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October 05, 2021

Belleville, October 5, 2021 – In a new poll, recently released by Colleges Ontario, results show that Ontarians overwhelmingly support proposals to expand the range of career-focused degree programs at colleges in Ontario, with nearly 70 percent supporting the creation of new three-year degree programs.  

As the Bay of Quinte region’s only postsecondary institution and a vital engine for labour force capacity, this is encouraging news for Loyalist College. With its industry aligned, cluster-based approach to curriculum development, the College ensures program offerings meet the needs of regional employers to hire career-ready graduates who can make an immediate impact in the workforce. By introducing three-year degree program offerings, it would enable Loyalist College to bring greater economic opportunities to the region through enhancing its existing industry training and applied research capabilities, which local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) wouldn’t otherwise have access to.   

“At Loyalist College, we are committed to expanding access to educational opportunities and supporting economic development in our region,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO, Loyalist College. “Augmenting our program offering to include three-year degree programs, would unleash exciting new pathways for Bay of Quinte residents to pursue further academic credentials without needing to leave the region. That is why Loyalist College joins Colleges Ontario as it urges the Ontario Government to approve policy changes enabling colleges to broaden career-specific degree programs.” 

Ontario’s colleges currently offer a mix of four-year degree programs, two-year and three-year diploma programs, in-class apprenticeship training and post-graduate certificate programs for university and college graduates. The proposed changes would include the creation of new three-year degree programs, an increase in the number of four-year degree programs and the creation of master’s degree programs in specialized technical areas such as robotics, cybersecurity, and animation. The changes would create more career options for graduates, including new opportunities to advance into management positions. 

The online survey of 1,056 Ontarians 18 or older was conducted on June 21, 2021, by Innovative Research. Loyalist College also contributed to the survey by providing responses from its Program Advisory Committees (PACs). Overall, the research found strong support for broadening the colleges’ range of degree programs. Because it was an online survey, there is no calculation of the margin of error. 

Specific results included: 

  • A total of 69 percent of respondents supported or strongly supported the proposal to allow colleges to offer three-year degrees. Twenty-six percent were neutral or unsure and six percent were opposed.
  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents believe expanding degree programs at colleges is a good way to create more opportunities for students, with 79 percent supporting or strongly supporting the idea, 18 percent neutral or unsure and only three percent opposed.
  • More than half of respondents supported the creation of master’s degree programs at colleges, with 52 percent supporting the idea, 11 percent opposed and 36 percent neutral or unsure. 

About Colleges Ontario 

Colleges Ontario is the association representing the province’s 24 public colleges. The association promotes the colleges’ pivotal role in strengthening the economy by producing graduates with professional qualifications and expertise to succeed in rewarding careers. Colleges Ontario champions policy measures to strengthen the quality of programs available to students and implements provincewide marketing and communications campaigns to promote the full range of programs offered to students.  

 About Loyalist College 

Loyalist College is located on the territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, and the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge our shared obligation to respect, honour, and sustain these lands and the natural resources contained within. Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges and #1 in the country for industry research income as a percentage of total research income, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2017-18 Loyalist graduates, 88.5 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.7 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $382 million annually to the regional economy – based on a March 2020 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit


Contact: Kate Gardner, Communications Specialist, Office of the President & CEO 
Loyalist College