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The Continuing Education (CE) unit provides expertise in the design, development and offering of non-degree professional development and personal enrichment learning opportunities in a variety of delivery formats—online, blended, classroom and conference.

The CE team creates educational opportunities for a wide range of lifelong learners, which facilitates access to the University’s teaching and research expertise. Customized education and
training programs are designed for partners and clients to help meet organizational and professional development goals.

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NEW Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate

OpenEd launched the new Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in 2021, in partnership with the Department of Family Relations & Applied Nutrition (FRAN) in the College of Social and Applied Human Science (CSAHS).

The Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate delivers research and evidence-based plant-based nutrition information to health professionals, nutritional educators, food service managers and individuals who want to become more knowledgeable about the science of plant-based diets.

By participating in the program, learners can implement a plant-based diet, provide information to others, and address common concerns in implementing and following a plant-based diet. The program investigates how to achieve the required nutrients for optimum health, and the management and prevention of disease while implementing a plant-based diet.

Each course in this online, asynchronous program is four weeks in length; a total of five required and two elective courses must be completed to earn the Certificate.

Registration opened in Fall 2021 with the first courses launching in January 2022.

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CAUCE 2021 Program Award Winner – Online Horticulture Studies

The Online Horticulture Studies program was the recipient of the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) 2021 Program Award for non-credit programming over 48 hours.

The CAUCE Program Awards honor credit and non-credit university continuing education programs and courses at CAUCE member institutions for excellence in achieving their educational objectives.

The Online Horticulture Studies program OpenEd extends the teaching and research expertise of the University of Guelph in the fields of horticulture and landscape design to non-traditional learners. After undergoing a substantial redevelopment and relaunching in Fall of 2019 – the program continued to see unprecedented growth over 2021 after nearly doubling its enrollments in the first year after re-launching.

With 3866 enrollments and 73 course offerings in 2021 across all horticulture programs, enrolment increased 30% over 2020. With every course full and waitlists at capacity, we added additional sections of many core and elective courses to accommodate the growing demand.

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2020-2021 – D2L Innovation Guild Research Grant Recipient

Closing the Skills Gap: The Value of Micro-Credentials to Canadian Employers

Project Type: Emerging Research
Guild Theme(s): Learning in 2030
Lead PI: Natalie Green, University of Guelph
Co-PI: Jennifer Grochocinski, University of Guelph
Research Partners: Canadian Chamber of Commerce, D2L

Supported by funding provided by D2L’s (Desire2Learn) Innovation Guild Research Grant, Natalie Green and Jennifer Grochocinski partnered with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and D2L in a research project to gain insight into Canadian employer’s familiarity with micro-credentials, determine if micro-credentials are acceptable to employers as a signal of competence and accomplishment, and acquire perspectives that can inform a post-secondary strategy on micro-credentials.

Graphic that says, "D2L Research Grant Recipient"

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Accessibility Conference Goes Virtual

After not being able to offer the Accessibility Conference in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, we were thrilled to be able to offer the conference in a virtual format from May 25-27, 2021. Over the course of three days, over 300 conference attendees had access to three live half-day workshops and 32 live concurrent sessions with over 52 presenters.

The closing keynote presentation featured David Lepofsky, Professor of Disability Rights and Legal Education from Osgoode Hall Law School at the University of Toronto. Mr. Lepofsky spoke to the Ontario Government’s release of draft recommendations on what should be included in the promised Education Accessibility Standard for K-12 and post-secondary education, including requirements on digital accessibility. The talk focused on what the key issues and challenges will be and how to turn this opportunity into a new promising reality for students with disabilities.

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OpenEd & YWCA partner to deliver Data Science Certificate

OpenEd has partnered with the YWCA Hamilton and YWCA Cambridge to offer the Data Science Certificate as part of the YWCA’s Uplift program. The Uplift Program provides women and non-binary people with the opportunity to reskill or upskill through certification training and additional supports related to navigating non-traditional workplaces and job development. During and after certification, the YWCA provides wraparound services to support participants, mentorship and job development supports.

The partnership will see a total of four cohorts of 20-25 women complete the three courses that form the Data Science Certificate: Introduction to Data Science, Data Mining and Machine Learning, and Big Data Analytics. As part of this partnership, OpenEd developed a pre-program module to orient students to the field of data science and prepare them for their upcoming studies. The first cohort graduated in November 2021!

This unique partnership is an example of academic institutions can work with community partners to achieve positive social and employment outcomes.

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Taking Science to the Stable Summer 2021 Equine Webinar Series

After a successful first run in 2020, the Equine Webinar Series ran again in Summer 2021. This summer’s Equine Webinar Series, hosted by Equine Guelph and OpenEd, focused on applying equine research and evidence-based practices to the health and welfare of horses, providing attendees with practical ways to apply the science to their everyday interaction with horses and the equine industry.

Each webinar highlighted the guest speakers and instructors who facilitate our Equine Studies Online courses, who were eager to share their knowledge around many current topics of interest to the equine industry.

The six webinars in this series had a total of 1956 registrations and have been viewed an additional 373 times online.

