Looking to further your education or change careers? There are plenty of options for newcomers and residents who would like to upgrade their skills and earn qualifications.
Adult Literacy and Learning Programs
If you are an Ontario resident, over the age of 19, and your reading, writing, and math skills are below a Grade 12 level, you might qualify for the Literacy and Basic Skills Program. The program will help you improve your skills online or in a classroom setting to prepare you for secondary school credits, apprenticeships, or employment. For more information, contact Adult Language and Learning at 519.354.7424
Lambton-Kent District School Board also offers a pre-secondary credit program to help residents and newcomers. For more information, contact LKDSB at 519.351.9540 or the Tri-County Literacy Network at 1.877.333.4833
Ontario High School Diploma (OSSD)
Two local school boards offer Adult Education Programs for individuals interested in earning an OSSD. For more information, contact:
Newcomers and residents who do not have an OSSD can earn an equivalency certificate by taking the GED (General Education Diploma) Test. For more information about the GED, visit Ontario's Independent Learning Centre website or call 416.484.2704 (English only)/416.484.2722 (French only).
Language Classes and International Certifications
Newcomers to Canada may qualify for the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. In addition to teaching English language skills, the course offers an introduction to Canadian culture and customs. In Chatham-Kent the LINC program is offered by Adult Language and Learning, which also provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. For more information, visit the Adult Language and Learning website or call 519.354.7424.
French as a Second Language (FSL) courses are offered to newcomers as well as residents by the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence. For more information, call 519.946.0207. French language classes are also available through St. Clair College's Continuing Education program and at College Boreal in Windsor.
If you have international credentials that you would like recognized in Canada, you can have them evaluated by several organizations for a fee. Click here for more information. Bridging Training programs help qualified internationally trained professionals move into the labour market in Ontario by providing workplace experience and skills training. Click here for a list of bridging programs available by profession.
If you already hold an OSSD but would like to upgrade your skills and qualifications, there are several continuing education options available to you.
St. Clair College offers an Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) program that prepares students to meet entrance requirements for post-secondary programs. For more information call 519.354.9714 ext. 3586.
St. Clair College also has an extensive selection of Continuing Education courses in areas such as Business, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, and Office Administration. These courses are generally offered in the evenings to accommodate students with full-time employment.
A number of Canadian institutions now offer Online and Distance Education courses that are accessible to anyone with internet access. Interested individuals can browse school websites to learn more about distance education and online course offerings. A list of accredited universities and colleges in Ontario can be found here.
Contact North is a non-profit organization that helps connect residents in rural Ontario with online literacy, training, and post-secondary courses and programs. Staff will meet with individuals to determine their needs and interests, and then draw up study plans that outline different learning options. Although its services are open to everyone, Contact North is particularly interested in helping First Nations students, first generation learners, francophone students, and persons with disabilities.
Contact North has an office in Wallaceburg and is currently holding clinics at St. Clair College's Chatham Campus on Thursdays. For more information, visit studyonline.ca or call 1.855.353.5949.