University Prep, Dal

Mak­ing university an op­tion for ev­ery­body

The Coast - Career Minded - - SPONSOR CONTENT -

Mea­gan Howard­son’s dream was to be a nurse. But she was short the nec­es­sary pre­req­ui­sites, and couldn’t jump into a full courseload right away be­cause she was work­ing full time. Dal­housie’s University Prep pro­gram al­lowed her to con­tinue with her busy life, while mak­ing university a pos­si­bil­ity for her.

Ca­reen Minded: You’ve ex­pe­ri­enced con­sid­er­able suc­cess. Tell me about your learn­ing jour­ney and what Dal did to sup­port you?

Mea­gan Howard­son: My learn­ing jour­ney started when I fin­ished high school early. I worked hard to save money, but I didn’t have all the cred­its to en­ter nurs­ing. The Prep cour­ses of­fered me count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties for my own pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment: in lead­er­ship and in learn­ing. My re­sume evolved be­cause of the pro­gram, and I got into university. I have been lov­ing the nurs­ing pro­gram ever since.

How did you know University Prep was a good fit for you?

It was per­fect for me. I was able to work full time while tak­ing night cour­ses to bet­ter pre­pare for university. They of­fered the course I needed in just a two-hour class a week, so I only had to make the trip into town once a week. The in­struc­tor was flex­i­ble with me, and if for some rea­son I couldn’t make it in, I got the notes so that I could con­tinue my work at home. It was also of­fered at a great cost for how much it of­fered me. University is dif­fer­ent from prep: You have longer days, and more cof­fee, and I’ve had to learn to man­age my time more ef­fi­ciently. Prep helped me to plan ahead and taught me to pri­or­i­tize my time when life gets busy.

What would you say to some­one who is con­sid­er­ing the University Prep pro­gram, but is ner­vous to take the plunge?

I would say to ab­so­lutely do it–I know, it’s scary to do some­thing new. But I’m glad that I did it. I was so ner­vous at the start, but I was eased into it rather than start­ing with a full course load in nurs­ing. Prep helped with the tran­si­tion: I’m in fourth year and I’m a pro at be­ing a stu­dent! I’ll have my dream job as a nurse in just seven months, and it’s some­thing that I’ve al­ways wanted to do. I’m my best when I’m help­ing oth­ers. I went in, and I never looked back.

What is the ad­van­tage of tak­ing University Prep cour­ses at the university where you want to study?

Dur­ing Prep, I was right on cam­pus and I felt like I was get­ting a head start at be­ing a Dal stu­dent. I was around other stu­dents, and it mo­ti­vated me to see where I wanted to be in the fu­ture. I just re­ally hope that the peo­ple who are read­ing this, that they do take that plunge. It’s so worth it, I’m so ex­cited about where I am, and I got started here at Dal.

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