Thousands of students choose to study at Capilano University each year due, in part, to its innovative hands-on programs.

The North Shore university stands out from others thanks to its wide variety of programs that prepare you for real world challenges. Next week, you can explore a slew of interesting education options by heading to Explore Capilano Night on Wednesday, March 2 from 6 to 8 p.m.

We’ve compiled a list of five intriguing examples of student experiences you can’t find anywhere else.

Jam with the pros

Capilano U’s Jazz Studies degree program prepares students for performing in the real world. New York jazz artist Bria Skonberg says one of her favourite moments at Cap was performing in the big band led by instructor, Réjean Marois. “You have these superstar guests that come in and play along with the band, it’s a thrill,” says Skonberg. “Having a full schedule of playing music and studying music and being immersed in it was crucial to me becoming a musician.”

Since graduating from the program, she’s toured internationally, released three solo albums and co-founded the New York Hot Jazz Festival. She often returns home to lead master workshops and perform at the TD International Jazz Festival.

Practice sustainable tourism in Vietnam

For more than 10 years, dozens of Capilano U Tourism Management and Outdoor Recreation Management students have gained hands-on experience sharing sustainable tourism practices with ethnic hill tribes in Vietnam. In the process, hundreds of villagers from Ta Phin and Lao Chai province have transformed their livelihoods. To see the impact of Capilano’s community-based tourism project, watch these award-winning mini-documentaries created by Cap U Motion Picture Arts grad Kyle Sandilands. These films capture the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant people of the Sapa region, not to mention the empowering stories of the people who live there.

Tourism grad Kristine Johnson says, “Working on the Vietnam project allowed me to be involved in something amazing and very real! I was able to use my Capilano University education while gaining hands-on experience to develop my tourism planning skills that I have already put to use in my current position.”

Take your business skills to the next level

Take your business skills

Students in Capilano’s School of Business learn how to apply their skills in high pressure situations like business case competitions. Business student, Teneille Lewis, was on the Cap U team that won the 2015 Western Canada Case Competition. The challenge was to manage fictitious companies through a simulation platform, submit a strategic plan, and present the team’s business strategy to a panel of accomplished business professionals. Besides the intense three-day competition, the team worked together on their strategy for two months with a faculty coach. To them, it was an invaluable learning opportunity equivalent to a three-credit course.

“The reason why we did so well was because we had so much practice,” says Lewis. “We spent every single day together. We would meet up after our classes, in between classes, before classes, and just go over different strategies.”

Get hired in health care before you graduate

Jan Seaman remembers walking into a client’s room during her clinical practicum for Cap’s Health Care Assistant program. The patient was bed-bound—he couldn’t feed or dress himself or speak. But as she worked with him, Seaman began to see that he could communicate with his eyes and hands, and over time she found a way to connect with him through sharing baseball scores. “He’d get a tear in his eye,” Seaman recalls, “because someone was having a conversation with him.” Giving back and knowing she’s made a difference is what she finds so rewarding about her field.

Seaman says seasoned nurses regularly tell her they always know who graduated from Cap U: “They pick us out because our standards are so high when we’re out in the field.” The majority of her class was hired before they had even graduated, with employers asking if they could start work before the end of classes. “It’s an honour to have Capilano University on my certificate.”

Tackle climate change with comic books

Tackle climate change

Not too long ago, Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies student Ayaka Nomura was sitting in a geography class, contemplating the threat that climate change poses to our world. But instead of throwing up her hands, the international student from Japan looked for alternative ways to tackle the problem. Like all Liberal Studies students, Nomura was required to complete three one-on-one tutorials with faculty in any subject, eventually creating a multidisciplinary grad project. Through tutorials in political studies, anthropology and animation, she found her inspiration in culture, comic book art and First Nations society.

Her grad project consisted of a graphic novel in which Japanese and First Nations nature gods share their environmental concerns. “We are energy buyers, yet we know so little about the conflicts surrounding tar sands and pipelines,” say Nomura about her home country. We’re not told about the risks. We don’t even think about it. I hope I can open up this conversation.”

 

This story originally appeared in the VanCity Buzz.