Last week was a busy one for Humber College’s student recruitment office as nearly a thousand high school students flocked to the North and Lakeshore campuses.
“We invited students who are approved to Humber programs to come and spend their March Break with us here at Humber,” said Judy Tavares, a student recruitment officer.
The Humber College March Break Presentation and Tours ran from March 10 to 14. With 30 tours scheduled across the North and Lakeshore campuses, Humber anticipated nearly 1000 high school students, making this one of the largest March Break events, said Tavares.
During the weeklong event, high school students had the opportunity to sign up for presentations given by a student recruitment advisor.
“We basically go over their next steps,” explained Tavares. “Some of the things they have to keep on their radar like applying for bursaries and scholarships, coming out to orientations, open houses, et cetera.”
General campus tours led by a student ambassador were also available. Student ambassadors are work-study students at Humber employed by the student recruitment office and are trained as campus tour guides. They also work at the call center.
Odin Von Doom, 28, a second-year game programming student, is a student ambassador who leads campus tours.
“We cover all the major area such as student services, the library, bookstore, gym, peer programs, every office and major service,” Von Doom said. “At each one, we give them the low-down on what they can expect.”
He said campus tours and presentations are offered year round, but are more frequent during the March Break to accommodate all the students who want to visit during their week off.
“It’s important to show them how good Humber is and wanting to encourage them to come here,” said Von Doom.
Gaganpreet Kaur, 17, is a final-year student at Lincoln M. Alexander Secondary School who attended one of the tours. She’s approved for the one-year personal support worker certificate program offered at the North campus. She said she chose to apply to college over university for a number of reasons.
“I can’t just sit there in front of texbooks,” Kaur explained. “ I need more of a hands-on experience, so I think college is a better choice for me.”
Earlier this month, Colleges Ontario released statistics confirming college enrolment for first-year, full-time programs is at its highest level.
Tavares says there are two main factors contributing to this increase at Humber.
The first, she said, is the economy. Job scarcity causes jobs to become increasingly specialized, pushing people to go back to school to gain the credentials and the training they need to be competitive.
Another reason for high enrolment at Humber is the breadth of programs offered, she said.
“We offer all types of credentials from one-year certificates, to two-three year diplomas all the way to a four-year degree. This appeals to students because they know they can start here, move if they want, or they can move throughout the institution and continue to gain credentials.”