I agree to Idea Allow colleges to offer three-year degrees
Voting Disabled

234 votes

I disagree to Idea Allow colleges to offer three-year degrees


This idea is active.
Education »

Allow colleges to offer three-year degrees

It is essential in the new economy that Ontario strengthen its efforts to promote career-focused programs. An important step would be expanding the range of degree programs at the province’s colleges. Ontario’s public colleges already offer four-year degree programs. However, this province is one of the few jurisdictions in the world where graduates of a three-year post-secondary program can only earn a diploma, rather than a degree. Expanding the range of degree programs at colleges will provide more options to students seeking career-focused higher learning. It will also address the growing demand among employers for graduates with degrees who also have career-specific qualifications. The government should introduce changes to allow Ontario colleges to offer three-year degree programs.

Submitted by 1 year ago

Comments (13)

  1. Jon

    The programs are already too easy. We should not be handing out degrees, it only diminishes those already held by previous graduates and the value of those in pursuit of them.

    1 year ago
  2. I am extremely disturbed that people think that this is a bad idea and that College is "too easy". Entering a three-year program at a College is like being in College and University at the same time. Programs that take three years are career-specific training programs. These are programs that dont belong in University, but also dont deserve the regular College Diploma. All three year programs deserve a degree and cannot be compared with programs that warrant certificates or diplomas. I am currently in College and in a program that is three years.

    1 year ago
  3. Jon


    I teach at a university and have been in the field of education since 2001. I can assure you that in the universities I have worked at, the programs have steadily gotten easier each and every year.

    1 year ago
    1. Hello, with all due respect, I too have taught at universities over the past 8 years and I have not found this to be the case.

      1 year ago
  4. I'm actually appalled that people think college is "easier". While students in college may not have large research projects and essays to write all the time, i assure you the workload is there. Obviously it depends on which college you go to and which program you are in.... i am a freshman in a 3 year graphic design program and i have 7 or more projects on the go each week along with an essay or presentation. I do indeed believe that colleges should be able to offer 3 year degrees if the work load and material is there.

    These three year programs are very specific and give you the necessary training both in theory and hands on work, if anything i think college programs are way better suited for hands on careers such as trades, artistic and music careers, certain medical and cosmetic careers as well because while universities give you the theory and background information with a bit of hands on experience, colleges focus on what EXACTLY you'll be doing in the current workforce. My program for example, focusses on whats current in the graphic design industry, teaching us the latest technology and giving us the chance to work with an on site print shop; instead of saying "i know what this machine is and i've read about how it works" we can say "I've read much about this machine and its properties/functions AND i know how to use it if i were needed to as worked with it before" .

    so yes, I agree that colleges should be able to give 3 year degrees.

    1 year ago
    1. Excellent point! Agreed!

      1 year ago
  5. Implementing this idea would allow many more people living in smaller communities to achieve university credentials. If we want our province to compete in the knowledge economy, we have to increase our capacity to build knowledge in our human resources. University education is far less common in rural areas of the province because it is more difficult to access these programs without actually having to uproot and move to a city with a university.

    1 year ago
  6. Allowing three-year degrees at the college level will help ensure the province is agile in meeting labour market needs. Increasing access to higher education provides learners the best of both worlds – the hands-on training of a college program with the breadth and qualifications of a degree.

    1 year ago
  7. Colleges do offer "Applied Degrees", in which you do 2 years of college and then transfer to 2 years of university. A wonderful program, new within the last 6 - 7 years (I think), offering plenty of paid co-op placements, lots of hands on experience, AND much cheaper than university. Students must have 6 university level grade 12 high school credits to get in, but their average does not have to be as high as university requirements. College is a far better option for many of our students.

    1 year ago
  8. What is important in all of this is what employers are looking for, and what skills a degree bring to the hiring employer. I remember a person (where I worked) came in with a university degree - computer engineering -. Unfortunately that person had no concept of rational application of his high knowledge in the practical world he worked in and was a failure to his employer. In other words, knowledge acquired from degrees does not mean employment suitability. Unfortunately, in todays world, too many employers make the mistake of hiring based on degrees only. And we can see the results: the skills of the medical profession among others has shown cracks in that too many times there are treatment failures, reduced quality of service delivery. We must shy away from degrees which are given to just about everyone: degrees must adhere to high standards and exclude the ones who do not meet these highest standards.

    1 year ago
  9. This is an awesome idea because college students we would love the opportunity to get a degree that contains three years. I believe it should be allowed. College is not easy it all depends on the program.

    1 year ago
  10. RJT

    I got my first degree in England, where all degrees (including Oxford and Cambridge) are three years. I went on to get a PhD. The length of the course has no bearing on the standards attained, or the difficulty of the study.

    For vocational courses in particular, 4 years seems excessively long as a requirement to fulfill a degree-level qualification.

    1 year ago
  11. I agree with RJT that it is not the length of the course that is important. All university programs in Ontario (and I expect college programs too) are expected to identify degree-level expectations. If the college and university programs have the same expectations and standards only then should they offer the the same credential.

    1 year ago

Vote Activity Show

(latest 20 votes)


  1. Status Changed from Pending Approval to Active
    1 year ago
  2. The idea was posted
    1 year ago