CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

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CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

                                                                   training grads
                                                                    who make a

        How education
         is evolving
                   On the pandemic         Finding your
                       front line             right fit
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving
    Get on the fast track to a career that you love

ONTARIO                ATLANTIC              ANYWHERE

CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving
4    A distinguished history
     Delivering quality education

5    COVER Setting students up
     for success
     Education evolving to meet Canada’s
     future skills needs

8    Finding the right fit
     The path tO pursue your passion and    13
     build a rewarding career

10   Campus Exploration
     Toronto School of Management          20    A pathway to success
                                                 Institutions working together to help
     tackles IT skills shortage                  international students master English

13   125 years of connecting talent
     with opportunity                      22    PSWs are heroes on the pandemic
                                                 front line

     NACC members on the investment
     value of a quality education
                                           24    HSWs tackling Canada’s care crisis
                                                 at home

                                           28    Chef Thomas Naylor
                                                 ‘There’s no luck in this industry’

                                           30    Nurse Natasha Cameron
                                                 ‘So much opportunity’

                                           31    MPP Monte McNaughton
                                                 champions career training

                                           of Career

                                                        Career Connections 2021 [ 3 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

   A distinguished                                                                        Published for:
                                                                                          National Association
                                                                                          of Career Colleges

                                                                                          99 – 4338 Innes Road
                                                                                          Ottawa, ON
                                                                                          K4A 3W3

                                                                                          Tel 613-800-0340
   Delivering quality education                                                           Email

     n 1896, 125 years ago, a group of private educators formed the “Business
     Educators Association.” That group is today known as the National                    JP Roszell
     Association of Career Colleges, with 450 member schools spread across                Chief Executive Officer
   the country. Two of the original member schools, dating back to 1866 and     
   1885, are still training and graduating students today!
                                                                                          Career Connections is
     As the CEO of the National Association of Career Colleges in this, our
                                                                                          published by Great River
   125th year, it is a distinct honor and privilege to welcome you to this very special
   edition of Career Connections Magazine. Within the pages of this magazine,             Media. This publication
   you will find stories from schools across Canada, attestations from generations        contains information
   of successful graduates, and details about the hundreds of courses, diplomas           considered accurate
   and certificates available from a member college near you. You will learn why          at the time of printing.
   thousands of people just like you decide every year to change their lives by           However, the publisher is
   choosing to attend one of our member colleges.
                                                                                          not responsible for any
   Thank you.                                                                             errors or omissions that
                                                                                          may occur. Reproduction
   JP ROSZELL                                                                             in any form is prohibited
   CEO of the National Association                                                        without the written
   of Career Colleges
                                                                                          permission of the

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                                                                                          Graphic Designer
                                                                                          Regan Van Dusen

                                                                                          Published by

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                                                                                          Ottawa ON
                                                                                          K1W 1K0
                                                                                          Tel 613-238-1818

[ 4 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

Setting students
up for success
How education         BY LEO VALIQUETTE

                          t’s been said by many observers over the past year that the pandemic
continues to evolve       isn’t creating change so much as accelerating the catalysts for change
                          that were already in play.

to meet Canada’s         Post-secondary education is one of those sectors of the economy where
                      this is readily apparent. From online learning to developing curricula and
                      modes of teaching that are more responsive to a student’s life and work
future skills needs   situation, progressive institutions were adapting to a new reality well
                      before the pandemic.
                         This is particularly true of Canada’s private career colleges. By their very
                      nature, career colleges have always embraced change. Constant adaption
                      is central to their mandates to produce graduates with the job-ready skills
                      that are in demand.
                         We sat down with Holly McKnight, Director of Education for the
                      National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), to discuss how post-
                      secondary education is and must continue to evolve to meet Canada’s
                      future skills needs.

                                                       Career Connections 2021 [ 5 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

                                                                          The student’s success is
                                                                          first on the list and that
                                                                          means graduating and
Q: The majority of programs offered at a                                  walking across the stage.”
career college include a practicum place-
ment that provides critical real-world
experience and can easily lead to a job
offer. How have pandemic safety measures
impacted such placements and what are             an analysis from a subject matter expert, this   issues and the session is still available for
some examples of adaptation by colleges           proposal was approved in June 2020.              purchase. I think we have learned that a hybrid
and employers?                                      This is specifically for the duration of the   method of delivery, combining both online
                                                  pandemic, so we anticipate things going back     and in-person training, is really helpful and
McKnight: Depending on the program,               to normal at some point, but we were very        brings balance to the learning experience. It
this past year has certainly had a major          pleased with the solution at a time when         also reinforces learning, which is critical to a
impact on most practicum placements. It           PSWs are in such high demand.                    student’s success, and we want to set students
was, however, very exciting to see the key                                                         up for success.
stakeholders work together to problem             Q: Hybrid learning involving in-person
solve so students would be able to continue       and online options was becoming more             Q: From a career college’s perspective,
their studies.                                    commonplace before the pandemic and              what are some key arguments still in favour
  As an example, the NACC Personal                then online of course became critical. As        of in-person learning as the preferred ap-
Support Worker program requires students to       we adjust to a new normal, do you expect         proach?
complete two placements, one in a long-term       online options will be more common and
care facility and the other in a community        in demand than before the pandemic?              McKnight: There are portions of all
setting. In the spring of 2020, NACC                                                               NACC programs that require in-person
approached Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges         McKnight: Yes, definitely. There is a lot        learning, such as lab demonstrations, and
and Universities with a proposal to require one   of debate about this topic and the qual-         these are not done in a practicum – they are
practicum for the full number of hours. With      ity of learning, and I believe we need to        typically completed at the college campus.
                                                  take advantage of the learning from this         It is critically important that an instructor
                                                  situation and seize the opportunity. We          can watch a student perform certain skills
                                                  have already heard from many colleges that       prior to going out to practicum, for their
                                                  there will be ongoing interest and demand        own safety and that of their patients and
                                                  for online learning after the pandemic is        clients.
                                                  resolved. What is going to set colleges and        This also really supports a student in building
                                                  programs apart is how well programs are          their confidence. They receive confirmation
                                                  delivered online.                                from their instructor that they are doing it well
                                                                                                   or get feedback about how they could improve
                                                  Q: What would you say are some of the            and then when they go out on practicum, they
                                                  key lessons that have been learned through       feel competent for the job.
                                                  the pandemic on how best to integrate on-
                                                     line learning into programs of study that     Q: What else comes to mind about how
                                                         are highly practical and hands-on?        the relationship between career colleges
                                                                                                   and industry/employers has changed or
                                                           McKnight: Students miss the             must change to ensure programs continue
                                                           camaraderie of being in a class         to align with labour market needs, post
                                                            with their peers and this is a         pandemic?
                                                            major concern when we are all
                                                           required to stay apart and stay         McKnight: It is somewhat difficult to
                                                          home. If instructors are creative,       predict this one because requirements
                                                         engaging and skilled at online de-        are continuing to change as the situation
                                                         livery, students can feel very much       evolves in different jurisdictions across the
                                                         involved in the online classroom.         country. We at NACC are making every
                                                         During our annual Instructor              effort to stay abreast of these ongoing
                                                       Development Day, we had some                changes and communicate to our mem-
                                                       amazing speakers address all of these       ber colleges about how we are supporting

