Ontario this fall, only 34 per cent of first-year college students will be coming directly from high school.Over the past decade, the number of adults seeking college education in Canada has swelled tremendously. In
Ann Buller, president of Centennial College in Ontario, explains that the surge in mature students is partly due to Canada’s evolution over the past decade into an information economy. People are realizing that they need the extra training and workplace experience to compete in the Canadian workforce. Immigrants who are looking to upgrade skills, get Canadian experience, and hands-on training are another significant factor in this increase. College training is an ideal way for immigrants to obtain Canadian experience, as most programs involve a practical or work placement component.
Canadian colleges are reacting to the influx in mature students by implementing daycare facilities, inviting children to campus events, providing concentrated and weekend programs so that students can also hold down jobs, and offering scholarships that are not necessarily based on high school grades.