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A story about the benefits of Canadian community colleges

February 9, 2012

Academica Group is a website that posts academic stories (predominantly Canadian). I recieve the headlines every day to keep up with the news in the post-secondary world. This was one of their Top 5 stories reviewed last week. Have a read…

Jennifer Powell, Recruitment Officer

The advantages of Canadian community colleges

 News Date: Jan 31, 2012

Canadian community colleges get most of the credit for making the country among the top nations in the world in the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds who hold some sort of post-secondary degree. By contrast, community colleges in the US are a drag on the country’s PSE standing, which the OECD now puts at 16th in the world. One reason is that US community colleges have to deal with students who are less well prepared, while in Canada colleges increasingly attract students who already possess a university degree or who are transferring from university. Canadian colleges benefit from other advantages, such as youth more ready for the demands of PSE than their peers in most other nations, a comparatively cheap price for higher education, and immigrants placing a high value on PSE. What’s driving the success of Canadian colleges as much as anything is the notion that at a time when PSE costs so much, it should lead as directly as possible to a career. “The last few years has really put this under the microscope, that learning has to lead to something,” says Centennial College president Ann Buller. “The idea of education for education’s sake, I love that. I hope that never goes away. But in a world where taxpayers pay and students pay to go here, in the end, I want my graduates to get jobs.”