                                                           Holly McKnight,
                                                           Director of Education, NACC
[ 6 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

                           There will be ongoing interest and demand for
                           online learning after the pandemic is resolved.”

  College staff are interfacing with industry   the student can work full-time and stay             Q: How else do you see the pandemic
on a regular basis, and they are keeping us     because it is such a critically important           impacting post-secondary education?
informed of the challenges for industry, so     contract they are working on and they need
keeping the lines of communication open with    the student to start before they graduate.          McKnight: We are already seeing a pat-
all stakeholders is imperative.                   This is very exciting for the student, but        tern similar to what we have experienced
                                                they sometimes lose sight of the fact that they     in the past with any kind of economic
Q: We have talked before about situa-           just spent two years and a lot of money to          downturn or recession – a surge in demand
tions where an employer is eager to hire        complete a diploma program that they will           for adult education. People who have found
a student before their course of study is       have forever versus a job and employer which        themselves out of work must retrain to find
complete. Why is it important for a student     may not be forever. I have no problem with a        another job.
to always complete their course of study, no    job offer, or a paid practicum placement. I do,       In many cases, these are people with families
matter how enticing the job offer may be?       however, have a really big problem with an          and dependants – it seldom makes sense for
                                                entrepreneur who places their company’s needs       them to take the time or incur the cost of a
McKnight: I have seen many computer             above that of a student in a practicum who has      three- or four-year program. They need to
programmers go out on their practicum           not yet graduated. Those are very interesting       obtain relevant and marketable skills that will
and halfway through the placement the           conversations, but the student’s success is first   allow them to find a new job as quickly as
employer offers them a job to work on a         on the list and that means graduating and           possible. Time and again, career colleges have
“really important project” or application.      walking across the stage.                           proven themselves to be the answer.
I have had employers call to ask me if

                                                                                                        Career Connections 2021 [ 7 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving

the right
Is a career college the path to pursue your
passion and build a rewarding career?

                                                     and are now attending a career college to         they are more familiar with – and they don’t

         ou need to train, re-train or upskill for   learn a specific skill leading to meaningful      succeed because it’s not for everyone.”
         a new career or to advance in your old      employment and a career,” said George               The need to find the right fit and acquire
         one. Given the choice between higher        Hood, Chair of the National Association of        the marketable skills to land that ideal job
education options, which is best for you?            Career Colleges and Director of Government        has become that much more critical with the
  There are numerous routes – return to a            Relations at Herzing College in Ottawa.           pandemic.
public college or university full time, pursue         Other people only discover a PCC after            According to a February report from
some kind of continuing education program            they have learned first-hand that other post-     management consulting firm McKinsey &
at those same institutions, or consider a            secondary models are not for them.                Co., the number of workers in developed
private career college.                                “We struggle sometimes with people who          countries who may need to switch occupations
  Why a private career college (PCC)?                don’t know we are an option or how we are         by 2030 has increased by 25 per cent from
  It really depends on where you are in life         different,” said Don Thibert, President and       what had been forecast before the pandemic.
and your expectations.                               CEO of Westervelt College in London, ON.          Job growth may concentrate more in higher-
  “Many career college students have                 “As a result, they either try a university or a   wage jobs as the number of middle- and low-
already attended university, have a degree,          community college – another mechanism             income jobs decline.

[ 8 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving
Henry Devlin and Rima Aristocrat of Willis College.

