The BA in History was extremely helpful in setting me on a rewarding path post-university. I entered university with no real plans for my future, just knowing that I enjoyed studying history. Through my time at Kwantlen, I was able to expand my knowledge of what I was passionate about and find new passions. I learned a lot from phenomenal professors who kept the classes from becoming boring, and was even able to practice history in practical settings outside the classroom! This was instrumental in helping me decide what I wanted to do post-secondary, and led me to a career I am absolutely in love with today. I have nothing but fond memories of my time in the program and the people I studied alongside. ~ Elizabeth Weber
One of the best life decisions I ever made was going to Kwantlen and getting my Bachelor’s Degree with a Double Minor in History and English. So much so, that after originally transferring to a major university to complete my degree, I came running right back after only one semester. At this bigger university I was one student in classes of 300, I was just a student number, and the professors didn’t know who I was. At Kwantlen, the classes were smaller, the professors were passionate and they knew me by name. They still know me by name, and 14 years after graduating when I asked two of my former professors to write me a reference letter to help me get into the Graduate program at SFU, they quickly agreed and it is thanks to them that I’m in the process of achieving my Masters in History. The Kwantlen Department of History has something that makes it invaluable to their own university and the envy of others; their professors. I had the privilege of taking several courses with various History professors from Kwantlen and in the first couple of years that third and fourth level courses were being offered. The courses they introduced were very obviously passion projects for each of them and their enthusiasm for their subject matter was contagious. The History faculty are not simply professors, they are truly educators and their methods of engagement are second to none. As a secondary school teacher I have taken many of their presentation and course delivery lessons to heart and adapted it for my own classroom. I still continue to learn from them as some have even been guest lecturers in my classroom. Truly, I would not be the teacher I am today without the inspirational teaching and passion for course material I was witness to in my History courses at Kwantlen. Nor would I be achieving my dream of a Masters in History without those quality professors, many of whom I am now privileged to call friends and teaching colleagues. ~ Jackie Friesen
History in High School was my least favourite subject. I had previously only taken business classes in Post-Secondary and only took an American History class as an Arts elective because it fit my schedule, (and I watch Jeopardy a lot and was tired of never knowing the answers to those questions). That one class changed my whole view on studying History. Bob Fuhr made the class fun, engaging and interesting. When teachers are excited about the subject, it’s infectious. I definitely found that to be a common trait among all the History Faculty. Dr. Kyle Jackson is another memorable instructor I was lucky to take a few classes with. In one class he brought in a “guest speaker” (which was him as a pirate – History of Oceans), and in different class he had us in a role playing exercise where we re-held a meeting that took place between the State of Georgia and the Cherokee Indians in 1835, it was so immersive and fun, it really stuck with me. I never had an instructor who just read from a textbook which I thought was the only way history was ever taught, before I came to KPU.
It’s daunting to go back to school as an older student, but I never felt out of place in the classroom. The students, instructors, and staff were all welcoming and encouraging. Make the most of it: don’t be shy, ask for help, talk to the instructors, talk to fellow students, go hang out in the History Pod! I’m very proud to have earned my BA in History from KPU (and I’m much better at Jeopardy now). ~ Jill Cowan
Kwantlen’s History Program not only made me a better writer, researcher, and critical thinker - it also made me a better person. During my time in the department, I met some of the most intellectually curious people who shaped me into a more rounded person and ultimately changed my life trajectory. ~ Crystal Lee
As I sit here in the middle of winter warfare training, I have been thinking about KPU History. The history department at KPU is outstanding. The department offers a wide variety of exciting courses that always allowed me to study new and exciting subjects. The professors always encouraged and promoted class interaction allowing space for everyone to share their opinions respectfully. The program also taught me various valuable skills like critical thinking and the ability to quickly and precisely pull crucial information from sources. These skills continue to be invaluable throughout my life. The department also has a great sense of community which allowed me to develop several amazing friendships. ~ Michael Francis
Attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and majoring in History prepared me for graduate school, while developing my critical thinking, writing, researching, and presentation abilities. From learning how to write my first research paper to presenting at international universities in front of leading academics, KPU's History professors provided support from the beginning. The focus on small classrooms, recruitment of research focused professors, and mentorship from professors has allowed this Department to become a gem worth raving about. My time in this program has allowed me to learn about historical backgrounds for various countries which served as a great basis for future research on economic and political policies. In my profession as a Financial Advisor, I am able to speak to the reasons why a country developed economically and politically which provides great context for clients. I was very fortunate to have been mentored by both Dr. Kinney and Dr. Hayes, who were tremendous supporters of my attending graduate school. Their feedback through the application process was very helpful, critical yet honest. If you are seeking a program which will develop you, then majoring in History at Kwantlen Polytechnic University will do just that. I would highly recommend the History Department at KPU for individuals who have a passion for logic, critical thinking, and wish to learn more about why the World is the way it is. ~ Ajdin Dautovic
I took many courses during my time at KPU, on and off. However, the History Department by far is the most supportive and accommodating for its students. Especially for those like me who worked full time while attending evening classes. In fact, this was one of the major factors why I decided to stay at KPU versus pursuing a degree somewhere else. Other Universities I researched lacked the variety of classes offered outside of 8am-2pm, and even other degree programs at KPU did not have upper level courses offered in the evening, such as the History department’s seminar-based Applications of History course.
