A program that provides more than education

Student shares how studying at MRU led to greater self-understanding


Tim Hilton stands on a bridge in Calgary with the bow river in the background.

Tim Hilton credits the small class sizes and the services on campus for his continued success at Mount Royal University.


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Tim Hilton spent one year in Open Studies before his wife recommended he apply for a diploma of social work. Now completing his second year in the Social Work Diploma program, Hilton had no hesitations in choosing Mount Royal University to further his education.

“Years ago, when I first walked into Mount Royal University, I knew it would be my future somehow,” he says.

Hilton shares that the social work program provided much more than academic education – it also promoted his personal growth.

“My favourite part of the program is the personal development. You’re forced to face a lot of personal biases you’ve held for most of your life, and the instructors really encourage you to examine them from all angles and learn more about who you are as a person,” Hilton says. “Understanding yourself is the foundation to best help other people.”

On top of encouraging personal development, instructors of the social work program are also dedicated to ensuring that students gain a solid education about social work itself.

“You get an interesting mix of teaching styles,” Hilton says. “Across the board, every instructor I’ve had in the program encourages students to share their opinions, even if it's contradictory or challenging to the material being taught.”


"Before becoming a student, I heard about the small classes and didn’t think much of it, but now I realize that they actually mean a lot. The instructors know me by name, and I’m not just a number. The fact that they know who I am is a sign of how much they want to invest in you and your education"

Tim Hilton


The Social Work Diploma entails two practicums, where students are able to practice their skills in a real-life environment.

“When you couple the practical experience with what you’ve learned in class, you’re able to see the intersectionality between everything and it all comes together,” Hilton says.

Hilton also credits the small class sizes and the services on campus for his continued success at Mount Royal.

“Before becoming a student, I heard about the small classes and didn’t think much of it, but now I realize that they actually mean a lot. The instructors know me by name, and I’m not just a number. The fact that they know who I am is a sign of how much they want to invest in you and your education,” he says.

Hilton goes on to say that the small cohorts allow students to network with faculty and other students outside of the classroom.

“You get to know everybody and build a community. With a smaller group, it’s less intimidating to meet new people and you’re not just going to blend into the background,” he says.

Hilton, among many other Social Work Diploma students, plans to apply for the Bachelor of Social Work upon graduation. From there, Hilton plans to pursue a masters degree and eventually hopes to get into teaching.

“Education is something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of, so maybe one day I’ll get my PhD and become a professor. Who knows!”

April 14, 2021