An outcome-focused learning                               Not only are                                  graduation from a PCC is more likely to be
model                                                                                                   smaller compared to a public institution.
It’s how students learn that sets a PCC apart             they learning                                   “Not enough people consider that when
from its public counterparts.                                                                           rationalizing this investment,” Thibert said.
   “Career colleges do not have general            their profession, but                                  Hood also pointed out that tuition rates
education courses or electives,” Hood said.                                                             for many programs at public institutions
“They do not give students the summer off          they are also gaining                                have risen in recent years to be comparable
and have classes running 52 weeks per year                                                              to those of a private institution. In addition,
except for holidays.”                              confidence in their                                  PCC students also qualify for financial aid in
   This allows students to complete a diploma                                                           the form of grants and student loans, just like
program in as little as one year and enter the     profession.”                                         community college and university students.
workforce earlier than if they took a two- or
three-year program at a public institution.        – Don Thibert                                        High school grads versus more
Schedules are also much more predictable,                                                               seasoned students
making it easier to schedule work around                                                                But what about students straight out of high
school. Small classes that are instructor-led                                                           school – is a PCC the best fit for them?
ensure more personal attention. There is also         “If our students were not landing jobs, the         The consensus among educators interviewed
a higher degree of personal accountability – a     first thing I would do is challenge our content,     for this issue of Career Connection is that it
PCC program is usually not for that student        to see if it is still relevant to employers,” said   depends. It depends on the course of study, the
casual about making class.                         Henry Devlin, President and CEO of Willis            student’s maturity level and their goals.
   “One thing I hear back from our students        College in Ottawa. “When I see students                Many NACC members don’t actively
that really makes me happy, not only are they      coming to our college and paying tuition, they       market to high school seniors and draw maybe
learning their profession, but they are also       want to see a return, and in our world, that         10 per cent of their student body from that
gaining confidence in their profession, because    return is a job.”                                    demographic.
we have so much hands-on in our programs,”                                                                Others, such as Sprott Shaw College in
said Thibert.                                      Putting cost in perspective                          Vancouver, “offer programs that appeal to
   Practicums, or field placements are also        Students of a PCC bear the full cost of              people of all ages now,” said President Victor
common. Compared to the co-op programs             their education, without the government              Tesan, with options ranging from business
typical of a community college or university,      subsidisation of tuition typical of most (but not    and administration, to nursing and trades
these take place only at the end of a program,     all) programs offered by community colleges          apprenticeship. “But it depends on the
when the student is fully trained and ready        and universities. But Thibert emphasizes that        program mix and what students need to find
to work.                                           the full cost of education must be taken into        employment.”
   “You are working with industry to complete      account.                                               For those students who do come straight
your education, but it also helps industry –         That bill includes, in addition to tuition and     from high school, Thibert says it can have a big
the employer can conduct a four-week job           supplementary expenses like travel, parking          impact when they recognize for the first time
interview and very often, a placement ends         and books, the cost of living. Food and              the practical application of their education for
with a job offer,” said Holly McKnight,            housing is the single largest cost item for most     the world of work.
Director of Education at NACC.                     post-secondary students. By taking a program           “You see that passion light up underneath
   All if which leads to that target outcome – a   that is shorter, more outcome-focused and            them,” he said. “The moment when they
good job upon graduation.                          easier to schedule work around, debt load upon       realize, ‘That is why I want to learn this.’”

                                                                                                            Career Connections 2021 [ 9 ]
CAREER CONNECTIONS How education is evolving
                       Toronto School of Management
                     tackles Canada’s IT skills shortage
                                        BY LEO VALIQUETTE

                                               nformation Technology” is a rather broad
                                               umbrella for a number of digital technol-
                                               ogies and the skillsets required to deploy,
                                        manage and secure them. But these various
                                        disciplines do have several things in common
                                        – good salaries, opportunities for advancement,
                                        and skillsets that are highly portable between
                                        industries and jurisdictions.
                                          ICTC, Canada’s Information and
                                        Communications Technology Council, stated
                                        in a labour market outlook last August that,
                                        despite the disruptions of the pandemic, IT
                                        will continue to account for just over half of all
                                        employment in Canada’s digital economy and
                                        remain critical to the sector.
                                          “Preparing a digital-ready workforce will be
                                        paramount in fast-tracking Canada’s economic
                                        recovery post COVID-19,” The ICtC stated.
                                          And yet, long before the pandemic, Canada
                                        (and much of the rest of the world), suffered
                                        from IT labour shortages. These shortages
                                        span industries and disciplines. In a report
                                        last year, enterprise security services company
                                        Fortinet reported that 89 per cent of Canadian
                                        IT managers agree that one particular IT
                                        shortage, cybersecurity skills, has created
                                        additional cyber risks for their organizations.
                                          In an IT World Canada webinar last
                                        August, Chris Collins, Vice President
                                        and Managing Partner for IT staffing at
                                        technology firm PeopleToGo, said, “The
                                        problem is not a shortage of people, it’s a
                                        lack of candidates with the skills required by
                                        particular employers.”

[ 10 ]
“Our focus is on the relevance of the
                 We have collaborated with over                                                       curriculum at all times, as we are striving to
                                                                                                      have our students ready for tomorrow’s job
                 100 employers.”                                                                      market today,” Safdari said. “Our curriculum is
                                                                                                      not static – it is something that develops and
                 – Ehsan Safdari                                                                      changes constantly to address in-demand skills
                                                                                                      and knowledge in an always-changing labour
  As employers, educators and government           and pursue an IT security career.                  market.”
organizations consider the best path forward          In-class instruction is coupled with              That focus has earned TSoM a number of
for workers left unemployed or under-              workplace experience that’s as real as it gets.    kudos, most recently:
employed by the pandemic, ICTC has some               “We have collaborated with over 100
sound advice:                                      employers to provide co-op placements for          •    The Toronto Star newspaper’s Readers’
  “In-career digital upskilling, transitional      our students, ensuring you get the most out of          Choice 2020 Diamond Award for Best
employment pathways for displaced and              your program,” said Managing Director Ehsan             Adult Education
underrepresented workers into digital              Safdari.                                           •    Best Hospitality & Tourism Post-
occupations, and stronger youth engagement            Given TSoM’s presence in the heart of                Secondary Institution in Ontario 2020 by
will also play major roles in the economic         Canada’s financial services industry, much of           Corporate Vision Magazine
recovery.”                                         its focus is on producing the IT graduates who     •    Finalist in the Vocational College category
                                                   will help secure this critical infrastructure.          for Study Travel Magazine’s 2020 Awards
This calls for a career college                       “We are working with some of the country’s
The good news is that the membership of            biggest financial institutions to make sure that     All of which means that anyone mid-career
the National Association of Career Col-            our curriculum matches their needs and that        who is looking to reskill or upskill for a job
leges (NACC) is expert at delivering on            students can join them as part of the co-op        in IT should consider a NACC member like
those first two points. Hundreds of private        experience,” Safdari said.                         TSoM their ideal choice. There they can find
career colleges across Canada deliver IT-             His team appreciates that details matter and    the relevant training, co-op placements with
related curricula that provide students at         so does having a professional, online presence.    employers looking to hire and the recognized
any stage of their careers with industry rec-         “We are always looking for other                industry credentials that will quickly return
ognized certifications, and practicum work         opportunities for our students, especially now     them to the workforce.
placements that provide that transitional          with micro credentials and digital badges being
pathway into a job.                                so popular,” he said. “We see a lot of value for
   One example is the Toronto School of            students to showcase these credentials on their
Management (TSoM).                                 LinkedIn pages and résumés.”
   Located in downtown Toronto on College
Street adjacent to the MaRS Discovery              Industry relevant curricula
District, TSoM offers a range of hands-on          From Safdari’s perspective, TSoM and its
vocational programs in IT, business, hospitality   fellow NACC member institutions are, as
and accounting. As part of Global University       they have always been, well-positioned to
Systems, an international higher-education         respond to the needs of both jobseekers
network with 42 locations on five continents,      and employers as part of Canada’s pandem-
TSoM welcomes students from dozens of              ic recovery. This arises from their experi-
countries.                                         ence in proactively responding to emerging
   One of TSoM’s trademark programs                trends and developing relevant curricula in
is cybersecurity specialist. This one-year         partnership with industry.
diploma program prepares students to write
the Security+ exam from the Computing
Technology Industry Association                       Ehsan Safdari,
(CompTIA). CompTIA Security+ is a global              Managing Director, TSoM
certification that validates the baseline skills
necessary to perform core security functions