Furthermore, the History Departments “pod”, a space carved out of the common area in the department’s offices, is where History professors and students can interact in a casual setting. The pod also served as a quiet study area when study rooms at the library were booked. The pod at the end of the day truly exhibits the notion that KPU has a community-oriented culture, where students and professors can both interact. I also especially enjoyed the talks that were given by professors on various historical and contemporary topics.
Additionally, the smaller class sizes at KPU bodes especially well for what is often times dense subject matter in History. The smaller class sizes help students practically as well, such as being able to ask questions directly to the professor, instead of being a sea of hands in a lecture hall. Further, the professors are very engaged and able to keep the class involved. Many of the History professors use these smaller settings to challenge and evoke student’s best work. A final point and by far the best reason to pursue a History degree at KPU is the outstanding faculty. Not only for their vast areas of expertise and firm grasp on the Histories they teach, but for their ability to connect and inspire students. My first History class and professor opened up my mind to the possibilities of how interconnected our vast histories are. The subsequent courses I took further expanded, both my critical thinking and writing skills. On the latter note, each successive course I took, my professors both mentored and challenged me to become a better researcher and then distill it down to write efficiently. A skill I was able to take into my professional pursuits in law as well. I owe the faculty a debt of gratitude for their consistent approaches to make me a better student of History.
When I reflect on my time at Kwantlen, If I had to do it all over again, I would have definitely pursued a History degree from the very beginning. The KPU History department embodies all of the positive aspects that draw students to KPU in the first place. From small class sizes, to a community of tight knit peers and spaces to experience a university culture, to a dedicated faculty and staff who want to ensure every student succeeds. If History is what you decide to pursue in University, then KPU is where you should study. ~ Luke Arathoon, B.A. Major in History/Minor in Anthropology (2020)
Initially, I came to KPU to get a psychology degree with a minor in counselling. However, after taking a few history classes, among others to be used as electives, I decided to change my focus to a double major in History and Political Science.
Pursuing a History degree at KPU opened my eyes and piqued my interest in various areas I either had once thought I was reasonably well versed in or did not have an initial passion. One of the most significant aspects of the KPU History department is the variety of class types that students can partake in, such as lecture-style, seminar-style, or more unique styles that are hard to put into one category. This latter category involved classes where we participated in “field trips” of sorts, whether visiting different places of worship, enjoying a tour through a museum, or exploring actual archives to unearth local historical knowledge. The variety of history classes available each semester always had me excited and did not disappoint.
A further point that I want to note is the exceptional faculty who make up this department. I often met with my professors throughout my undergrad to discuss content related to any specific classes I was taking, different historical topics, or my plans after graduation. They always made themselves available and offered helpful resources. Moreover, each professor created a learning environment that was unique, engaging, and open for all to participate in fully. In many ways, a department is only as good as its professors, making the History department at KPU one of the best.
