College test drive: Experience Briercrest gives potential students a taste of college life

Kayla Malanka | Feb 24, 2014
Participants in Experience Briercrest gather ask their questions to a panel of current Briercrest students. Participants in Experience Briercrest gather ask their questions to a panel of current Briercrest students.Participants in Experience Briercrest gather ask their questions to a panel of current Briercrest students.

Despite the windy, winter storm, 55 potential students from across Canada braved the cold to participate in Briercrest College and Seminary’s Experience Briercrest.  

The event, which ran from February 12th to 14th, gave the potential students a taste of what college life is like at Briercrest.

“It is a chance to experience Briercrest, it is set up especially for students that are interested in coming here to give them a chance to sit in class, to meet faculty, to meet students, to live in dorm, to check out the cafeteria and to see all the co-curricular (activities) they can be involved in,” Dwayne Uglem, director of institutional research at Briercrest, explained.

“We were really encouraged with that turnout. The students that came were serious and interested in studies here,” he said, adding that it is a good thing when students can see the community first-hand.  

Sarah Pahl, a Medicine Hat resident, said the chance to come and experience Briercrest helped confirm her decision to attend next year.

“I think I was definitely confident that I wanted to come before attending, but this experience has certainly sealed the deal for me. It solidified for me what I wanted to do,” she said.  

“It gives you a lot more information than just hearing about it or seeing it on the website. To be able to experience first-hand makes all the difference.”

Shelby Haga, who attended the event and has now decided to enrol in the humanities program, agreed.

“It’s different to look online at classes than to actually get to experience them and the school itself. Especially being able to experience the professors and their teaching styles is definitely very informative,” she explained.

“And just getting to interact with people and seeing how it will be like if you were a student was great.”  

Denver Knodel, also from Medicine Hat, said the experience was really encouraging and he really enjoyed feeling included.

“It’s been really cool. There have been times when I have forgotten I am not actually a student. When we went into Joe’s Places (a youth centre in Moose Jaw) I was so ready to volunteer; then I realized when we got back on the bus that I would have to wait another seven months to get here if it works out,” he laughed.

“I have felt really included and not like I am just an observer, but I am participating in things and that is really cool and a lot of fun. And I’ve enjoyed being in the dorms and just being able to talk with the guys in there and just how friendly and open and encouraging the atmosphere is.”

Knodel said anyone interested in attending Briercrest should certainly consider coming out to the Experience Briercrest event.

“It’s free and it’s an opportunity to come and meet people who are already in college and hear why they are engaged in it. It’s an opportunity to meet people your own age who are also considering Bible college as well,” he explained.

“And it’s a really good chance to sit in on classes and get a feel for what you are getting yourself into without having to commit to anything. It is a free trial and that is pretty awesome.”