Sunday, December 28, 2014

Making The Leap from University to College

Students who seek a practical college education mixed with a theoretical university experience would do well to take one of the joint college/university programs offered by several Ontario post-secondary institutions. Such programs allow students to participate in a university's bachelor degree program, then head to college for a diploma. If you're a university student, making the transition from one institution to another can be tough to prepare for, so here's some things you should look out for during that transition.

The campus will shrink, and that's not a bad thing
University lecture halls frequently host hundreds of students, but in college, you're looking at those classes of hundreds becoming thirty or so. Far from being a negative, there's advantages to this smaller, more personalized approach, especially because it leads to…

Teachers and a class you'll really know
In a small class, you'll know your instructor, and they'll know you. A teacher you know is one that can personalize their instruction, and whom you can easily form a connection with. Given that college teachers tend to be industry professionals with valuable experience, you'll want to know them when your post-graduate job hunt begins.

As for students, it's impossible to know a class of 200. 30 on the other hand is doable. You'll want to know them firstly to share resources and support during the focused second half of your education, and secondly to become more links in that invaluable post-graduate job search.

A farewell to electives, and a hello to focus
I hinted at this above, but your program is going to be far less general and far more specific. You won't be studying things only tangentially related to your profession anymore. Instead, every class will pertain to your major and your career. And you'll find yourself spending less time listening to lectures, and more time getting up and using your hands, since the idea is to get you practicing your career before it even begins. It'll be all job skills, all the time. And this will pay off in the end, since you'll also be provided with…

Access to job-hunting resources
College is about connecting you to careers, thought practical education and resources. This comes from the fact that you'll be practicing your job, from the fact that your profs will have industry connections, and from the fact that you can form a professional network with you small group of classmates, which you can get to know. This can be literal, too, as between job banks, career resources, field placements, and profs who will email you links to jobs, careers will come first when you make the move to college.

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