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Ep. 48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College

By April 30, 2020July 21st, 2023No Comments

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Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

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Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

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Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

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Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

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Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

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Luther College at the U of R is a federated college on the U of R campus. All U of R & Sask Polytech students can live in The Student Village or apply to be a Luther College student. Luther College students graduate with a U of R degree.

If your future scholar needs residence, or you’d like to learn more about small class sizes and improved success rates, tune in to today’s show!

Connect with Colleen @ Luther College


Barb 0:01
Okay, we are ready to go. We’ve got a special guest with us today. I, you know, it’s a weird thing to think about right now. But if you’ve got students thinking about post secondary education at the University of Regina, I have the guru for you today that we need to talk to you. So whether you’re thinking about which programme to do, which classes do you need to take? Where am I going to live? Because that’s a huge one. Students tend to think, leave that to the last minute, where the heck am I going to live? So we’re going to talk about all of those things today. And I’m going to introduce our guest. Our guest today is Colleen Strauch. She’s the manager of recruitment at Luther College at the University of Regina. And she’s way more than just a title. She works with grade 11, and grade 12 students who are thinking about post secondary education. We’re trying to figure out where they fit, where do they belong? What should they take throughout a loss? There are so many options for students nowadays. So we’re going to talk with Colleen. And we’re going to find out a little bit about Luthers process, what a student might expect and where we even start. So welcome, Colleen, thank you for being here.

Colleen 1:14
Thank you, Barb. Thanks for having me. I’m happy to be here.

Barb 1:17
Absolutely. It is a pleasure. So tell me a little bit about the work that you do at Luther College.

Colleen 1:23
Now, like you said, I’m the manager of recruitment. So it really involves a lot of community events and event planning, just to bring general awareness to Luther College, and help students with that admissions process. And like you said, grade 1211, and 12 students is very popular common for us. But beyond that adult learners, there’s lots of different people who kind of transition into post secondary at different stages in their lives. So supporting, yeah, high school students, adult learners, whoever it might be along that admissions process.

Barb 1:56
So is the admissions process. Is that an easy process for students and parents or guardians nowadays? Or is it still a tough process? Do you think?

Colleen 2:04
Yeah, good question. Well, Luther College at the University of Regina is academically integrated with the University of Regina. So that means all Luther students are you have our students. Okay. Get a you have our degree.

Barb 2:17
Yep. Oh, the

Colleen 2:18
Admissions process follows the University of Regina admissions process. Do you

Barb 2:23
Have our process? You know, when and I remember back, of course, it was more than a couple of years ago. But I remember applying and waiting. And of course, you got a letter in the mail. And maybe you got in and maybe you didn’t, and maybe you got your programme. And it’s a bit of a nerve wracking process, I think for students. How how can Luther help them through that process? I think you guys are pretty hands on with your students in your applicants. So tell me a little bit about that.

Colleen 2:50
Yeah, absolutely. So students are welcome. Of course, we typically try to visit schools and give the students a University of Regina presentation so that they know the programmes that we have available. And that kind of piques their interest in get some thinking, and they chat with their parents a little bit at home. And then we always welcome parents and students to come for what we call entrance counselling. So we can sit down talk about the different programmes that we offer. That’s at all the University of Regina, and at Luther College, a little bit about our services and what’s unique about being a Luthor student, and then talk about the admissions requirements. So what courses you’ll need if you’re still in grade 12. If you’re an adult learner, you have transfer credit, or maybe previous experience what what you can use that for things like that, we’ll have that discussion so that we can kind of put all those pieces together just to help the student and the parent, or just the student alone make that informed decision. And then we run several admissions events throughout the year. So once you kind of have that appointment, where we can chat about what your options are, help you feel confident in your decision kind of gives you all the information that you need to make that informed decision about your programme, then the next step would be that application process. Okay. And then we do that at the admissions event. Very good.

