Continuing Education + Job Training // Publishing since 1999
Student Resources

Change at the Micro Level

By WENDY TERRY - September 28 2021

In our Summer 2021 issue I did a story on Canada- A Learning Nation Dec., 2020 Report to show how the “Macro Level of Decision Making Affects the Micro Level of Courses For Adults” See for this Summer issue and story. pg.10

In our Fall 2021 issue in this story I will summarize the changes I could see from the priorities recommended by the Report found in a scan of course offerings for the Fall term.

Micro Credentials

For priority Four New and Innovative Approaches to Skills Development and Validation such as Micro Credentials, this development was clear on the Website for the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto.

Search, select Programs and Courses then select Unique Programs @ UofTSCS then select Micro Courses and Micro Credentials. They note U of T SCS is one of the first Canadian university continuing education units to offer micro courses.

Each course is short- up to six weeks, each course can be “stacked” with other micro courses to be equivalent to a full length course.

What we found interesting about this site is they actually refer you to their Financial Assistance web page. Adults often think there is no financial help for them so Learning Curves often encourages adults to reach out to the financial aid office and ask. Often there is help.

They specifically mention the Canada Training Credit. Learning Curves wrote up this Benefit
in our spring 2020 issue. pg 3. see. And OSAP has been adjusted to support those taking Micro Courses. In fact the micro courses were designed to be supported by the Canada Training benefit.

They refer you to ecampusOntario, a not for profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario, where if you look under Contacts you can see ecampusOntario members listed- other universities and colleges in Ontario that offer micro courses, credentials

In checking out these members I found under Programs and Courses that Centennial, Seneca, Sheridan listed Micro Credentials and Humber listed Rapid Skill Courses ( ½ day or 1 day mostly)

User-centered design Community programs

For Priority Two Equality of Opportunity for Lifelong Learning, the action area summary notes we should “Apply user-centered design” Learning Curves goes on to note that community-based-programs are most often based on user-centered design. We recommended going to 211 Toronto to find listings for community programs, select Employment and Training then search sub menus.

By searching the subheading Employment Programs I found: The YWCA Toronto program for Women and the Skills trades which we had noted in the Summer 2021 issue story on Canada- A Learning Nation Report. This program reflects the Report’s priority for user-centered design to address underrepresented groups in growth occupations.

We also found Tropicana Community Services Organization which focuses services on the Caribbean, Black and African Community. One of their services is an Employment Centre. They have day care services which support the Report’s suggestion that “wrap around services” be included in “user-centered” programs to help adults overcome practical challenges.

Skills for Change was another user-specific community program found on the 211 website under Employment and Training. The offer user centered programs for Immigrants and Refugees, Women, Youth.

Access Employment is another one with specific programs for newcomers in particular one to Start a Business in Canada.

Keep searching on 211 to find more user-centered programs

User-centered design Corporate Training (for individuals too)

The Canada a Learning Nation Dec. 2020 Report notes that “Many Canadians
want to learn in the workplace rather than pursuing classroom learning outside of work hours.”
Most colleges have a Corporate Training Department but most adults have sought training through CE classes after work.

This is changing as our review of Corporate Training programs shows a trend to reach out to individuals and small businesses to make sure this user-centered training is more visible in these college departments. You need to contact these departments to see if they can help you individually and your workmates.

The Report went on to note that “Of Canada’s 1.8 million businesses, 98% employ fewer than 100 people and almost three quarters, have fewer than nine people.”

We have a market that wants to learn at work and many small businesses that would need help in developing courses to offer on site, so the corporate training sector of the colleges is ripe for growth.

This is most clear. In the Centennial College SOLV program. “Solv is one of a kind business service revolutionizing the way industry ( business of all sizes, across all sectors) can engage with an academic institution.” “Through a single point of contact companies are seamlessly connected to a variety of business enhancing opportunities and services across Centennial College for free.”

Seneca College uses the traditional Corporate Training program title. They make it clear they offer professional development training for both “individual learners and corporate teams.” They also note that “Businesses may be eligible for financial support through the Canada Ontario Jobs Grant.”

These two facts were not mentioned in the SOLV website which is typical of websites, what you see on one but not mentioned on another institutional site does not mean such is not available just it is not mentioned. Ask if it is, most likely it is.

