Province approves new three-year degrees for Ontario colleges
This is a welcome improvement to post-secondary education in Ontario. It will encourage more students to enroll in programs that lead to rewarding careers and will drive economic growth through a more highly qualified workforce.
The Ontario government’s announcement on April 11, 2022 that colleges, including Mohawk College, can develop new three-year degree programs will help more students acquire the professional expertise to succeed in their careers.
“Today’s announcement is great news for students, employers and our community,” said Ron J. McKerlie, President and CEO of Mohawk College. “We look forward to including more degree options to Mohawk College’s first-rate educational programs. This will provide students with greater career opportunities and will ensure even more regional employers will benefit by hiring Mohawk’s job-ready future-ready graduates.”
The announcement was made today by Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop at an event at Conestoga College in Kitchener.
The minister announced colleges can begin developing new three-year degree programs alongside their diploma programs and can expand their range of career-focused four-year degree programs.
“Expanding the degree programs at colleges ensures more students will have access to high-quality, career-focused programs,” Minister Dunlop said. “More students will acquire the expertise and credentials to succeed in today’s job market.”
Currently, most of the programs offered at colleges are diploma programs. Prior to today’s announcement, colleges were only authorized to award degrees to graduates of their career-focused four-year programs.
The announcement today recognizes the success of the colleges’ degree programs and brings true equity to Ontario’s post-secondary system. It ensures every student whose education fulfils Ontario’s degree-level requirements is awarded a degree upon graduation.
Expanding the degree programs at colleges will fulfil the growing demand among employers for graduates with more highly specialized qualifications. This will be particularly important in sectors like the electric-vehicle industry that are advancing the transition to a cleaner economy.
This expansion of the colleges’ degree programs also opens the door to more career options for graduates, especially graduates who are looking to advance into management positions.
“This is a welcome improvement to post-secondary education in Ontario,” McKerlie said. “It will encourage more students to enroll in programs that lead to rewarding careers and will drive economic growth through a more highly qualified workforce.”
As well, this benefits companies that promote themselves and their workforce internationally, as most jurisdictions outside Ontario aren’t familiar with the diploma credential.
“Degree holders enjoy more opportunities in our global manufacturing world,” said Guido Benvenuto, the vice president of engineering at Flex-N-Gate, a supplier to the global automotive sector. “This will make a significant difference in our sector.”