Barb 4:17
And you guys have a really unique living arrangement as well, because if you live on campus at Luther College, you don’t have to be a Luther College student. And you can live in the student village. So tell me about the student village. That’s something that I hadn’t heard of until you know, maybe last fall.

Colleen 4:34
Yeah. So the student village at Luther College is a 219 bedroom residence that’s at Luther College at the University of Regina. Well, you’re

Barb 4:45
Right on campus then.

Colleen 4:46
Yeah, right on campus, like you said, open to all students so you don’t have to be a loser culture. You can be your students ask colleague Tech students even. We have u of s students that live in Regina, so any post secondary students really can Live in the Lutheran College, student village. Yeah, so they, I’d say what’s really unique and special about it is that community feel. So it’s very attractive to students who are making that transition from high school to university want that support and don’t want to feel like kind of lost in the crowd, they want to have that small community. So our students share meals together, because we have a delicious cafeteria. So they don’t have to worry about the cooking, which is great, because that really helps.

Barb 5:35
Or grocery shopping. Now as an adult, totally,

Colleen 5:42
It’s so key to that transition to right, like students just want to focus on their classes and not have to worry about all the extras that kind of come on top of that. So just having that ease of not having to worry about those extra things. And then building that community that gets them connected. And there is research that shows that students who live on campus and have that connection to campus, make friends and like, have that community really succeed. And I think that’s what’s really special about living in the student village is that you have that community feel pretty much just like within the first couple of weeks, we see that our students have made friends and they make connections, and they’ve got someone watching out for them. And they’ve got supports. And yeah, so it just really makes a difference in their student experience.

Barb 6:32
So if somebody was considering residents, you know, I think some residences on you know, different campuses get a bit of a reputation for, you know, really being a social place being a study place, being quiet. Where do you think Luther are? Where do you think the student village fits in there?

Colleen 6:50
Yeah, I’d say that it has the best of both worlds, because we have private rooms, so you always have your own space. And the community spaces, right. So we do have lots of community spaces, like I mentioned, the cafeteria, we have a student lounge. So it kind of be as social or not as you really decide. But overall, I would say it fits into that I, you know, maybe coming from a smaller community, or might be a little bit shy or don’t have a lot of friends. And you really just make those connections. So, yeah,

Barb 7:26
You know, and I think that’s huge. Because I think back to when I was in university, and I lived on campus for a while and off campus for a while, and having somebody to go eat with, especially at that point in time, you’re just getting used to a new environment. Like that’s huge. They might not be your best friend. Right. But it’s, it’s somebody you know, and it’s somebody you can build a relationship with. Or even if you have to go down on your own to show up in the cafeteria and a food is cooked and ready and hot when you’re ready. But you’re getting no people down there. It’s not like you’re walking in to the unknown and won’t know anyone, you’re almost always going to know someone.

Colleen 8:10
Totally. And I think our staff like we really get to know our students. So even if it might not be like that first week, they’ll staff will ask you your name, they’ll recognise you will talk to you about your programme. They wish you good luck on your exams, you know, so we just have that. That real nice touch of that personalised. Like support for our students.

Barb 8:35
Exactly. Yeah. And when you’re in a smaller environment, especially if you’ve come from a smaller community, which you know, if you haven’t come from Regina or Saskatoon, you’ve come from a smaller community in Saskatchewan there there is nothing bigger than those two centres. Right? Exactly. If you’re coming from somewhere, having that smaller environment to get to know people and so living on campus now, I had always heard the river that there was tunnels under the U of R that connected Is that true or no?

Colleen 9:07
There are tunnels in them but it’s true to get around Oh no, no, they keep them on lockdown. Yeah, that’s what I thought like your maintenance and like those like the people who facilities management, they have access but got it else does.

Barb 9:27
But still, I mean being on campus, you guys are five minutes away from anything. So whether you’re taking Luther classes, or if you’re living in the student village and you have to get over to one of the other buildings. It’s a five minute walk

Colleen 9:39
Exactly. And the Kinesiology building is right next door so it’s like a two minute walk to the gym. So if you want to get up and go before your classes or after your classes, it’s right there. And yet I mean the you have our campus is still like a small campus you can get around it’s that medium size, right? So we have the amenities and the facilities of a big university but still till you can get around in 10 minutes, 15 minutes walking from point A to point B across county V.

Barb 10:05
Exactly. You know, it’s really interesting to me, I used to teach some classes at the U bar. And it probably took me longer to find parking than it does for some of the student village students to like walk to wherever they have to go. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, no, parking was terrible. Oh,

Colleen 10:22
My goodness. I know. It’s not the greatest. Another reason to live on campus.

Barb 10:26
Yes, exactly. And even staff and faculty, you don’t get special parking. You still pay your parking permit. And you know, you couldn’t be parking. Oh, my goodness. I don’t know what lot it is. But I used to have to pardon when we’re out in the and get to the southeast of campus. Yeah. And I mean, it’s pretty blown. It’s January, and it’s like, why am I doing this? I

Colleen 10:47
Know. It’s so true. Yes.

Barb 10:49
It’s just crazy. So how long have you been with Luther College? Were you at Luther College student.

Colleen 10:55
I actually wasn’t a Luther College student. I did go to the University of Regina. And I have been working with Luther College now for just over two years. Okay. Yeah. And so obviously, it’s a role that you enjoy to travel quite a bit. Um, yeah, we get to travel around mainly southeast Saskatchewan. Southeast cornerstone in Prairie Valley school divisions are the two areas that we cover at Luther, as well as some schools within Regina. So never travelling too far, like the farthest is Esteban area, with the exceptions of when we travel for events. So we also have events in Calgary, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and moose Strauss with current. So we host a variety of events for students with those admissions events.

Barb 11:46
So do you enjoy that part of the role travelling getting out?

Colleen 11:50
It’s actually great to have some variety. So it’s nice to have days in the office. But then it’s also great to have days when you’re out. And just visiting with students and parents, I’d say that’s one of the things that I love the most about my role is just meeting students and parents. And then being able to answer their questions kind of alleviate some of the anxiety around the process, like you said, having helping them have answers to their questions, and then seeing them succeed. It’s just like, really rewarding. So I enjoy that part a lot.

Barb 12:19
So what’s happening at Luther College right now, the university, of course, is closed down and all classes are online. Can students still apply? Can they apply for the student village? What’s happening right now? And what should students or parents be thinking about?

Colleen 12:34
Yeah, absolutely. Great question. So we are all working remotely, but available to help our students through all the same kind of ways of contacts that we traditionally have email, phone, face to face, we can do just like you and I are on the computer. So we’ve been doing entrance counselling, academic advising, supporting students through the application process, like accepting student village applications. We do have a virtual tour on our website. So we can chat walk you through the virtual tour and just answer any questions that you might have about any of the parts of the process.

Barb 13:12
So you know, that’s kind of interesting, even though we can’t do the face to face stuff. Everything is still continuing online and virtually. And I think, you know, the capabilities obviously been there for all of us for a while. But good or bad. This actually forced us to kind of move into that, that online, when maybe it wouldn’t have been, you know, our first choice. And I’m curious, at the end of this, how many students will prefer to take an online class, or prefer to do their, you know, first or second year, online or virtually?

