Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Four Ways to Make The Most Out of a Joint Education

First, a primer on what a joint program is, if you don't know. It's a unique sort of post-secondary program that allows you to participate in both college and university education, by taking a Bachelor's Degree Program that involves classes at both schools. You'll get the theory from university, and the practical from college. Schools like Centennial College offer these programs in association with universities like Ryerson and the University of Toronto for programs including Journalism, New Media, and Paramedicine. The benefits of this unique combined experience should be obvious, and if you've decided to take this educational path, here's a few tips on getting the most out of this special kind of education.
  1. Don't just interact with students in your program
    One massive advantage of a joint program is that you'll spend time at two different university campuses. You won't be alone on this journey, as there will be a group of fellow students also participating in this joint education with you. But you'll have time to get to know them, so you don't need to rush it. A student looking to advance their career would do well to get to know as many people at these two campuses as they can, as you never know what connection will advance your career, and you're getting the chance to build a double-sized professional network.
  2. Make sure to participate in student life on both campuses.
    Another advantage of two campuses: The student life. Try joining some clubs and going to events at both schools, especially because the culture of college and university will inevitably be interestingly different. Experiences shape the person, and as a student in a joint program, you're positioned to have a broader variety of experiences.
  3. Stay in touch when you switch schools
    Around the halfway point in your education, you'll make the move from one school to the other. That social networking you did will fall by the wayside if you don't maintain it, so be sure to stay in touch with the friends you made at one school. Visiting the campus sometimes isn't a bad idea, either, especially when the set-up tends to place the two schools close to each other, like with Centennial College and the University of Toronto.
  4. Think about your career as soon as you begin the second half
    In other words, start looking for work before you graduate, as it's going to take time. Even if you don't literally begin handing out resumes as soon as you enter the second leg of the joint program, never lose sight of your ultimate goal in taking it: To give you the kind of specialized educational background that makes you irresistible to employers. To that end, as soon as you move from one school to another, you need to consider how this career will be shaped. Fortunately, a practical college education can be the perfect bridge between school and work, and with your professional network behind you, you have a strong platform to start your job hunt with.

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