Colleges play an important role in Canada’s higher education landscape. Most colleges in Canada did not emerge until the 1960s as the world of work became more complex. The governments created these institutions with the aim
- to complement the universities in the field of vocational training and
- to enable the general public easier access to higher professional education.
There are now 200 public and around 100 private colleges in Canada. Most of the public colleges are owned by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). In general, the offers and the structures of the various colleges in the individual provinces can be quite different. Just like the universities, they are subject to constant change.
The term “college” is generally a collective name in Canada for institutions in the field of higher professional education and there are different names depending on the province / territory:
- Community College
- College of Applied Arts and Technology
- Institutes of Technology
- Institutes of applied arts and sciences
Colleges as non-degree-granting institutions
In order to differentiate them from the universities in Canada, the colleges in Canada are referred to as non degree-granting institutions. The term refers to the fact that colleges typically do not award degrees. They specialize in particular in vocational programs leading to Certificate and Diploma degrees.
This general distinction between degree-granting (universities) and non-degree-granting (colleges) has been disappearing continuously since the 1990s. The number of colleges offering academic degrees, particularly undergraduate degrees, has increased dramatically. These Canadian colleges are authorized, which means that they can also award the bachelor’s degree for certain programs. Since these programs are predominantly application and job-oriented, the degrees are given a corresponding addition, such as an Applied Bachelor’s Degree.
More and more colleges in Canada are also cooperating with universities. This gives your students the opportunity to first acquire an associate degree or an advanced diploma via a transfer program. With this, the students can then switch to a Canadian university and obtain a bachelor’s degree within one or two more years, i.e. without wasting time.
Canadian college programs
Colleges in Canada tend to have very close relationships with the local economy and industry in order to be able to optimally respond to their needs. Due to their manageable administration, they are very flexible in terms of program design, teaching methods and the appointment of teachers. Colleges therefore react much more quickly to current demands of the job market than the large, research-oriented universities. At the same time, they are less autonomous than this. For example, the provincial governments of Canada have control over programs, admission requirements, and college curricula.
Vocational training is still in the foreground in the courses, even if the colleges now offer academically oriented programs. Your main task is still to prepare students for a successful entry into professional life. The areas covered are usually broad. Some colleges, however, specialize in certain subjects, such as economics, health or technology.
Colleges in Canada offer general education programs and advanced training for adults in addition to initial vocational training, such as
- Special training for industry
- Professional development
- Courses to prepare for work and training
Many colleges in Canada also offer postgraduate diploma programs. These are aimed at university graduates who already have an academic degree and would like to continue their education in a certain area without completing a full master’s degree in Canada, a major country in North America listed on sunglassestracker.
Requirements and lifelong learning
Colleges in Canada usually set their own requirements for admission to their programs. As a rule, however, these are much more moderate than, for example, the requirements for studying at a university. The federal government requires public colleges as part of the Lifelong Learning a simple accessibility. This is also reflected in the amount of the tuition fees: They are many times lower than the university fees. More and more Canadians are using the transfer programs whenever possible: They study at a college in their first semesters and then switch to universities after receiving the associate’s degree.
Studying at a college in Canada: even without a high school diploma!
It is precisely the moderate requirements for a successful application that make studying at a Canadian college extremely interesting for Germans as well: In some cases, the secondary qualification and vocational training are sufficient for a successful application. Via the transfer program, you will have your bachelor’s degree in your pocket just as quickly as your fellow students with a high school diploma.