Glossary

Academic Year    A period of time from the beginning of one fall term in September to the beginning of the next fall term, divided into terms or semesters.


Accreditation    Certification by an external agency or professional regulatory body that an educational program meets its standards. In Canada, educational programs are accredited; institutions are not accredited.


Asynchronous   No in-person learning requirements; no scheduled (time-of-day-dependent) requirements; fully accessible from where student lives (including any examinations).


Bachelor's Degree    Credential granted by a university in recognition of a student's successful completion of a program of study in a broad discipline area such as arts, science, engineering, or business.


Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario    Formed in 1981, the Canadian Federation of Students is a bilingual national union of over one-half million students from more than 80 university and college students' unions across Canada. There are more than 35 Federation member local students' unions in Ontario uniting over 300,000 full-time and part-time students. The Federation provides students with an effective and united voice, provincially and nationally.


Colleges Ontario (CO)    Organization of Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning. Provides communications, advocacy, and professional development in support of Ontario colleges and their contribution to employability, economic development and technological innovation.


College Student Alliance    The College Student Alliance (CSA) is a non-profit, non-partisan member driven advocacy organization representing the best interests of Ontario college students in areas such as access, accountability, affordability, quality and credit transfer.


Continuing Education    A course or courses taken on a part-time basis at an Ontario college, university or secondary school. Includes courses, workshops and seminars offered for credit toward a postsecondary credential or for general interest. In an institutional context, a division within an institution offering part-time courses and programs, seminars, workshops, distance education and online learning.


College Certificate    Please see the Ontario Qualification Framework for more details. (Please note, this URL will open in a new window).


Council of Ontario Universities    Organization of Ontario's publicly-funded universities, providing communications, advocacy, and professional development in support of Ontario universities and their contribution to research, international relations and accessibility.


Contact North    Since its creation in 1986, Contact North has delivered significant outcomes for Ontario’s students/prospective students, Ontario’s 24 public colleges, 22 public universities, and 250 literacy and basic skills and training providers, 600 small, remote, rural, Aboriginal and Francophone communities and the Government of Ontario.


Course    Single unit of study, identified by a title, description and credit value, as well as a unique course number and/or code.


Course Transfer    Individual course(s) which you may receive credit for when transferring.


Credential    Official document recognizing completion of a program or course of study. In postsecondary education, issued by the individual college or university. In Ontario, includes certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, bachelor's degrees in applied areas of study and bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. May also be issued by professional or government organizations for licenses or other certifications, qualifications or memberships.


Credit    A unit of value assigned to a course for the purpose of counting its value towards a credential such as a certificate, diploma or degree. The number of credits received by students for a course varies widely among institutions.


Credit Transfer    Acceptance or recognition of credit by an institution for courses or programs completed at another institution.


Distance Education    Courses taught online, over satellite or local television, by video tape or CD ROM, through self-study or by correspondence. Timeframe for completion and/or sessions with teachers may be fixed or flexible. Designed for diverse populations of students whose schedules or personal circumstances make it difficult for them to study on campus.


Doctoral Degree    Highest level of academic degree. Normally requires a minimum of three years of study and research, including the completion of a dissertation, after a master's degree. A doctoral degree may be granted as a PhD, or in particular fields of study such as music (DMus) or education (EdD).


Equivalent Credit    Transfer of course credit from one postsecondary institution to another where courses are considered equal in content or academic value.


Fully Online (asynchronous)    No in-person learning requirements; no scheduled (time-of-day-dependent) requirements; fully accessible from where student lives (including any examinations).


Fully Online (synchronous)    No in-person learning requirements; scheduled (time-of-day-dependent) online requirements (may include content delivered via video-conference); fully accessible from where student lives (including any examinations).


General Bachelor Degree    A General Bachelor's degree is typically completed in three years of full-time study and often involves more generalized study of a broadly defined area.


