The provincial government has announced Ontario’s public colleges will be able to develop new three-year degree programs as well as additional four-year degree programs to ensure more students acquire the professional expertise to succeed in their careers. The announcement was made on April 11 at an event at Conestoga.
The provincial government announced Ontario’s public colleges will be able to develop new three-year degree programs as well as additional four-year degree programs. L-R: Don Lovisa, Durham College President; Barb Willoughby, operations manager, ATS Automation; Mike Harris, MPP Kitchener-Conestoga; MaryLynn West-Moynes, Georgian College President; Minister Dunlop; John Tibbits; Linda Franklin, president and CEO, Colleges Ontario.
“Expanding the degree programs at colleges ensures more students will have access to high-quality, career-focused programs,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “More students will acquire the expertise and credentials to succeed in today’s job market.”
The announcement recognizes the success of college degree programs and brings equity to Ontario’s post-secondary system, ensuring every student whose education fulfills Ontario’s degree-level requirements is awarded a degree upon graduation. Prior to the announcement, colleges had only been authorized to award degrees to graduates of four-year programs.
Three-year applied degrees will provide an opportunity for colleges to develop programs to address workforce shortages, including highly skilled technology workers in the health care, digital, data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and process automation sectors. The expansion will also enable increased access to education for students in smaller communities and rural areas, allowing learners to graduate sooner and enter the workforce more quickly in these critical fields.
“The expansion of degree programming at Ontario’s public colleges will play an important role in addressing critical workforce needs and contributing to the prosperity and well-being of our communities,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “We are delighted to work with our government and industry partners to provide more career-focused learning opportunities for students and build a stronger Ontario.”
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