Ontario Expanding Dual Credit Program
In a push to get more high school students into a career in the skilled trades, the Ontario government is investing $4.8 million to expand the dual credit program, where eligible students can participate in college courses and apprenticeship training.
The expansion would provide the opportunity for an additional 2,200 students over the next two years to take apprenticeship training, technical education courses and early childhood education related courses while still in high school.
Those courses would then count toward their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and a post-secondary certificate, diploma, degree or a certificate of apprenticeship.
“We know that the province has an aging workforce in skilled trades”, said MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, John Jordan. “One in three tradespeople is over 55 years old and currently, 100,000 construction trades workers will be needed by the end of the decade to build critical infrastructure, housing and transit. Expanding this vital program will provide our students with “hands on” experience, opening the eyes and minds of our young students to the possibilities of a life-long career in a skilled trade.”
Through the program, students are supervised and supported by a college instructor and a dual credit teacher at their school. Trade unions will also be allowed to provide their support and expertise.
“The Dual Credit Program represents an outstanding opportunity for students, whether entering trades, or trying a college course in their area of interest. It allows students the opportunity to “try on” college and many students see that they can be successful”, said Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute Principal Terry Gardiner. “It also gives some students an important “leg up” with a college credit accomplished without having to pay tuition.”
Janet Sanderson, Principal of Granite Ridge Education Centre in Sharbot Lake, said it’s a wonderful opportunity for her students. “ It gives our students a chance to make informed decisions about their future. They get a taste of the college life. It gives them a chance to explore their post-secondary options and test the waters, while getting one credit in high school and another in college.”
Granite Ridge Education Centre has 9 students in the program this semester and 11 ready to go next semester. They have partnered with St. Lawrence College and Loyalist College. The students go to the college one day a week and transportation is provided.
Programs at colleges offering the Dual Credit Program range from heavy equipment mechanics and cyber-security, to welding.
“One of our students said that the Dual Credits Program gives him a reason to like school again, while another student said he wanted to see what the college experience was like before making a decision on his future. He also loves to study there”, said Sanderson.
The school is looking to increase the programs in order to meet the demands of the labour market.
For further details about the Dual Credits Program, click on the link below.