By SYLVIE BERRY
Entering the world of adulthood brings new responsibilities and decisions. Making those decisions responsibly can be an overwhelming task, especially with little help.
Luckily for students pursuing studies at either Niagara College or St. Catharines’ Brock University, there is one man with a unique position who links the schools through students.
Jeffrey Post, who’s been the Niagara College and Brock University joint adviser for over two years, specializes in guiding students seeking help transferring programs between the two post-secondary institutions.
"I discuss with them first about different programs they’re interested in, the transfer credits, the application process and then the admissions requirements," says Post, who has offices at both campuses of the college.
Post was hired by both institutions for the newly created position in October 2007 when the Ontario government wanted to see collaboration among colleges and universities. Now two years later, Post schedules his time evenly between the Brock University campus and Niagara College’s Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses.
Over the past eight years, the number of students transferring has grown to more than 300 annually. Post has created a student transfer database logging the programs each student is in, with his or her average and the transfer credits received.
"It gives us a really good idea of who received what transfer credits from what program and also who was successful in transferring from one program to the other," says Post.
Of those 300 students, the slight majority are the degree graduates coming to the college to programs with specific skills. While a university education offers plenty of theoretical knowledge, the additional applied hands-on skills offered at the college level drives students to pursue both forms of post-secondary education for better career success.
Niagara College Liberal Arts and Science teacher Laura Connolly is also a part-time paramedic for the Niagara Region and had obtained her degree and diploma at both Brock and Niagara.
After her time at Brock in the psychology program, Connolly decided to pursue Niagara for its Primary Care Paramedic program. With her background theory in psychology, she has become more aware of others’ behaviours and that knowledge has helped her better understand and relate to those experiencing crisis.
"In turn, it has made me more compassionate towards people when otherwise I wouldn’t be. I’ve learned to put myself in their shoes," says Connolly.
Kevin Brochu, 22, is a Brock graduate with an honours degree in Political Science and French. He is enrolled in Niagara College’s Public Relations Graduate Certificate program this year. With little intention of going to college after his completion of university, Brochu recognized his lack of practical knowledge needed for his field of work.
"I believe that having a degree in political science is a great asset for me since I want to work for the government, and I’m sure being French will help with any career," says Brochu.
Although any transition is bound to be a challenge, Post works closely with student development and success centres at the college and university levels to help smooth the pathway. Utilizing the support services available is essential, though most transfer students are successful.
Nick Cote, 27, a Mohawk College graduate with a diploma in Accounting, is now majoring in Accounting at Brock University with plans of earning an undergraduate degree and later his master’s. Jumping from college to university has appeared to be an effortless transition for this mature student. Cote is ranked at the top his class.
"Getting my degree is something that I want. I wouldn’t be getting the grades I’ve been getting if I didn’t want them," says Cote.
Post is available at the Welland campus Wednesday throughout the day and Thursday afternoons in room S105, and Monday throughout the day and Thursday mornings in room E213 at the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus.
"I think part of the reason why my position has been so successful is that students now have a familiar face they can identify with," says Post.
Contact Post at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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