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 31,700 full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students at three campuses in Hamilton, Ontario. Mohawk is among the leading colleges in Canada for applied research and is ranked number one for student and graduate satisfaction among colleges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.