From the Editor: How New Students Can Get the Most Out of Their Time at KPU

KPU has more to offer you than a piece of paper on graduation day, go take advantage of it. (Kristen Frier)

Want to know how you can benefit the most from your time at KPU?

The number one thing I would recommend is a cliché, but it’s true: What you get out of it depends on what you put into it. There can be so much more to this experience than just the things you learn and practice within the four walls of the classroom.

During the three years I’ve spent with The Runner, I’ve seen so much of what this community has to offer beyond straightforward education.

One of the most overlooked aspects of university culture is the sheer diversity of KPU faculty and the interesting areas of expertise that flourish here.

For example, Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani in the psychology department is an important pioneer in developing open education resources—essentially free textbooks and academic materials, as well as Zed Cred courses which can be completed at little or no cost. Because of him, KPU has become a leading university in adopting initiatives which increase the availability of post-secondary education. He delivered a speech to the UN about it that you can check out on his website

Alek Egi, who heads the multi-award winning Brewing program in Langley, is literally an engineer whose expertise is in making beer, and he’s a certified beer tasting judge. If you’re a beer nerd, he has tons to teach you.

Dr. Gira Bhatt specializes in using psychology research to fight against gang violence and informs policy in Surrey.

Janice Morris is the organizer and co-founder of KDocs who runs the show year after year, inviting fascinating panelists to speak and showing a huge number of cutting-edge documentaries.

Chad Skelton, a journalism instructor, has received one international award and no less than six Webster awards, often considered to be the most prestigious award in B.C. journalism, mostly for his work in data reporting.

Dr. Cory Pedersen has worked with students and conducted fascinating research on aspects of human sexuality, including a recent one about dick pics.

KPU’s Elder-in-Residence, Lekeyten is a powerful and unparalleled storyteller, and is one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.

There are some amazing, impressive, helpful faculty and community members that I seriously respect and enjoy talking to here. There are so many more I wish I could include, but the good news is that you can find out who they are for yourself.

If you’re still unconvinced and would rather just spend more time off campus, maybe some numbers will change your mind.

For example, if you’re a business major and your area of study is Marketing, KPU’s tuition calculator estimates that your education will cost $2,321.10 for a 15-credit semester. Factoring in university levied student fees and KSA membership fees, it adds up to $2,479.95. You will also pay around $158.85 per semester to the KSA for your membership fee, and you pay an additional $200.85 for health and dental once per year, plus $51.00 per month for the MultiPass. Every semester you pay at least $362.85 to the KSA overall, which totals at about $2,683.95 on top of tuition.

Each semester consists of 13 weeks, so if you have each of your three classes once a week, that means that you’re paying about $68.82 every single time you walk into a classroom and sit down—even more if classes are cancelled or if they overlap with a holiday. Not only is making the most out of that time academically rewarding, it’s also more valuable from a cost-benefit perspective.

However, if you’d rather just throw money into a hole that’s going to spit out a degree after four years so you can get a better-paying job, you probably don’t care about any of this. And you shouldn’t. The piece of paper will be the same at the end no matter what, as long as you pass your classes. If you’re prone to that kind of apathetic view towards KPU’s university culture, I’m guessing that you’re not usually interested in reading the student newspaper anyway, so it’s probably a moot point.

My advice is to visit your instructors during their office hours, get involved with the KSA or a club, follow KPU events and news, explore each of the campuses, and ask some questions. Push out of your comfort zone and the bubble of your program. Gain some life experience outside of the classroom.

You’re here to learn, right? So go out and do it.