Durham College and OACETT launch free student membership pilot

Durham College is partnering with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) to undertake a six-year pilot program to determine the value of offering free memberships to students in engineering and applied science programs.

The pilot project will follow a single cohort of students through their two- or three-year college program, as well as the three-year period following graduation. Durham College recognizes the value employers place on professionals with a certification and that OACETT members and graduates from engineering and applied science programs go on to earn their certification as a Certified Technician (C.Tech) or a Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.).

“We recognize the value of having industry certifications and the advantage they give graduates in a competitive job market,” said Tony Doyle, executive dean of Science, Engineering and Information Technology, at Durham College. “That’s why we are proud to introduce students to the OACETT and its certifications early in their studies to offer them opportunities to gain additional skills, training and mentorship that will help kick start their careers. We are thankful to OACETT for selecting us to partner with them on this pilot project.”

The pilot program will also include offering OACETT’s Professional Practice Exam (PPE) – one of the requirements for certification – while the students are still studying at DC, giving participating students advanced standing in achieving their C.Tech or C.E.T.

“There are two schools of thought about student membership in associations,” said Cheryl Farrow, CEO of OACETT. “One theory is that when students have to pay even a nominal fee, they are more personally committed and are more likely to convert to full membership upon graduation.  Another theory is that if membership is free, there is the potential to sign up more students, and even if not all of them become engaged, there still may be more that convert to full membership than from the smaller number of paid student members.”

The pilot will be available to students in the following programs: