DC to a degree: Explore your options at the Pathways Fair

From stepping next door to Ontario Tech University to experiencing an adventure overseas, there are a world of possibilities for students looking to apply their Durham College (DC) credentials as credits towards a Bachelor’s degree.

Whether you’re just starting your DC journey and looking towards the future, or closing in on graduation and exploring your next steps, knowing your options can help you target the perfect opportunity. DC has pathway agreements with institutions both in Canada and internationally that allow students to receive advance standing towards a degree equivalent to up to two years of study.

“At Durham College, there are over 1,000 different pathway options for our students to explore,” said Alexandra Bursey, Manager, Credit Transfer, Pathways and PLAR. “I always recommend students think of their career goals, and work backwards to figure out what kind of credentials they must earn to get there.”

Students can browse options via DC’s transfer guide where pathways are listed by program. For example, an Early Childhood Education diploma has more than a dozen pathways including a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies and Digital Technology from Ontario Tech University or a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Studies from Trent University. International pathways are available to pursue a degree in Australia, Ireland or the United States.

“By leveraging your DC credential into a pathway, you are truly gaining the best of both worlds,” said Bursey. “Not only can students earn a degree in less time and for less money, they are gaining theoretical knowledge to go along with the practical skills they learned at DC. As we know, the labour market values postsecondary credentials in a candidate, and it is imperative to offer students options to pursue further education.

DC’s annual Pathways Fair is a great place to start exploring and a chance to meet with representatives from schools looking to connect with DC students.

This year’s fair will be held on February 6 at the Whitby campus in the Front Atrium and on February 7 at the Oshawa campus in The Pit/South Wing Hall with 23 institutions attending to answer questions about credit transfers, programs and campus life.

Visit the Pathways Fair website before attending to browse partner institution profiles within Ontario, across Canada and internationally and check your eligibility for admission. You can also check out the fair schedule to target institutions you’re interested in for follow-up questions and read our FAQ on transferring.

Attending the Pathways Fair? Register to be entered for a chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card.

Supporting rising mental health demands through responsive programming

In her job as an Emergency Room nurse, Grace Li sees the pressing demand for mental health services in the community every day.

Hope Peters saw the same critical need as she trained to become a police officer.

And data supports what Li and Peters are seeing firsthand. A recent study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontariomore than 60 per cent of students struggle with mental health before starting college. A February report from Toronto-based non-profit People for Education found that 91 per cent of schools were in need of mental health supports, largely a result of the pandemic and the toll it’s taken on young learners.

Though both Li and Peters have had incredibly different experiences in their capacities as first responders, they share a common goal: to develop the necessary skills to help address the increasing demand for mental health supports in the community.

To meet this urgent demand, Durham College (DC) has launched a brand-new Honours Bachelor of Community Mental Health (HBCMH) degree program, slated to start this September, and Li and Peters are among its first applicants.

“I chose DC’s Honours Bachelor of Community Mental Health degree program so I could learn about the many aspects of mental health,” said Peters. “My previous post-secondary classes were entirely virtual so I’m excited to interact with my classmates and professors in person again.”

Students in the HBCMH program will combine theory-based knowledge with hands-on learning in the community through a field placement in any one of a number of spaces such as public health facilities, hospitals, private counselling offices or social services. There they will put their knowledge and skills to use while immediately supporting the urgent needs of the community.

“My goal is to try and learn new approaches for mental health and law enforcement to ensure that not only are police officers equipped with knowledge and skills, but also those going through a crisis have their rights protected and receive the help they need,” said Peters.

Interested in a career in mental health? Visit our programs and courses page to learn about the HBCMH program as well as others that prepare students with the skills needed to be in demand in their chosen field.

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Grace Li (front left) and Hope Peters (front right) are welcomed by Ralph Hofmann, executive dean (back right) and Joanne Spicer, associate dean (back left) of the Faculty of Social & Community Services for a campus visit in February.