Students enrolled in kindergarten to grade 12 may still be enjoying their summer vacation but for years batch of College of New Caledonia (CNC) students it’s time to hit the books and get back to class.
Students preparing to start the Applied Business Technology (ABT) program offered at CNC’s Vanderhoof campus began their year last Wednesday with an introductory meeting between students. instructors and for the first time, graduates of the program’s previous years.
Eight new students and six former ABT students chatted over lunch about the challenges and joys of the program as well as what it takes to stick it out for the long haul.
Debbra Hes, an instructor with CNC for the last eight years said the idea to connect new students with past ones had been brewing for awhile.
“It was something that had been talked about before in past ABT programs,” said Hes. “We thought, wouldn’t it be nice for former students to come and share their stories, tips and maybe what the ABT program did and meant for them.”
Graduates of the program, who have gone on to work at the school board, Menchies Frozen Yoghurt, LMN Lumber and travel agencies, shared with the freshmen students some of their knowledge including the top five keys to being successful in the program as outlined by Lesley Chaisson who now operates the Take a Gander news flyer.
Chaisson outlined her five tips as having goals, surrounding yourself with positive reinforcement, organization, balance and getting rid of unnecessary clutter in your life.
The ABT program has been a popular one at CNC, operating for over 30 years, but two years ago due to low enrolment the program was unable to proceed. Hes says that that year without graduates created a need in the job market.
“I still have people calling about graduates.”
The future for the new students looks bright but starting a new program is always a somewhat daunting task; the words of wisdom from the programs alumni seems to have helped the students in their adjustment.
Danielle W., one of the new students said she found the presentation very helpful.
“I find it a lot more relaxing knowing that you can get through this even if life does happen.”
Echoing her remarks was Brianna Louwen, a recent high school graduate who will be starting her post secondary career at CNC.
“I’m glad they did this,” she said. “It makes me a little bit nervous but I am glad because it gives me a bit more insight into what to expect.”
Phoebe Kingsley, a graduate of last years project spoke to the benefit of the presentation saying she would have liked to have had a similar experience when she had first enrolled.
“I think it would have given us more insight in terms of what was going on. Anytime you go into something like this it can be nerve racking and it can be scary to have someone come in and speak but it’s also good to know the others who are out there and who came through and where they stand at this point.”