The following webinars were offered:

  • Turning Science into Stories for Horse Owners
    Speaker: Emily Esterson
  • Routine Equine Handling Using Low Stress and Cooperative Care Techniques
    Speaker: Dr. Robin Foster
  • What’s Next? How to Restart Your Business After a Shutdown
    Speakers: Kathy Fremes & Dr. Julie Fischer
  • Equine Nutrition Series: A three-part series presented by Don Kapper
    • Part 1: Broodmare Management and Nutrition
    • Part 2: Feeding the Suckling, Weanling and Yearling, plus Managing and Feeding the Orphaned Foal
    • Part 3: Performance Nutrition - Feeding and Management of the Performance Horse

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H2: Text image that reads: Student Feedback.

Jennifer Walterhouse | 2021 Graduate & Facilities Services Analyst, Durham District School Board

Opening quotation mark.I thoroughly enjoyed the Diploma is School Board Administration program. I was able to work at a good pace where I could take the time I needed to absorb the information. The instructors were fantastic—attentive, present, and available for discussion and consultation.

I continue to use what I learned and have recently accepted a promotion to a Facilities Services Analyst role. I would love to extend my education and work towards another certificate."

Shaila Jamal | 2021 Data Science Certificate Graduate

Opening quotation mark.I like how the program is designed, especially in terms of providing support in understanding the concepts. Instructors and TAs were very helpful and responsive.

I will recommend this program to anyone with basic statistical and programming knowledge and who wants to enhance their knowledge of data mining, visualization and big data analytics.

Sarah Bannerman | 2021 Diploma in Human Resources Management Graduate

Opening quotation mark.Five years ago, as a single mom, I searched for a program that was offered in the evenings so I could still work during the day. Two courses into another institution's program, I came across the University of Guelph's Diploma in Human Resources Management program and it sparked something deep within me. In the program, the instructors shared their real-world experiences, which helped the material sink in easier, and the program had a hands-on approach to learning.

I am currently studying for my CHRP designation and know I will succeed; this journey has taught me that. I truly couldn’t have done it without the support of the amazing instructors’ and coordinators at OpenEd. Thank you!"

Samuel Williams, PhD., RP |  Hopeful Presence, Individual and Couple Therapy

Opening quotation mark.The courses I took as part of the Advanced Certificate in Couple and Family Therapy Studies program were informative and intriguing, and addressed current issues. It has helped me to grow in myself awareness as a therapist, gain a clinical understanding of situations  involving couples and families, and strengthened my clinical skills and professionalism. Most importantly, it gave me a rich opportunity to learn with and from my peers."

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The English Language Programs (ELP) unit offers English language learners an opportunity to develop their language ability, academic skills and overall understanding of Canadian culture.

The unit provides pathways for students interested in studying in undergraduate and graduate degree programs and serves students from many different countries and backgrounds who simply want to improve their academic English skills.

English Language Programs have been developed to meet the English language requirements of international students entering undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the University of Guelph, and provide a supported transition to student life in Canada.

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English Language Programs (ELP) celebrated its 19th birthday this year. Our first students started studying with us in 2002.

The English Language Certificate Program (ELCP) has experienced an overall 90% retention rate after more than six years.

New Course & Program Developments and Redevelopments

We developed over 20 new course curricula, including online Courselink components.

In collaboration with Ridgetown campus, we developed a detailed proposal for an English Pathway to Associate Diploma Program aimed at Panamanian Students.

The Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP) was expanded to include the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Quality Assurance

We successfully completed our two-year maintenance review, exceeding the high standards set by Languages Canada.

Provincial, National and International Association Engagement

As Co-Chair of the Languages Canada Quality Assurance Committee, Julian Inglis, ELP Business Development and Program Manager, led a multi-year project to update standards and to incorporate new provisions for remote learning.

Bill Hodges, ELP Academic Coordinator and Head Teacher, served on the TESL Ontario Colleges and Universities Committee.

ELP Lead Instructors Ling Hu, Nataliya Borkovska and David Siefker, alongside Bill Hodges, continue to be active with TESOL International and TESL Ontario.

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We continued to develop agent relationships; we now have 39 active agents representing over 50 countries.

Several Korean and Japanese university partnerships were developed and renewed; we now have 16 active Partners in Japan and Korea.

Infographic about ELP presentations.

Infographic about ELP presentations.

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Zhila | Graduate Preparation Diploma Student, Iran

Opening quotation mark.Before studying GPP [Graduate Preparation Program], I attended different programs to improve my English language; however, the appropriate academic skills for university purpose had not been taught to me in those institutes. By attending GPP, I learnt how to write academic essays as well as critical analysis for articles; moreover, by giving presentations and lectures during the program, I eventually became more self-confident as a university student."

Kiana | ELCP Valedictorian, Fall 2021

Opening quotation mark.ELCP [English Language Certificate Program] is not just an English course. Canada is a multicultural country, and I had amazing classmates from different countries. We could build up friendships and had great moments together. We laughed a lot and helped each other in different situations, and I could see we are all moving forward because all of us tried hard."

Mario | ELCP Valedictorian, Fall 2021

Opening quotation mark.Some of us joined ELCP [English Language Certificate Program] to major in English literature, others to study biology, others to study agriculture. I’m going to study mechanical engineering. This program for me was the bridge that I had to take to get there and I could tell you one thing, It was a journey I will never forget."