What credentials can you earn at career colleges in Canada?
Most career colleges in Canada offer credentials of different lengths, from 12-week certificates to 1- and sometimes 2-year diplomas, with some specialty schools (in areas like naturopathic medicine or tourism) also offering more advanced credentials.
What is a career college?
Career colleges are privately run schools (a small percentage are publicly funded) that offer career-oriented training programs leading to diplomas or certificates and, ultimately, to entry-level positions in a particular work field.
How long will my career college study in Canada take?
That depends on the specific program you take. Most career college programs are designed to have students graduate and enter the job market in under a year.
How big are the classes at career colleges in Canada?
Career college class sizes generally vary between 5 and 30 students.
How can you tell if a career college is reliable and legitimate?
Private career colleges (sometimes called PCCs) must be registered with and licensed by their respective provincial education ministry, which means instructors are audited to ensure they are qualified and have industry experience.
Do career colleges in Canada accept international students?
Yes, provided they meet the entrance requirements.
Do I need to speak both English and French?
No. While French and English are both official languages in Canada, most career colleges offer programs in only one language of instruction (that is, English or French).
What are the admission requirements for international students to study at career college?
Admission requirements vary from school to school. In general, international students require a valid passport, a photocopy of current study permit and visa (if applicable), academic records and resumes, proof of age, proof of funds to cover your costs including your return fare, police clearance certificate or criminal reference check, and medical clearance may be required. Other pre-requisites may be required depending upon the program.
Can a career college guarantee graduates a job?
No school or program can guarantee graduates a job. Some will advertise their student placement or employment rates to show how successful past graduates have been at gaining employment. Formal apprenticeship programs, however, do involve employment as part of the program. Check with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to make sure you are eligible.
Can international students stay and work in Canada after finishing a career college credential?
Not automatically. Canadian law requires that international students obtain the appropriate permit if they wish to work or extend their stay beyond their original permit time. A letter of offer of employment can be helpful in this process.
Can international students participate in career college co-op or internship programs?
Yes. If the curriculum includes an internship component as part of the program of study, sinternational students can participate. Otherwise, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) laws do not allow international students attending private colleges to work either during or after their study period.
Do career colleges offer specific international student scholarships or financial aid?
Often, yes, but not always. However, international student financial assistance differs from school to school.
Can I live on campus? What are the housing options for international students studying at career colleges in Canada?
Career colleges generally do not have residences, as they are much smaller institutions than community colleges or universities. There may be some exceptions depending on the size and location of the career college. Many career colleges will help international students find off-campus rental housing, and homestay may be available.
How do I know if my credentials will be accepted at a career college in Canada?
Career colleges in Canada each set their own admission requirements; therefore, you should contact the registrar or admissions office at each school to find out what they require in terms of assessing foreign credentials. Many Canadian career colleges have a special website section for international student admission requirements. You can also consult one of Canada's credential assessment and qualification recognition services such as World Education Services (WES). For a fee, these offices provide an evaluation that shows you how your credentials compare with Canadian credentials. The purpose is informative only and does not guarantee recognition of your credentials.
Will a credential from a career college in Canada be recognized in my home country?
It depends on where you come from. Canadian academic credentials are accepted and recognized around the world; however, you should still ask about recognition of Canadian career college credits and credentials in your country of origin. A foreign diploma or certificate is valued differently by different countries, so it's a good idea to check with universities and potential employers in your home country (if that's where you plan to work or continue your education) to confirm acceptance of Canadian career college credits or credentials before you leave.
Are career college credentials/ credits transferable to other colleges or universities?
It depends on the school, program and what kinds of agreement the school may have with other institutions. If this is a question that particularly concerns you, it is essential that you speak to officials at the career college and at any colleges or universities you plan to apply to later on.