Monday, December 5, 2016

College vs. University Learning Experience

As I’m sure you already know, in order to be accepted into Mohawk’s Public Relations postgrad program, you must already have obtained an undergraduate degree or diploma from university or college. The majority of students in the PR class of 2017 are recent graduates of various universities around Canada. I am enrolled in a collaborative program with Brock University and Mohawk. In the collaborative I complete my first two years at Brock, my third year at Mohawk in PR, and my final year back at Brock to finish my degree. By the end of it all, I will have both my certificate in PR and a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Communication Studies. College and University are two different ball games, that’s for sure. Before I go any further, I’d like to shatter the stigma that so many people have; you heard it here first folks, college is NOT easier than university! They are so different in so many ways that “harder” or “easier” just isn’t a factor. In the following paragraphs I am going to discuss two fundamental differences between them and how college is a beneficial addition to your education if you have already been to university.
Lets talk assignments and deadlines for starters. In college, assignments begin the first few weeks of school and they continue to multiply as the semester continues on. However, they are usually no longer than two pages in length and are worth fewer marks. On the other hand, in a typical social science program at university, each course doles out about two major assignments and one exam. These assignments usually come in the form of essays upwards of 10 pages, and are due near the conclusion of the semester. Mohawk’s PR program teaches you how to effectively manage your time and it prepares students for the reality of workflow in the industry. Rather than waiting until the last month of school and scrambling to complete large essays, college forces you to distribute you time proportionately and deal with competing deadlines throughout the entire semester. This ultimately benefits the students by giving them a taste of what it will be like in the real world.
Another important difference between the college and university experience is classroom and program sizes. University is known for lecture halls filled with hundreds of students, which can lead to impersonalized learning. Mohawk's PR program usually has no more than 40 students. The classroom environment is interactive and concentrated on the individuals in attendance. At college you are more than just a number. This essentially optimizes the learning experience because you are able to seek one-on-one guidance with ease; you know the professors and the professors know you. You are also able to get to know all of the students in your program, which broadens your network connections. I could go on forever about the differences, but in a nutshell, a greater number of smaller assignments will lead to better time management skills and smaller class sizes leads to centralized, engaged learning. So, if you’ve already been to university and you’re looking for a way to further enhance your education, a postgrad college program would be a great way to do so!

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