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Home for the Holidays

Chris Murdoch - Friday, 20 December 2013
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Despite being on the cusp of winter break, things have been busy here at the College as we prepare for a new school term in January. There will be a lot of new and fun experiences for both our returning students and the new intake of students who will be walking through our doors in the New Year!



Happy Holidays to you from the Student Pathways team (Virginia, Jenn, Ernie, Chris, Rebecca, Maria and Mike). Like us, I’m sure all of you are looking forward to relaxing and getting to spend some time with loved ones while you have the time off school and work. I don’t want to come off sounding like a Grinch, but it’s important to remember that this winter holiday is a great time to start preparing for your January exams – they’re coming up sooner than you might realize. The earlier you start preparing for them, the better off you will be!

Best of luck on your exams and I hope you enjoy the holiday season. See you in 2014!

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LEGO Robots Take Over NSCC Campuses

Chris Murdoch - Tuesday, 3 December 2013
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This past weekend, Truro, Annapolis Valley and the Institute of Technology Campuses were host to the F.I.R.S.T (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League challenge.  At this great event, kids aged 9-14 representing teams from all over the Province showcased their engineering and programming skills along with a community outreach project they have been working on over the last few months. The competition and projects involved solutions to problems centered on this year’s theme, Nature’s Fury, fitting with the wind and downpour of rain we received last week as part of the massive late-fall storm pounding the Eastern Seaboard.

The NSCC campuses which host the event every year for their LEGO League teams are ideal locations with Information Technology programs offered at every location.  It’s actually the faculty, staff and students from these programs that make the events possible on a campus-wide level.  They judge the competitors on their robot’s design, performance, the presentation of their projects, and their sportsmanship or Core Values at the event. These three NSCC campuses weren’t the only places to get wild and crazy with these LEGO competitions – Lunenburg and Marconi Campuses held their own regionals on the second last weekend of November, crowning their own local LEGO champs.

For more information on the event, check out the NSCC F.I.R.S.T. LEGO site

The Rock’n Robotics team members and mentor celebrate after their Robot Game winning score is announced to the crowd at Marconi Campus in Sydney on Saturday November 23rd.

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Choosing The Right Path

Chris Murdoch - Thursday, 28 November 2013
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It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks. As I write this, I’m sitting in a café in Antigonish with my co-worker Rebecca Thomas. We’ve just finished up the Antigonish leg of the AARAO tour, and I still have the final leg (Tri-County area and South Shore) to look forward to next week.

A few weeks ago, when I was still home in Halifax, I had the pleasure of participating in the Halifax Regional School Board Career Fair. I was joined by my co-worker Mike Duggan, our resident robotics nerd:

Being at the fair was a great opportunity to check out some of the awesome programs that NSCC has to offer! We had tables showcasing our Music Arts, Deaf Studies, Interactive and Motion Graphics, and Culinary Arts programs – just to name a few. Students were able to engage in interactive activities like soldering, learning some basic sign language, and controlling an ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) in water to get a taste of what some of our programs are like.

Now that I’ve done a few events like the Career Fair and am almost finished the AARAO Tour, I’ve gotten the chance to talk to a lot of prospective students across the province about their interests and different factors that have gotten them excited about programs to take after high school. If you or someone you know is excited about one day becoming a teacher, chef, carpenter, musician, or any other type of career path, remember that it’s important to RESEARCH that career path as much as possible.

The more you learn about a career path or program while you’re still in high school, the better chance you’ll have of applying and getting accepted into a program after high school that is the right fit for you. Think about what your interests, opportunities, and abilities are. Events like the Career Fair and AARAO Tour give you a chance to talk to people like me who can tell you about different programs and career pathways, but it’s also really important to find this stuff out for yourself! Do your homework to find things out – check online (this website may be helpful: http://careers.novascotia.ca/searchjobprofiles), ask people you know who have jobs you might be interested in, visit the workplace of a job you like if you get the chance. Anything you can do to get more first-hand information about different career pathways is valuable. The most important thing is figuring out what’s right for you, not anybody else.

See you all next time!

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What Do You Want To Be?

Chris Murdoch - Monday, 28 October 2013
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With Halloween just around the corner, there is a lot of talk in the air about what people would like to be. A pirate? A nurse? A firefighter? A bag of M&Ms? The possibilities are endless, which is all part of the fun.  This is also an important time of year for high school students to be thinking about who they want to be after high school. A vet? A chef? Maybe they’d like to work in video game design, or be a news anchor on TV? There are many different pathways students can take, and it all depends on where their interests lie.  A big part of the puzzle is finding out about programs at different colleges and universities. This is where the AARAO tour and NSCC Student Pathways team come in:



Things have been very busy over the last couple of weeks, thanks to the AARAO tour! I’ve been lucky enough so far to have visited schools in the Halifax Regional School Board, as well as schools in the Annapolis Valley – that means that over the past month I’ve been to Bedford, Sackville, Cole Harbour, Wolfville, Windsor and plenty more. I also got to experience some of the tour’s Cobequid week, which took me to Truro, Fall River, and Milford Station – where the above picture was taken (that’s me and my co-worker Rebecca Thomas at Hants East Rural High School!)

A lot of students have been asking a lot of different questions to Rebecca and I (and all the other Pathways coordinators) over the past few weeks, and a popular question is this: how are college and university different? I think it’s important for students to remember that both options will provide a great education, but the thing that will largely determine if a program is the “right fit” for you or not is your preferred style of learning. NSCC classes are made up of typically 20 to 30 students, and involve a very hands-on method of teaching. Most of our programs are 1 or 2 years long and involve a work component so students can get on-the-job skills and training while they are still going to school at NSCC.

Lots of students will be exploring different pathways by attending the Halifax Regional School Board Career Fair taking place at the Soccer Nova Scotia Training Centre in Halifax tomorrow (October 29th). Many different institutions and organizations will have tables offering information and interactive activities. NSCC will have a variety of different tables at the event –students will have the chance to learn basic sign language, sample the food of our Culinary Arts students, control the motions of a Remote Operated Vehicle and lots more.

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On The Road Again

Chris Murdoch - Friday, 18 October 2013
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One thing I think I have in common with Willie Nelson is our love of the open road. I, too, can never quite wait to get on the road again, and now that AARAO has started I’m on my way. AARAO stands for the Atlantic Association of Registrars and Admissions Officers. The AARAO tour is a really cool opportunity for high school students – it involves most of the postsecondary institutions in Atlantic Canada coming together to tour this entire province!

All of the colleges and universities involved in the Tour will send representatives to every high school on the tour schedule. We all set up booths (usually in the gym or cafeteria), and then students are invited in to go to the booths of their choice and ask questions to the reps about the schools they’d like to go to! For more information, visit www.aarao.ca

So far, I’ve participated in the AARAO tour at schools in the Annapolis Valley, Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro and a few more. It’s been an awesome experience talking to high school students about their plans for the future, and I’m looking forward to getting back out on the tour in a couple of weeks!

To see when AARAO will be hitting your school, check out http://www.nscc.ca/explorenscc/events/aarao_tour/index.asp for a full schedule.

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