I am preparing to present at the annual conference for the New England Association of College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) in early June to give a presentation on Canadian universities for guidance counsellors from the New England area. As a long time counsellor specializing in university decision-making, I head south every year to hear the latest changes to the admissions processes for students applying to US universities. I believe Canadian students have a wealth of post-secondary educational opportunities in Canada, the US and around the world so I try to stay abreast of developments in the world of university admissions. I have no agenda for where students should apply but try to ensure they are informed with relevant information about whatever university options they might have, be it in Canada, the US, the UK or other areas of the world. I also feel it is important to share information regarding Canadian universities with our UScounterparts, who are painfully unaware of what Canada has to offer.
A part of the presentation discusses relevant resources that are available both in print and on the web regarding Canadian universities. As an author of a long running university resource, For Grads Only, one of my passions is locating new and relevant sources of trustworthy information which students can use in the decision-making process. For years, I used the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) website as a primary resource to search which Canadian universities offer particular programs. AUCC has just rebranded itself as University Canada (www.univcan.ca) and have created the University Study Canada website (www.universitystudy.ca). There you can search university and programs as well as finding a wealth of information about both English and French degree granting institutions. While eInfo (electronicinfo.ca ) is also great, it is limited to Ontario and I prefer students to see all the Canadian opportunities they have. A print resource I recently picked up from University Canada really impressed me. Now in its 49th edition, the Directory of Canadian Universities (2015) is not a publication I have seen on many guidance office bookshelves. That said, it should be. Why? It provides useful, factual information about the Canadian universities without opinions, rankings or any kind of judgement about the institutions. It provides a description of the university, its philosophy, size, location, relevant costs as well as information about housing. While the information can also be found on the website, I believe the physical presence of a printed resource which students see on the shelf of the Guidance Centre can serve as a wonderful motivator for students to look beyond the name of an institution and discover relevant information which impacts the student experience. With the current high school graduating class facing decisions about their years at university, encourage them to thoroughly research their options before checking the box.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA