St. Lawrence College calls on province for more degree programs

St. Lawrence College

St. Lawrence College is among the colleges in the province calling on the Ford Government to expand the range of degree programs available at the college level. 

Ontario's colleges released a joint statement this week that said a new vision is needed for post-secondary education to help drive the economy, particularly as it emerges from COVID-19 and that should include career-focussed three-year degree programs to replace the current diploma programs. 

The proposed strategy would also include expanding four-year degree programs at colleges to meet local labour demands without being restricted by what the colleges call "arbitrary provincial maximums." It also suggests creating master's degree programs for post-secondary graduates for "in-demand specialized fields" like robotics, cybersecurity and animation, among others.

Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO, St. Lawrence College, said in a statement that the time to act is now. 

"This is the time for bold action to ensure we become a world leader in career-focused post-secondary education," Vollebregt said. 

"We must help more people acquire the expertise that is needed in our community. With greater autonomy and flexibility, our college can help ensure Ontario capitalizes on the opportunities to stimulate economic growth and prosperity."

Vollebregt said the recent decision to allow colleges to deliver a full nursing degree program was a positive step forward.