June 14th, 2024

College 101: Prospective students explore program offerings

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 22, 2022.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Students from Grades 10 to 12 try out the College's VR equipment getting a feel for how it works as they dip their toes into the elements of game design Wednesday at Lethbridge College.

Lethbridge College welcomed high school students from across southern Alberta to the campus Wednesday to try out its Exploratory Programming Day.

The new initiative at the college, piloted in the spring of 2022, brought interested students from Grades 10, 11, and 12 to the campus for a day of hands-on sessions to learn about the college’s program areas and potentially discover careers or industries they had not considered.

“This has been the best thing in the world for the students and for our program areas,” said Cherie Bowker, chair of the school of Spatial Design Technologies. “We plan activities for them for the day. In VR they are testing different headsets and seeing what it can do and learning about the industry. They are going to build an experience of today. In architectural design, they will be doing concept boards and I am going to have them building a 3D model of that house.”

Students gained experience in a variety of programming offered at the college, learning about various offerings in agriculture, business, policing, electrical, engineering, healthcare, VR, and welding.

“The more you can explore in high school, the better career choice that you are going to make,” said Bowker. “It is good to know what you want to do, but also what you maybe don’t want to do. Making that choice is half the battle when you enter into college or university.”

Excited for the opportunity to test out new equipment, students got to learn about the education they can access to pursue related careers.

“It is huge, because I don’t have the chance to experience VR outside of programs like this,” said Kevin Erick, Grade 12 student at CCH. “It allows me to see what programs I’m wanting to go into. If I go here and try them out through days like this, maybe I don’t like them and I don’t have to go into that program and spend the money just to find that out.”

Hosting a day for students to test the waters and dip a toe into a possible career option, the program helps students pursue post-secondary with options to explore their interests.

“We are always excited to meet with students,” said Bowker. “I would encourage them to even come back. We have something called Student for a Day here that they can take the day and be a college student and sit in on class. There is nothing better than seeing what that is like. We also have dual credit programming that they could get credit for high school and credit for the course they are taking. We encourage (students) to do that, I love seeing their eyes light up and seeing how excited they get when they can build something with us.”

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