Established in 1966, Centennial College is Ontario’s first public college primarily serving the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area through five campuses. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. It is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. More than 100 ethno-cultural groups are represented and 80 languages are spoken on campus. Centennial offers more than 300 diploma, certificate and degree programs on a full- and part-time basis in business, media and performance arts, community and consumer services, engineering technology, health care and transportation. These programs promote experiential learning with laboratory instruction, co-op education and industry placements. Centennial welcomes 26,000 full-time students and 19,000 part-time learners annually.
Centennial strives to be an internationally recognized education leader that places strong emphasis on global citizenship and social equity through its distinctive Signature Learning Experience. The SLE imparts an understanding of diversity, equity and social justice issues, and gives students cultural competencies that prepare them for a changing world. Likewise, Centennial’s Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience (GCELE) provides opportunities for students to travel overseas to develop leadership skills while working on service projects to instil positive social change in underdeveloped regions.
- Centennial ranked 9th in Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges (2016) report from Research Infosource, and has received $14 million in research grant funding over seven years, projects that have involved a total of 1,170 students and 443 faculty members.
- Centennial received $4.3 million in research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Ontario Research Fund (ORF) to investigate electrically actuated landing gear in collaboration with France’s Safran Aerospace.
- Centennial College is ranked second in Canada in terms of number of paid student research opportunities.
- There are 25 nationally accredited engineering technician/technology programs at Centennial, the highest number of programs in Ontario recognized by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB).
- Centennial led the six GTA colleges in student (76.5%), graduate (78.5%) and employer (94.1%) satisfaction, according toKPI surveys conducted in compliance with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
- Centennial supports the largest number of international students of any public college in Canada.
- Suzhou Centennial College (SCC), which launched in 2016, is the first Canadian college approved by the Chinese government to deliver Canadian credentials in China.
- Centennial College began construction of its Downsview Park Aerospace Campus in 2016 and is set to open in the fall of 2018; the campus, located adjacent to Bombardier Aerospace, will be home to the college’s Aircraft Technician students and new programs in aerospace engineering technology.
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Contribute to our Community
Centennial College’s HYPE program – Helping Youth Pursue Education – is a tuition-free learning experience that can open doors to higher education and rewarding careers. The program promotes education attainment by reducing barriers to post-secondary participation for youth living in under-served Toronto neighbourhoods. For some, participating in HYPE is the first positive learning experience they’ve had in a long time. Over six weeks each summer the students, aged 17 to 29, participate in seven career-oriented courses in business fundamentals, human development, automotive technology, esthetics, digital media, introduction to computers, and baking and entrepreneurship. Centennial works with local community service agencies to identify youth who could benefit from the program. One-third of the more than 1,100 young adults who have graduated from HYPE since its inception in 2004 have gone on to post-secondary education. The program has won accolades from former Toronto mayor David Miller, and received funding from Michael Clemons’ Youth Challenge Fund. In 2014, TD Bank Group committed to investing $250,000 over three years to support the community program, which includes free transportation, meals and learning materials. In addition, TD provides student workshops to promote financial literacy and increase awareness and competency in personal financial management.
Foster Student Success
Katherine Bontje chose to attend Centennial College while in her 50s, hoping to develop a rewarding career after years of working odd jobs and looking after her children. Katherine returned to school through Ontario’s Second Career initiative, and selected Centennial’s Recreation and Leisure Services program for its strong social service component. She credits an empathetic group of peers, some older like her, with supporting her through her assignments and classes. Having a child with a disability led her to focus on persons with special needs, which turned out to be a fruitful career direction. Upon graduating in 2013, Katherine began working for Chapter 21, a privately run day program for adults with developmental disabilities. The programming is aimed at adults who have finished school, but who need to have a structured program as a part of their life. Katherine finds her work immensely rewarding and fulfilling every day.
Andrew Palillo and Sameer Vadera
Centennial College School of Business graduates Andrew Palillo and Sameer Vadera got their new business idea while out on the town, then used their classroom lessons to develop their concept. Their business, Save our Solez, is designed to address a unique need: After a long night of dancing at clubs, women tend to ditch their heels and go home barefoot. To serve this untapped niche, the pair created automated vending machines that dispense inexpensive, comfortable flats to whomever may need them, perfect for wearing on the trip home. Together, they began marketing the machines to nightclub owners who were willing to give up a little floorspace and an electrical outlet for the venture. The pair credit their business education at Centennial for creating a robust business plan that included securing suppliers, graphic design, promotions, financing and more. Their classroom learning contributed directly to their real-life business model and their success.
Centennial College Architectural Technology student Faiyaz Khan was selected as a finalist in the 2015 Sustainable Design Awards for his elementary school design that respects the sensitive watershed of the building site on the edge of Scarborough’s Rouge Park Conservation Area. While his design didn’t win, just being named a finalist amounted to an honour in the sustainable design community. It’s all the more impressive for a former audio-visual technician who lost his job when his workplace closed in 2012. Faiyaz came to Centennial, with financing provided by Ontario’s Second Career program, to learn how to prepare designs, specifications and construction drawings for contractors and municipalities, using industry software such as AutoCAD and Revit. The program’s appeal for Faiyaz was its strong emphasis on protecting the environment, energy conservation, and sustainable design and construction strategies. Faiyaz is keen to employ sustainable design in the future buildings he will help design.
Partner with Business and Community
Centennial College launched its Structural Assembly training course in partnership with Bombardier Aerospace in January 2015 with the goal of preparing a class of graduates to work in the aircraft maker’s Toronto assembly facility in Downsview. In the spring, 40 graduates crossed the stage and collected their certificates of completion, and immediately walked into their first job. All 40 grads received employment offers, a happy outcome for students preparing to work in manufacturing. Most of the graduates joined Bombardier directly, while the other 14 grads received employment positions with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a subcontractor to Bombardier also involved in aircraft assembly in Toronto. Bombardier and Centennial signed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 that designates Centennial College as the aircraft maker’s trainer of choice, helping to prepare its existing and future workforce with new skills required in the assembly and maintenance of the next generation of Bombardier aircraft.
Centennial College joined several leading Toronto organizations to help with the 2015 Winter Coat Drive on behalf of The Children’s Breakfast Clubs, which set a goal of collecting 30,000 new and gently used winter garments to distribute to children living in the Toronto region. The initiative began with Centennial’s Child and Youth Worker students, who received an assignment to form not-for-profit companies to begin collecting coats for kids. Students formed their organizations, set goals and policies, chose people for positions and began working on the task. The students embraced their assignment enthusiastically and collected more than 1,500 winter items over the summer. It was relatively easy to expand and redirect their efforts to assist The Children’s Breakfast Clubs. Centennial is a longtime supporter of The Children’s Breakfast Clubs, which provide free, nutritious meals. Each holiday season, Centennial’s Hospitality students decorate trees that are delivered to families in the GTA.
Support Indigenous Students
Centennial’s unique Aboriginal Studies: First Peoples in Canada certificate program has seen success in providing students with knowledge of aboriginal culture and issues in fields where that knowledge can make all the difference. The program is offered to students in the community services cluster as a stackable credential, meaning students can take it instead of their regular general education courses. The objective is to give students the knowledge to serve their aboriginal clients more effectively when they enter their field as social service workers or law clerks, among other careers. There’s a real need for the knowledge: Toronto is home to the fourth-largest aboriginal community in Canada. Upon graduation, students receive a certificate in First Peoples Studies on top of their regular diploma. Centennial also offers a number of Aboriginal services on campus, specialized programs, including apprenticeships and placements in Aboriginal communities, and help with job searches and community partnerships.
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Date modified: 2021-07-19