Celebrating 50 years of Transformation, Growth and Achievement

Celebrating 50 years of Transformation, Growth and Achievement

This month, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary as the voice for Ontario’s regulated Career Colleges and looked back at the rich history of our sector’s contributions to both Ontario’s and Canada’s post-secondary education system. We celebrated the institutions that, together, form the direct training-to-employment pipeline our province and country so palpably need. We celebrated the outstanding graduates that inspire us to do the work that we do, and the dedicated instructors responsible for the excellence in teaching that our institutions provide. We celebrated the innovation that our sector breeds, and the many partnerships that help fuel our continued success.


Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting our 50th Annual Conference in picturesque Niagara Falls Ontario. We were thrilled to welcome our colleagues and a phenomenal roster of partners that took the time to share their valuable industry-specific insights with us. Take a look below for a summary of what our sessions had to offer.

Crestview Strategy’s experienced consultants shared their experience in navigating public communications with government entities to build stellar reputations and drive effective advocacy.

Francis Syms, Associate Dean Humber Institute of Technology and Professional Learning and author of “Cybersecurity in Canada: Operations, Investigations, and Protection” dove into the many facets of this bourgeoning discipline and the opportunities that cybersecurity program grads have available to them.

The National Association of Career Colleges’ CEO Michael Sangster joined us from Ottawa to share national updates and emphasize the importance of coming together as a broader, unified community in the regulated career college space nation-wide.

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities had a strong presence, with Superintendent Charlotte Smaglinski, Deputy Minister Shannon Fuller and the Minister of Colleges and Universities herself, Jill Dunlop, taking the stage to discuss the changing nature of post-secondary education in Ontario and the instrumental role Career Colleges play in achieving Ontario’s workforce development goals.

Rocco Rossi, the president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce shared his candid and forthright take on the importance of training skilled workers in rebuilding Ontario’s economy, and the importance of reconceptualizing traditional approaches to post-secondary education in order to make room for positive change and progress.


We were honored to have the Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop join us at our evening gala to present our exceptional winners with their awards. Students from Metalworks Institute, TriOS College, Trebas Institute, the North American Trade School and Medix College were among those that received special recognition for their incredible achievements.

The Outstanding Graduate Award went to Braden Bales of Metalworks Institute. Braden graduated from Metalworks’ Audio Production & Engineering program with Honours, excelling particularly in the Recording Studio Workshop and Song writing courses.  He is now a successfully self-employed artist, boasting 11.5 million followers and pursuing his dream through signing his first record deal. We can’t wait to see the waves this talented young artist will continue to make across the music industry!

The Excellence in Teaching Award went to Emilijia Davidovic from The Toronto Film School. Emilijia has always strived to provide encouragement and guidance to female students and junior filmmakers to provide more opportunities in what she describes as “a traditionally unforgiving industry”. At her 10-year mark in Canada, Emilijia can pride herself on being an instructor at one of the top film schools in North America and being the head of the production department at the Canadian Film Centre.

The Paul Kitchin Award for outstanding community involvement went to IBT College for their incredible contribution to the field of healthcare and innovation in post-secondary learning.    IBT College developed a Virtual Healthcare program that expanded into utilizing ground-breaking Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tools to rapidly train workers. Due to the virtual nature of the program, candidates from communities-in-need throughout Ontario can participate in training sessions, anytime and from anywhere. IBT College is now sharing their insight and knowledge with institutions across the country and the world in an effort to proliferate more efficient and expedient learning tools to students across the globe.


Career Colleges are rooted in academic & skills training tradition. Did you know that Career Colleges have existed for over a century in Canada? Some contemporary Career Colleges trace their roots to the late 1890s and early 20th century, such as Maritime Business College in Nova Scotia, Willis College in Ontario, and M.C. College Group in Western Canada.

Career Colleges are government regulated. In Canada, the provinces and territories establish regulations for the operation of career colleges, including the credentials required of instructors.

Career Colleges pride themselves on Teaching Excellence. Government regulations require that instructors employed by Career Colleges must have a specified amount of work experience in their field of instruction. Only qualified, experienced instructors can be employed to instruct at career colleges. (Make sure to check-out this year’s winner of our Excellence in Teaching Award)

Career Colleges are not exclusively for profit. In nearly every province there are not-for-profit entities registered to offer vocational training programs. These Career Colleges are often run by unions, special interest clubs, community development organizations, Aboriginal organizations, arts centres, and professional associations.

Career Colleges are innovators. Thanks to their unique versatile predisposition, they provide unparalleled training options tailored to a variety of learning styles and scenarios. For example, IBT College developed a Virtual Healthcare program that expanded into utilizing ground-breaking Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tools to rapidly train workers. This approach is now gaining traction both nationally and globally as the IBT team shares their approach with training institutions on an international scale. (They also happened to win our Paul Kitchin Award last week.)

Career Colleges produce incredible graduates. We’ve always known that Career College students are unique and driven lifelong learners. But don’t just take our word for it – Have you seen our Outstanding Graduate Award winners? Make sure to take a look at our videos (above) for a taste of the inspiring accomplishments of Career College graduates across the province, or visit our Student Experience page here.



Shennel Lobrick

Anderson College

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