home post-secondary opportunities. While most programs are offered at their Castlegar and Nelson campuses, they also offer courses at the Grand Forks campus. They are particularly proud of their Rural Pre-Med program. Tuition and living costs are lower than at a big-city university and Selkirk offers scholarships and awards for students from the region.
Simon Fraser University (SFU) offers academic four-year bachelors degrees, with over 100 academic programs in eight faculties. They are well known for their interdisciplinary programs that draw information from different disciplines. SFU is also the only non-American University to compete in the NCAA. They have three campuses on the Lower Mainland: Burnaby, downtown Vancouver and Surrey.
The main campus for Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is in Kamloops, augmented by a campus in Williams Lake offering two-year programs and foundations for trades as well as regional centres throughout their catchment area. TRU is a comprehensive university offering certificates, diplomas, full degree programs and foundation apprenticeships for trades.
As the recruiter from TRU said, “The day gives students a chance to do their research and find the university that fits them best.”