Vol 40 No 2 (2010)

A Look Back at the Decision on the Transfer Function at the Founding of Ontario’s Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology

Michael Skolnik
University of Toronto


Community college systems were established across North America from the early 1960s through the early 1970s. The new systems had two principal models: in one model, the college combined lower-division, university-level general education with technical education programs; in the other, most or all of the colleges were intended to concentrate on technical education. Ontario was the largest of the provinces and states in North America that opted for the second model. Many of the issues that planners confronted when designing these college systems have either persisted or re-emerged in recent years. This article re-examines the debate on the design of Ontario’s colleges that took place when they were founded and considers its implications for the present.



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