Program Standards and Descriptions

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) oversees the development and review of Program Standards. Program Standards describe the performance-based outcomes expected of a graduate of a particular program. There are more than 200 college programs with Program Standards in Ontario. When a Program Standard exists, Durham College is required to ensure programs and program delivery are consistent with these standards.

Program Standards are created using a comprehensive consultation process. The Standards are reviewed by employers, professional associations, industry, and program graduates currently working in the field for the program. This process helps to ensure programs are designed to meet the needs of employers and students gain the skills they need to be successful.

When a Program Standard does not exist, colleges are required to use existing Program Descriptions validated by the Credential Validation Service (CVS). Program Descriptions are similar to Program Standards in that they provide performance-based outcomes, however they do not include detailed elements of performance and have not been developed using the rigorous development process used when developing a Program Standard.

Program Learning Outcomes

The college has a Program Learning Outcome Repository (PLOR), where program learning outcomes for all Durham College programs are stored. Faculty and staff are able to access and view the program learning outcomes for all programs at the college. Where program standards exist, there are two sets of program learning outcomes, a Ministry version and a local Durham College version. The Ministry set details the Ministry approved program standard. The DC set reflects the modification and/or addition of program learning outcomes (if any) to a Program Standard, which have been validated by CVS. If PLOs need to be updated, the Program Coordinator can discuss this with the Executive Dean/Associate Dean and commence a Major Change process supported by the CAFE.

Here is a set of detailed instructions for faculty and staff on how to navigate the PLOR.