The University of King’s College is the best in Canada for first-year students, according to a study published in Maclean’s magazine this week.
The National Survey of Student Engagement said King’s students had the highest level of satisfaction with their entire experience and came second for the desire to begin again at the same institution.
Kiki Wood, now a second-year student at King’s, credits the big-school range of options the small campus provides. “When you leave the classroom, you don’t really exit the subjects you’re learning about.”
In her first year, Wood took part in the photography and writing societies, along with a “baking and philosophy” club.
“It was really cute. We would all get together and bake in the kitchen and talk about whatever it was we were doing that week,” she said.
She added her professors and department heads were approachable, especially ahead of the dreaded oral exam. Upper-year students pitched in, too, helping the frosh edit papers and prepare for tests. The Toronto native liked King’s so much, she stayed in Halifax over the summer to work on campus.
The Foundation Year Program deserves much of the credit, said president William Baker.
A first-year class of about 300 and a small campus mean teachers and students get to know each other better than at large campuses, he said.
“The program is integrated much more than a typical first year. You’re basically taking four courses as a single course,” Baker said. “Everyone’s got their papers due on the same day, you’re talking about your tests together, you have lunch together, and so on.”
“It’s not something you can keep growing,” he added.
“The trick for us is to keep the place welcoming for students to stay and continue their studies.”