Guiding Your Teen Through Postsecondary Program Options
One of the most common questions as a parent is, “should my child go to college or university?” Having the right knowledge allows you to offer them guidance and support as they choose a postsecondary program that will lead to a rewarding career and future.
Degree vs Diploma
What’s the difference between the postsecondary programs offered at colleges and universities in Canada? Sometimes people get them confused, especially since they mean different things in different countries.
In Canada, a college is:
- A full or part-time school offering diploma and certificate programs.
- A more intimate setting, with smaller class sizes and more one-on-one teaching.
- Highly career focused.
Colleges usually focus on specific employable skills that allow students a higher chance of finding a job upon graduation. At Georgian College, most programs include co-op placements so students can gain hands-on experience, or apprenticeship options at the end of their schooling.
In Canada, a university is:
- A full or part-time school offering degrees (bachelors, master’s and doctoral).
- More likely to have large lecture halls.
- A more independent learning environment for students.
- An analytical or theoretical environment.
Universities focus on analytical thinking that allows students to generate high-level solutions that are attractive to future employers. The option of a co-op placement is less common, but at Lakehead University research positions exist to help students further knowledge within their discipline.
Both postsecondary education options have their pros and cons, and it can be difficult to choose between them. What if they didn’t have to choose? What if they could have the best of both worlds?
Lakehead-Georgian Postsecondary Programs
“Offering a diversity of education pathways is one of the great strengths of the Canadian postsecondary model. By working together, colleges, institutes and universities, can better meet the needs of both students and employers which makes these partnerships incredibly valuable for all Canadians” Denise Amyot – president of Colleges and Institutes Canada.
Why should your child choose between two postsecondary program options that both have beneficial qualities? The old proverb of ‘killing two birds with one stone’ applies to combined bachelor’s degree and college diploma programs, like those offered at Lakehead-Georgian.
- College and university collaborations give students the ability to earn both a university bachelor’s degree and a college diploma at the same time.
- An integrated program, like those offered at Lakehead-Georgian, run the same length as a regular university program – four years – but offer much more.
Collaborative programs combine the applied, practical experience of college with the theory-based, critical thinking skills taught in university. The result is a hybrid thinker who will enter the workforce with both skill-sets, ready to hit the ground running.
Research has shown that leading students into a postsecondary program they’re not fully interested in increases the likelihood that they won’t finish the program, or pursue a career path after they graduate. Increasing students’ choices in their education will lead to greater satisfaction, increased commitment to learning and improved career outcomes.
Combining analytical thinking with a hands-on approach will give your child the tools to graduate job ready with hard skills and strong resumes to succeed in future career paths.
Learn more about the four degree-diploma programs offered at Lakehead-Georgian:
- Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) Degree with Electrical Engineering Technology Advanced Diploma.
- Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science – Environmental Sustainability (Specialization in Ecosystem Management) Degree with Environmental Technician Diploma.
- Honours Bachelor of Science – Applied Life Sciences (Specialization in Biomedical Techniques) Degree with Biotechnology-Health Diploma.
- Honours Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) Degree with Computer Programming Diploma.
Help them choose a collaborative program that combines the best of both postsecondary program streams.