Continuing Education Toronto

Continuing education options in Toronto

Continuing education options in Toronto are everywhere. If you've ever glanced at the banners on the subway, sat through daytime TV commercials, or looked at the ads in the newspaper (remember those?) you know there are lots of options out there if you're considering a career shift and want to head back to school.

There are over 200 private career colleges in the Toronto area and lots of programs offered from city universities and colleges. Whereas the private colleges tend to offer more flexibility in terms of start date and tailoring a schedule to suit your preference, the diplomas and certificates from the bigger schools come with brand power (if that still matters nowadays) and a little bit more of a campus experience. And all of the classes tend to me a little more practical than the Philosophy 101 you took your first time around.

Here are some continuing education options in Toronto.

University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
U of T's School of Continuing Studies is broken down into four categories: Business and Professional Studies, Arts and Science, English as a Second Language, and Languages and Translation. The school offers courses and certificates available through distance learning (online) and on its campuses in downtown Toronto, Aurora, Markham, Mississauga, Oakville and Orangeville. You can take everything from Dramatic Writing, to Issues in Bioethics, Farsi, and Business Strategy. Costs vary, so check in with the school to learn the fees of the program you're interested in.

Ryerson University G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education
Yes, this is the school responsible for those incessant bright yellow subway ads. Those bright yellow subway ads are impossible to miss. Ryerson's Chang School is perhaps one of the most visible in the city, offering 80 certificate programs and 1,400 classes that can be taken on campus, in the evenings or through distance education. Examples of programs include everything from Fundraising Management, to Sustainability, Criminal Justice, Chemical Analysis, and Clowning. Costs vary depending on program.

York University Continuing Education
The continuing education courses at York are all non-degree courses. There are a range of programs, including Emergency and Disaster Management, Business Ethics (cue Billy Madison) and certificates that can be obtained online in areas such as Infant Mental Health. There are also bridging program options to facilitate a transition to York's undergraduate programs. While costs again vary, York U alumni get a 10% discount on continuing ed courses.

George Brown College - Continuing Education
George Brown College offers over 1000 continuing education evening and part-time courses. Programs include Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Technology and Trades, and Makeup and Esthetics (which taught at George Brown's Yorkville School of Makeup and Esthetics in Yorkville). George Brown also offers distance learning and language courses that have been recognized as some of the best in the city.

Centennial College - Continuing Education
Centennial College's Continuing Education program offers over 1,200 classes and 160 different programs. Classes can be taken on a part-time basis, as well as in the evenings, on weekends, and online. Again, there is a wide range of options; everything from Hospitality to Transportation to Media and Accounting. The school also offers "Success Workshops" (which are usually just $5 each) offering tools and tips to aid your learning and subsequent job search.

Humber College - Continuing Education
Humber College Continuing Education has over 1,400 classes in diploma and certificate programs. Like other colleges, the school offers evening, weekend, and online courses in areas such as Accounting, Business, Design, and English. Humber is pretty good at adding new certificates to its roster, and has recently developed programs in Agriculture and Edible Landscaping, and Blogging Platforms and Content Management Systems, to name a couple of examples. Fees again vary based on program and classes.

Seneca Continuing Education
Seneca College has three semesters per year offering classes for students looking to enroll part time in areas such as Health, Languages, Computers, Technology, and Design. Classes are held at eight locations, as well as through distance learning. You can take everything form Special Effects Makeup to Object Oriented Programming.

Toronto District School Board Continuing Education
The TDSB offers lots of general interest and personal development classes for individuals over 18 and seniors over 60. Many of the classes are held in the evenings, usually at schools or community centres around the city. The prices are pretty reasonable, and there are a whole range of classes and workshops. There are more functional options, such as Income Tax Preparation ($135/8 weeks) and Adobe Illustrator ($118/8 weeks) classes, as well as hobby and leisure classes such as Chinese Brush Painting ($135/8 weeks) and Folk Dancing ($108/8 weeks). There are lots of cooking, language, and sport instruction programs as well.

Trios College
Ever looked up after exiting Sherbourne Station? Trios offers Business and Law, Technology, and Healthcare programs starting new every month. It's registered as a Private Career College and financial aid such as OSAP is available to some applicants. The diploma programs are generally 12 to 52 weeks and some come with an internship. The Addiction Worker Program, for example, is 47 weeks with an 8-week internship. Costs vary per program, but several payment plans are available.

Herzing College
Herzing College, located in the Eaton Centre, has programs in Health Care, Business, Technology, Design, and Public Safety. There are diploma, certificate, and professional certification programs for people looking to become law clerks, financial services reps, community service workers, and others. Many of the programs, such as the Business Administration 1-year diploma, come with an internship. The start dates are pretty frequent and fees vary based on program.

And a few more focused private career colleges...

Canadian Institute of Floral Design
The Canadian Institute of Floral Design was started in 1988 and registered as a private career college under Ontario's 2005 Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. It seems the place to go to learn professional flower arrangement, having trained over 3000 professional florists. It offers a three week intensive foundational diploma program with a fee of $2,149.

Max the Mutt Animation School
Another registered private career college, Max the Mutt's four year diplomas in Classical and Computer Animation and Production, Illustration for Sequential Arts, and Concept Art for Animation and Video Games. Located of Queen West just east of Ossington, Max the Mutt's Illustration for Sequential Arts: Comic Books & Graphic Novels 3-year diploma program is the only of its kind in Canada. But don't get the wrong impression from the cute name--tuition for a 4-year diploma can cost close to $44,000.

College of Sports Media
Perhaps for all those Left Wing Pinkos looking to take over sports broadcasting? The College of Sports Media, located at 115 George Street, offers two-year programs in radio, television, and new media with a guaranteed internship. The facility has classrooms and complete studios, and it offers fantasy sports broadcasting boot camps for everyone when classes are not in session.

Toronto Art Therapy Institute
On Portland Street, the Toronto Art Therapy Institute is another private career college offering two-year programs in art therapy. Students lean about different mental health issues and how to cater therapy to different communities while completing a practicum at locations such as Sheena's Place or the YMCA House Shelter for Homeless Male Youth. Not registered with OSAP, the entire program costs $15,000.

Photo by Reza Vaziri in the blogTO Flickr pool

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