Colleen 13:46
Absolutely. Yeah, I think we’ve all I mean, the staff at Luther are amazing. The faculty, professors, staff, everybody. And I think they’ve done just a great job of making that transition. And putting like students support above all, which I think is very common at Luther, like, all of all of the staff and faculty are really passionate about student service first. So yeah, I’m not surprised that everybody’s made that transition. And just, you know, kept in touch and been able to reach out and support our students along the way. Yeah,

Barb 14:18
Absolutely. It’s a little known fact, of course, you know, this, but lots of our listeners won’t or, or lots of the folks in the audience. I lived in the student village back when I went to U of R for a year. And I still read I was on three b i want to say in terms of a quad, but I couldn’t have that mixed up. And it was a fantastic experience for me. I made great friends, many of who I’m so connected with. And of course, nowadays we’re connected through social media. And if we didn’t have social media, I mean, we wouldn’t stay connected with those people in nearly the same way. But it was a great experience. I made a tonne of friends. We just had things like nice to have a formal and everybody would go get all dressed up at Christmas time and go to a dance. And, like there was all sorts of cool stuff that we would do together. And of course, you know, you were still studying, but, I mean, you could literally knock on someone’s door, hey, do you want to go eat now? Or do you want to go down to the library and let’s study or always had someone if you want, if you didn’t, you closed your door. And you know, you had privacy. And even if you decided to study alone, or have some quiet time, you could leave your door open and not feel like people were just gonna, you know, come and go and, you know, do their thing and stuff like that. Yeah. So I really enjoyed it. Because it was just, it was a really different first year experience for me. And after I did my first year at the University, I transferred into a different institution. But it really gave me an appreciation for you know, that on campus living the convenience, like honest to goodness, I would roll out of bed five minutes before class and go,

Colleen 16:00
Oh, wait, because you.

Barb 16:03
And when I transferred, and I was at a much larger institution, even though I was on campus, it was a 20 minute walk from one end of campus to the other. Right. And, and most of my classes were over here. So the next year, I lived in a different residence. But I pretty much lived in residence my whole time. Because I was travelling all over the place. And so it was a fantastic option for me. And so I really encourage anyone who’s listening to think about living in residence, think about staying in on campus, and the student village is just a fantastic opportunity to do that.

Colleen 16:39
Yeah, it’s great. And I am glad you had such a great experience. And I think some of our alumni the most engaged, that we have our residents, alumni, because they just treasure those memories, like you said, and the friendships that they made. And like I said earlier, those connections are so crucial. And there is research out there that shows like how important that is to student success. Like it’s not just like the fun, like friendship experience. But all of that rolls into your academic experience, right? Because if you feel like you’re connected, and you have friends and you belong, then that contributes to your, like academic success as well.

Barb 17:20
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. So when you look at the next, what do we have for in April, May, June, July, August to get a vote for kind of five months before students are on campus? What What are students doing right now? They’re finishing off while they’re not finishing off final? So what’s happening between now and then? And how will this sort of non academic time impact that first year.

Colleen 17:48
So students are finishing up finals first, the winter semester, and then the spring and summer semesters will start. And we as of right now will keep our residents open. For the spring summer semesters, we have some students that are living on campus right now. And then over the next kind of few months, the students that are coming in the fall, that’s kind of our focus is to help prepare them, get them registered in their classes, support them through that process, you know, do the campus business that they need to do? How do they access their textbooks and just Yeah, supporting parents and students through that process. We do have a spring open house that’s on May 22. And it will be online. And that was targeted towards students in grade 11. Who are planning for the fall of next year thinking about applying? Because good elevens will be applying or will be in grade 12 Next year, but they’ll be applying as earlier as as early as October 2020.

Barb 18:47
So yeah, really early recruitment cycle, then or the university has a really early recruitment cycle. So as soon as you hit grade 12 Like it’s time to start thinking about it.

Colleen 18:56
Absolutely. Yeah. Having said that, like we are still accepting applications. If you’re kind of on the fence or last minute joiner for fall 2020 You can absolutely do that. But you can apply as early as October in your grade 12 year,

Barb 19:11
So Oh, okay. Oh, so that’s really early. So, you did mention earlier that some of the grade 11 students are attending presentations or or parents are talking with you? What kind of questions are they asking?

