Algonquin is Eastern Ontario’s largest college. Every year there are over 5000 graduates. It has made itself a name as THE place for skilled workers. Looking at its advertising and web page, it clearly shows the career focus – this is the place to go study after high school so that right after graduation, you’ll find a job.
At VINCI Education’s Ottawa office, many of our great artists and designers come from Algonquin.
My daughter Cissy has been at MIT since more than a year. Sometimes, like last week, she chitchats with me to complain about her professors. “Now I have to start over again for my design project. Mr Skyard didn’t think I could design a city incorporating Greek myth”.Okey. Thanks God I’m one of those smart moms who don’t easily get confused. But still. A second year college student supposed to design a city already? And incorporating some myth?
Ever since Cissy was ending her high school time, I kept being wondering what really IS the difference between a college like MIT, and a college like Algonquin or Ottawa University. When Cissy was applying for college, among all the colleges that have issued her acceptance letters, she did not hesitate to pick MIT. I have to say honestly that the decision was made more for the name of MIT than, say, what she really want to do. She wanted to do design, with some combination of math, as she was pretty good at both. That’s how she went to the Architecture department.
Will it be so different to study the same thing, design and architecture, at Algonquin and at MIT? More and more, I see the difference – it is the environment, and the perspective that are different.
At a college like Algonquin, I’m sure they have wonderful professors and great students. They learn skills, for the purpose to secure a job at graduation.At a college like MIT, they may have some weird professors who demand so much from their students. They do learn some skills. But the perspectives are so different, so grand, so global, so life changing. I still remember Cissy’s freshman year project – she supposed to make a house out of a piece of wood. And she made it, which made professors wow. Second year? Time to focus on the city now. When she showed me her creation and explained to me her thought process, I was like, SILENT! If she didn’t have those demanding professors, if she wasn’t given the subject for her project, would she still work so hard to create such a wonderful piece – with cardboard?
Imagine by the time she graduates – she will have no place to go but taking on the world!