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High school students look to college future

More than 450 Grade 12 students toured Confederation College to see what the Thunder Bay school has to offer them in a post-secondary education.

THUNDER BAY – More than 450 students from throughout the city and beyond got a taste of what college life is really like.

The mostly Grade 12 students spent the morning touring Confederation College, getting oriented with what the school has to offer, from the cafeteria, to student services to bursaries and other financial aid that might be up for the taking.

Then, as afternoon rolled in, the students broke off into smaller groups and got the chance to see what specific programs had to offer.

Hammarskjold’s Evan Strilchuk, 17, said he wants to go into automotive next fall, and the college has a great program, or so he’s been told.

Seeing it first-hand helps make his post-secondary decision that much simpler.

“Coming here to see the college itself shows me what’s here, what services they have, the different courses, if I want to take something else in the future,” Strilchuk said.

“It’s a local college, so it’s better than having to leave town.”

Classmate David Appel, Jr. said he’s already got a positive impression of the Thunder Bay school.

“I do have a few co-workers who love going to Confederation College. I’ve heard great things about it. It opens up so many opportunities in the future ... What really stood out for me was all the options, the courses you’re able to take is absolutely amazing because they fall perfectly in my skill zone,” said Appel, who wants to go into the skilled trades sector, either welding or automotive, where he believes there are plenty of available jobs.

For the school itself, the annual recruitment is a chance to have the undivided attention at hundreds of potential students still trying to figure out what they want to do after high school ends in June.

Recruitment officer Katie Arpin said it’s a huge day for the school.

“It’s extremely important for those students who have maybe never stepped foot on campus and they want to see what it’s actually like to be at our campus before they make that end decision to apply,” Arprin.

“Success for us is definitely the numbers and the students that are interested to actually come on campus and meet with us. But it’s also the applications at the end of the day and seeing that they’re happy with the program choices that they have seen and they’re comfortable with the campus itself.”

The college currently has just over 7,000 students enrolled full- and part-time. About 87.9 per cent of students who attend the school find employment within six months of graduation.

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith has been the editor of Thunder Bay Source for 17 years and has served a similar role with since 2009. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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