Colleges and Technical Institutions are popular education choices in Canada; they offer professional programs of 1 to 3 years (often including a work term) that are highly applicable in the job market. Some community colleges offer university transfer programs that allow students to take courses that are parallel to those offered for the first two years of a four year university program. Students must still apply to the university to gain admission to complete the last two years of the four year program.
The 175 post-secondary institutions which are members of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) are officially known by a range of titles, including Community College, College, Technical Institute, University College, and Cégep. All of these institutions have the primary function of responding to the training needs of business, industry and the public service sectors. They also meet the educational needs of vocationally-oriented secondary school graduates, employment-seeking university graduates, as well as the lifelong learning requirements of the adult population. Historically, these institutions offered diplomas as community needs change and evolve and at least 18 are now granting degrees and applied degrees.
The two- to three-year (or shorter) college programs typically offer specific, vocationally-oriented curricula, as well as general academic concentrations. In fact, a significant number of university graduates attend college upon completion of their degrees to acquire vocational skills for employment. Colleges typically have more vocationally-related curricula than universities, with smaller classes, off-campus course offerings, a greater ratio of laboratory space to classroom space, an interactive teaching style and inclusive entry criteria. Employment-related programs, including apprenticeship and continuing education courses, often maintain varying entry levels and range from the technologies to the creative arts. Colleges maintain renowned Centres of Excellence in many fields such as information technology, mining, the environment, and hospitality and tourism. They design curriculum and hands-on training for future participants in a skilled and specialized Canadian work force. Other full and part-time programs include health, business, academic upgrading, applied arts, social services, adult literacy, and university preparation.
The uniqueness of Canadian colleges lies in the combination of employer-centred curricula within comprehensive learning institutions which respond to national economic policy. Colleges are dynamic institutions, constantly changing to meet the economic and social needs of the communities in which they work. As such, several colleges have achieved ISO certification and all strive for quality and excellence in meeting the changing learning needs of society.
University Transfer Programs
Students intending to acquire a degree at a university can complete their first two years of study at a college or university college and earn credits. Most of the credits earned in this type of program may be transferred to universities as the first and second years of a degree program. Colleges and university colleges that offer transfer programs usually have an established relationship with nearby universities however, it is important to check with the college to determine which universities will accept the transfer credits. You must ensure that the courses you take are appropriate to the degree you plan to enter in university.
Colleges and Technical Institutes Requirements