Community Colleges Offer Distinct Benefits

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    Oct 02, 2013
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Community Colleges Offer Distinct Benefits Photo by Jason White

Community colleges offer an approach to post-secondary education that is quite different from that of a university education. Some of the biggest differences include lower tuition, smaller class sizes, a focus on practical application of theory and shorter study periods. Each of the community colleges in Ontario has its specialty and own reputation. Here is what makes Centennial College unique.

The First of Its Kind: In 1966, Centennial College became the first community college in Ontario. This means that is has had 47 years to develop a teaching model that ensures training holds up in every industry for which Centennial College offers programs. In addition, it is one of the community colleges in Toronto that has developed strong partnerships, which serve two purposes. First, some of Centennial College's programs allow students to apply academic credit towards further study. Because of educational partnerships, students are able to enjoy a seamless transition to further their studies. Secondly, field placement partnerships benefit students of this community college because they allow them to experience what it is like to be employed in their desired workforce. This 'employment', depending on the program, may be paid or unpaid and range in length. However, it is made possible because Centennial College has one of highest standings among community colleges in Toronto.

Culturally Diverse: Each year, 16,000 full-time students and 22,000 part-time learners enroll in this community college's 100 full-time programs and 140 part-time programs. Among all of these students, almost 100 ethno-cultural groups are represented and 80 languages spoken on campus. This makes Centennial College one of the most culturally diverse community colleges in Toronto and Ontario.

Options: Among the credentials that students of community colleges can complete are certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas. Additionally, Centennial College is one of the few community colleges that also offers bachelor degrees in Computer and Communication Networking, and Software Systems: Design, Development and Management. Taking the importance of options a step further is the fact that students can choose to study full-time, part-time (by attending classes during evening and weekends), online (through distance learning in virtual classrooms) or through print-based courses (another Distance Learning option where materials are mailed to students). Finally, it is worth noting that Centennial College is one of the community colleges in Ontario that offers a very wide range of programs in areas of study such as: School of Business, School of Communication, Media and Design; School of Community and Health Studies, School of Engineering Technology and Applied Sciences, School of Transportation, and the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culture.

Centrally Located: With four campuses in the east end of the city, Centennial College is one of the only community colleges whose locations are each suited to particular programs. For example, at The Creative Centre of Communications, one finds programs that have a creative aspect attached to them such as Fine Arts Studio and Graphic Design. Meanwhile, Progress Campus, which is this community college's largest location, is home to Business School courses as well as the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Travel. As such it offers state-of-the-art computer labs as well as facilities such as a restaurant and conference centre. Ashtonbee Campus is attached to the School of Transportation and is actually the largest transportation training hub in the province, complete with automotive labs and an airplane hangar. Lastly, Morningside Campus hosts the School of Community and Health Studies as well as The School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science. It offers simulated clinical environments for the former and modern science labs for the latter.

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Jason details to readers the particular aspects that make Centennial College stand apart from other Community Colleges.

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