Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I attend Academy Canada?
A. We’re a little biased but we think that there are tons of reasons. Academy Canada has been delivering respected job-readiness training since 1985. We have prepared more than 30,000 alumni for specific careers that are in demand; they have gone on to build great careers across Canada and around the world. The college recruits highly qualified faculty and staff to support all students (regardless of their needs) in a supportive well-equipped learning environment. With monthly start dates you won’t need to wait to begin your career. Programs are offered half-days to allow students to either work or care for families while enrolled. There are several funding sources available to help students finance their education. Many of these allow students to attend school at virtually no cost to them.
Most importantly, our grads get great jobs, earn excellent money and enjoy what they do. What else can you hope for?
Q. How many Academy Canada locations are there?
A. 14. There are three multi-program campuses in St. John’s (2) and Corner Brook as well as 11 Adult Basic Education Learning Centers in Conception Bay South, Placentia, Bonavista, Deer Lake, Baie Verte, St. Anthony, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Sheshatshiu, Lab West, Nain and Hopedale.
Q. How long has the college been in operation?
A. The college has been operating since 1985.
Q. Is Academy Canada licensed/accredited?
A. Yes. All Academy Canada programs, instructors and facilities are fully approved by (and registered with) the provincial government’s Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour (AESL). Apprenticeship trades programs are accredited by the Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board. The college is proud to have an A+ rating (their highest) with the Better Business Bureau and be the only provincial school to be nationally accredited by the Career Colleges Accreditation Program (CCAP).
As well, all facilities meet provincial building and accessibility codes to ensure safety and student comfort.
Q. What does “Independent” or “Private” college mean?
A. There are two types of post-secondary schools in NL. Public schools (College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University) are government-owned and receive taxpayer subsidies to operate.
Independent or Private Colleges are owned and operated by private companies, unions or, in one case a municipality. Independent schools must be licensed by government and are overseen by their legislation/guidelines that ensure that quality training is being delivered. They do not receive any taxpayer subsidies to operate.
Q. I’m an older student. Will I fit in?
A. That’s a very personal question. The answer depends on many things, including your desire to fit in, your attitude and approach. A large percentage of our students come to Academy Canada with significant life experience. In fact, over half of our students 26 years+. Most of them excel in their training and fit in very nicely. Very often they become our school leaders!
Q. What types of programs do you offer?
A. While program offerings evolve over time, we are currently offering 35 diploma programs in the fields of “Construction, Trades and Mining”, “Justice”, “Business, Travel and Computers”, “Creative Studies”, “Animal Care and Nature” and “Adult Basic Education”. Click here for a full list of Diploma programs.
All programs are evaluated and approved by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour.
Programs are full-time and range in duration from 2-24 months. They are introduced into our school in one of three ways; they are either:
Academy Canada’s Corporate and Contract Training Division also offers a wide range of programs tailored and delivered specifically around the needs of clients. Call Jackie White at 1.800.561.8000 for more details.
Q. When do programs start?
A. There are starts in various programs every month (except August). Most programs start 4-6 times per year.
Adult Basic Education classes start every Monday.
Q. How do I pick my courses? My schedule?
A. Academy Canada programs are developed around a standardized set of courses that all students must be completed. There are no electives.
When students start they are assigned to a specific group and, unless they experience difficulty, stay with that class for their entire program.
The college will develop the course order and daily class schedule.
Daily schedules are typically 5-6 hours (Monday-Friday) and can be held between 8am-5pm. In very rare circumstances, night classes running to 8:30pm may be required.
We try to minimize “down time” between classes as much as possible and try to put them back-to-back wherever possible.
Q. Are part time classes available?
A. Our programs are designed for full-time delivery. Unfortunately, part-time studies are rarely available.
Q. What credential do I get when I graduate? Are they recognized across Canada?
A. Academy Canada issues credentials for career-readiness programs at the Diploma level.
Some programs also offer enhanced credentials that students may pursue upon graduation. For example, Massage Therapy grads may choose to write their Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) certification exam.
Apprenticeship Trades students earn an Entry Level Diploma upon graduation. They then participate in the provincial Apprenticeship Certification program as they work toward Journeyperson status. To learn more about the apprenticeship system please click here.
Academy Canada credentials are approved by government and recognized across Canada. In fact, our graduates have successfully obtained employment in every province and many countries around the world.
We also offer Adult Basic Education training at most campuses. Students earn credits that are equivalent to those offered in the High School system. Upon completion of the required 36 Level III credits, students will be eligible to earn their Adult Basic Education/High School Diploma.
Q. How do I get started on a program at Academy Canada?
A. Getting started is easy. Simply call 1-800-561-8000, email email@example.com, facebook us (facebook.com/academycanada) or drop by one of our campuses. A friendly Admissions Officer will guide you through the process. The Academy Canada Admissions Process is quite straightforward and is explained here.
