Career Colleges Ontario

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Career Colleges Ontario (CCO)
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Career Colleges Ontario (CCO) is a non-profit organization fighting for the equitable treatment of career college students and a level playing field for its member institutions.


The association's membership consists of career colleges operating within the province of Ontario, and the member campuses are obligated to adhere to the CCO member's code of ethics[1].

CCO career colleges deliver career-specific, outcome-based programs in hundreds of essential skilled fields in a manner that is characteristically responsive to employer demand. Graduates of career colleges earn a diploma or a certificate[2] for a wide range of programs in fields like business, health services, human services, applied arts, information technology, electronics, services and the trades.[3] Over 43,000 students enroll in an Ontario career college each year[4].

Member institutions are afforded access to association advocacy, resources, and services through the following benefits:


  • CCO meets regularly with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and attends government events to inform and advise officials on issues prudent to the sector.
  • CCO submits recommendations to the government on policy that impacts its members and their students.
  • The association serves as the voice of the career colleges, conveying emerging sector issues to the ministry while educating and supporting its membership on regulatory matters the ministry imposes.


  • Transcript storage at a reduced rate.
  • The opportunity to process OSAP applications through the association's Financial Aid Office.
  • Receive notices and information on matters that affect Ontario's career colleges.
  • The association organizes or sponsors workshops and emergency meetings for the sector as needed.
  • Career Colleges Ontario hosts a yearly conference consisting of informational seminars, workshops, and networking events for career college professionals. During the conference, the association presents its CCO Awards, recognizing outstanding graduates and the instructors dedicated to providing their students with the greatest opportunities to succeed.


  • As part of its mandate to inform government and the public on the value and role career colleges play in Ontario's post-secondary education framework, CCO frequently engages with and responds to enquiries from bureaucrats, MPPs, and the media.
  • Members gain access to an extensive network of career college professionals and consultants to ascertain best practices for program delivery and operations.

Advocacy work[edit]


To promote an environment where quality career colleges in Ontario and their students succeed by helping governments, key decision-makers and the public understand the critical role they play in supporting Ontario’s post-secondary education system and improving the province’s economic well-being.

Removing barriers for career college students[edit]

The typical career college student is distinct from the average student who attends a public institution[5]. The majority enrolled at career colleges are mature students over the age of 30. The career college demographic consists of an overwhelming population of women and first-generation immigrants. They are our motivated, often require individual supports provided through small class sizes, and are seeking training or retraining in order to improve their lives with a new career. The experience, needs and financial obligations of career college students are far from comparable to your average public institution student fresh out of high school. Yet regulation often lumps the two demographics together or outright excludes career college students from opportunities solely due to their choice in an institution they felt best suited to meet their needs.


Career colleges in Ontario are registered with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The legislation that governs the sector is called the Private Career Colleges Act 2005.[6] As of 2019, there are over 600 registered private career colleges[7] in more than 70 Ontario communities.

CCO's Financial Aid Office[8] operates in partnership with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) office. CCO's Financial Aid Office is authorized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to act as a provider of transcript maintenance and issuance services.[9]


Career Colleges Ontario consists of independent staff operating under the direction of its chief executive officer. The association's mandate and directives are set by an elected Board of Directors that consists of 16 volunteer board members[10]. Members of the board are representatives from Ontario career college institutions of varying size. The diversity of the board ensures CCO is positioned to best meet the needs of its membership.


  1. ^ "Code of Ethics". Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "What are Career Colleges?". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  3. ^ Ontario, Government of. "Private Career Colleges (PCC)". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  4. ^ "Your Association". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  5. ^ "Student Demographic Study : Final Report". The Legislative Library of Ontario. June 20, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Law Document English View". 2014-07-24. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  7. ^ "Search for a private career college in Ontario". Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  8. ^ "Member Services". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  9. ^ Ontario, Government of. "Private Career Colleges (PCC): Pre-Qualifying List of Vendors for Maintaining and Issuing Student Transcripts for Private Career Colleges". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved December 30, 2018.