The Community Colleges in Canada are institutions that respond to the skill requirements of the Canadian society. They provide the training required to equip the workforce with the required skills to meet job requirements in a dynamically changing environment. With new technology, machinery and awareness being introduced at regular intervals, the Community Colleges design curriculum and hands-on training to create a “future-ready” skilled and specialized workforce.
These institutions (Community College, College, Technical Institute, University College, and Cégep) are members of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). All of these institutions have the primary function of responding to the training needs of business, industry and the public service sectors.
Community Colleges are unique, in that they provide job-oriented programs that meet the needs of employers looking for trained manpower and at the same time they prepare the students to enroll themselves into a University for further education. On the one hand the prospective employers have a need for manpower that can fit into a changing and evolving technical workplace and on the other hand, the Canadian economy and education policies are constantly changing and upgrading to stay abreast of what is happening in countries like the US and UK.
Furthermore, Community Colleges accommodate vocationally-oriented secondary school graduates and also employment seeking university graduates looking for a specialized training. They also accommodate workplace veterans that have decided to take up a program to upgrade their skills.
University Transfer Programs
Some community colleges offer university transfer programs that allow students to apply to the university to gain admission to complete the last two years of the four-year program. The programs in Colleges are more vocationally-related, with smaller classes, with a greater ratio of laboratory space to classroom space. This allows the students to choose between joining the workforce or continuing the program in a university.
Students can complete their first two years of study at a Community 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. As a student one has to do the necessary groundwork 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.
Community Colleges offer short-term, medium-term and long-term professional programs in fields ranging from technology, creative arts, tourism, etc. These programs are relevant to the industry and the curriculum is current. Very often the program includes a work-term that gives the students a “hands-on” experience in their field of study.
Diploma and certificate program lengths vary from one to three years. For students who have completed secondary school, CÉGEP offers two-year general transition programs to university or three-year technical transition programs to work. (CÉGEP is a French acronym for College of General and Vocational Education in Quebec.)
- Completion of the equivalent of Canadian secondary or high school.
- For post-diploma programs, students should have successfully completed a university degree or college diploma program.
- Some schools may require students to take pre-requisite courses to ensure that they have the appropriate academic background.
- Official transcripts translated into English or French as requested by the Canadian institution.
- Some institutions may require notarized official transcripts.
- Proof of strong proficiency in English (or French if studies are in French). For example, a TOEFL score of around 550 or approximately 6.0 for IELTS.
- Students should be over 18 years of age. Some College admits mature students.
Depending on the program, students may be required to do one or all of the following:
- Submit a portfolio.
- Participate in a pre-admission interview or questionnaire.
- Write a placement test.