Adults thinking of going back to school, often have the following start dates in mind: fall term: September, winter term: January, spring term: May. This picture limits your choices. The spring term start dates listed under “spring term” often run right through to August. As well, there are many courses that have continuous intake, or monthly intake throughout the year. This article will help you shop your way through the spring /summer term.
Shopping your way through the spring term’s more varied start dates used to be a lot easier when most educational providers printed calendars with schedules and descriptions of each course. You could skim their spring term listings looking first for start dates that suited your personal schedule, and then find a course that interested you. Using the website to scroll down from program area, to course description to schedule search is way more time-consuming than the oldfashioned way, but many providers now only publish schedules on their website. What can you do?
Ask a program officer
We recommend you call the school and ask for a program officer in the area in which you are interested and ask for a listing of course start dates in the spring term. They often have a departmental list in a Word file that they can forward to you. Mind you, you will no doubt have to leave a voice mail message for the program officer. Often the other advantage of talking to a program officer is that he/she often knows of courses being offered, which you have not considered that better suits your needs or interests. Websites, despite the ability to be updated daily, are often not updated so there may be courses offered that have not been posted.
Also you could ask the program officer for printed schedules, so you can scan the start dates. These program officers are more able to influence change than the front line registration staff. For example, Ryerson University’s. G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education first went totally online. Then responding to student feedback, it now publishes a booklet with just the course titles and schedules. You can go on line to get a course description once you have decided what course(s) suits your time and interests you.
Continuing education programs that still publish schedules in their course calendars are the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, Centennial College, Durham College.
Continuous intake courses
Courses with traditional term start dates comprise only a part of the continuing education offerings today. Many have continuous intake or monthly intake all year round. To see a detailed summary article of these, see the Fall 2014 issue of Learning Curves article, “Going Back to School- You are Never too Late’” page 7 on www.learning-curves.ca.
Spring Summer only courses
Some programs are only offered in the summer like Humber College’s Sailing and Power Boating Centre courses, Motorcycle and Scooter Riding Training, the Summer Jazz Workshop; Seneca College’s courses with the Richmond Hill Culinary Arts Centre, Seneca Outdoor Tennis Club lessons, the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, Creative Writing courses; York University’s Summer Language Institute at their English Language Institute. George Brown College’s Jewellery making program, unique in the colleges, offers summer courses.
As you can see there are many ways to learn in the spring—and summer.