The transition from high school to college is a major life event for young students. Lethbridge College is helping to ease that move by offering a unique college experience – called Experiential Learning Week – to high school students from across southern Alberta, which takes place from Monday through Friday at the college.
Approximately 150 students will have the opportunity to engage in an authentic and eye-opening college experience in an academic area that aligns with their interests. Students from 13 schools from the Horizon, Livingstone and Palliser School Divisions will attend specially designed college-level classes. More than 80 of those students will also spend the week living in residence, giving them a further look at what college life will include.
“Area high schools have told us they want a situation that gives students a feel for the real college experience,” says Georgiana Ellis, Lethbridge College recruiter and Experiential Learning Week organizer. “We’re happy to say we’ve achieved that by giving students opportunities both in and out of the classroom that will challenge them and help them grow. It’s exciting to put them in a situation that will help them as they begin to consider their own post-secondary paths.”
This is the fourth time that Lethbridge College has hosted Experiential Learning Week. Students are able to choose one of 10 custom-designed educational tracks, encompassing many Lethbridge College programs – from trades to agriculture, health and wellness to justice, business to environmental science, and more. This year’s media and design track will include the chance for students to explore virtual reality, which aligns with the college’s two newest programs – Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Architectural Animation Technology.
Students also get the chance to meet with academic advisors, get healthy living tips from the Be Fit for Life Centre and meet with college recruiters. Those living in residence also have the opportunity to explore the city, and in previous years have been tasked with a variety of life challenges from budgeting, to cooking, to learning how to navigate public transit.
“I see this as the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ experience,” says Lettie Croskery, career practitioner, Livingstone Range School Division. “Students can get a taste of what their future program might include and get a chance to meet people who could be their future instructors. And because our students will be moving from home, possibly for the first time, it gives them a level of confidence when they make the decision of where they’d like to go to school.”
Participating schools are: Arden T. Litt Centre for Learning (Grassy Lake), Coalhurst High School, Erle Rivers High School (Milk River), Horizon M.A.P. (Vauxhall), Huntsville School (Iron Springs), Kainai High School (Blood Reserve), Kate Andrews High School (Coaldale), Matthew Halton High School (Pincher Creek), Noble Central School (Nobleford), Picture Butte High School, Piikani Nation Secondary School (Brocket), Vauxhall High School and Willow Creek Composite High School (Claresholm).