Ontario approves expansion of engineering degrees at colleges

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges will be developing new engineering degree programs in specialized fields after the provincial government approved the expansion of engineering degrees at colleges.

"This responds to a clear demand for graduates with engineering degrees in highly specialized areas," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "These graduates will play a critical role in strengthening the economy by helping many small and medium-sized businesses become more innovative.

"We're thrilled with the government's decision as it will provide more students with opportunities to pursue technology careers in fields that are in great demand."

"We know that engineers are vital to creating the highly skilled workforce that Ontario needs today and tomorrow," added Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. "By supporting the expansion of engineering degree programs, we're creating more opportunities for students to acquire and graduate with the skills that are in-demand among Ontario's employers."

The labour-market demand for the colleges' engineering degrees is in a range of specialized areas such as automation and robotics, power-systems transmission, and energy systems engineering management.

Currently, Conestoga College is the only college that offers engineering degrees – in electronic systems and mechanical systems – at its Cambridge campus. However, a number of industry partners in communities throughout the province have identified a need for similarly targeted engineering programs.

Colleges can now apply to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development for approval of specific programs, based on industry needs within the college's community.

In addition to addressing specific labour-market challenges, the new engineering degree programs will also expand the range of experiential learning opportunities for students.

Much like the programs currently offered at Conestoga, the intention is that all of the engineering degrees at colleges would be accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

"This announcement marks an important step forward in Ontario's efforts to produce a more highly skilled and qualified workforce," Franklin said. "It reinforces the essential role that colleges play in producing graduates with the professional and technical skills valued by employers.

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SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Amy Dickson, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7686, dickson@collegesontario.org

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www.collegesontario.org

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