Teaching Essentials

Features of Converted Programs

When a program completes CBR Academic Conversion, here’s what students will see on the other side:

Standardized term lengths 

In the past, College programs have had a variety of Fall, Winter and Spring term start/end dates. CBR converted programs adhere to a 15-week term structure, inclusive of exams and other assessments, which increases the ability for students to select course sections each term that fit within this period.

Standardized credit units

RRC Polytech offers thousands of courses across its catalog. Some courses have been designed as 3 or 6 credit units (CUs), but others have been as small as 1 or as large as 9 CU. All CBR converted courses are now either 3 of 6 CU. This standardization will be critical as the College moves toward an updated Fee model. It sets the stage for students to experience more consistency in tuition rates across program areas, anchored to consistent credit units.

New common courses in Human Skills

Students in CBR-converted programs have new Human Skills courses as part of their credential. These courses are delivered by experts in the Math, Communication and Science department and are common to all CBR students across the College. 

Students in the foundational course COMM 1173 have an opportunity to select their section from a wide range of days and times, and most sections will include students from several programs. This is a significant departure from our old cohort-based program model and provides students with the opportunity for greater interdisciplinary perspectives and learning.

Our foundational communication course is:

  • COMM-1173: Communication Strategies, an introduction to communication skills, and the pre-requisite to all other courses; 

For some programs, we also include:

  • Sector-level Communication, an introduction to industry-specific communication skills;
  • Program-level Communication, a more in-depth look at program-specific communication needs; and
  • COMM-2172: Communication for the Workplace, a look at workplace-specific communication skills, from getting the job to keeping the job.
  • In addition, we also offer the 90-hour/6-credit COMM-1172 Communication Strategies+ for programs with students who require additional support and time with the material.

More Human Skills courses in the areas of math and technology are in development.

Self-registration, planning and advising support

We now offer Student Planning, an online tool that allows students to plan, select and schedule courses, receive advising support, monitor credential progress, and register – all in one place. We also call it “self-serve”.

With a few exceptions, students in CBR converted programs have access to Student Planning.

One of the benefits of Student Planning is the additional support now provided through the Student Advising team. Dedicated staff are assigned to CBR-converted programs and use Student Planning to assist students with informed choices.

Here are testimonials from two students who have used Student Planning:

“I found the Student Planning was easy to understand and use. It helped when I was planning the upcoming semester and (see) what course I could take.”

“I personally found RRC Polytech’s student planning tools very useful and extremely user friendly… As a student who is balancing a work schedule during the day, Student Planning allows me to see all of my schedule course options and make sure I can easily choose my schedule and complete my program in a timely manner.”

Meaningful work-integrated learning

All CBR-converted programs either have, or are updating, a dedicated work-integrated learning component in their curriculum that provides an authentic experience and proximity to the workplace. Depending on the program, this may include co-operative education, field experience, internships, applied research projects, problem-based learning, and service learning. Students can find out more in their program outlines.

Updated curriculum

When a program undergoes Academic Conversion, it automatically includes built-in curriculum renewal as well. This means that students experience an up-to-date, relevant set of program and course level outcomes.