COVID-19 Information

DC is committed to providing students with a high-quality academic experience. For a full list of what is open on campus or operating virtually, please visit our COVID-19 fall semester page. For information about the upcoming winter semester and program delivery methods please visit our COVID-19 winter semester page.  
Learn more about courses and services being offered remotely. COVID-19 Pre-entry Screening Questionnaire Report if you are unwell

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Frequently asked questions

Who is the academic upgrading program for?

Many programs at Durham require students to have a Grade 12 English and/or math credit to enroll.  If students have never taken these courses in high school or they need or want to improve their mark, then upgrading is for you!  Academic Upgrading also offers students an opportunity to get used to a college education lifestyle to help students better prepare for the transition to college courses.

How much does the Academic Upgrading program cost?

The program is funded by the government and as a result, it is FREE for students to attend.

What courses does Academic Upgrading offer?

Currently, we have upgrading courses for those who want to upgrade their Math and English skills.  We have two courses in each strand:

  • ​Pre-Math/English courses which last for approximately 8 weeks.  This course prepares students for the next level and fills in any gaps in student knowledge to better prepare them for the Grade 12 courses
  • Grade 12 Math/English courses which last for approximately 15 weeks
  • Please note: Due to COVID-19, all Academic Upgrading classes are currently running virtually and are not being hosted in class.
What do I earn once I complete the program?

Completing the Grade 12 courses earns students their Grade 12 equivalency in that subject.  This is NOT the same as a Grade 12 diploma.  The equivalency will meet the English and/or math requirements for entrance to any college program in Ontario.


The Pre-English/math courses are not equivalent to anything but better prepare students for the Grade 12 courses.

How many courses can I enroll in? Do I need to take both math and English?

Students will be able to enroll in one math and one English course each semester.


Students do not have to take both math and English if they only need one of those equivalencies, but many students elect to take both to better prepare themselves for the demands of a college program or to refresh their skills.

How long does this process take?

Students can finish their college requirements in a minimum of one semester (4 months) if they are granted direct entry into the Gr.12 program. For students who are taking the Pre-Math and English courses, an additional semester will be required.

How do I register?

Students first need to register for a Steps to Success (S2S) session.  During this session, they will complete student entry paperwork, receive their ID number, as well as write an academic placement assessment for Math and/or English.  The purpose of the assessment is to determine the proper placement for each student (pre-courses or Grade 12 courses).  If students assess at a Pre-English/Math level, then they will need to take both the Pre English and/or Math courses and then complete the Gr.12 courses.

We are happy to announce that we are now offering our Academic Assessments in a virtual format. To get started please email and someone from our office will connect with you to create your personalized learning plan!

How can I prepare for the assessment?

Remember, the assessment is not a pass or fail experience; it simply shows the skills you have gained or lost since you have been away from school. This assessment is only for us to see where your current skills level is at so we can place you in the most appropriate stream.

Reviewing concepts is not necessary, but below are some useful websites you may wish to visit to help you refresh your memory. Remember, the Academic Placement Assessment is not about what you can “cram” before you take the assessment – it is about the skills you already have so we can ensure that the courses you enroll in are best suited to your individual needs.

Math – a review of the following subjects may be helpful: decimals, fractions, metric, order of operations, ratio and proportion, per cents, geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Some useful web sites you may wish to visit include:

English – a review of reading and comprehension and writing skills may be helpful. Some useful web sites you may wish to visit include: