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U of T's School of Continuing Studies makes education accessible to all

School offers more than 600 courses and 80 certificates in business and professional studies, arts and science, creative writing, and languages and translations

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According to research by the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto and Environics Analytics, the top reason survey respondents (42 per cent) gave for not pursing continuing studies courses is not having time. However, says the School’s director of academic programs, there are many options that make obtaining an education attainable.

“People today need learning where and when it suits them, which is why we offer flexible, personalized learning plans,” says Cindy Bettcher. “Our students choose from in-class, online and hybrid courses, and, with all three, can count on the same commitment to excellence in program content and expert instruction.”

With many learners balancing long hours, tough commutes, home responsibilities and generally leading busy lives, increasingly popular are online options, says Bettcher.

“The School is constantly expanding its courses and today offers more than 600 courses and 80 certificates in business and professional studies, arts and science, creative writing, and languages and translations,” she says. “Currently, one in five courses are offered online and the School has tripled its hybrid course offerings since 2014. We make is easy for people to continue to learn.”

While the online options are completed entirely at a distance, the majority of hybrid courses begins and ends with in-class sessions and also includes in-class sessions mid term or at regular intervals to provide “check-in” points, says Bettcher.

“Students get to connect face-to-face with peers and instructors, facilitating a deeper connection and sense of community,” she says. “This supports students and helps ensure they make appropriate progress in their studies.”

For those who prefer a more traditional approach to education, the Continuing Studies School facilitates evening classes at all three University of Toronto campuses.

To ensure students choose the study format that will suit them best, Bettcher says each course and certificate program description is clearly written to identify the intended audience as well as the specific outcomes a successful learner will achieve. In-person support is also available.

“Our staff offer advising to learners to help them make the most informed choice and to design a learning plan that is most suited to them,” she says. 

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