CASTLEGAR – Micah Beatty had the option to pack his bags for university after graduating from high school, but chose to get the upper hand on financing his post-secondary education by staying close to home. His decision continues to pay dividends.
Beatty is one 14 former Selkirk College students who were awarded a $5,000 Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship that is available to undergraduate students who have completed at least one year at a public post-secondary in B.C. and transfer to another institution to complete their studies.
“Not having to take out a student loan to finish my bachelor’s degree is important, it puts me ahead of a lot of other students who have to go that route and it will help me come out of school without debt,” says Beatty, who is currently a third-year student in the Bachelor of Science Program at University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) in Kelowna.
Beatty graduated high school at Castlegar’s Stanley Humphries Secondary where he achieved the academic requirements needed to head straight to UBC. Instead, Beatty chose to attend the Selkirk College Castlegar Campus where he was one of the members of the first Rural Pre-Medicine Program cohort.
“It was a great fit because it was close to home, the tuition was more affordable and it was a great looking program,” says Beatty. “It was an academically challenging program. I think I would have had a harder time had I made the decision to go straight to a larger university. It was a great bridge for me to transition at the college between high school and university.”
Beatty entered UBCO this past September with two full years of transfer credits secured and the chance to flourish academically in the small class sizes at the Castlegar Campus. Majoring in biochemistry, Beatty says he often finds himself much further ahead than some of his peers who started at UBCO.
“In third-year labs, we are doing techniques that many of my classmates are learning for the first time,” Beatty explains. “At Selkirk College, I learned many of the techniques in my first two years so that has been very helpful.”
In 2017, the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society provided a total of $815,000 in transfer awards to 163 students across the province. Selkirk College recipients joining Beatty include: Jessica O’Connor (UVIC), Nicole York (UVIC), Michele Morin (UVIC), Jenna Swanson (UVIC), Jesse McDonald (UNBC), Rebecca Brohman (UVIC), Simran Manhas (UBC), Lauren Walgren (UBC), Laura Barrett (UVIC), Brenna Mackay (UNBC), Eric Walton (Royal Roads University), Kylie Lichty (UVIC) and Santana Hernandez (UVIC).
The society is named after entrepreneur and philanthropist Irving K. Barber who had a long history of supporting public post-secondary in B.C. before his death in 2012. To qualify for a transfer scholarship, students must demonstrate strong academic achievement and significant volunteer service to their school or community.
For Beatty, the $5,000 scholarship he received at the start of the academic year was further proof he made the right decision. Along with the affordable tuition he paid at Selkirk College, other scholarships he was awarded and summer employment, Beatty is able to throw focus firmly on his studies.
“This idea that you have to go to a big university straight out of high school, I’m not sure where that comes from,” says Beatty, who continues to work towards medical school entry in his goal to become a physician. “My experience and talking with my friends who did go to university straight out of high school, your debt rises quickly and you don’t get the same educational experience in those first two years.”
Applications for the Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship are now open and will be accepted until Feb. 28, 2018. To find out more about the society’s programs call 1.844.478.4645 or visit www.ikbbc.ca.