Conestoga news

September 27, 2023 3:51 PM

Conestoga and OACETT launch free student membership pilot

Conestoga has partnered with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to undertake a six-year pilot program to determine the value of offering free membership to students in engineering and applied science programs.

The pilot will follow a single cohort of students through a two- or three-year college program, as well as the three-year period following graduation. The third year after graduation is when membership dues are no longer subject to a post-graduate discount.

“There are two schools of thought about student membership in associations,” said Cheryl Farrow, CEO of OACETT. “One theory is that when students have to pay even a nominal fee, they are more personally committed and more likely to convert to full membership upon graduation. Another theory is that if membership is free, there is the potential to sign up more students, and even if not all of them become engaged, there still may be more that convert to full membership than from the smaller number of paid student members.”

Ontario colleges are the primary source of OACETT’s members, where graduates from engineering and applied science programs go on to earn certification as technicians or technologists. Part of the pilot will include offering OACETT’s Professional Practice Exam (PPE) while students are still enrolled for advanced standing in achieving certification.

“Conestoga is dedicated to excellence in the design and delivery of industry-leading career-ready education opportunities to prepare graduates for success in their chosen fields,” said Tony Thoma, executive dean of the School of Engineering & Technology. “We believe that this partnership and the resulting path to industry-recognized certification will help our graduates stand out amongst their peers as they prepare to join the workforce.”

The pilot will also include cohorts from Cambrian College and Durham College. Once complete, results of the program will be used to inform a long-term strategy for student membership dues.  

For more information, read the full release.

OACETT is a non-profit, self-governing regulatory body and professional association of more than 21,000 members and Ontario’s independent certifying body for engineering and applied science technicians and technologists, recognized across Canada by employers and other engineering professionals.

The School of Engineering & Technology offers a comprehensive suite of programs with a wide range of credentials. Conestoga is the only college in Ontario to offer fully accredited engineering degrees. Programs feature project-based learning, co-op work experience and applied research opportunities to prepare graduates for success in their chosen fields.