People at Whitby campus had a chance to accept their offers to become a DC student at the open house this month. There were three held, at Whitby, Oshawa, and the Pickering learning site.
The open house is one of two held every year with the first being held in November.
Faculty and staff provided information and answered questions, along with tours around the campus.
Lisa White, director of student recruitment and admissions, said planning the open house happens a year in advance. White and the DC team look at survey responses from people who attended the previous event. She said the results help make the open house better for next time.
White said the fall and spring open houses are very different.
“The fall open house is more students investigating what programs they might be interested in, having a look at the campus seeing where the location is,” she said. “Spring open house we find is more for applicants, so people who have already applied but they’re maybe not sure between what college they want to go to.”
White also said people can find information about DC online but nothing compares to the open houses because it is all about the feel.
“When you come onto the campus how do you feel?” said White. “How does the culture feel to you? How do the people treat you? How do you feel when you’re in the building? Do you feel like it is somewhere comfortable when you’re walking around?”
For some students, open houses can help them answer these questions and help with their decision.
Katrina Gray attended the Whitby campus open house as part of the DC crew welcoming visitors.
She said the search engine on the open house website helped people who may have been confused about the campus locations. After entering a program, the search engine would tell people which campus to attend.
Gray said open houses are beneficial for students.
“Come to the open houses, look at what your options are. They have so much information here, even the people at the welcome desk,” she said. “I have so much information that I can give, and so much that we can share.”
Gray said staff provided information on business and trade fundamentals at the open house in Whitby. Future students could also ask questions and find out if a program was right for them.
“Being able to come to open house and see people from your courses, people who are graduating, people who know what they’re doing, teachers from the programs, it’s so interesting,” said Gray.
Student recruitment officer Nathalie Stutt was also at the Whitby campus open house. She has been at Durham College for 20 years. She said before going into a post-secondary program students should recognize their options.
“Everything is so competitive these days, that the sooner you’re able to have a goal the better off you’re going to be,” she said.
All campuses have unique features, Stutt said. The Pickering learning site only offers grad certificates, partnered with Centennial College.
She said Whitby has a special spot in her heart because she spent many years there. Skilled trades are Whitby’s specialty. She has encouraged and assisted many students to get into the college as well as trade programs.
The Whitby campus recently brought more traditional programs to the campus, such as Animal Care and Office Administration, which she said balanced the gender situation because it was mostly male dominated for many years.
“I always consider ourselves more of a technical college,” said Stutt. “Higher technical skills that employers are looking for.”
People who are still interested in booking a tour at the Oshawa and Whitby campuses can register on the Durham College website. They run until April 29.