As an instructor at the University of British Columbia since January of 2008, and having taught first year university students since 1996, Dr. Erickson has had considerable opportunity to observe firsthand the trials and tribulations of first year students making the transition to university. He has seen more than his share of students who have decided to leave the university simply because they were not prepared for it.


According to a recent study by the BC Ministry of Education, as many as 34,306 students will enter BC post-secondary institutions within two years of graduation from high school. Trends from the past decade indicate that this number has been increasing each year.

Over the course of the same time span, students have reported a drop in their satisfaction that they are being properly prepared for post-secondary education.

Some are not academically prepared, though given increasing admission standards, this is not an overly large group. Many others are simply overwhelmed by the unexpected complexities and demands of the transition. In many cases the academic preparation of those who decide to leave university is no different than those who choose to stay.


What is different is their organizational preparedness, and their ability to make the social adjustments that are required to feel at home in a new setting. One of the most costly mistakes students make, in both financial and experiential terms, is to fail a class or even drop out of school entirely, for the simple reason they lacked a few essential skills that could have helped them feel more in control of the situation.

As parents, we all want to see our children succeed. As Dr. Erickson's own children began their transition to university, it became very clear that what was needed is an easily accessible, condensed, and affordable program that offers more detailed guidance to college or university-bound high school graduates in order to alleviate some of the stresses and uncertainties of the transition. This is where Smooth Space Education and the Smooth Start program comes into play.

Do you remember your first term of university?

  • Were you excited?

  • Were you scared?

  • Did you feel overwhelmed?

  • Did you feel stressed?

  • Did you feel lost or confused?

  • Did you feel like a small fish in big sea?

  • All of the above?

All of these are normal and are shared by most everyone. Your son or daughter will feel them too. The question then becomes:

If you could go back, what do you wish you knew?

The Smooth Start program is designed to address exactly this issue. The course is taught by recognized academics and advanced graduate students who are face to face with first year students on a regular basis. The information we aim to share is fresh, current, and practical. It has been shaped to best direct your son or daughter through the maze of post-secondary education.

Whichever school your son or daughter plans to attend, a local college or an international university, Smooth Start can help!


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Education is an Investment

Education beyond high school is a large and potentially very rewarding investment. Studies routinely show that people with a post-secondary degree are higher earners than those without a degree. Those with a University Bachelors degree earn on average double what those with a only a high school earn in a year.

The reward is there, and so too is the risk.