Canadian Consulting Engineer

Applied technology degrees approved in Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities recently approved a long list of new applied technology...

February 12, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities recently approved a long list of new applied technology degree programs. The fist of these programs took in students as a pilot phase in September 2002, and the remaining new programs will start enrolling students this fall.

Until the government passed the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence act in 2000 to authorize a college of applied arts and technology to offer applied degrees, these institutions could only offer diploma or certificate courses. Some professional engineers who went through the conventional four-year undergraduate degree program at university are concerned about the new college qualifications.

The applied technology degrees are approved by a special qualifications board and are tightly tailored to service particular industry sectors. Seneca College in Toronto, for example, now offers a degree in integrated environmental site remediation and one in software development. Conestoga College offers a degree in advanced manufacturing – wood and composite products, and another in Architecture, Project Facilities management. La Cite Collegiale recently had a degree in biotechnology approved. George Brown College has a degree in construction and environment – regulations and compliance, and Fanshawe offers integrated land planning technologies.

Many colleges offering the programs, such as Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, are in the midst of major expansion programs to accommodate the new students. The expansions are timed to coincide with an especially large influx of students, as this is the year the province ends its Grade 13 level, meaning there is a double-cohort of students leaving high school and hoping to find places in higher education.

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