Adults are generally used to looking to community-based organizations for tuition free programs. Often, however, the criteria for admission, as defined by the organization’s government funder, are restrictive: an adult’s individual situation may not be represented or the government funder may have reduced funding to the point that spaces are very limited and thus quickly unavailable.
Recently, some community-based organizations have developed courses for which an individual student pays a tuition fee. By charging tuition these organizations can expand their program offerings and students, who take these courses, are eligible for financial assistance through such programs as Ontario Works, ODSP, Employment Insurance etc. As well, often the community based organization has done fundraising to create a scholarship (based on academic achievement) or a bursary (based on financial needs).
Adults are used to paying fees at career colleges and community colleges on the understanding that, at these colleges, they can access financial help based on their individual situation. OSAP, EI, ODSP, WSIB, Second Career are examples of some financial assistance programs. Learning Curves always tells our readers to ask if there is financial assistance as the number of financial assistance possibilities are often too numerous and varied to easily list.
Tuition-based organizations must be monitored by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Consequently, since 2008, communitybased organizations that offer tuitionbased programs must now register under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Four community-based organizations that now offer tuition-based courses have formed the Charitable Career College Network, an association that is distinct from the career colleges who are members of Career Colleges Ontario. The four organizations are: Working Skills Centre, Mothercraft, Pathways Skills Development Centre in London, and the Learning Enrichment Foundation. This article will profile the Toronto-based organizations and provide our readers who may have interested friends or relatives in London with a contact for the London-based organization.
Community-based organizations that are registered as charitable organizations are subject to higher compliance expectations than other non-profit agencies. Hence the name: Charitable Career College Network.
Working Skills Centre (WSC) has been a community-based training organization for the past 35 years. As a multi-service agency, WSC offers settlement services, language improvement courses, career assessments and counseling, job search, WSC Staffing Services, citizenship test preparation and, since 2008, a private career college, Academy of Computer & Employment Skills (A.C.E.S.).
On September 25, 2013, A.C.E.S. held its largest graduation to date with 39 candidates receiving Diplomas in front of over 50 guests. A.C.E.S. offers registered diplomas for Office Clerk, Medical Receptionist, Administrative Assistant with Desktop Publishing, Supply Chain Clerk/ Analyst, and Computerized Accounting. Corporate donations support the WSC Scholarship and Bursary Fund to ensure that no one is denied service because of financial need. The college also offers over 50 part-time programs and is constantly developing new programs, such as SAP Finance and SAP-Supply Chain, Electronic Medical Records Administration, and Desktop Publishing using Adobe Suite.
WSC organizes their programs and services on a Track to Employment pictured on their website starting with arrival in Canada to employment.
WSC is located at 55 Eglinton East, Suite 703, a block away from the Yonge Eglinton intersection; the site is fully accessible. WSC’s website is http://workingskillscentre.com Phone 416-703-7770. WSC is open Monday-Friday 8:30-5:30 and Saturdays 10:00-4:00, as well as some weeknights. WSC has weekly free information session on Thursdays at 9:00am.
Mothercraft has been a community based organization for the past 75 years. Mothercraft College started in 2008. Here you can earn an Early Childhood Education Diploma, which makes you eligible to register for the College of Early Childhood Educators.
Not only that, agreements between educational institutions allow graduates to start at an advanced level in advanced level programs. For instance, Mothercraft College graduates who have also a B.A. are eligible to apply to the Consecutive Program at York University leading to a B.Ed. and an O.T.C. (Ontario Elementary Teaching Certificate in PrimaryJunior Education). Other articulation agreements are with Ryerson University, University of Guelph Humber, Seneca College and Athabasca University.
Mothercraft College also offers a bridge training program for internationally trained early learning or childcare professionals. Mothercraft offers customized educational courses in collaboration with an agency/organization, including workshops and seminars on site.
Mothercraft is located at 646 St. Clair Avenue West. www.mothercraft. ca Phone 416-483-0511. Grant and funding opportunities are available depending on the individual’s situation, so ask about financial help.
The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) has been a community based organization for the past 30 years. It is located in the former city of York in northwest Toronto. It offers settlement services, employment services, skills training, language training, youth services and entrepreneurship.
LEF’s training programs, which are approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 include Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance, Janitors, Caretakers and Cooks Training.
The Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance (BAM) program (eight weeks) meets a growing need for skilled bike mechanics. As more and more people seek to reduce their carbon footprint or just stay fit, bikes have become more popular and the need for professional care of them more in demand. The organization is certified and supported by the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada.
There is hardly any need to list all the buildings: residential, commercial, and industrial that hire janitors, caretakers, cleaners or the restaurants, hotels, health care institutions, schools that hire cooks. The cooks’ training is a 17 week program; the janitors’, caretakers’ and cleaners’ training are 8 week programs.
Other programs approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 are Industrial Skills (warehousing and logistics) and Early Childhood Educational Assistant.
LEF has a loan fund for students to finance their training, the Community Skills Development Fund. At the completion of training and upon finding employment students begin affordable monthly payments. As well there are spots reserved for those on Ontario Works or Employment Insurance.
LEF is located at 116 Industry Street, or 1657 Weston Road. Website http://lefca. org. Phone 416-769-0830. The Weston Road location is open till 9:00PM and Saturday, their number is 416-244-8982. For our readers who have friends or family in London, Ontario or may be thinking of moving from the highly competitive Toronto labour market to an Ontario community where the cost of living is more affordable, check out
Pathways Skills Development Centre. http://pathways.on.ca. It offers training in Light Industry, Property Maintenance, Construction Technologies, and Administrative and Clerical Training.