Recognition for Ontario’s Career College Sector
A recent report by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario acknowledges that private career colleges play an important role in delivering postsecondary education in Ontario. In spite of this fact, they remain an often overlooked aspect of the education system and deserve more recognition for and research into their contributions to the labour market and to society as a whole.
The report, Ontario Private Career Colleges: An Exploratory Analysis, says that Private Career Colleges make a difference and play a viable role in the postsecondary landscape, alongside public colleges and universities. This is evident by the fact that 1 in 15 postsecondary students are enrolled in a Career College, with the equivalent of 53,000 full time students being served.
Private Career Colleges provide a unique, career-oriented service. For example, career colleges have been instrumental in delivering Ontario’s Second Career program designed for the re-skilling of displaced workers. In other words, they give a second chance to those who find themselves in a tough situation because of economic downturns or other circumstances. Many career colleges specialize in a niche area, such as in the audio recording and music industries. The most common programs include business and health services.
Representing over 270 of these institutions, Career Colleges Ontario (CCO) is pleased with the recognition the report gave to this postsecondary education sector.
CCO Executive Director Paul Kitchin states: “The report provides a balanced and factual portrayal of the role and contributions of Ontario’s private career college sector.” He continues, “Career colleges have a lengthy track record of preparing tens of thousands of Ontario students from a variety of backgrounds to enter or re-enter the workforce. CCO would encourage further research into the benefits and contributions of the career college sector in order to help the public better understand this viable postsecondary option.”
Apparently, that’s exactly what the future holds. Beginning this year, the government will be compiling a system of key performance indicators for private career colleges to better understand and promote this important part of the educational system in Ontario.