According to a College Ontario study, full time post-secondary enrollment at Ontario’s 24 colleges has increased by 22% to almost 200,000 students in 2009 from 163,00 in 2007.
This brings the total to more than 500,000 full and part time students in Ontario colleges.
The implementation of new college programs have helped respond to the shift in the Canadian labour market and increased enrolment and graduation rates.
Graduation rates have also increased by 11% at Ontario’s colleges. Despite an increase in student enrolment, Ontario’s public colleges continue to provide a high quality education: 85% of last year’s college graduates were employed within six months of graduation compared to an employment rate of 75% for people with no post-secondary education.
The most recent key performance indicators for Ontario’s colleges found that graduates were satisfied in their new careers and employers were also satisfied with their quality of work. This high standard of education was reinforced by the implementation of a rigorous audit process to ensure the programs meet the province’s standards.
To prepare students for a changing workplace and a shifting learning environment, Ontario’s colleges have implemented more than 500 new programs. As well, a new program called “OntarioLearn” – a consortium of colleges who provide online courses – has doubled its enrollment, helping grant access to students in rural and remote areas.
Ontario’s colleges have also established more than 400 partnerships with industries on applied research developments that help businesses grow.
In a shifting economy and baby boomer retirement aftermath, Ontario’s colleges will prove to be even more essential.