Community Colleges Offer Range of Respected Credentials

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    Mar 27, 2014
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Community Colleges Offer Range of Respected Credentials Photo by Jason White

Traditionally, attending college meant that you would earn a diploma and receive the vocational training to enter entry-level positions. Well, times have most certainly changed. Today, colleges have completely expanded their offerings and include programs that range in credentials and post-graduate options.

One of the respected community colleges in Toronto is Centennial College. As the first community college in the province of Ontario, it has kept up with the evolution of education to offer more than 100 full-time programs and more than 160 part-time programs. It, however, also has a range of other program options.

College and University Prep: As the name suggests, these programs are designed to give students the base they need to confidently pursue a college or university education. Students can earn an English, general education and university transfer credit and graduate with a certificate or a diploma.

Joint Programs: Centennial College offers four of these programs, which are partially completed at one of its four locations and partially completed at a partnership university. The offerings meet rigorous Ontario Ministry standards (provincial standards) and open doors to even better learning and career opportunities. Ryerson University and the University of Toronto are the school's partners and joint programs include: nursing, applied microbiology, environmental science and technology, journalism, new media studies and paramedicine.

Co-op Programs: Within all types of full-time programs (certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate) are co-op programs. These offerings are specifically designed to allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the real world through a field placement.

Fast-Track Programs: For students seeking shorter study periods, there are fast-track programs. They are designed to allow students to obtain accelerated diplomas while still enjoying perks such as field placements and hands-on study.

Degree Programs: These are actually four-year Bachelor degree offerings that are completed totally at Centennial College. They offer the best of both worlds: a Bachelor degree with hands-on, practical experience that employers appreciate.

Graduate Certificate Programs: Again falling under the full-time program umbrella, these offerings are designed for those who have previously completed a post-secondary education but are looking to switch careers in a short amount of time. These programs typically don't exceed a few semesters.

Apprenticeship Programs: These offerings include training with students' employer. How is this possible? Students who apply for these apprenticeships must already be employed in the field and wish to move up by gaining solid theoretical knowledge and a credential. Additionally, many apprenticeships include an "earn while you learn" approach, which sees students compensated during the time they are in the field.

Distance Learning: Included as an option for part-time studies, the programs in this group allow students to study from the comfort of their own homes. Students complete assignments on their own while enjoying email or phone access to instructors.

Second Career: This is a provincial government program committed to helping Ontario residents who have been laid-off. Eligible participants may qualify for up to $28,000 towards tuition, books, transportation and living expenses. Second Career also helps in skills training and academic upgrading or English as a Second Language training as required.

Author's Profile

Jason wrote this piece about Centennial College's various program options. He mentions that increasingly colleges are offering a wider range of options to their learners.

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