This year, more than 21,000 learners will attend Okanagan College campuses from the Shuswap to the South Okanagan – the equivalent of more than 8,745 full-time students. The college focuses on small classes and a personal approach. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

This year, more than 21,000 learners will attend Okanagan College campuses from the Shuswap to the South Okanagan – the equivalent of more than 8,745 full-time students. The college focuses on small classes and a personal approach. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Okanagan College can kick-start careers

Salmon Arm campus focuses on success in small classes with personal approach

At a time when many are making resolutions to hit the gym, a pair of Okanagan College students are sharing their thoughts on why hitting the books in January may be even more life-changing.

Okanagan College is preparing for another intake of new students for the winter semester starting in January, which often includes mature students and those returning from a break or travel abroad.

Last year, Connor Welsh was one of those students who seized the new year to kick-start his education as the timing would allow him to continue to lend a hand with the family business.

“I started in January because I found it worked better for my schedule,” explains Welsh, whose family owns Country Camping Leisure Products and works long hours during the peak tourist season. “In the summer months, I’m often working the most during the year. That’s when I have the longest hours and am the busiest, so studying in the off-season is better.”

Related: Okanagan College campus orientation kicks off

Fast forward to this January, and Welsh finds himself with just one course left to go. He says the college’s small class sizes and personal approach have been critical to his progress, and inspired him to consider additional business education as well.

“From the moment I took a step through the doors, the staff were focused on what I needed to succeed and move forward,” Welsh explains. “It is such a friendly atmosphere, the quality of the education is great, the classroom experience is good because people want to be there, and the instructors care about your learning.”

This year, more than 21,000 learners will attend its campuses from the Shuswap to the South Okanagan – the equivalent of more than 8,745 full-time students.

The 2018 British Columbia Labour Market Outlooks predicts 903,000 job openings in the province between now and 2028, with nearly 80 percent requiring workers with some form of post-secondary education.

Welsh also points that flexibility in being able to transfer his education was also a draw to start at the college – a statement echoed by one his peers at the Salmon Arm campus.

Blake Lewis, a recent Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship recipient working towards a bachelor’s degree in education, said starting in January helped him fast-track his academic studies.

“I started in the winter semester because I wanted to make up the time on my studies,” he explains. “It was a hard decision to switch from full-time employment and give up that certainty to become a student, but I think it was worth it.”

The college recently launched a new tool to help students more easily explore programs starting soon at OC campuses. Would-be students can learn more at www.okanagan.bc.ca/startnow.

Many classes began Jan. 3, but several programs allow for late registrations.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A logging truck spilled its load on Squilax-Anglemont Road after failing to negotiate a shard corner on Jan. 19. (Google Maps image)
Logging truck loses load, blocks traffic in North Shuswap

Jan. 19 incident on Squilax-Anglemont Road obstructed traffic for several hours

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Home Owner Grant applications will no longer be done through the City of Salmon Arm's property tax notices. (File photo)
City of Salmon Arm no longer handling Home Owner Grant applications

B.C. government to open to new online system for grant applications

The Greater Vernon Ringette Association is one of six Vernon sports groups benefitting from B.C.’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (Morning Star file photo)
Relief funds keep Okanagan in the game

Clubs at risk of closure due to inability to offer programs and fundraise

The Salmon Arm health area saw 36 new COVID-19 cases reported between Jan. 10 and 16. (BCCDC Image)
January COVID case numbers in Salmon Arm area already exceed 2020 total

Live data suggests Salmon Arm area saw 53 reported COVID-19 cases between Jan. 3 and 16.

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Kevin Lee Barrett is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. (Facebook)
Court hears of victim’s injuries in West Kelowna attempted murder trial

Two-week-long trial continues for Kevin Barrett, accused of trying to kill mother in West Kelowna

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)
Overdose and suicide support group starts in Penticton

Penticton was one of the province’s communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis in 2020

The steel mills in the Hamilton waterfront harbour are shown in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Dyer: Stay the course on Carbon pricing

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)
Jocelyn’s Jottings: Want to make change? Here are some suggestions

As a citizen you have a voice, you just have to know who to talk to

Most Read