Canadian College Offers Practical Experience, Sound Theoretical Knowledge and More

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    Nov 11, 2013
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Canadian College Offers Practical Experience, Sound Theoretical Knowledge and More Photo by Jason White

What is the difference between an American and Canadian college? In the U.S. the term "college" is actually used to describe a university. Meanwhile, in Canada, a college refers to a community college, which provides learners a totally unique experience to that of a university.

College programs are known for being shorter, ranging from one semester to three years. Although there is Bachelor degree programs offered at colleges, these offerings are unique because typical college credentials include certificates of completion, diplomas, advanced diplomas or graduate certificates. The type of credential earned depends on program length.

Another unique aspect of college offerings is small classes. This intimate environment allows for a totally different learning experience for a few reasons. First, instructors can engage students one-on-one, which allows for dialogue that may help the other students in the class grasp concepts. Secondly, small classes allow for class discussions in which an exchange of ideas can happen more easily than it could in a 200-person lecture hall. Thirdly, tools that are typically not employable in a university environment work well in a college setting. For example, groups projects and presentations are common and enhance learning by mocking real-world situations.

Speaking of hands-on college experiences, this is another unique aspect to learning in such an environment. College courses make great use of simulations, case studies, and labs. Typically, college campuses are catered to particular programs, so they are fully equipped with the tools students will use once they graduate.

A well-known Canadian college is Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario. It is actually Ontario's first community college, established in 1966, and primarily serves the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area through four campuses and seven satellite locations. Offered at this college are a range of programs that fall under the areas of: transportation, communication, media and design; business, community and health, engineering technology and applied science, and hospitality, tourism and culture. In addition, the college offers students a Continuing Education option that consists of part-time, evening and weekend courses; online studies or print-based correspondence.

Because college is such an important time in one's life and should be as stress-free as possible, it is worth noting that Centennial College is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. Almost 100 ethno cultural groups are represented and 80 languages are spoken on campus. To further demonstrate how important diversity is to Centennial College, a Statement of Diversity, states in part: "Centennial College and its Board of Governors value and embrace diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental to our mission to educate students for career success within a context of global citizenship and social justice."

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Jason discovers how attending a college program benefits students who are looking to obtain a post-secondary education that will make them employable upon graduation. He promotes Centennial College by explaining some of its standout features.

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