What does a career in IT pay? reports that                            An IT manager averages                                 For cybersecurity
the average IT salary in                           about $96,000, peaking                                 specialists, the average is
Canada is $67,618, peaking                         at about $122,000                                      $87,371, peaking at about
at about $106,000                                                                                         $141,000

                                                                                                           Career Connections 2021 [ 11 ]
Study in a flexible, convenient way in our virtual classrooms.

                                                                 Study Online
                                                                  Accounting & Payroll
                                                                  Business & Digital Marketing
                                                                  Cybersecurity Specialist
                                                                  Education Assistant*
                                                                  Pharmacy Assistant*
                                                                  And more!

                                                                 Be job-ready in
                                                                 under a year.

                                                                   *Combined online and on-campus programs
Westervelt College graduates

125 years of connecting
talent with opportunity
NACC members emphasize the investment
value of a quality education
BY LEO VALIQUETTE                                  elderly, the need to counter declining birthrates                            through generations
                                                   through immigration.                                                         of the Ottawa-based

        ACC, the National Association of             All of this has increased pressure on the                                  institution. Willis
        Career Colleges, is celebrating this       education system to produce ready and capable                                has been in operation
        year its 125th anniversary – what is it    graduates in the volume which Canada’s                                       since 1866, when it
about this organization and its members that       economy will need through the 21st century                                   specialized in secretarial
has made this milestone possible?                  - particularly now, as we look to recover from                               and business courses
  Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution,    the economic and labour market impacts of                                    under founder Stephen
the world of work has been caught in a             the pandemic.                                                                T. Willis.
persistent tug of war between the skills people                                                         Rima Aristocrat,          On the eve of
have and the skills employers expect they will     Different circumstances, similar                     Willis College          Confederation, with
need.                                              challenges                                                                   Parliament Hill
  This cycle has only intensified in the Digital   The circumstances may have been different in        staffing up, an urgent need for office and
Age, and not just because of advances in           the late 1800s, but employers faced challenges      administration staff for the workings of
technology.                                        similar to their modern counterparts to fill        government drove the need for a formal
  Shifting demographics are also adding            vacancies.                                          training institution.
new stressors to the labour market – talent          Rima Aristocrat, Chair and owner of Willis          “No other college was providing industry-
shortages in a variety of fields, increasing       College and former NACC board member,               led, job-ready skills training,” Aristocrat said.
demand for healthcare and homecare for the         recalls the story she says has been passed down       Manual typewriters lined the classrooms of

