Our school’s Post-Secondary Counsellors, Mrs. Just and Ms. Chen, recently attended the Canadian Independent School Counsellors’ (CISC) Conference in Alberta. The conference had over a hundred counsellors from Canadian independent schools from coast to coast. This is the first CISC conference since the Covid-pandemic.
During the conference, University of Alberta North Campus, Augustana Campus, University of Calgary, and Mount Royal University all hosted us for campus tours to showcase their unique history, traditions, programs, and facilities as well as admissions updates. Mrs. Just and Ms. Chen also had opportunities to talk to the students on campus and tasted the cafeteria food.
Even though it is not as well-known as the other two universities, Mount Royal University (MRU) was full of surprises and it showed that it has a lot to offer. The first was the flight simulation room. It is not only for the MRU’s aviation program but also used for WestJet’s pilot job interviews. The second was the nursing and midwifery facilities, equipped with simulation mannequins, that respond like real-life patients. They can bleed, vomit, respond to pain, and produce health data on the monitors. The most exciting moment was meeting our Meadowridge’s alum Jimmy Okere ’18, who just finished his third year studying Sports Management at MRU. As part of his program, Jimmy had the opportunity to intern with the Cavalry Football Club.
The conference also offered national-level professional development (PD) sessions for high school counsellors. Some of these sessions include Solution-Based Counselling, Student Athlete Recruitment in US and Canada, A Student’s Journey through Medical School in Ireland, and Gap Year as a Tool for Mental Health. One highlight of these PD sessions was about Post-Secondary Counselling in the age of AI, hosted by Dr. Walsh from UDiscover Learning & Microsoft Canada and Dr. Rogers from Rundle College.
Towards the end of the conference, all the counsellors attended a university fair at Western Island College (WIC) in Calgary, where over 50 universities from Canada, Europe, and US presented. During the four-day conference, we made stronger connections with other professional counsellors across the country, furthered our knowledge about best practice, and returned came back with refined knowledge and skills to support our Meadowridge students with their post-secondary planning.