Friday, January 18, 2013

OACC: Choosing a Career College

Choosing a Career College
By Alix Matthews-Mahé
- Media Communications Coordinator, Ontario Association of Career Colleges

Every year, over 60,000 students choose to pursue post-secondary education at one of Ontario’s career colleges. Career colleges offer hands-on learning in a variety of skilled fields, often in just a matter of months. But, with over 600 campus locations dotted across the province, how do you decide which one is the best fit for you?

The following is a list of 5 essential tips on choosing a career college:
1.  Do your research
Find a college in your area or one that offers the program you’re looking for. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can go to to make sure the colleges you’re looking at are registered with the ministry. Also, check into professional associations, such as the Ontario Association of Career Colleges, to see if the colleges are members in good standing.
2.  Book a tour
Visiting a career college is often the best way to get a feel for the school. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to talk to teachers and students, check out the classrooms and equipment, and picture yourself as a student there.

3.  Ask questions
Try talking to current students, alumni, instructors, and employers, and ask them as many questions as you can. Colleges can often put you in touch with graduates and businesses that have hired their students, so that you can hear about their experiences with the college first-hand.
4.  Compare and contrast
Whether you walk into a college and its love at first sight or if you aren’t quite sure if it’s the right one yet, it’s always a good idea to compare. By booking a tour at another college and comparing student experiences from several campuses, you should get a good idea of what college and learning environment works best for you.

5.  Look into funding options
Career college students use a variety of funding options including personal funds, Second Career funding, WSIB funding, and OSAP. If you require OSAP funding, make sure the college is OSAP designated. If not, speak to a representative at the college to see what other options are available. 

Established in 1973, the Ontario Association of Career Colleges is a provincial voice for career colleges. OACC has over 280 members who contribute to the province’s economy by training a majority of the 60,000 students who enroll in career colleges annually in hundreds of essential, skilled fields. Visit our website at or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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