                                                                                                         Career Connections 2021 [ 13 ]
what was then called Willis Business College.                                                             really value-add sector.”
Men and women from Eastern Ontario and                                                                      Gwen Tucker founded Newfoundland and
Western Quebec were taught the necessary                                                                  Labrador’s Keyin College as Keyin Technical
skills of the day: typing, shorthand, dictation,                                                          Training School in 1980. At that time, she was
filing, general office duties, and business                                                               working as a data terminal supervisor for a
methods and practices.                                                                                    private company. Her responsibilities included
   A similar story is found in Vancouver                                                                  on-the-job training for new hires to take
with Sprott Shaw College. In 1903, The                                                                    positions as operators and data-entry clerks for
Sprott-Shaw Vancouver Business Institute                                                                  the IBM mainframes of the day.
first opened its doors, founded by Robert J.                                                                Tucker realized there was a gap between
Sprott and William H. Shaw, who was already                                                               training, IT and innovation – people needed to
president of Shaw Schools of Toronto. There                                                               be trained on emerging computer technology
too, the emphasis was on training for                   Blair Chapman,                                    before they entered the job market, not after.
career success.                                         Saskatoon Business College                        She founded Keyin to address this gap.
                         “For over 118 years,                                                               As a woman entrepreneur at the dawn of
                       Sprott Shaw has been                                                               the home computing age, Gwen Tucker is
                       educating and preparing
                       students for fields in
                                                           I don’t believe                                a true trailblazer. In the years that followed,
                                                                                                          Keyin’s IT offerings expanded into computer
                       demand today as well as
                       tomorrow,” said President
                                                           enough                                         programming and coding. The college grew to
                                                                                                          six campuses that now also offer programs in
                       Victor Tesan. “We helped
                       bring radio to British
                                                     people are looking                                   health, business and industrial trades.
                                                                                                            Today, Keyin is run by her son Craig Tucker,
    Victor Tesan,
    Sprott Shaw
                      Columbia, our graduates
                      helped pioneer the age of
                                                     at education as an                                   who is working to drive the growth of
                                                                                                          the college’s digital and IT curricula for a
                      television in this province
and we remain at the forefront of educating
                                                     investment, rather                                   new generation.
                                                                                                            “You really need to listen to industry and
and training nursing and health-care
students today.”
                                                     than as a point of                                   what they are telling you and spend time
                                                                                                          on the analytics up front before you build
   In London, ON, Westervelt College has a
similar founder story. James W. Westervelt Sr.,
                                                     consumption.”                                        curriculum,” he said.
                                                                                                            Willis, Sprott Shaw, Westervelt, SBC and
an accountant by trade, founded the college in       – Don Thibert                                        Keyin. These are just five examples of how and
1885 because he had such a hard time finding                                                              why the private career college (PCC) business
qualified hires.                                                                                          took root in Canada and continues to prosper.
   “He decided that if he wanted to hire good                              became a major source
people, he would have to start training them,”                             of post-secondary              A need for unity
said President and CEO Don Thibert.                                        business education in          Like any growing industry, there comes a time
   The majority of Westervelt Sr.’s first students                         Saskatchewan. Fred and         when common interests and common needs
were the children of well-heeled New England                               Helen Chapman, both            call for a single voice and a forum through
families – international students who, in many                             schoolteachers, purchased      which to share best practices and to set
cases, were likely looking for the skills to run                           the college in 1951. Under     standards.
the family office.                                     Don Thibert,        three generations of the         This is particularly true in a country like
   In 1907, Saskatoon had just become a city           Westervelt         Chapman family, SBC has         Canada, where post-secondary education is
with the still-modest population of 4,500. The         College            continued to expand and         regulated at the provincial and territorial levels,
growing community had become something                                    change with the times.          but yet, continues to be profoundly impacted
of a boomtown with waves of immigration. A             “It’s a very rewarding business in that we         by federal decision-making.
demand for secretarial and accounting skills         really do change lives for the better,” said Blair     In 1896, a group of private business
led E.A. Marshall to establish Saskatoon             Chapman, who serves as Campus Director.              educators from across Canada came together
Business College (SBC).                              “My dad Barry in his 32-year career figures he       to create the “Business Educators Association.”
   In the decades that followed, SBC                 helped about 20,000 graduates find jobs. It’s a      Many name and organizational changes

1896:                                   1964:                                    1976:                                   1990:
“Business Educators                     Incorporated federal-                    Changed name to the                     Changed name to the
Association of Cana-                    ly as a not-for-profit                   Association of Cana-                    National Association
da” established as an                   association, name                        dian Career Colleges                    of Career Colleges
association of private                  change to Asso-
business educators                      ciation of Canadian
                                        Commercial Colleges

[ 14 ]
later, that first association is today known as
the National Association of Career Colleges
(NACC), a federally incorporated, not-for-
profit organization.
  NACC’s purpose, as it was in 1896, is “to be
the voice and enabler of opportunities for our
members and benefits for their students.”
  Today, NACC represents some 550
regulated career colleges across Canada. It
operates with an elected board of directors,
representative of each region of the country,
that oversees its operations and is responsible
to its members.
  “Like any sizeable sector, there needs to be
an association that helps to bring best practices
together, like-minded people together,” said
Henry Devlin, President and CEO of Willis.
“NACC acts as a conduit for that. It brings
                               together the schools
                               from coast to coast
                               and, to a certain
                               extent, legitimizes
                               the sector.”
                                  “I am a huge
                               believer in NACC,”
                               added Keyin’s Craig
                               Tucker. “I sit on
                               the national board
   George Hood,               and on the board
   Herzing College
                              for its provincial
                              counterpart. With
so much change in the world, we have to
make sure that colleges are putting out quality
graduates and they are doing so to marry up
with labour market intelligence. NACC plays
that role.”

A voice at the table
One area of priority is industry representation
and government relations, said George Hood,
Chair of NACC and Director of Government
Relations at Herzing College in Ottawa.
This ensures that the interests of members
are represented at both the provincial and
federal levels, on matters such as accreditations,
international students and immigration.
  One classic example is financial aid – student
grants and loans. Today, these are available to
PCC students, just as they are to community
college and public university students, but that
wasn’t always the case.
  “Many years ago, when the federal
government was developing policy around
student financial aid, students attending
career colleges were not initially included in
the discussion,” Hood said. “If it wasn’t for
representatives of NACC being at the table,
our students may have been left out.”
  NACC also works with its members to
establish and oversee standards and best
practices for quality education that reflect
current and future labour market needs.

                                                       Career Connections 2021 [ 15 ]
(NACC) brings
                                                                                                             together the
                                                                                                       schools from coast to
                                                                                                       coast and, to a certain
                                                                                                       extent, legitimizes
                                                                                                       the sector.”
                                                                                                       – Henry Devlin

