Thompson Rivers University

University Prep a gateway to a world of possibilities

  Posted on: January 8, 2014

University Prep graduate

Karri Andriashyk needed to complete University Preparation courses a number of years ago before she could enrol in a university program. Completing U Prep is a decision she never regrets because today, she is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Though it’s commonly thought University Preparation is just high school upgrading, it’s much more than that.

For many, U Prep is a game changer. As they work towards their academic goals, learners gain confidence in their academic abilities and in education and the possibilities it presents.

What follows is the beginning of a Question & Answer series where learners were asked to reflect on their University Prep experience.


Karri Andriashyk
fourth-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing
A few years ago Karri realized she wanted a university degree in order to improve her job prospects, but first, she needed to upgrade her high school because she had dropped out several years ago to have and raise a child.

TRU—What were your initial plans when you enrolled in Prep? If they changed, how so?
KA—When I first started with U-prep, I was completing my high school courses as a mature student with the intention of entering a Bachelor of Science program. After my first year in sciences, I decided that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was the right fit for me, so I switched gears and have never looked back.

TRU—Did your experience of Prep influence your career direction?
KA—During my time as a U-prep student, I discovered personal abilities that I didn’t know existed. Certain instructors in my U-prep classes encouraged me and helped re-build my confidence that I would be able to take on a challenging program such as Nursing.

TRU—Many people are hesitant or even fearful about taking upgrading classes. What advice can you offer?
KA—I was nervous at first as well. I worried that I wouldn’t do well because I had been out of high school for almost 10 years. Looking back on things, returning to school was the best decision I could make, and the most valuable gift I could give myself and my son.

TRU—How has attending TRU opened you up to new opportunities?
KA—The increased confidence that I have gained along with the knowledge and experience that my TRU education has given me has opened the doors to endless opportunities. I have learned how to be very resourceful and feel that I can do anything that I have a passion for, as long as I am willing to work hard and seek out opportunities.

TRU—How has attending TRU changed your view of post-secondary education?
KA—Post-secondary education is not as intimidating as it first seemed. I always felt a divide between myself and people who were formally educated, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit into it. I feel “part of” the culture here at TRU and have developed some great friendships.

TRU—Did your success in Prep courses inspire you to take on challenges you might not have previously?
KA—When I realized that I had more academic abilities as an adult learner than I did as a teenager, my confidence grew immensely and I came to believe in myself and my capacity to succeed. The instructors offered a lot of guidance and suggestions that helped steer me on my path to being a Registered Nurse. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be taught by the wonderful faculty in the U-prep department.


Henry Hanson
owner of Hanson Auto Repair
Years ago while working as a security guard, Henry realized he didn’t want to be doing that job many years later. So he enrolled in U Prep to upgrade some high school skills in order to ready him for his real passion—automotive mechanics.

TRU—What were your initial plans when you enrolled in Prep? If they changed, how so?
HH—My initial plans were to complete 030 and 040 (fundamental and intermediate math and English) so I could get into the mechanics program. I couldn’t get into mechanics at the time because I needed to upgrade my math and English.

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Henry Hanson

TRU—Did your experience of Prep influence your career direction?
HH—Prep taught me to be persistent if I wanted to get into the automotive industry. I wanted to get into the automotive trade somehow, somewhere, but I needed to do some upgrading first.

TRU—Many people are hesitant or even fearful about taking upgrading classes. What advice can you offer?
HH—Just do it. Don’t hesitate and don’t overthink it because if you do, you’ll probably talk yourself out of it.

TRU—How has attending TRU opened you up to new opportunities?
HH—Attending TRU opened my eyes and taught me to explore new avenues and approaches to a problem. At the time I had a problem with my employment insurance and I learned to find a different avenue to get it. I had to look at things differently to get the result I wanted.

TRU—How has attending TRU changed your view of post-secondary education?
HH—You need an education, there’s no two ways about it. You need math skills, you need English skills. I had some difficulty with my comprehension at first, but it didn’t take long to get to where I needed to be.

TRU—Did your success in Prep courses inspire you to take on challenges you might not have previously?
HH—Yes, I’m here today with my own business.