Ontario urged to expand engineering degree programs at colleges

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - The Wynne government is being urged to expand the number of specialized engineering degree programs offered at Ontario's colleges.

"There is a clear demand for specialized engineering programs in areas such as automation and robotics, power-systems transmission, and energy systems engineering management" said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "Producing more engineering graduates in highly specialized areas will help businesses become more innovative and will strengthen Ontario's economy."

The colleges' proposal comes as the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities prepares to make decisions about the number of post-secondary engineering programs to be offered in the province. The ministry has been reviewing the labour-market demand for engineering graduates.

Currently, Conestoga College is the only college that offers engineering degrees – in electronic systems and mechanical systems – at its Cambridge campus. However, the colleges have determined through discussions with industry partners that there is a need for an increase in specialized programs at several colleges to support a range of small and medium-sized businesses.

Engineering programs at colleges would continue to be highly specialized. These programs would respond to identified demands in the workforce and would include experiential learning opportunities with businesses – a key driver in business growth and job creation.

Expanding the number of engineering programs at colleges would provide more opportunities for students in underrepresented and lower-income groups, which tend to be better represented in colleges. It would also create more opportunities for students to expand their future learning opportunities with the ability to transfer from technology programs into specialized engineering programs.

Similar to 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.

"Students need greater access to technology careers in fields that are in high demand," Franklin said. "The colleges' proposal will help more people find rewarding careers and will help Ontario become more competitive."

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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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