Colleen 19:25
Yeah, I would say a lot of the questions revolve around what programmes or how, like which programmes would be most appropriate if I want to do this career, right? Because a lot of careers particularly than the liberal arts are not like direct like, you know, you might do a degree and then you do a professional programme or it might be a master’s programme or it might be kind of you start with the foundational degree, maybe take two years and then apply to a different programme. You know, there’s lots of different art options there. So maybe a student wants to get into journalism, let’s just use as an example. So they take, you know, a year of classes and then apply into different programmes. So it’s a lot of questions about that. And then just what do I need to have in high school to prepare and make sure that I’m admissible into these different programme options? And then, of course, costs and student supports and things like that.

Barb 20:28
Cost is probably a big one. I bet that’s a question that a lot of people are really wondering, from a cost perspective how this is going to work? Hey,

Colleen 20:37
Absolutely. I think in terms of the student village, it is one of the most affordable campus options that we have in Saskatchewan, for sure we’ve done our comparisons. So it’s, it’s very affordable. And the other nice thing about being a loser student is that there’s additional scholarship opportunities. So Luthor, students can qualify for both U of R awards, and Luther awards, so just expands that pot of money that’s available, which makes a big difference, like he said, for students,

Barb 21:08
But our student awards still based on academics, 100%, or, you know, I’ll see that average student, are they eligible for any awards,

Colleen 21:18
we always make an effort to make sure that there’s a, like a wide variety. It’s not just academics. There’s other things like leadership or extracurricular participation, all those kinds of things, financial needs. So there’s a variety of different categories and requirements for awards.

Barb 21:37
And, you know, I think that’s good, because not every student is going to excel academically, but they might be, you know, really involved in the community or volunteering when they’re already in high school to get some life and work experience. And I think that’s something really important to keep in mind. You know, when you’re looking at scholarship applications, it’s not just academics. Absolutely. Some of the most successful people nowadays were like, not great students, because school was not their thing. And yet, when they got out into that real world, like they just rocked it. Right?

Colleen 22:12
Totally, I totally agree. And some students don’t necessarily find that niche academically until they’re in university. Because they find something they really love, and they’re passionate about, and they just excel so Exactly. Well,

Barb 22:27
Colleen, we only have a couple of minutes left. So can you tell everyone how they find you your website, the virtual tour tour, you mentioned, information about the student village, please share with everyone where to find you online?

Colleen 22:41
Yeah, absolutely. So you can find us online at Luther backslash University. And there’s different tabs there academic tabs, admissions, there’s contact information about how you can reach out to me to set up an appointment. And then under the residents tab, there’s information all about the student village, how to apply the virtual tours, the photos, things like that. And of course, if you want to chat with me about it, so that I can answer any of your questions because it is always good to like, talk to somebody and you know, get all the answers that you that you might need in a face to face online conversation or by phone.

Barb 23:22
Talking person in the process

Colleen 23:24
Is huge, and would help so much. Yeah, exactly. Well, and I

Barb 23:28
Thought I saw something on Facebook the other day. Do you guys have a discount right now for the student village?

Colleen 23:34
We do we do we have $1,000? Off? Wow. Will Student Yeah. It’s an amazing discount so students can apply. If they apply anytime right now they’ll receive $1,000 off their

Barb 23:48
Fees. So nice. Yeah. It’s a great. It’s a great deal. It is. That’s huge. All right. I’m just going to wrap this up here, Colleen and please stay with me. Don’t Don’t disconnect. Sounds good. We are at a time. So I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today on The Secret Life of entrepreneurs and The Secret Life of student recruitment managers. Thanks so much for joining me today. Colleen Killeen from Luther College at the University of Regina. If you’re considering post secondary for September 2020. Well, time flies. Please look up Colleen and Luther College at the U of R. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please email me at or reach out on Facebook and Instagram at Just to reminder, you can even submit your questions in advance of our live show on our Facebook page. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business owner and Google girl. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.


Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.