The Weekly Voice: York University Launches Unique School Of Continuing Studies

Toronto: York University announced this week the establishment of a new School of Continuing Studies along with two new innovative student-centred certificate programs that will offer students not only specialized knowledge in their field, but core, foundational business skills that employers require.

The School, one of the largest in Canada, brings together existing high quality continuing professional programs at York, and the York University English Language Institute (YUELI), which provide academic and second language support.  “Our new School of Continuing Studies will help York to achieve its vision of building strong links with the community, creating life-long learning opportunities for part-time, mature and returning students,” said Rhonda Lenton, vice-president academic and provost. “It will also play a pivotal role in recruiting international students to York, and supporting their language and academic preparation needs in particular. The goal more generally is to expand career-relevant courses and programs, to enable students to take Continuing Studies to bridge into degree programs or alongside degree programs to enhance professional development and career readiness.”

Certificate programs in the new School of Continuing Studies are designed differently than other universities and colleges. They are offered in cohort format, allowing students to move through the programs together and have a deeper educational experience. Two new Human Resources Management Certificate programs begin next fall, with both full-time and part-time options. The unique design will give students not only core Human Resources competencies, but opportunities to develop the business and communication skills that are required to excel and progress within the field.

“Students will learn the foundational competencies of the field of human resources management, but we know that isn’t enough for graduates to get hired, be effective in complex roles and progress in their careers,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, founding executive director of the School of Continuing Studies. “Employers want graduates that can understand their business, propose strategic human resource solutions and effectively make their case to decision makers. Our programs are for people who want to excel or move into future leadership roles in the field of Human Resources Management.”

 A full-time post-degree Human Resources Management Certificate program – the first of its kind in Canada – will enable students to earn a certificate in eight months and still have time to work. International students who have already completed a degree in their home country can receive second-language education prior to and throughout the certificate program to ensure their success.  Graduates are able to apply their program toward a second degree at York by extending their studies for another year or more.

Working professionals may choose to take a part-time certificate. A two-year program with summers off, it will be offered online initially and then in a blended learning format, combining online work with executive-style weekend classes.

York’s new School of Continuing Studies will complement continuing education opportunities offered through York’s professional schools, including Osgoode Hall Law School, the Schulich School of Business, Glendon College and the Faculties of Health and Education.  Through the School and its Faculties, York is one of the largest providers of continuing and executive education in Canada. The School offers programs the areas of: business, health and social services, degree preparation, English as a second language, and English for academic purposes.