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Applied Degrees in Canadian Colleges

October 19, 2002

Abstract: Bridging the last and new millennia, an issue which Canadian colleges have been debating is the changing roles of post-secondary institutions. The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program (PCEIP) 1999, indicates that Canada, in 1995, had the highest postsecondary rate of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries at 48% vs. the mean of 23%. University graduation rates faired among the top countries but Canada’s college graduation rates were the highest (p.5). This respected international standing will not be easy to maintain. In this global context, colleges are exploring whether to seek approval to become degree-granting institutions. The myriad of factors involved in such discussion run from the impact on stakeholders, to redefining the role of colleges, to whether community colleges should evolve into polytechnics or university colleges (Auld, 2002), to speak nothing of articulation and certification dilemmas. This is a topic of considerable scope. To generate a focal point for an initial discussion, this paper will consider applied degrees and the benefits and challenges these would present stakeholders. It is predicted that the benefits, on the whole, will outweigh and accommodate for the disadvantages.

Date of Publication: October 2002

Author: Steve Lawrence, Department of Accounting and Computer Education

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