The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) is celebrating the opening of the University of Toronto's first-ever centre for adult learners. The centre is housed in the School's building at 158 St. George St., and its opening marks a new phase in the relationship between SCS, U of T and the larger community.
"It's the first time that adult learners and their instructors have a home on the U of T campus -- a place that they can call their own," says Mary Cone Barrie, director of the School of Continuing Studies.
A key feature of the renovated building is its two-storey glass facade on St. George Street. While the School's courses continue to be held across the U of T campus and in places outside Toronto, 158 St. George St. gives students and teachers a central place to learn and to meet informally outside the classroom. The building includes meeting rooms, a cafe, a concierge's desk, a student lounge and a presentation centre that is hard-wired for multimedia access.
The school is celebrating the opening of its new home with the launch of an exciting year-long program of special events open to students and the public. The mix of events ranges from authors' readings and student art shows to lectures and panel discussions with experts on politics, economics, social issues and culture. One of the events is called Philosophy Cafe and constitutes a series of 10 Sunday-brunch forums that offer participants an extraordinary chance to join internationally recognized scholars in discussions on the meaning of humanity.
The School of Continuing Studies is an academic division of the University of Toronto.
It provides continuing education and continuing professional development to serve the needs of adult learners 18 years and older. This year it offers 857 non-credit courses and 37 certification programs at a standard of excellence that only Canada's best research university can provide.
The School's courses are available at the St. George campus in downtown Toronto, in locations outside Toronto, including Aurora, Markham, Mississauga (at UTM), Oakville and Orangeville, and through distance education around the world.
Classrooms on wheels
Albertans living in remote communities will no longer have to go to school to learn a trade -- school will come to them.
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology unveiled two classrooms on wheels Monday as part of the school's $4-million aboriginal education initiative.
The transport truck and trailer units come equipped with desks, power tools and enough floor space to provide trades training to 100 aboriginal students each year.
Dustin Brertton, 20, from the Saddle Lake First Nation, said the portable classrooms will help ease high unemployment in First Nations communities.
"It's hard for a lot of people to leave home to learn a trade," said Brertton, a welding student at NAIT. "Some communities are really isolated. These will make it a lot easier to get job skills."
In January, they will be hauled to remote communities such as Conkin, Janvier and Slave Lake where they will remain for eight weeks at a time, training a maximum of 12 people in a number of different trades.
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