Humber College uses Corporate Training Solutions as a program title.
However they note that “businesses (are) supported from family-run to multinational corporations” Corporate includes SME’s (small to medium enterprises) They also note like other college programs that individuals are supported. They also note there is financial assistance through the Canada Jobs Grant.

In general they describe their program as follows: “Humber Corporate Training Solutions provides comprehensive, personalized, learning that is future focused and results driven. Whether you
are a professional looking to upskill, or change your career, or an organization ready to empower your workforce to meet your strategic goals, our industry experts are ready to support you.” “We offer user-centered course tailored to your workplace”.

If you search Sheridan College Corporate Training you land on of page that describes courses offered and then you are referred to the Opportunity Centre at the Continuing and Professional Studies department for help.

They describe their progam as follows: “Our corporate training solutions offer programming and courses that can be tailored towards your specific business needs.” User-centered programming.

Durham College also gives you a general outline of what they do but then gives contact emails to then discuss your specific needs. In general they say they have a client-focused approach that allows them to design training programs that are customized to deliver the results for your need.

For George Brown College contact Kathleen Abbott, Associate Dean. George Brown does not have a specific department but Ms. Abbott will connect you with the appropriate department given your needs.

Wrap around Support – Second Career programs

In recommendation 2.2. of the Canada-A Learning Nation Dec. 22 report suggests to include “wrap around supports” Second Career is a funding program the provides wrap around supports. It is different than a program like OSAP that is tuition based support.

Learning Curves first wrote about the Second Career program in their Nov/Dec 2009 edition. See for back issues.

We did a internet survey of college Second Career programs. as usual each web site gives you a piece of the picture, but Second Career Programs are the same so ask if one site does not tell you what another one does. To show this we quoted from different college sites for Second Career. By looking at each one you get a broader picture of the whole.

Humber College Second Career Program

“The Second Career program aims to help people rejoin the workforce quickly. That’s why the program is focusing on supporting training programs that take 52 weeks or less, including micro-credential programs.”
“People who want to attend training longer than one year can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for a mix of grants and loans to help them pay for their post-secondary education.”

George Brown College Second Career Program

Second Career program is a cost sharing grant that helps laid-off and under-employed individuals retrain for jobs in a growing fields. Qualified applicants can receive financial help with tuition, books and supplies, transportation, and living expenses associated with their education.

Second Career is an Ontario government grant that provides financial support to help qualified laid-off workers train for careers in demand. It is a cost-sharing program. Based on financial need, you may have to pay part of the costs associated with your studies.

Seneca College Second Career

Second Career involves two procedures: the Funding Application and the College Program Application. It can take months to complete. Researching and planning ahead of time is recommended.

For the Second Career Funding Application, you’ll work with an Employment Ontario Service Provider, where employment counselors are trained to help you decide if this program is right for you, and if it is, to assist in completing your application. For more information, visit the Employment Ontario website and find an Employment Ontario Service Provider in your area.

Advisers at Seneca can answer your questions related to the College Program Application and provide program research documents for your application package.

Centennial College Second Career

Second Career is a provincial government program committed to helping Ontario residents who have been laid-off since January 2015.

Eligible participants may qualify for up to $28,000 towards tuition, books, and transportation and living expenses on a case-by-case basis. Centennial College offers a range of certificate and diploma programs to choose from to meet your career goals.

To check your eligibility for Second Career, please call Employment Ontario at 1-800-387-5656.
Durham College Second Career Programs

Eligible applicants are individuals who: Are laid-off or have been laid-off since January 2015 Are unemployed or working at an interim job Are choosing to retrain for a career that is in demand.

Sheridan College Second Career

Second Career is an initiative offered by the Ontario government to fund eligible laid-off workers with skills training to help them find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario.
It’s a cost-sharing grant provided on the basis of need; applicants may be required to financially contribute to their training or education.

Second Career may cover such costs as tuition, textbooks, transportation and basic living allowance. Additional support may be available to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities, dependent care, costs of living away from home and Academic Upgrading or ESL.

Wrap around support- Career Colleges

Career Colleges are often seen through their advertisements. As there are many like community programs it is not as easy to identify them in the adult education mosaic, somewhat like trying to find a overview listing of community programs. Career Colleges do offer funding programs to their students like Second Career.
To see ones which ones are members of the Career Colleges Ontario check out the CCO web site.

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