By Jane Shulman

Centre for Continuing Education’s new certificate & diploma programs

Concordia’s Centre for Continuing Education is offering students a new way to hone their skills this fall with flexible certificate and diploma programs for people with a variety of interests. Students can now combine classes into 80-hour modules to earn specialized certificates. They may also build diplomas from related certificates, representing 240 course hours in a field.

“Our students want to learn it now and use it tomorrow,” said Murray Sang, Director of the centre that is part of the School of Extended Learning. “They are looking for condensed, practical, hands-on training.”

More than 20 new certificate and diploma programs have been introduced. Options include Financial Management, Computer Aided Design, and Tourism. Certificates range from Visual Studio .Net Development to Legal Practices in Business.

Sang explained that the centre has expanded the scope of the specialized training that has set it apart since it began offering non-credit courses in 1974. Students may choose from daytime, evening and online courses taught by industry professionals.

With the new structure, a student taking four human resources courses, for example, can earn a certificate in Human Resources Management. Should they decide to take additional courses in related clusters, such as labour relations or change and leadership, they may roll their course hours into a Human Resources Diploma.

“We are a market-driven unit,” said Sang. “Students tell us what they want. They know why they are here and they have specific goals.” The focus on certificates and diplomas helps with retention, because it creates a “portal of accessibility,” and gives students more bang for their buck.

“People find that 20 hours per course over a 10-week term is a manageable chunk of time. The fact that we run all four seasons means students can have a diploma in a year depending on their ambition,” he added. At least 70 per cent of students complete a certificate or diploma program in an average of 13 to 16 months.

The centre puts into practice the university’s philosophy of accessible education. The department prides itself on working with the challenges that adult learners may face if they have been out of school for a long time.

Of the 6 500 students enrolled in courses with the Centre for Continuing Education, Sang notes that many already have a Bachelor’s degree. Some are working in their field of choice and want to add to their skills, while others looking to change careers. There are also a number of international students aiming to improve their language skills.

Registration for the centre’s winter semester begins in November. Course calendars are available online at, or call 514-848-3600 for more information.


Concordia University