My name is Cody Shackel, I am from a small town in rural Manitoba, approximately 20 minutes from the United States border and only an hour from Bottineau, North Dakota.
Graduating high school can be a stressful time, especially if you don’t know what you want to do after graduation. College wasn’t number one on my list, I actually had no clue what I wanted to do. A few months before graduation, I received a phone call from the hockey coach at Dakota College at Bottineau. Even though I was still thinking College wasn’t for me, my parents encouraged me that checking it out wouldn’t hurt. Dakota College welcomed me with open arms. I knew a few people that went there in the past and said they loved it! I thought Dakota College at Bottineau might just be for me, play the game that I love, and receive an education.
One of the biggest things I loved about Dakota College was its size. The campus is small and the dorms are close by. You can walk where ever you need to go. Class sizes are small, you get to know everyone, staff, and students. DCB students take their sports seriously and are always there to support each other. Offering a wide range of programs, Horticulture, Forestry Wildlife, Natural Resources, Paramedic, Technology, Nursing, Business and many more, there is something for everyone.
DCB provides quality experiences and ensures student success with athletics and education. Balance between athletics and academics is always important at Dakota College. The teachers are always willing to make sure you are keeping up with your grades, they always go above and beyond. Staff at DCB are always there to help in class or in the hallway. One big thing I noticed about DCB staff, they are true Lumberjack fans and always in the stands to cheer you on. One of DCB’s core values is “Student Centered”, they value students, consider their needs and interest, and make sincere efforts to respond positively to those needs and interests. I think I have pointed out this exact value in the staff at DCB.
Everyone in the community is also very supportive of Dakota College academics and athletics. I was welcomed into a billet family during my 2 years at Dakota College, I could go over whenever I wanted and was able to enjoy some home cooked meals. Having two younger kids who also have the love for hockey, I was able to enjoy playing mini-sticks or play video games. I loved being able to just get away from the dorm for a few hours. The kids also played hockey, so I got to spend even more time at the rink watching or skating with them. They were my biggest fans and made it to every game they could. You know a town is amazing when everyone can come together like that.
DCB Lumberjack Hockey allowed me to be able to continue to play the sport I love, but also be able improve my game at the same time. Practicing and working out every day, learning from new coaches, working on skills and playing against higher skilled players, allowed me to compete and be the best hockey player I can be. Coming to Bottineau right out of high school was a difficult transition both academically and athletically. The most difficult part for hockey was I was one of the youngest players on the team for both years, often playing against players on the opposing teams who were 4 or 5 years older than me. I was up for the challenge, working as hard as I could in the gym and on the ice to be able to compete. Academically, I found it to be an easier transition, shown by receiving honors or Dean’s List throughout my four semesters.
Bottineau is not much bigger than my hometown Killarney, which made it easier to become comfortable living there, a small town that still has a lot to offer. I was given the opportunity to have two roommates that I grew up with, but at the same time, living in the dorm gives you the chance to meet new people.
Dakota College at Bottineau’s mission statement reads, “Dakota College at Bottineau provides students with a quality education in a caring environment. The institution values diversity and personal enrichment by promoting engaged learning for employment and university transfer. With the help of a supportive community, Dakota College at Bottineau emphasis nature and technology to accomplish its mission through a variety of curricula, programs, and services.” Dakota College at Bottineau’s mission statement is a true testament of what they have to offer.
My love of hockey brought me to DCB. Being a student athlete gave me the opportunity to enjoy my love for the sport, make connections with teammates and develop lifelong friendships. Playing hockey outside Canada also gave me the chance to travel to places I would never have visited in the United States. Dakota College was perfect for me, and proud to be graduating with a 2-year Small Business Certificate. I am proud to say that Dakota College at Bottineau has left me with many memories and friends that will last a lifetime. Long Live those Lumberjacks!