Q. What if I join a program and don’t like it?
A.We want you to be happy with your choice and have staff available to provide good advice every step along the way. If, however, you decide within the first 21 calendar days of a program that it is not for you (for any reason) you can withdraw or transfer to a different program with no financial penalty. If you’ve paid tuition prior to that time it will be fully reimbursed.
Q. Do programs have work-terms? Are they paid or unpaid placements?
A. Many programs have mandatory work-terms that will help you gain valuable work experience. While there is no obligation for employers to pay students, many provide a stipend if they do an outstanding job. The true value in the work-term is the opportunity to gain experience, build contacts and earn a reputation as a hard worker.
Q. What credentials do Academy Canada instructors have? Are they experienced?
A. While government requires college instructors to have a minimum of six years of experience and education in their field of instruction, we strive for much higher qualifications. Most of our instructors have more than 20 years of practical experience, advanced academic credentials and a keen understanding of their field of instruction. Some have bachelor degrees, masters, or PHds while all trades instructors have a Journeyperson certification. As a condition of their employment, instructors must also complete a University-Level Vocational Education training program in addition to their other credentials.
Q. Are your teachers full-time or part-time?
A. 95% of our instructors are full-time employees. This ensures that they are always available to help students.
Q. Are instructors approved by government?
A. Yes. All instructors are individually approved by Department of Advanced Education, Skills, and Labour before they can begin teaching. AESL confirms that they possess the required educational and academic background.
Q. Do teacher need to do any professional development training?
A. As a condition of their employment, all instructors must complete a Diploma of Vocational Education in addition to their other credentials. They also participate in regular staff Professional Development training offered on- and off-campus.
Q. Can I speak to the teacher before I make a final decision on a program?
A. Absolutely. We encourage it! Simply tell your Admissions Officer that you want to meet the teacher and they’ll make it happen.
Q. What types of support services do staff offer?
A. Our team can support students with a wide range of needs, including:
For more information on Student Services please click here.
Q. Is there counselling available?
A. Yes. Career Counselling is available through our Admissions Team and Employment Coordinators. Student Financial Officers provide budgeting and economic planning help. The Campus Student Support Coordinator and Senior Administration are available for personal guidance. When issues go beyond our in-house expertise, we are able to refer students to a wide array of external support services
Q. I have a disability. Are there support available?
A. Absolutely. We pride ourselves on the services we offer to help people with a wide range of disabilities. They can include oral testing, quiet rooms, note-taking, extended evaluation time, etc. See your campus Principal or Admissions Officer for details
Q. Where are your campuses located?
A. Campuses with multiple programs are located in:
Corner Brook at 2 University Drive.
St. John’s at 167-169 Kenmount Road, 37-45 Harding Road and 336 Logy Bay Road.
Adult Basic Education Learning Centres are located in Conception Bay South, Placentia, Bonavista, Deer Lake, Baie Verte, St. Anthony, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Sheshatshiu, Lab West, Nain and Hopedale.
Q. Does Academy Canada have a residence?
A. No. Students live off campus – typically at home, in apartments or at rented houses.
We do have a relationship with Grenfell College in Corner Brook, however, that allows AC students to live in their on-campus housing.
Q. Are campuses on bus routes?
A. Yes. Campuses are easily accessible by public transportation, taxis and private vehicle.
Q. Where do I get a parking permit? How much do they cost?
A. No permits are required. Parking is always free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Q. Do you help graduates get work-terms and jobs?
A. Yes. Our Instructors and Employment Coordinators are very involved in your career planning. They offer job search advice, resume/interview support, job leads and act as excellent references.
Q. What are my chances of getting a job?
A. The true measure of success used by any College is the employability of its graduates. That is why Academy Canada tracks such information as well as relying on third party reports such as the Millennium Scholarship Foundation “Survey of Canadian Career College Graduates” and the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador “Career Search” publication for stats. These reports regularly show that alumni enjoy great success in finding gainful, high paying employment within their fields of study. Like everything in life, however, your chances of employment is greatly affected by your academic performance, attitude, employability and job search skills. Luckily, we can help you hone each of these factors before you graduate!
Q. Should I volunteer while I’m in school?
A. Absolutely! We know time is tight but we recommend students do as much volunteer work as possible for several reasons – your help is greatly needed by a wide range of community groups, it is rewarding, it looks great on a resume, it’s an excellent way to make job contacts and it will differentiate you from other grads when it comes to job search time.
Q. What are my options when paying for my training?
A. There are several sources that students use to pay for their training at Academy Canada, including:
Other students use their savings, work income or help from family to pay tuitions on a monthly basis.
