6 new and unique college programs in Ontario


Perhaps you’re considering pursuing post-secondary education for the first time, or want to change programs or complete another program.  In addition to traditional programs, colleges offer a range of new and unique programs that you might want to consider.  Below is a sampling of such programs in Ontario.

Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management at Niagara College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake campus

This is a one-of-a-kind program that is not offered elsewhere in Canada.  The program is partnered with the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, backed by the Craft Brewers Industry, and linked with the Niagara College Brewing Institute (Canada’s only teaching brewery).  Courses include ‘Brewing Microbiology,’ ‘Sensory Evaluation of World Beers,’ ‘Packaging,’ ‘History of Brewing Beer,’ ‘Mathematics of Finance,’ and many others.  Graduates can pursue related jobs in beer making, special events, brewery operations, licensee and agency sales and operations, marketing and public relations, and more.

Career and Work Counsellor Program at George Brown’s St. James campus

This 16-month program prepares students to work in the field of career counselling.  Students learn about educational and occupational trends, job-search preparation, career management, human rights legislation, and more.  Students also complete a placement as part of the program.  Courses include, but are not limited to, ‘Assessment in Career Counselling: Statistics and Tests,’ ‘Career and Work Equity Issues,’ and ‘Career and Work Counselling with Special Needs Clients.’  Graduates can work as anything from employment counsellors to worker rehabilitation assistants to vocational assessors in either corporate career services or community agencies.

Dental Technology Program at George Brown College’s Casa Loma campus

This three-year program leads to an Ontario College Advanced Diploma.  Students learn to fabricate all sorts of appliances from a dentist’s prescription (e.g., orthodontic appliances, dentures, crowns and bridges, sports mouth guards, surgical splints, etc.).  Under the supervision of a dental technologist or dentist, students complete 1950 hours of work experience.  Graduates could work as anything from a technician in a dental lab or dentist’s office to a sales representative for a dental supply company.

Food Processing Safety Techniques at Durham College’s Oshawa campus

This is a new, one-year program that provides students with skills to work in the food and beverage industry.  Students learn about food safety, security, and sanitation, food-borne illness and prevention, government regulations, and more.  Some examples of courses are ‘Introduction to Food Microbiology,’ ‘Food Processing, Storage, and Package,’ and ‘Introduction to Automation for the Food Industry.’  Graduates might work in the processing sector, food companies, quality assurance, or even equipment maintenance.

Golf and Ski Operations Management at Algonquin College’s Pembroke campus

Over the course of three semesters, students learn business theory and practical technical skills, complete cooperative education placements in both the ski and golf industries, as well as learn about management, leadership, and business development.  Classes range from ‘Computer Applications’ and ‘Organizational Leadership’ to ‘Wine, Food and Culture’ and ‘Soils and Botany.’  Graduates can find jobs in anything from snowmaking to terrain and site development to marketing.

Wind Turbine Technician / Industrial Electrician Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship at St. Lawrence College

This unique, two-year program combines an apprenticeship as a registered Industrial Electrician with a diploma for Wind Turbine Technician.  Students gain knowledge of the electrical field, as it related to wind turbines, while learning about anything from fiberglass blade repairs to related computer applications.  Applicants must be physically fit and able to work at heights and in confined spaces.  Students not only complete a diploma and apprenticeship, but are also given the opportunity to receive internationally-recognized certification from the German wind industry training institute, BZEE.  Additionally, the co-op placement is paid and the placement hours count toward the requirements for the student’s apprenticeship.  Graduates are eligible to qualify for a Certificate of Qualification for Industrial Electrician (Red Seal).

About the author

Elizabeth Baisley is currently studying for an Master of Arts in Political Studies at Queen's University, where she works as a teaching assistant. She recently completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights & Human Diversity at Wilfrid Laurier University's Brantford campus. Elizabeth's academic interest in the rights of marginalized populations translates into her volunteer work and extracurricular involvement in the fields of rights advocacy, immigrant settlement, literacy, health, environmental issues, and local democracy. In September 2013, she will begin her PhD in Politics at Princeton University.