Thanks in part to both Majors I pursued, I feel prepared for work in various fields and am ready to continue with graduate studies. Being graduated now, I look back at my years at KPU, happy with the choices I made but also sad that it has ended. If you choose to pursue a History degree, I believe that you will see and experience the same benefits that I have noted here. ~ Wyatt Wickstead, B.A. Major in History and Political Science (2021)
Since completing my degree, I have continued to use the knowledge and skills that I gained at KPU on a daily basis. The passion, enthusiasm, and approachability of my KPU History instructors have left a lasting impression on me. I am still able to recall their lectures and seminars clearly, despite how much time has passed since I attended them. I feel fortunate to have been able to explore and analyse fascinating topics through the courses offered by the KPU History department. During my time at KPU, the approachability and openness of my instructors made it possible for me to ask questions and discuss topics outside of classes in order to gain better insight to history and to many different aspects of different cultures. ~ Nuvjit Sidhho
I graduated from KPU with a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in history in 2014. During my time at KPU, I found the history department to be staffed with top-tier professors who were always willing to go out of their way to ensure student success. After taking an Introduction to East Asian History with Dr. Colin Green, I knew I had to switch out of English and into the History department. I went on to spend many hours in various professors' office hours and in the History Pod on the 2nd floor in Surrey, and credit a large part of my subsequent success in law school (and as a lawyer) to the high-quality instruction I received there. I cannot recommend the program strongly enough to anyone who wants to undertake the post-secondary journey. I certainly know my legal writing today is a direct result of the KPU history program. ~ Scott McInnes (History & English)
A BA from KPU's History program does more than just give you an understanding of significant events in the past and how they've shaped our current world. You develop an entire skill set to help you in your future career, whatever it is. Critical thinking, the ability to write well, public speaking, the ability to work towards a goal and meet deadlines, and a well rounded understanding of the modern world and the institutions that govern it will all make you more valuable to potential employers. ~ Ian Hardacre
When I first enrolled at KPU, I never expected to find myself leaving with a Bachelor’s in History. Yet, if like me, you find yourself able to take a course in history, it is hard to not be charmed by its lively faculty, fascinating source material, and the open and welcoming atmosphere of its classes. The courses promote discussion and engagement with all sorts of historical materials, and through a number of different lenses. You may find yourself presenting a historical figure to the class, you could be picking apart a primary source of history, or you could be debating with a student, re-enacting a historical dilemma with no right answer. Like your typical history course, you might learn the history of a particular time period or country, but you might also find yourself studying an environmental perspective of history, a comparative course that contrasts historical civilizations to gain a new context, or even one that looks at the understudied sides of history, such as the viewpoints of historical terrorists. What is special about the department is its underlying belief in history, one that permeates through all its courses: that all kinds of knowledge, from the way religion was practiced in ancient China, to the treatment of animals in southern India, all is valuable in its own way, and can offer you something to reflect on, discuss with others, and give you a more whole perspective that will enrich your life. ~ John Niescier
The history department at KPU has a distinct sense of community. While studying, I felt like I was part of a large group of amazing individuals working towards different yet mutually complementary goals. The professors were always available to give extra help, and this was a large part of my success in the program. My experiences studying history at KPU more than prepared me for my post-undergraduate plans. ~ Jordan McCuaig
People choose higher education to better prepare for their futures. The academic study of history – the past events of the world which have contributed to shaping our present – is one of the many social science disciplines which make people greater thinkers, accomplished writers, and competent analysts. It is not only these academic skills however which are enhanced by studying history; it is the capability for self-reflection and a greater understanding of the human experience that comes alongside those skills which are of even greater value. All of these capabilities make the student of history a more functional, articulate and intelligent human being who is better prepared to face the challenges of their future lives.
In my personal experience, studying history and being a part of the student community at KPU greatly supported me in my academic learning with interesting course topics, diverse focus streams, relevant assignments and with exceptional instruction from skilled educators. I am using the critical inquiry, assessment, research and writing skills gained from these educational experiences in my current occupational life working as an Educational Advising and Career Development professional in B.C.’s post-secondary system.
While the academic skill development nurtured by studying history at KPU has been a backbone in my professional development, being a student with KPU History supported me in facing challenges of my life at the time. During my tenure as a student at KPU, my mother died unexpectedly of an undetected cancer; the journey of her passing was incredibly fast ... a mere three weeks. She was only 64. If it were not for the community of academic peers, dedicated and compassionate instructors, and the close-knit group of friends whom I had come to know by being a student in KPU’s History department, I would not have come through this deeply challenging and emotionally difficult time as well as I did. As a student, I felt supported and was made to feel cared for by every member of the history department family. In my experience and in current reflections, the notion of community is at the core of KPU’s History department. This community sets History at KPU apart, and fosters a myriad of different levels of growth, perseverance and success for its students.