Q. What are your tuition fees? What other fees do I need to budget for?
A. Tuition fees for a full program at Academy Canada vary and range from $3,470 to $21,675.
Students (or their funding agencies) are also responsible for a $30-60 compulsory fee, textbooks and any tools/equipment, if required. Many students purchase used books and tools/equipment to help offset costs. Please see your Admissions Officer for a Cost Breakdown on your specific program.
Q. Why are your tuition fees higher than College of the North Atlantic?
A. Academy Canada is an independent college that does not receive grant subsidies from government to operate. All expenses, therefore, must be paid using revenue from tuition. Since College of the North Atlantic (CNA) receives millions of dollars per year in taxpayer subsidies they are able to charge a lower tuition that is not reflective of the cost of delivering training. Some reports suggest that up to 80% of the real cost of training is actually subsidized.
There are some CNA programs that are not subsidized and are offered on a “cost-recovery basis”. The tuitions in these cases are actually higher than Academy Canada’s – for exactly the same program. The short answer is that tuitions are kept low at CNA because they are heavily subsidized.
It is worth noting that, if a student receives sponsorship to attend school, there is typically no difference in the out-of-pocket costs.
Q. I’m on a 2 year waitlist for College of the North Atlantic (CONA). Should I wait and go there or attend Academy Canada now?
A. That is a very personal decision. First and foremost, we suggest going to the school that best suits your needs and makes you feel most comfortable.
All things being equal, however, there is a very strong financial argument to be made for completing your studies as quickly as possible – even if it means paying more for tuition. This is best shown through an example. Let's assume it is January 2015 and John and Mary are both planning on doing the Electrical program. Since it is an Apprenticeship program, the course at Academy Canada and CNA are exactly the same.
John is 21 years old and is put on the two year waitlist for CONA’s Electrical program. While waiting, he works a full-time minimum wage job. He then attends CNA for three semesters (with a mandatory 4 month summer break) and pays their lower tuition. After graduating (in 2016) he works full-time and starts at $22/hr with a 5% raise every subsequent year. From 2015-18 will have earned a total of $110,098 (from pre-school income, part-time income while in school and income from his career job) and paid out $1,795 in tuition fees. In essence, he will have profited (income less tuition) $109,113 from 2015-2018 by going this route.
Mary is also 21 years old and decides to start school immediately. She enrolls in Academy Canada’s January Electrical intake. She attends school for three straight semesters (no mandatory summer break) and graduates 9 months later in September 2015. In her first job she starts at $22/hr and gets a 5% raise every subsequent year (just like John). From 2015-18 she will have earned $172,751 (from part-time income while in school and income from her career job) and paid tuition of $14,640. In essence, she will have profited $158,111 from 2015-2018 by attending Academy Canada.
This means that by starting with AC immediately Mary will have profited $48,998 ($158,111-$109,113) more than John over a 3 year period. Even though he paid a lower tuition John’s decision actually cost him considerable income.
If the student is being sponsored to go to school and the cost difference is minimal, it makes absolutely no sense to delay the start of your training. In that situation, a decision to delay training actually costs $61,823 - over a short three years.
If you’d like to see the specific calculations used to reach these conclusions please email firstname.lastname@example.org and James would be happy to provide the details.
Q. When do I pay my tuition/fees?
A. Tuition fees and other charges are due and payable at the beginning of each semester. If your funding will be delayed or you would like to arrange a payment plan please see your Campus Business Office. They will do their very best to accommodate your needs. All fees must be paid before you will be permitted to go on work-term (if applicable) or your transcript/diploma can be released.
Q. When/where do I get my textbooks? My tools and equipment?
A. When you register you will receive a full book and tool/equipment list. It will explain what you will need during the program.
Textbooks can be purchased from the Campus Bookstore at the beginning of each semester. Used textbooks are often available from former students (see FAQ below).
Tools/Equipment are sold from the Bookstore for some programs. In other cases they can be purchased at reputable retailers around town. Your Instructor can provide valuable advice on what/where to buy.
Q. Can I get used textbooks?
A. Yes. The Academy Canada Facebook page (facebook.com/academycanada) is a good place to find people selling books. Prior to buying used books we encourage you to speak with your instructor to ensure that they are the correct edition.
Q. Do Academy Canada students qualify for government sponsorship, aboriginal programs, student aid, RESP programs, etc?
A. Yes, yes and yes. Virtually all of our students receive funding from one or more of these sources.
Q. Are there scholarships/bursaries available? How do I get one?
A. Yes. Academy Canada has partnered with numerous community groups (ie VOCM Cares, Women In Resource Development, IBEW, NL Construction Association, etc) to offer scholarships specific to our students. There are also many scholarships that are offered to any students attending any accredited school (including AC). Regardless, it is up to the student to apply based on specific criteria. More details can be found here.
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