College, university combo

Randy Russon
March 15, 2020

There is good news out there relative to education, in this case post secondary schooling throughout northern Ontario, including Algoma University and Sault College.

That is, students pursuing a university degree at a northern school will be able to graduate with business skills designed to prepare them for employment opportunities in northern Ontario.

To that end, the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer — aka ONCAT — recently signed what is being termed the northern business fundamentals co-registration.

The partners involved include four universities (Algoma University, Laurentian University, Lakehead University and Nipissing University) and six community colleges (Sault College, Cambrian College, Canadore College, Collège Boréal, Confederation College and Northern College.)

Sault member of provincial parliament Ross Romano, who is also the minister of colleges and universities for Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government, explained what the co-operative venture can lead to.

“The business fundamentals co-registration initiative is a great example of a made-in-Ontario plan to help more students get the top-notch education they need to graduate and find a rewarding career in an in-demand field,” relayed Romano.

“I’d like to congratulate ONCAT and all northern colleges and universities. This is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together,” added Romano.

In a nutshell, the Ontario government is acknowledging the importance of a student transfer system between colleges and universities and has thus established ONCAT as the provincial organization to work with the publicly assisted post-secondary schools.

Asima Vezina, who is the president and vice chancellor of Sault-based Algoma University, noted that “our collective goal across the north is to ensure students in post secondary are prepared for today’s competitive job market … in this case, a one-year certificate provides an opportunity for students to integrate business skills that complement any degree program they are currently completing.

“This is a win-win for our students,” emphasized Vezina.

And Dr. Ron Common, the Sault College president who is also co-chair of the ONCAT board of directors, pointed out that “this unique offering will allow students to remain in their communities to study and be better prepared to contribute to the economic growth of our region.”

In summation, northern Ontario students can experience the learning environments, opportunities and academic supports and services offered by both a university and a college in the hopes of providing them with additional skills for the market place.

In above photo (second, third and fourth, from left) are Algoma University president Asima Vezina, Sault MPP Ross Romano and Sault College president Dr. Ron Common.

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