                                                                                                             “Today, private colleges can offer comparable
                                                                                                           diploma and degree programs,” Tesan said.
                                                                                                           “In 2000, Sprott-Shaw became one of, if not
                                                                                                           the first, private college to offer a Licensed
                                                    have evolved. Giving younger students                  Practical Nurse program.”
                                                    different options compared to publicly funded            NACC itself has a track record developing
                                                    institutions. The connective tissue NACC               certified programs which any member
                                                    provides to its membership has enabled all of          may deliver through its own campuses.
                                                    this for over a century.                               One example is NACC’s Personal Support
                                                      SBC’s Chapman recalled attending the                 Worker (PSW) program, widely recognized
                                                    NACC national conference many years ago                for its high standards and its graduates. (We
                                                    with his father and speaking to a woman                explore this program in more depth, as well
                                                    involved with personal care aide (PCA)                 as introduce NACC’s new Home Support
                                                    training. That gave them the idea of offering          Worker program, elsewhere in this issue of
                                                    their own PCA program. After a “great deal of          Career Connection.)
                                                    lobbying” with NACC’s help, they were able to
                                                    get provincial approval.                               Opportunity, but challenges
                                                      “Fast forward to today and thousands of              remain
                                                    SBC grads are making a difference in the lives         Despite more than a century of achievement,
                                                    of both long-term and home-care residents,”            NACC and its member colleges still face
                                                    Chapman said.                                          perception issues with the general public as a
                                                                                                           legitimate post-secondary option.
                                                    Adaptability for current needs                           SBC’s Chapman takes pride in the fact
                                                    This leads to another point that sets NACC’s           that, as for-profit businesses, PCCs are much
  “Private career colleges have to adapt and        membership apart from public institutions              more on the hook to deliver positive student
change and have to provide meaningful and           – the speed at which they can develop and              outcomes, as measured by employment
in-demand programs or we cease to exist,”           implement new programs and curricula in                opportunities, than institutions that are
said Sprott Shaw’s Tesan. “The reality is we        response to market need. Where community               subsidized with public funds.
have to be outcome-based and focused to             colleges and universities typically take years, a        “We save taxpayers billions of dollars as an
be successful. Our sector provides education        PCC can often do it in a matter of months.             industry because we operate on a cost-recovery
from flight training to trades, from nursing to       “That doesn’t mean the education they                basis,” Chapman said. “We really do serve
animation and art and everything in between.        deliver is of any less value,” said Willis’s Devlin.   learners well who want practical, hands-on
We are an integral part of the workforce across     “But when an employer wants someone, they              project-based training that can transition them
the country.”                                       don’t want to wait, because that means lost            quickly into the job market.”
  That need for change is woven into the            revenue and lost opportunity.”                           For his part, Devlin objects to any “us versus
fabric of what it means to be a PCC.                  To ensure a consistent quality standard,             them” comparison with community colleges
  Retraining military veterans for a return to      NACC members work with whatever                        and public universities.
civilian life. Riding out a Great Depression        certification or regulatory bodies are                   “The word ‘versus’ is something we as a
and numerous recessions. Helping mid-career         responsible for a given profession or field,           sector have to get rid of – ‘partnership’ is more
professionals retool their skills as technologies   whether they are regional or national.                 reflective of what is going on,” Devlin said.

[ 16 ]
“Each option offers something unique.”
  Sprott Shaw’s Tesan agreed. “Our goal
should no longer be to try and compare
ourselves … but instead to position ourselves
as a trusted and credible option for public
education in this country.”
  That’s not to say there isn’t a place for a little
healthy competition.

Pathways to success
“Competition keeps people on their toes and
it gives consumers options,” Thibert said. “That
is usually good for the consumer. Monopolies
tend to get overpriced and your service tends
to deteriorate.”
   Tucker is also an advocate for more
cooperation between private and public post-
secondary institutions.
   He sees value in more widespread use of
pathway and articulation agreements where
credits earned at one institution are recognized
at another. For example, a personal support
worker grad getting credit for that education
and experience toward a nursing diploma or
degree at a public institution. This mobility
could play an important role to improve
retention in sectors such as healthcare that
already suffer from critical labour shortages.
   “If you feel that you have a future, that there
is a way for you to continue to educate yourself
and to grow, there is much more sustainability
to keep you in that sector,” Tucker said. “When
you feel that you have nowhere else to go,
nowhere to ladder up to, then you are more
likely to shift careers. The only way to change
that is to get all the stakeholders, public and
private, in the room working together.”

The ROI of a hands-on education
As the tug-of-war between skilled labour
demand and labour availability becomes more
acute in the years to come, the role and value
of Canada’s private colleges will only increase.
That puts the onus on students, and anyone
else who might play the role of influencer
over their decisions, to think hard about the
purpose of a post-secondary education.
   “I don’t believe enough people are looking
at education as an investment, rather than
as a point of consumption,” Thibert said. “I
really don’t think we should be consumers of
education – you shouldn’t just go out and buy
it without a plan for how it is going to better
your life.”
   “I believe in what we do, I believe in
our graduates and I am passionate about
education,” Tesan added. “We are fortunate
that we are in a profession where we can
support personal growth and advancement.
The more people realize that’s how we view
education, the more attention will come to
private colleges.”

                                                       Career Connections 2021 [ 17 ]
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A pathway to
Helping international students master
English just one example of how public
and private institutions can work together

BY LEO VALIQUETTE                                presidency have all played in Canada’s          language education in Canada. Languages
                                                 favour, Ritchie added. The international        Canada accreditation is a qualification

