Thompson Rivers University

Transitions day introduces Aboriginal high schoolers to campus

November 13, 2015

Marcus Scherer says attending Transitions to Post Secondary as a Grade 11 student in 2011 helped make up his mind that university was right for him.

For years Marcus Scherer knew he would go to university and even had strong ideas of what he would study when he got there.

And what really convinced him university was the right choice was a six-hour visit to TRU in 2011 called Transitions to Post Secondary. For Aboriginal students in grades 10-12 in School District 73, the field trip is a way to become familiar with campus, learn what support services and personnel are available and to meet Aboriginal university students.

“What stood out for me was seeing people who were already at a level I wanted to get to or were headed in the direction I was going,” recalls Scherer, who at that time was in Grade 11 at NorKam. Today he is studying Natural Resource Sciences and eventually wants to get into law. “I realized it would be a challenge to do as well as I wanted to in university, but not impossible. I could see people just like me and that helped. I saw people I could relate to who had gone through the transition from high school. I could see myself in them.”

Transitions to Post Secondary is Nov. 17 and upwards of 150 could be here for the day. See below for the schedule.

Transitions day builds upon the strong partnership between TRU, SD 73, and local Aboriginal communities, with all three sharing the common goals of offering Aboriginal students the opportunity to see themselves as post secondary students, and to set the stage for a long-lasting and successful relationship with post secondary education.

All too happy to give something back, two years ago Scherer was on the student panel sharing his story, his love for learning and answering questions. This year he will be a tour guide.

“I would like students to leave (on Tuesday) knowing that going to university isn’t impossible,” says Scherer, “and for them to get a better idea of what university is all about. There’s a lot more to education than stuffing your brain with a bunch of things. University gets you well out of your comfort zone and exposed to so many different people, from different cultures, and from different ways of learning. At university you learn you can be passionate about different things and other people will be passionate with you.”

For many attending Transitions to Post Secondary, the next step is enrolling in TRU Start, which is another partnership with SD 73 and allows grades 11 and 12 students to take first-year university courses while still in high school.

Learn more about Aboriginal resources at TRU


8:30 to 9:15 a.m., Irving K. Barber Centre

9:15 to 9:45 a.m., Irving K. Barber Centre
Welcome—MC Flora King, First Nations Education Worker, SD 73
Opening Prayer—Estella Patrick Moller, TRU elder
Drumming—TRU and 4D Drum Group
Welcome—Paul Michel (Director of Aboriginal education at TRU), Christopher Seguin (Vice-President Advancement, TRU), Karl deBruijn (Superintendent School District 73)

9:45 to 10:15 a.m., Irving K. Barber Centre
Student panel

10:30 a.m. to noon, Various locations
Trades tours
Group A general campus tour; Group B zombie apocalypse, Grand Hall
Group B general campus tour; Group A zombie apocalypse, Grand Hall

Noon to 12:30 p.m., Grand Hall
Lunch and draw prizes

12:30 to 1:10 p.m., Mountain Room and Grand Hall
Group 1, Student engagement activities, Terrace room, CAC
Group 2, “Honouring You in the Spirit of Learning”, Grand Hall

1:10 – 1:45 p.m., Mountain Room and Grand Hall
Group 2, student engagement activities, Terrace room, CAC
Group 2 – “Honouring You in the Spirit of Learning”, Grand Hall

1:50 to 2 p.m., Grand Hall
Closing remarks
Draws for door prizes

More information
Vernie Clement,
Thompson Rivers University
Aboriginal Mentor & Community Coordinator

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