Researchers and scholars made room for potential colleagues on Wednesday when some 600 students from high schools across Niagara poured into Brock University.
The University hosted two major orientation events — its annual History Day, as well as Science, Health Sciences and Kinesiology Day — as students from 19 public and Catholic high schools got a taste of life at Brock.
The visitors got to take in a lecture in their respective disciplines, experience active work in Brock labs and seminars and generally get a pure sense of the post-secondary experience.
“It gives us a good feel for what we’re getting into,” said Sofia Labricciosa, a Grade 11 student from E.L. Crossley Secondary School in Pelham, who was among the science-stream participants.
With Brock’s Health Sciences programs on her radar, Labricciosa said her visit, which included time in labs and Brock’s High Performance Centre, was invaluable.
“There are a lot of new facilities at Brock and a lot of opportunities available here,” she said. “This experience will help me make a clear decision of the direction I want to go in when the time comes.”
Science Day participants first took in a Biology lecture before moving on to Chemistry, Biology, Oenology and Viticulture, Health Sciences, Earth Sciences and Physical Health and Literacy labs.
For students more focused on Humanities, the day included a History lecture followed by a related seminar discussion with their peers.
“Many local students have been on campus for athletics or other events, but this visit allows us to show them what Brock has to offer academically,” said Brock Recruitment and Liaison Officer Courtney Keogh. That experience, she said, can be a big benefit for students who have already expressed an interest in certain areas of study.
“We had a few groups participate who are Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Majors,” Keogh said. “They’ve dedicated their time in high school to pursuing that field, and now we can show them what their next steps will look like if they continue on that path here at Brock.”
In addition to lectures, labs and seminars, students participated in campus tours led by current Brock students.
The University continues to build momentum after a banner fall that yielded record enrolment of more than 19,000 students for the 2018-19 school year and saw Brock ranked third in Canada for student experience among comprehensive universities by Maclean’s Magazine.
Brock also shattered its Fall Preview Day attendance record Nov. 4, with more than 5,300 prospective students and family members touring campus with interest.
While recruitment teams continue to spread word about the Brock experience at various schools and events across the province and even across the globe, there’s nothing quite like witnessing the campus atmosphere in person, said Beth Natale, Director of Recruitment and Retention.
“We can tell the story much more fully when prospective students come to campus,” she said. “They can try life on as a Brock student, move between various learning settings and experience a lecture, lab or seminar.
“Seeing and feeling it for yourself is a much more lasting and memorable experience. It has a huge impact.”
Natale’s team wants to help students recognize that Brock is an accessible institution filled with a community of people looking to guide them towards success.
“It’s about breaking down some of those perceptions of university and helping students to understand this is completely doable,” she said. “We want to see our learners succeed and we will do what we can to help get them from Point A to Point B.”
The next recruitment event takes place Thursday, Dec. 13, when the University welcomes dozens of guidance counsellors from across Hamilton and Niagara to get an up-close look at the rich Brock experience.
Any high school groups looking to come to campus, even outside of the recruitment team’s current offerings, are invited to contact Keogh to discuss opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We’re all about developing more programming and more relationships on campus, so we welcome people to get in touch,” she said.