      ducating international students has be-    education consultants who work with             separate from DLI.
      come a vital revenue stream for public     students and parents overseas are also             McKenzie College in New Brunswick is a
      colleges and universities across Canada,   increasingly promoting schools located in       great example of a private career college that
but what many people may not realize is          smaller communities outside of Canada’s         is both a DLI and a Languages Canada-
the role that a private career college often     major cities.                                   accredited English school. The college’s
plays to put that student in the classroom or                                                    Language Centre is the leading private
lecture hall.                                    Meeting the language                            English school in New Brunswick and one
  Statistics Canada reports that for the         prerequisite                                    of only two in the province with Languages
2018-2019 academic year (just before the         But where does a private career college come    Canada accreditation. In fact, McKenzie has
pandemic disrupted the status quo), more         into the picture for public institutions?       obtained two separate DLI numbers – one
than 2.1 million students in total were            Many private career colleges have qualified   for its own art and design programs and one
enrolled in public colleges and universities     as a Designated Learning Institution            for its Language Centre.
across the country. That represented             (DLI). A DLI stamp is granted from the             This has enabled the Language Centre
an increase of 1.8 per cent from the             federal level by Immigration, Refugees and      to forge seven pathway agreements and
previous year.                                   Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in partnership       counting with other post-secondary
  The primary driver of this increase was        with the institution’s provincial government.   institutions in Atlantic Canada. These
a 16.2 per cent jump in the number of            No post-secondary institution in Canada,        include other private career colleges as well
international students – enrollments by          public or private, can enroll international     as public institutions such as the University
Canadian students were actually down by          students unless they are a DLI.                 of Prince Edward Island and Mount Allison
half of a percentage point from the year           But to study at a Canadian college or         University. An international student can
before. This caps a decade-long trend of         university, an international student must       achieve their required language proficiency
international student enrollment being the       pass a language assessment to demonstrate       at McKenzie’s Language Centre and then
dominant growth driver.                          academic proficiency in English (or in          easily move on to their desired course
  “Canada has emerged, not just as a country     some cases, French). If they cannot acquire     of study without interruption, either at
where you want to live, but also recognized      that language training at home, they can        McKenzie or at one of those seven other
for the quality of our education and the         come to Canada under their study permit         institutions.
capacity of our schools to offer a variety of    and attend a DLI that is also accredited by        Students study English at McKenzie for
programs,” said Dale Ritchie, President of       Languages Canada to teach English as a          as long as it takes to progress through the
McKenzie College in New Brunswick.               second language.                                proficiency levels to hit the mark required for
  Canada’s reputation as a relatively safe         Languages Canada is the single national       their course of study.
and affordable place to live and study, its      association in the country recognized by the       “Each level, if a student applies themselves,
natural beauty and perceptions abroad of the     federal government and abroad to ensure         is about 12 weeks of full-time study,” Ritchie
United States after four years of a Trump        quality accredited English-and French-          said. “Students will come for 12-week

[ 20 ]
McKenzie College International Summer Camp students break the ice with a little face-painting fun.

increments, sometimes but seldom longer
than a year.”
  The expectation is that once they achieve
                                                              Nobody else put up their hand.
their required proficiency, the student will
begin their course of study at their other
                                                              We saw the opportunity.”
institution the following semester.                           – Dale Ritchie
Students from 34 countries
Becoming an accredited English school
didn’t come easy. It began when MAGMA,         were online. We never missed a day and              already completed at another institution.
the Multicultural Association of the           remarkably, we never lost a student. That           These have been common for years between
Greater Moncton Area, sought a partner         astounded me.”                                      public institutions in a variety of programs
willing to teach business/academic English       This of course doesn’t mean that online           and disciplines, but less so between private
to the International English Language          language learning doesn’t come without              and public. Language training is an obvious
Testing System (IELTS) standard required       its challenges.                                     exception.
for college or university admission.             “Teaching English requires constant                  From Ritchie’s perspective, there is a
  “Nobody else put up their hand,” Ritchie     engagement with the instructor or a group           fantastic opportunity for all concerned for
said. “We saw the opportunity.”                of fellow students,” Ritchie said. “Students        more pathway agreements to be established
  Still, it took several years of building     need to be engaging and on camera so the            between private and public institutions,
industry relationships before McKenzie         instructor can see if they are getting it. Some     beyond just English as a second language.
at last earned the Languages Canada            of our instructors have upgraded to 65-inch            With Canada’s post-secondary sector
accreditation that would encourage other       HD TVs. Even with no more than five hours           facing a long recovery from the devastating
post-secondary institutions to sign            of instruction a day, that is still a long day to   impact of COVID-19, every effort must
pathway agreements.                            be on Zoom.”                                        be made to offer international students as
  McKenzie’s Language Centre draws                                                                 many options as possible for their studies in
students from 34 countries in Asia, Latin      Pathway opportunities extend far                    Canada. A career college offers a student a
and South America and Europe, though           beyond language training                            great way to settle into a new country with
the pandemic has obviously required            Driving it all are the pathway agreements           its more personalized approach to learning.
some changes. Weeks before the State of        that have made McKenzie the enabler for                “We need to do more with public
Emergency declared in March 2020, the          the student who needs to master English and         institutions and with the pandemic, I think
McKenzie team could see the writing on the     the post-secondary institution that wants to        there is more of a willingness among them to
wall and prepared to take classes online.      attract international students.                     do so,” Ritchie said. “The idea of a pathway
  “We never missed a beat,” Ritchie              At its simplest, a pathway agreement is           agreement between a career college and a
said. “Over one weekend we made the            an arrangement where one institution will           university for degree completion is a really
decision and by Monday morning students        give credit and accept transfers for courses        great idea for an international student.”

                                                                                                     Career Connections 2021 [ 21 ]

   PSWs are heroes
   on the pandemic
       front line
                                          We are very proud of our PSW
                                          graduates and the incredible
                                           sacrifice they have made.”
                                                                     – George Hood

