Since 1995, Compustat Consultants Inc. has conducted periodic quality and satisfaction surveys across Ontario, to measure the performance of the province's public colleges in the area of part-time adult continuing education.
In the most recent survey, conducted in the fall of 2005 with results recently released, Conestoga rated highly in the "large college" category, with a sole or a shared first-place standing in 36 of 66 areas.
Continuing education is very important to Ontario's communities and economy, because it is the means for employed adults to seek new career directions, advancement of career skills or pathways to further, specialized higher education, while maintaining existing life and employment commitments.
"Ontario colleges provide a much greater scope and depth of this kind of important, practical education than is the case with any other sector of the educational community," said Dan Piedra, Conestoga's Director of Continuing Education.
For example, in an average year, continuing education registrations at Conestoga exceed 33,000.
Because of its volume of enrolment activity and learning opportunities, Conestoga is classed as a large college in continuing education, along with Algonquin of Ottawa, Mohawk of Hamilton, Sheridan of Oakville and the Toronto colleges - Centennial, George Brown, Humber and Seneca.
Conestoga's high-level performance touched a variety of areas, all of which contribute to the quality of the educational experience - course content, instructor's knowledge, clear course objectives, fairness in the evaluation of student performance, safety and security of facilities, knowledge and helpfulness of staff in service areas, and appropriateness of classroom and lab equipment.
"In a dynamic, growing region such as ours, the value that adults derive from pursuing lifelong learning is very important," Piedra added. "At Conestoga, we think it's essential to provide the greatest opportunity and highest quality we can in continuing education, because the skills our adult learners acquire contribute directly to the improvement of the community and the local economy."
The full survey results for Conestoga can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/ce/survey/index.jsp,
by clicking on Continuing Education Provincial Comparison Summary
2005. Conestoga is now accepting registrations for continuing
education courses being offered in the fall 2006 term.