Sub Menu

Main Content

September 18, 2017

Many Adult Education students enrol in programs at Holland College‘s Centre for Applied Science and Technology [pictured] after they have completed their upgrading.

Colleges and institutes champion Adult Basic Education across the country

From large urban centres to remote northern communities, colleges and institutes play a central role in delivering skills upgrading initiatives to improve local employability. Colleges and institutes in British Columbia are revelling in the news that the new provincial government has decided to eliminate tuition fees for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English Language Learning (ELL) programs in the hopes of improving access to career-focused programming and academic upgrading – ensuring that graduates are able to find meaningful employment.

The announcement is a vote of confidence for colleges and institutes – long-time providers of ABE and ELL – recognizing the crucial role that they play helping all Canadians participate fully in the labour market.

Part of the college and institute advantage in this area is their unique, adaptable and tailor-made approach to learning. No two learners are identical, and CICan members have long championed programs which both take into account and benefit from this diversity.

For example, the ABE program at Carlton Trail College offers several flexible options for students based on their availability and curriculum needs – earning a high school diploma, gaining prerequisites for further education, or improving literacy and employment readiness. Courses can be taught during the day or evening, self-paced or teacher-directed, online or in a classroom. Holland College offers similarly flexible Adult Education programming – read about some of Holland College’s Adult Education success stories here.

Adult education services at institutions such as Nova Scotia Community College and Cégep Marie-Victorin also include processes by which previous work and life experiences can be recognized as credit towards obtaining a high school diploma or other program requirements – check out this video about the Adult Learning Program at NSCC.

Colleges and institutes in urban, rural, remote and northern communities each present face unique challenges and opportunities for ABE. Yukon College, Aurora College and Nunavut Arctic College have long been recognized for their leadership in improving access to basic skills upgrades as part of the Northern Adult Basic Education Program, which received renewed federal investment in Budget 2017. The program ensures that more northerners can benefit from local employment opportunities by helping them to either enter the workforce directly or take vocational training.

CICan has long recognized the importance of ABE in improving employment outcomes; and, in its 2018 submission to federal pre-budget consultations, recommended the government invest further in adult basic education, essential skills training and upskilling specifically for Indigenous peoples to improve labour market outcomes and support economic development in Indigenous, rural, remote and northern communities. View the full submission here.

Colleges and institutes in British Columbia and across the country are excited to continue working with provincial and federal governments to ensure that all Canadians are equipped with the skills necessary to find meaningful employment.

Member News

WFCP launches redesigned website



The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is pleased to launch a completely redesigned website, giving the Federation’s online presence a much-needed refresh. The site’s cleaner design will allow for greater engagement with, and easier navigation of, the Federation’s various activities and publications.

The new website also features a unique space for WFCP members. The Member Area will feature the contact information of other WFCP members to ensure partnership growth and funding opportunities for WFCP members. To view the new website, click here.

View the full WFCP press release here.

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is a member-based international network of colleges, polytechnics, university colleges, institutions and individuals of professional and technical education and training. The Federation provides leadership in delivering workforce education for the global economy.

CICan launches 2017-2018 Awards of Excellence program!


We are pleased to announce the launch of the 2017-2018 Awards of Excellence program, and will be accepting nominations until December 4th, 2017.

This Awards Program recognizes and promotes excellence in colleges, institutes, cégeps, and polytechnics in Canada. The Awards showcase the extraordinary contribution of individuals to their communities and highlight the role of Canadian institutions in social, cultural and economic development.

For information on nominations, click here.

CICan launches 2017-18 Webinar Series

We are pleased to announce the first two webinars of our fall and winter 2017-18 Webinar Series. These interactive sessions will include presentations from experts followed by a robust question and answer session.

Results-Based Management for International Assistance Programs will lead the webinar series on Monday, September 25, 2017, and will focus on Global Affairs Canada’s approach to international development cooperation projects. For more information and to register for this webinar, please contact Alex Stephens.

The second webinar, on October 18, 2017, will focus on CICan’s new Career-Launcher Internships program and will teach participants how their institutions, graduates, and local employers can benefit from this wage-subsidy program. To register for this webinar, please click here.

While there is no cost for the webinars, participants are requested to register as these webinars are exclusive to CICan members. Participants will be sent a link to the webinar prior to the scheduled time and date.

Stay tuned for information about upcoming webinars later this fall!

Share your best photos!

CICan needs your help to update its photo library, assisting us in our continued efforts to promote our member institutions across the country.

We are looking for great shots that are visually interesting and will help us bring your story to a national and international audience. This means photos of campus buildings or new constructions, students in class or on campus, and examples of student work or applied research.

Though you will keep the intellectual property for the pictures, they may be used for promotional purposes on our website, or in publications, advertising or social media. The photos you provide will help increase visibility for your institutions, while helping CICan promote the college and institute system as whole.

The International Education Division at Global Affairs Canada has also requested photo submissions to be used in international student-focused print and electronic promotional materials.

Please use this link to share your photos with us. Thanks!

Register now to join the conversation on Disaster Risk Reduction

Registration is now open for the Eighth Annual National Roundtable on Disaster Risk Reduction, hosted by Public Safety Canada’s Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Halifax, from October 23-24, 2017.

With the theme of Building Back Better, this year’s event encourages participants to engage in dialogue related to the fourth priority for action under the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, as well as the strong linkages between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

For the first time, the roundtable will be held in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Platform.

The free two-day event is open to all interested participants, including private-sector, government, Indigenous peoples, non-government organizations, academia, and the general public.

For more information and to register, click here.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology is quickly becoming a leader in training for the cyber-defence and IT domains? It’s new Cyber Defence and Cloud Administration Diploma program, developed in collaboration with the Information and Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba (ICTAM), gives students the skills they need to implement and integrate virtual networks. Cool! Learn more here.


College of the North Atlantic welcomed the appointment of Dr. William Radford as the college’s new President and CEO. Dr. Radford has extensive experience in post-secondary education administration both in Canada and abroad.

Seneca College was pleased to welcome a new Chair of its Board of Governors. Janet Beed will serve as chair, having joined the college’s Board of Governors in September 2014.

Both New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Fleming College have elected new Chairs and Vice-Chairs of their respective Boards of Governors. Effective July 1, 2017, NBCC elected L. Paul Elliott as Board Chair, and Patrick Lacroix as Vice-Chair. Fleming College was pleased to announce the election of Dana Empey as Board Chair, and Dan Marinigh as Vice-Chair.


Canada’s 150th Anniversary! 

Submissions for CICan’s Canada 150 project are ongoing. Check out our Canada 150 website for more details.

A new crowdfunding platform 

Crowdfunding options are available for students looking to launch creative ideas to give back to their communities through fundmy150. Read more here.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.