                                                     nurse or licensed physician. In addition         a heroic thing,” Ferrier said. “But you have to

        he COVID-19 pandemic has                     to tasks like housekeeping, meal prep,           be really prepared to buckle down and help
        shattered many myths and miscon-             socialization and ensuring medications are       because your help is really needed.”
        ceptions – one of them being that            taken, a PSW can be authorized to perform
Personal Support Worker is in any way a              insertion of a digit or instrument into a        ‘A humanitarian crisis’
“simple” or “easy” profession.                       body cavity, perform care or a procedure         The pandemic has turned what was
  Miranda Ferrier, CEO and Provincial                under the skin, and carry out any task or        already a labour shortage into a crisis of
President of the Ontario Personal Support            skill needing a physician’s prescription. This   epic proportions.
Workers Association (OPSWA), doesn’t                 scope of responsibility is largely the same        “There is a humanitarian crisis in Ontario’s
mince words.                                         across Canada.                                   long-term care homes,” Natalie Mehra,
  “It’s literally a war zone in our long-term          During the pandemic, PSWs have been            executive director of the advocacy group,
care facilities,” she said. “PSWs are the absolute   putting their lives on the line to provide       the Ontario Health Coalition, told the
front line of Canada’s healthcare system.”           care, just like physicians and nurses. They      Ottawa Citizen earlier this year. “Residents
  But what exactly is a PSW?                         face a range of working conditions and as        are going without proper feeding and
  As defined on OPSWA’s website, a PSW               a profession, suffer from no real standard       hydration, baths, foot care, repositioning,
provides care to any person who requires             for compensation. And yet, many people           rehabilitation – the very basics of care – let
personal assistance with activities of daily         continue to sign up to train as a PSW.           alone not having their psychological, social
living (ADL). They may also provide                    “To become a PSW right now in a                and cultural needs met.”
additional care as delegated by a registered         pandemic and want to be on the frontline is        The desperate need for more trained

[ 22 ]
                                                                                                   “I have worked with many career colleges
                                                                                                 across Ontario and in New Brunswick,” she
                                                                                                 said. “They definitely do play an important
                                                                                                 role – we need them all to be full to the
                                                                                                 brim. I see a lot of their grads get hired for
                                                                                                 home care, long-term care or the hospital
                                                                                                 setting right away.”
                                                                                                   Despite the quality of the education that
                                                                                                 can be obtained through a career college to
                                                                                                 become a PSW, other challenges remain.
                                                                                                   “Unlike physicians and nurses, PSW is not a
                                                                                                 self-regulated profession,” Ferrier said.
                                                                                                   The ability to self-regulate can only be
                                                                                                 granted to a profession by the government
                                                                                                 of the province or territory in which it is
                                                                                                 operating. Only through self-regulation
                                                                                                 can a profession protect the public interest
                                                                                                 by setting standards of competency and
                                                                                                 conduct, being able to license members or
                                                                                                 being able to discipline members who fail
                                                                                                 to meet its standards.
                                                                                                   This also means that anyone can claim to be
                                                                                                 a PSW, whether they have the training or not.
                                                                                                 At present, the PSW profession is not allowed
                                                                                                 to self-regulate anywhere in Canada. Ferrier
                                                                                                 and her peers continue to lobby government to
                                                                                                 see this change.

                                                                                                 ‘One of the hardest jobs’
                                                                                                 Another issue as it pertains to the shortage
                                                                                                 of PSWs is the chronic shortage of Home
                                                                                                 Support Workers (HSW) with adequate
                                                                                                 training, Ferrier added.
                                                                                                   As distinguished from a PSW, an HSW
                                                                                                 does not receive the same level of education in
                                                                                                 anatomy, physiology, cognitive disabilities or
                                                                                                 more extreme personal care requirements. Nor
                                                                                                 are they considered qualified to perform the
                                                                                                 same medical tasks as authorized by a nurse or
                                                                                                 physician. But more HSWs would free PSWs
                                                                                                 to focus on the more demanding levels of care
                                                                                                 they are trained to perform. In this issue of
                                                                                                 Career Connection, we also profile the new
PSWs, for example, has prompted the             something vitally important right now            HSW program from NACC.
Ontario government to commit to create          for the population of this country and             Regulation aside, Ferrier warns that PSW is
27,000 new positions for PSWs over the          we are addressing a critical need with our       not a job for everyone, or a career field to enter
next four years. A pilot program funded         membership,” she said.                           into lightly.
by the province began in January at                                                                “It is literally one of the hardest jobs in
Willis College in Ottawa, to train up to        Setting an industry standard                     healthcare,” she said. “You have to love the
300 new PSWs. Other similar program             PSW is an outstanding example of how             elderly and vulnerable people and you have to
announcements have followed, though             NACC works to create curricula which any         have a genuine desire to help. To be a PSW is
advocates like Mehra have been vocal about      member career college in Canada can use          to make a difference in the lives of our most
the need for more.                              and deliver on its own campuses. In this case,   vulnerable every single day.”
  What many people may not realize is that      NACC maintains the final exam. A student           George Hood, Chair of NACC and
private career colleges like Willis have been   receives a certificate from their college, as    Director of Government Relations at Herzing
producing the majority, 70-80 per cent, of      well as one from NACC, upon passing their        College in Ottawa, agreed.
Canada’s PSW grads for years, and without       exam. In Ontario, NACC has been working            “We are very proud of our PSW graduates
government program funding, said Holly          closely with the provincial government to        and the incredible sacrifice they have made in
McKnight, Director of Education at the          be in compliance with the Ontario Program        assisting our vulnerable during this difficult
National Association of Career Colleges         Standard for the PSW program since 1998.         pandemic,” he said. “They put their lives at risk
(NACC).                                           Ferrier regularly engages with NACC as a       every day. I regard their contributions as our
  “With a pandemic, we are doing                partner and resource.                            greatest accomplishment.”

                                                                                                   Career Connections 2021 [ 23 ]
HSWs tackling       BY LEO VALIQUETTE

                            anada’s career colleges have a long
                            and distinguished history working
                            with industry and regulatory bodies

 Canada’s care       to develop programs that graduate skilled
                     individuals ready to meet critical labour
                     market needs.
                       But they don’t always go it alone. The
                     National Association of Career Colleges

 crisis at home      (NACC) has a strong track record
                     developing certified programs which any
                     member may deliver through its own
                     campuses. One example which we feature
                     in this issue is the highly regarded Personal
                     Support Worker (PSW) program.
                       The latest addition is the Home Support
                     Worker (HSW) Program which NACC has
                     recently launched to also help alleviate the
                     crunch for more qualified support workers
                     in key care roles.

[ 24 ]
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