News and Events

On Campus: Getting younger every day

July 18, 2014

Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in "On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

One of the common misconceptions of college life is that it is a young person’s game. You can test the theory quite easily: close your eyes, think “college student”, and I bet the mental image that appears is that of a 19-year-old.

However, many people enter or re-enter college later in life to build on an undergrad degree, change careers, fuel their passion, or build their capacity in their current job. In fact, our data shows that the average age of a part-time student is just about 35.

Clearly, a lot of people agree that it is never too late to benefit from a college education.

On the other hand, summer at Medicine Hat College proves that it is never too soon to benefit from a college education.

For the months of July and August, at least, the stereotypical college student could be anyone ranging from three to seventeen. The courses they’re taking range from the seriously playful to future-focused introductions to careers in the trades.

No matter the subject, it all seems rather a lot of fun.

This morning, for example, there were loud giggles emerging from the Courtyard Room, a place more often associated with serious meetings and dignified functions.

There has been running in the hallways. Robots are being created. Crafts are being made. Lunches come packed in colourful boxes promoting popular cartoon characters. Coffee consumption in Starbucks is down but the demand for slushy beverages in the cafeteria is up. I swear there are random groups of eight-year-olds hanging out down by the library.

And I may be wrong, but last week I think I saw a princess, complete with magic wand, emerge from a classroom.

All of these are signs and symptoms of the college being taken over by summer camps. The energy and excitement of the kids as they learn, play and explore adds a fresh dimension to the campus. Or, perhaps, our young summer students just aren’t shy about showing their excitement as they learn.

With well over half the summer ahead of us, I’m looking forward to seeing more young excited faces on campus. As for me, I’m kind of wishing I could take the “Pirates of the Coulees” camp. I could walk around campus with a parrot saying, “Arrr.”

Visit to learn more about your college, contact Mark Keller with your questions at or follow him on Twitter @mark_mhc.

The Medicine Hat News is a great community partner. Thanks!