Political parties urged to enrich Ontario by strengthening college education
HAMILTON, May 7, 2018 – New measures to enhance career-specific degree programs at colleges, strengthen mental health supports for students and transform apprenticeship training are among the priorities for Ontario’s colleges in the upcoming provincial election.
“Students deserve the best college education they can get,” said Mohawk College President Ron McKerlie “We’re calling for new measures to ensure more students get to enroll in high-quality programs that lead to great careers.”
The 24 colleges officially launched their election platform today. The platform, Enriching Ontario, highlights four priority areas that will ensure greater numbers of students acquire the professional and technical expertise that leads to successful careers.
Colleges are calling for the provincial parties to enrich the opportunities for students by committing to the following:
- Revitalize college programs. Provide colleges with the ability to quickly design and implement leading-edge programs, including the expansion of career-specific degree programs.
- Strengthen mental health services. Commit to a whole-of-community approach to mental health that strengthens the supports and services available to post-secondary students.
- Produce more apprentices. Create a simplified, one-window application process to apprenticeship programs by expanding the college system’s provincial application service.
- Invest in student success. Commit to the long-term sustainability of college education and fund the expansion of science, technology, engineering, arts and math programs by 30 per cent over four years.
More than 240,000 full-time students and about 300,000 part-time students are enrolled in the 900 programs at Ontario’s colleges, in programs ranging from business, paramedicine, advertising, engineering, aviation, machining and animation to game development, biotechnology and 3D manufacturing.
Colleges serve a diverse range of students, including university and college graduates in post-graduate programs. The number of university graduates enrolled in colleges has increased by about 40 per cent over the past five years and more than 83 per cent of college graduates find employment within six months of graduation.
“College education is the gateway to today’s most in-demand careers,” said Ron McKerlie. “This election provides a tremendous opportunity to ensure college education remains at the forefront of new innovations and a rapidly evolving economy.”
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Mohawk College educates and serves more than 29,500 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses in Hamilton, Ontario and learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the College’s Centre for Aviation Technology at the Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the top five colleges for applied research in Canada. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers seven years in a row, holds a GOLD STARS rating from AASHE for sustainability achievements and is home to the country’s largest and first institutional building to receive dual certification for Zero Carbon Building Framework design and performance for The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. More than 135,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.