Strive for success at Selkirk College while enjoying unforgettable college life.
That’s the goal of 21-year-old Calgary native Bryanne Mcelroy. She packed up her snowboard and moved to the West Kootenay, a new Selkirk College student wanting a strong education to support her goal of starting her own business while enjoying epic powder days in her off time.
“I always wanted to move to a mountain town and when I visited here, I realized this was it,” says Mcelroy. “The snow was so good, unreal, I loved it.”
Bryanne Mcelroy is studying Business Administration at Selkirk College. The Alberta native chose to move to the West Kootenay to pursue her education because of the great recreation opportunities, including snowboarding, offered in the region.
The Business Administration Program student found Selkirk College after enjoying her first snow adventure in the West Kootenay last winter. She was thoroughly impressed by “the powder” and thrilled to learn that she could attend post-secondary in her program of choice while spending a season sliding the slopes.
Selkirk College’s main campuses in Castlegar and Nelson are nestled in the Monashee and Selkirk Mountain ranges and surrounded by lakes and rivers. Students come from all over the world to enjoy what the region has to offer – everything from hiking, biking, fly fishing, golfing and the more adventurous cliff jumping in the summer, to skiing at resorts and in the backcountry in the winter.
Off campus culture is a huge draw for many residents, and students are no exception. They are able to fully immerse in recreation activities creating an ideal student-life balance.
“I complete my school work and then take a break – go out, and enjoy. It clears your mind,” she says.
When Mcelroy arrived for the start of the 2016-2017 school year, the snow had yet to fly. She enjoyed exploring the region, hiking, rock climbing and even cliff jumping in her time away from school. She instantly felt welcome in the West Kootenay community, many who relocated to enjoy similar recreational pursuits.
“People are very approachable and willing to help out,” she says. “There is so much to do around here. You are never sitting at home. It’s just right outside your door and it’s very affordable.”
Mcelroy feels successful in the classroom and credits the top-quality Business Administration Program for helping her achieve her career goals.
Mcelroy purchased a season pass at Red Mountain Resort located 30 minutes from Castlegar. They have an early bird college rate of $399 for the season. Mcelroy started hitting the slopes at age 12 travelling just west of Calgary to enjoy Sunshine Mountain and Lake Louise with family trips to Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
“My brother got me into snowboarding. He was always really good and I tried to be just as good,” she says. “It’s a great sport to do with your family and friends. It gets you up on the mountain for an all-outside, all-day adventure.”
The business student graduated from Centennial High School in southeast Calgary and also attended Mount Royal University in Calgary but she says she never felt like a strong student until Selkirk College. The personable industry-veteran instructors and small class sizes create the perfect learning environment for Mcelroy.
“I’ve never really been a school person but coming here, I’ve finally found a place where I actually fit in. I’m achieving my goals,” she says. “It’s kind of nice to be doing well in school.”
After completing two years at Selkirk College, Mcelroy plans to transfer to complete her degree, her ultimate goal to start her own business. Students interested in furthering their education have the freedom to transfer credits directly to third year in a variety of other post-secondary degree programs such as Okanagan College, Royal Roads University and University of Lethbridge.
Until then, Selkirk College is where adventure meets opportunity…