The province of Ontario has 24 publicly funded colleges: 18 in Southern Ontario and 6 in Northern Ontario. There are two types of colleges in Ontario: Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning. The colleges offer Ontario College Diploma (OCD), and a limited number of degree programs which are two years, three years, and four years in length. Some courses of study lead to official certifications in skilled trades that are regulated by professional associations. Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning offer a limited number of degree programs, either in conjunction with a nearby university or on their own.
Most Ontario colleges were founded in the 1960s, after Ontario's Minister of Education, the Honourable William Grenville Davis, tabled Bill-153 on May 21, 1965, to create a post-secondary educational system different from that of universities. As of the early 2000s (decade), most Ontario colleges offer one or more bachelor programs in an applied area of study.