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Adult Ed – How to Find Community Programs, Career Colleges & Professional Associations

By WENDY TERRY - September 22 2020

The Universities, Colleges, and Schools charts in this Mosaic of Adult Education help you find the doors to specific programs at an educational institution. But how do find the many community programs, career colleges and professional associations who all offer courses but individually not within one large institution. 

Community Associations

There are many community programs in Toronto and the GTA. Ones who have supported Learning Curves, Skills for Change, PTP, Mothercraft, Learning Enrichment Foundation, Learning Disability Association Toronto and so on. The most comprehensive listing of community association programs can be found by googling 211 Toronto. Select Employment and Training and you are lead to a sub menu that includes: Academic Upgrading;

Apprenticeship; Career Counseling (Pathways); Employers Staffing Assistance; Internationally Trained Professionals; Job Search Support/Training; Newcomer Employment Programs; Older Workers; Self Employment/Entrepreneurship; Work Experience and so on By clicking on any one of these and putting in your postal code you will be lead to community programs. As well you will find listing for colleges and government programs. If you keep clicking on the categories you will often seen the same community group as they offer a variety of programs . 

Career Colleges

Career Colleges are private schools whereas Community Colleges like George Brown are public. You will often see ads for Career Colleges but to find a comprehensive listing of Career Colleges registered with the Ontario government you can look two places. Career Colleges must be registered with the Ontario government. There are over 400 Career Colleges. 

The Career Colleges Ontario association lists their members but not all career colleges are members of the association. All must be registered with Ontario but here you must search by the name of the College there is no comprehension listing you can scan. As well, not unlike 211 Toronto providers are not categorized by type of program offered either with the Association or the Ontario government so you must do more clicking, and scanning to get a comprehensive picture of the offerings of career colleges within a Mosaic for Adult Education. 

There are two Ministries now that deal with adult education, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. The Private Career College Search Program is with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. On the Home page click on Education, College and Universities, then on the 2nd page click on Find A School, then on the 3rd page click on “go to a private college” on the 4th page click on Search for Private Career College. Choose suggested key words for program type in the Search program and it will pop up contacts for related schools located by your postal code. 

Professional Associations

These are often overlooked when you try to picture the Mosaic for Adult Education. They offer courses and are often partnered with a college, university or career college. You do not have to be a fully accredited member to join most of them. You could be a computer professional from another country and join the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) 

More importantly they have job banks where employers post because they want a specific skill set like the ones CIPS members have. They have events that you can go to as a member or visitor where you meet professionals in your field to network for job openings yet to open up or be posted. 

Most libraries have a hard copy of Associations Canada or an online copy. You can book a librarian for a hour to help you search this directory online. Using the right key word is key to finding relevant associations. If you using English as a new language this is difficult, book a librarian


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