College Finishing School for University Grads?

March 15, 2013 10:17 am Last Updated: April 2, 2013 3:42 am


Once thought of as places that turned out nurses, electricians, and shelves of amateur pottery, colleges are remolding themselves to meet the needs of our new economic reality.

You can still learn pottery, but now you can also add the practical touch to your impractical undergraduate degree [or antiquated career] that will make all the difference in your job search.

“I’m increasingly hearing the terms ‘finishing school for university students’,” says Humber College president Chris Whitaker.

Humber now offers over 30 post-graduate programs for university graduates who may not feel satisfied with their skills or can’t find work with their undergrad alone.

Most of these programs are one-year intensives with a very specific focus from global business management to dispute resolution.

“At Humber the focus has always been to provide career-oriented education,” says Whitaker.

Ladder to Success

Many students are opting to go straight to college, not just because it is cheaper and easier to get in, but because it is more practical and flexible.

At Humber College anyone willing to do the work can start with a simple online introductory course, work their way to a certificate, turn that in a diploma, and then finally a degree.

If you are within the same subject, this “laddering” allows programs to lead into each other, making it easier for students to upgrade their qualification without paying for credits they don’t need and wasting valuable time.

Alvina Cassiani, dean of the Humber College business school, points out that a student may be talented enough for university level studies, but be struggling with English, have to balance school and work, or be beginning as a mature student.

She sees laddering helping students “gain confidence” in their academic abilities as they succeed in more manageable steps toward goals.

As Humber’s business school began offering degrees, they have made use of the “laddering” structure.

A three-year business diploma graduate can enter the bachelor program in third year.

The ten Bachelor of Commerce degrees they offer are all built on the same 2-year platform.

Two shared years followed by two years of specialization allows students a chance to change their minds in year three with less financial loss.

Next, work study and paid internship add to your resume before you graduate…….