Honours Bachelor’s Degree    An Honours bachelor's degree is typically completed in four years of full-time study and usually focuses on a particular area of study. Usually requires a higher level of academic standing than a General degree.


International Student    Learner from a country outside of Canada.


Letter of Permission    Document issued to a student by the postsecondary institution where the student is enrolled verifying that one or more specific courses taken at another institution will be recognized for credit equivalency upon successful completion.


Masters Degree    Degree following Bachelor's degree which provides intensive study of a particular field, for example, English Literature, History, Physics. Master's degrees normally require one or two years of study after an honours bachelor's degree.


Mature Applicant    College or university applicant without the required academic qualifications, and meeting the minimum age required by the institution. May describe an applicant who has been away from school for a specific period of time. Also known as adult applicants or special applicants. May be required to complete admission tests or preparatory courses, and other conditions for admission. Each school sets its own policies and procedures - most have a variety of options and pathways for mature applicants.


Mostly Online    Includes some face-to-face and online components; for the purposes of eCampusOntario, a course or program should be at least 80% fully online (minimal face-to-face, place-dependent requirement; e.g., one weekend or week-long residency requirement in a specified location); institutions must ensure prospective students can find schedule information before registering.


Ontario College Application Services (OCAS)    Central processing centre for applications to Ontario college programs.


ONCAT    A member organization with participation of all 45 publicly funded colleges and universities in Ontario, ONCAT was established in 2011 to enhance academic pathways and reduce barriers for students looking to transfer among those institutions.


Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities    Ontario government ministry that administers the system of publicly-funded postsecondary education in Ontario, including Apprenticeship.


Ontario College Certificate    Credential awarded by an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology or Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on successful completion of an approved one-year program (two or three academic terms). Requires secondary school diploma or mature student status for admission.


Ontario College Advanced Diploma    Credential awarded by an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology or Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on completion of an approved three-year program (six academic terms).


Ontario College Diploma    Credential awarded by an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology or Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on completion of an approved two-year program (four academic terms).


Ontario College Graduate Certificate    Credential awarded by an Ontario College of Applied Arts and Technology or Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning on completion of an approved one-year (two or three academic terms). Requires a college diploma or university degree for admission. Colleges may also consider an equivalent combination of education and related work experience, with each college setting its own specific requirements and equivalencies.


ONTransfer.ca    ONTransfer.ca is a website provided by the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) that connects current and prospective students to transfer opportunities.


Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)    Government loan, grant, scholarship and bursary program. Assistance is based on circumstances and/or academic achievement. Available to full-time and part-time postsecondary students.


Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC)    Central processing centre for applications to Ontario university undergraduate programs.


Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)    OUSA represents the interests of more than 140,000 undergraduate students in seven student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high-quality post-secondary education in Ontario. We advise the provincial government and work with partners across the sector to improve opportunities and the well being of students. Students, on behalf of students, direct our organization. 


OntarioLearn    OntarioLearn is a partnership of 24 Ontario community colleges that have pooled their resources to increase your online learning options. You can search through our course inventory to find a course that you need and then you can register with any partner college offering the course.


Synchronous    No in-person learning requirements; scheduled (time-of-day-dependent) online requirements (may include content delivered via video-conference); fully accessible from where student lives (including any examinations).


Transcript    Document issued by a college or university or other authorized body that legally reports a student's cumulative academic record, courses and credits taken, grades or achievement levels obtained, and credentials earned.


Transfer    The movement of a student from one postsecondary institution to another with credit granted by the receiving institution for courses taken at the sending institution. Provides academic mobility for students while maintaining the quality of educational programs and credentials.


Transfer Credit    Credit granted by one program or institution for courses taken at another program or institution. May apply to core courses deemed equivalent in content or may be used to fulfill optional elective course requirements.


University    Postsecondary institution focusing on teaching, theory and research leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Universities offer academic and professional programs in a wide range of disciplines. Other programming includes specialized professional certificates and diplomas, continuing education, distance education, and collaborative/joint programs with colleges.