As quoted by Robert Penn Warren from The American Imagination “history cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future (100).” If you are a person who wishes to nurture your intellectual growth, increase your understanding and compassion for all the world's people, places and civilizations, and – most importantly – is someone who appreciates the care which comes from inclusion in a community (and if you love to be the high scorer in trivia games) – choose History at KPU. It will be one of the most amazing educational experiences you could hope to have. ~ Andrea A. Flello, B.A. Major in English, Minor in History (2010)
Critical thinking and logical reasoning I believe are important skills to have nowadays. Both of which you’ll gain a better understanding of while being part of the History program at KPU. The instructors in the History program will teach you why a historical event happened, not just the technical how aspect. We can all learn about how the Vietnam War was fought but the instructors at KPU will guide you through why it happened and in doing so you’ll develop excellent critical thinking skills. It was this approach to teaching which led me to become passionate about studying history and made me want to pursue the discipline as a career. I have done this by becoming Historical Researcher making documentaries for National Geographic and the Smithsonian Channel. ~ Dawson Kuzak
I’ve always had a knack that tempted me to ask why. It always seemed to me to be a harmless enough question, and one that can lead to some fascinating answers, but it seems to have become something far more complicated than that more recently. My time studying History at Kwantlen never had me feeling uncomfortable or unsure as to whether or not to ask why. My instructors and peers constantly challenged my abilities and furthered my desire to know why things work the way they do and how they got to that point, and I hope I was able to give my instructors and friends in history the same challenge in appreciation of their efforts. The history department at Kwantlen really felt like a group committed to doing better in exploring the curiosities that intrigued them while encouraging and supporting others to do the same. ~ Sukhvir Bains
The BA History program at KPU offers not only an understanding of the world and what events have shaped the world we see today, but allows the opportunity to explore in a collaborative manner. I found the process of working with peers, having an open dialogue in the classroom, and a student centred environment to be very beneficial in my learning endeavours. Collaboration among peers and professors created a more meaningful interaction and learning experience. This notion of collaboration to explore ideas I have gained through KPU's History program is something I aim to emulate in my Secondary Social Studies and Special Education classes. ~ Nikki Puni
There are nothing but positive things to be said about the History program at KPU. During my time there, I became more receptive towards the many different viewpoints and perspectives available, which, in turn, helped me to develop a better understanding of both the world and myself. Of course, it was only possible with the help of the very accepting professors, who fostered and nurtured an open-minded atmosphere where all opinions are valued, and my many peers, whose honest and thought-provoking opinions only contributed to this atmosphere. ~ Kevin Ho
Before I went to KPU, I used to wonder how an Australian guy led the Scottish people to freedom. Now that I have a minor in history, I have the analytical skills to confirm that ‘Braveheart' was a movie AND William Wallace wasn't Australian. Aside from my broader understanding of Hollywood and the historical inaccuracies they put on the big screen, KPU gave me the inspiration to become a teacher myself through their amazing professors .... In a KPU history classroom, it is subject centred learning as opposed to teacher-centred, so you can really contribute to the discussion in an open and friendly atmosphere. The teachers at KPU are passionate about teaching and really care about their students --present and past.
Now, living and teaching English in multi-cultural Frankfurt, Germany—I have also found what I learned was not just fun facts and interesting stories, but my history minor had also given me a broader understanding of cultural differences in my classroom where I have students from Italy, Spain, Iran, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Haiti, Hungary, Portugal and Thailand. Not to mention, that my knowledge of English speaking countries' histories has allowed me to impart on my students a greater understanding of English speaking cultures and how they are not all the same: like why Brits apologize to tables when they bump into them and the Irish sing songs about prison ships to Australia when they get kicked out in the first round of the EM. ~ Emily Kirkland
The History program KPU greatly increased my knowledge and love for the subject. The quality of instruction and passion for history from the professors had me hooked from my first class. These are people who keep in active engagement with history and it shows in the lessons they create. Rather than simply spouting off knowledge from a textbook, they create learning environments where the diversity of the class is used to create understanding that is communal, not simply top-down. It was this learning environment that helped me become a teacher and for that I am forever grateful. If you are even remotely considering taking a course in History at KPU, please do it. You will be rewarded for your decision. ~ Raju Brar
Most of what I would say has already been eloquently covered, so I'll skip to praise: I found that the history department at KPU, both the faculty and fellow students, provided a friendly and encouraging environment for learning; as someone who suffers from anxiety, I never felt daunted by my presentations or deterred from participating in a discussion. ~ Erik Granholm