June 22nd, 2024

Open House shows students what college has to offer


By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on March 8, 2022.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard Marni Hope and Lowell Yellowhorn, of Indigenous Services, man their table at the Lethbridge College open house Saturday afternoon in the Centre Core of the College.

Lethbridge College held its annual Open House on the weekend, and it gave those interested an option in how they would like to attend.
The college threw its doors open to prospective students Saturday at the Centre Core with multiple booths set up to help students plan their post-secondary path.
But this year’s Open House also gave people the option of attending virtually, a popular component that may continue at future Open Houses.
“We decided to make it a hybrid event both online and in-person,” said Deanna Gonnelly, manager of Student Success and Advising. “During the pandemic we found our virtual event really provided an avenue for students who couldn’t come to Lethbridge for the day, but were thinking about moving here for school and, of course, for our international learners who don’t actually arrive on campus until a couple of days before classes, the virtual event allows them to experience the college. Because of that great success we wanted to do this hybrid event so that people could choose the modality that suited them best and they could access the Open House whichever way was easiest for them.”
That brought in visitors from not only out-of-province, but out-of-country.
“We’ve had some virtual learners from B.C. and Saskatchewan log in to our site today and our international advisors are here talking to people from all over the world,” said Gonnelly. “They’re available through a live chat. So they’ve had people from Latin America and India chatting and finding out how they can become a student here next year.”
The Lethbridge College Open House is one of the college’s premier events, said Gonnelly,
“It helps to see what the college is like. They get to talk to their instructors and they get to talk to the staff from all the service areas and really get a taste for what it’s going to be like here as a college student.”
“Our winter event being on a Saturday also allows the students to bring their parents or their family supporters with them to find out how they can be involved in their child’s education.”
As of Saturday afternoon, a steady stream of traffic flowed through the college’s Centre Core.
“It has been amazing,” said Gonnelly. “We had over 200 people registered for the event and each person who registers also brings parents, family members and siblings with them. So we’ve had a couple hundred people come through. The weather was in our favour today, for sure. People are coming out and getting used to being out in a crowd again, which has been exciting for people to interact and come for the event.
“I’ve talked to a few people this morning who drove down for the day from a couple of hours away just to check things out because they explained to me it was the first opportunity their high school students had had to come to an on-campus event in over two years and they were actually really excited to be here.”
All of the college’s program areas were represented, said Gonnelly, from their diploma and degree program, university transfer program and all campus services.
The college offered tours as well.
“So students can experience what it’s like to be in our criminal justice courtrooms or one of our nursing labs. They can see what opportunities they have for learning when they’re a student here.”
Gonnelly said she expects the in-person and virtual format to continue.
“The hybrid event has been such a success for us both this time and last fall that I really can’t see us going away from it in the future.”
In the meantime, Lethbridge College and southern Alberta in general continues to draw interest from prospective students.
“It feels exciting that people are wanting to move here and come experience the city of Lethbridge as well as Lethbridge College,” said Gonnelly. “They’re excited to get back to what we have to offer.”

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