October 22nd, 2020

Experiential Learning Week lets area high school students experience college life


By Lethbridge Herald on May 7, 2019.

Wind turbine technician instructor Colin Wynder helps student Peter Hamm over the edge, with classmate Jake Peters waiting his turn, while taking part in an evacuation simulation being lowered in a controlled descent from an elevated platform Tuesday as part of Experiential Learning Week at Lethbridge College. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Greg Bobinec
Lethbridge Herald
gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com
Lethbridge College is assisting high school students in making the transition to college by offering a unique college experience, called Experiential Learning Week. The program is offered to high school students from across southern Alberta, which runs from Monday through Friday.
Over 130 students are taking the opportunity to engage in the college experience in an academic area that appeals to their interests. Thirteen schools are participating in the designed college-level classes from the Horizon, Livingstone and Palliser school divisions. More than 80 of the students are taking the college experience even further by spending the week living in residence to give them a further look into college life.
“Area high schools have told us they want a situation that gives students a feel for the real college experience,” says Georgina 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.”
It’s the fourth time the college has hosted Experiential Learning Week, where students are able to choose one of 10 custom-designed educational tracks that encompass many Lethbridge College programs. Students are able to choose from trades, agriculture, health and wellness, justice, business, environmental science, media and more. This year’s media and design track is introducing the chance for students to explore virtual reality, which aligns with the college’s two new programs, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Architectural Animation Technology.
Students also get the chance to meet with academic advisers to help guide them on their educational journey, receive healthy living tips from the Be Fit for Life Centre, meet college recruiters, and take part in a college services speed dating event to see all of the other services they can take part in during their post-secondary education.
“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.”
Originally, Experiential Learning Week was hosted by Regional Stewardship at the college, but has transferred to the college recruitment team. Since the switch, the recruitment team is working on expanding the program for schools in the city to take part in the immersive experience.
“Over the last four years there have been a lot of developments to it. It began by Regional Stewardship here at the college and it was offered to schools that had a stewardship campus,” says Ellis. “This year we opened it up to Horizon School District, so we did add a couple of schools this year and we will open it up even further next year. We just needed that transition period to make sure we can take on the capacity, but it looks like we can.”
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