If you’re thinking about going to a Private Career College in Toronto, besides comparing things like programs, tuition costs and campus life — you might want to know if the college you’re applying for is licensed or accredited.
Is accreditation mandatory? If not, how are programs regulated to ensure they’re current and up-to-date? Does accreditation really have a say on the quality of the programs offered by Private Colleges? What does accreditation even mean?
When applying to Private Colleges, it’s important to know the answers to these questions and a lot more. To help you get up to speed and make the best decision for yourself when applying to different schools, here we breakdown everything there is to know about accreditation. Let’s go!
What Is Accreditation?
Typically, accreditation helps ensure that the College or Post-Secondary School you’re attending meets industry standards with their curriculum. It helps ensure that programs are up-to-date and that all faculty are qualified so they can provide the best education for their students that best prepares them for the real world.
To put it simply, accreditation helps monitor the quality assurance of the school and programs they have to offer, giving students peace of mind knowing that the college they’re attending is up to speed in their teachings as well as industry trends.
Is Accreditation Mandatory For Private Colleges?
In Canada, post-secondary education falls under the responsibility of provincial governments, which means each province will have their own quality assurance measures in place that they implement and adhere by.
In the case of Ontario, accreditation is not mandatory for private colleges. With that said, by law, they must be registered under the Private Career Colleges Act in order to operate, and have their programs approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges. Much like accreditation, this licensing helps ensure that private colleges in the province are up-to-date and keep up with educational standards. If an institution is not registered and offers unapproved programs, they’re breaking the law. It’s imperative that all applicants check this before applying to your desired school because if they register to an unlicensed program, they can’t be protected under the law. To see the full list of registered private colleges, go to ServiceOntario’s Private Career College Search Service.
In order to seek approval, private colleges can apply online where they’re subject to an application process, program approval and on-site visit and inspection of the campus. It can take private institutions anywhere between six to eight months for them to be fully licensed and operational.
Apart from licensing, private colleges can seek accreditation from third-party agencies or external associations. Accreditation is based on the requirements of that particular third-party institution, which typically involves some form of evaluation of the school which assesses the price of tuition fees, admission requirements, class sizes, and quality of instructors. It’s important to note that accreditation in Ontario is voluntary and when schools don’t have them, it doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of the program or college. However, the more affiliations they have, the greater the commitment they have to quality education as they would have had to meet all the qualifications to be part of each of the independent affiliations.
Going to a school that’s accredited can also benefit the students in the long run, especially if the affiliation is part of a prestigious association. It can give graduating students a more competitive edge, especially when they enter the workforce as their credentials will be widely recognized by industry employers.
Whether or not your preferred college has accreditation, it’s always a good idea to do your due diligence when looking into different schools. A good way to ensure that the college you’ve selected is the best one for you is to do the following:
Do your research – compare your desired college with other ones in the area. Compare tuition costs, living costs, textbooks, equipment and anything else you need for successful completion of the program.
Speak to employers – if you’re ever unsure whether or not your program is recognized, apart from looking to make sure they have the proper provincial licensing, contact potential employers working in that field to see if the certification of that program is recognized in the industry.
Visit the campus – the best way to know whether or not a college is right for you or your child is to visit the campus itself. Get a first-hand look at the facility and campus life to make sure it meets your expectations.
If you’re looking for a private college in Toronto that puts its students first by offering hands-on programs, small class sizes, and dedicated staff — Cestar College might be the one for you. Apart from offering career programs in hospitality management, mobile app development and paralegal, they’re a registered college in Ontario that prides themselves on offering their alum the best quality of education that sets them up for success. Contact them today to see what sets them apart!