Many high school students are completing their final semester and trying to decide what’s best for them –university or college – home or away. The thought of leaving home at the end of grade 12 is sometimes daunting and often overwhelming for the students about to take that step at the age of 17 or 18 – and for their parents. Many don’t feel prepared to relocate, yet are eager to move ahead, study new things and make new friends. Loyalist can ease the transition into post-secondary in a number of ways – university partnerships, foundation programs or career specific diploma options – each student can find the combination that works best for them and build toward their career goal while gaining confidence and maturity. Graduates from a one-year certificate program – or a two or three-year diploma option at Loyalist – will move forward to their next educational or employment choice with a certificate or diploma which reflects their academic achievement and employment skills.
Loyalist has numerous articulation agreements with universities around the world. This means that students are able to complete their diploma at the college while continuing to live at home, and frequently, they can receive advanced standing into a corresponding university program, enabling them to graduate with a diploma and a degree – in less time and for less money. The small class sizes make the transition into post-secondary education a simpler one – no getting lost in lecture theatres filled with hundreds of other first-year students. For those who are unsure about their career choice, options such as General Arts and Science, Art and Design Foundation and Media Experience give students the opportunity to explore many areas and determine where their interests lie before committing to a two, three or four-year program.
Thomas Meletis graduated the year of the double cohort. As a grade 12 student he was encouraged by family and teachers to remain in high school for the ‘Victory Lap’ or ‘Super Twelve’. Thomas was not ready to leave Belleville, but he didn’t want to return to high school so he enrolled in Customs and Immigration at Loyalist. “University was not part of my initial plan – then I went to Loyalist and I was introduced to so many new things. The faculty was absolutely phenomenal. My co-op placements in Ottawa and Montreal made me aware of all sorts of possibilities. Two years later I graduated on the Dean’s list. I had the confidence and maturity to apply to Carleton University where I received advanced standing because of my diploma, a full scholarship for my first year, and I was able to complete my B.A. in Sociology within three years. Loyalist helped me to grow – personally and academically – and definitely played a role in my success at university.”
Following in his brother’s footsteps, Alex Meletis also chose Loyalist when he finished grade 12. “I was never what you would describe as ‘school loving’, but I knew that I needed a post-secondary education. Loyalist was great. I learned to be focused, disciplined, organized and professional. I graduated from the Mechanical Techniques and Welding Techniques programs and I’m now studying Environmental Science at Carleton University. Loyalist played a definite role in preparing me for university.”
Wendy is Thomas and Alex’s mother. “Because they were so young when they graduated from high school we were glad that they weren’t moving but had no idea how much they would gain from Loyalist. They flourished. They graduated as disciplined, confident young men. We’re so glad that’s the path they chose.”
Eli Wilson graduated from grade 12 at Bayside Secondary School knowing that he wanted to do something creative but unsure as to what field would be best for him. He decided that the Art and Design Foundation program at Loyalist could help him determine that. “I felt that it was better to take a year, continue to live at home, and decide what would be the best fit for me. I was given the opportunity to explore many mediums including animation, illustration, photography, sculpture and painting. I now know that I want to study graphic design. It’s been a great year, surrounded by other creative people encouraging and supporting each other. I now have a strong, professional portfolio. I’ve learned how to focus on a specific creative field and it’s great to know that I can enjoy a career that excites me.”
For information about these and other Loyalist programs click here.