Getting the most out of the Brock experience

Cate Talaue (BA ’15) spent her first few years at Brock University hitting the books and figuring out campus life.

She studied hard and got good grades but something was missing from her university experience. These were supposed to be the best years of her life. A time she would look back on and cherish forever.

Talaue knew there was more to the Brock experience than what she was learning in the classroom.

“In my third year, I realized I wanted to become an involved student,” said the sixth-year Media and Communications Studies student.

That’s when she discovered Brock’s Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC). It’s a guide launched in July 2014 to help students develop, enhance and improve their understanding and skills in 10 different areas. It outlines ways to get involved in everything from arts and culture to community outreach and leadership. If students complete 72 programs, events and experiences in the different co-curricular areas, they earn a certificate. Talaue is the first of only three people to complete the entire CWC.

She credits the CWC with broadening her horizons at Brock and in Niagara.

“I am 100-per-cent sure my entire Brock experience has been shaped by the fact that I got involved,” she said.

“The value I got was the experiences and the soft skills.”

Talaue, who has spent the last year completing her second BA, made countless contacts on campus, ventured out into the Niagara community to take part in local arts and culture and travelled to South Carolina to help Habitat for Humanity.

“If I think about who I was in first year, and who I am now, I’m completely different in the best ways possible,” she said, noting she’s more extroverted, confident and engaged.

Amber Scholtens, Brock student leadership and engagement co-ordinator, said as of April 30, there were 6,572 active student curriculum users who have completed 20,752 curriculum items.

“It’s designed to engage students in outside-the-classroom activities and use their skills in a number of different areas,” she said. “The Brock experience isn’t just what they are learning in the classroom.”

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