Royal Roads Reaches Out to Selkirk College Students and Staff

Faculty and staff from Victoria’s Royal Roads University touched down at Selkirk College earlier this month to add a personal touch to the extensive transfer agreements between the two schools.

As part of its annual outreach to partnering institutions, the delegation spent two days in the classrooms of the Castlegar Campus and Tenth Street Campus. Selkirk College and Royal Roads have transfer agreements for 11 programs, allowing students to begin their educational journey in the West Kootenay/Boundary and finish on Vancouver Island.

Associate Professor Erich Schellhammer of Royal Roads University was part of the delegation from the Victoria-based school that visited Selkirk College earlier this month. While on the Castlegar Campus, Schellhammer took time to speak to a Peace Studies class about opportunities to complete a degree at Royal Roads.

“We wanted to take a look at some of the facilities and meet some of the students so there is a level of comfort between when the students are finished here and coming out to Royal Roads,” said Eugene Thomlinson, assistant professor in the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management.

Block Transfers Available in Many Programs

Selkirk College and Royal Roads currently have block transfer agreements that allow graduates in Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Culinary Management, Business Administration, Forest Technology, Integrated Environmental Planning, Peace Studies, Recreation, Fish & Wildlife, Ski Resort Operations & Management, and Resort & Hotel Management to carry their two-year diplomas onward towards a degree. If they meet the acceptance conditions, Selkirk College graduates can transfer directly into the third year of studies at Royal Roads.

“It’s great to come and visit to strengthen the connections that we have with the partnering schools,” said Royal Roads Transfer Coordinator John Stewart. “We see quite a few students from Selkirk College coming through, so coming here provides us the opportunity to present the different transfer options to the students.”

Royal Roads offers a variety of applied and professional programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The university provides flexible learning models that incorporate online studies and intensive on-campus residencies. Students can choose the route of 100 per cent face-to-face learning or blended learning which is primarily online.

Relationship is Mutually Beneficial

While at Selkirk College, the Royal Roads representatives spoke to individual classes and set up in The Pit on the Castlegar Campus where they fielded questions from students.

“Schools like Selkirk College are hugely important to Royal Roads,” said Thomlinson. “Because we don’t do years one or two for any of our programs, transfer students are the lifeblood of our university.”

Royal Roads University Transfer Coordinator John Stewart (left) and Assistant Professor in the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management Eugene Thomlinson (right) speak with a Selkirk College student on the Castlegar Campus during their visit to Selkirk College.

Royal Roads representatives have visited Selkirk College in previous years, but it was the first time to the West Kootenay for the members of this delegation. All agreed that there is good synergy between the two schools.

“Both the city size and the university size provide nice transitions,” said Thomlinson. “The classroom size at Royal Roads is 30 and 40 students maximum, you get to know who the professors are and there is an open door policy. I have students coming by my office all the time, I have a coffee maker and we sit and chat.”

Royal Roads University is based out of the historic Hatley Castle in Victoria. The castle was built in 1908 by coal and oil baron James Dunsmuir and eventually became the Royal Roads Military College. In 1995, the British Columbia government created Royal Roads University as a pubic university. Hatley Castle is known in popular culture as setting of the X-Men movie series as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

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