This article from an unlikely source describes an interesting phenomenon that happens in Ontario – and as best we can tell – only in Ontario.
International students in STEM fields are struggling to gain admission to many Canadian universities and college campuses due to a lack of essential course prerequisites in their country of schooling.
International students as a whole also face intense pressure on them to succeed but a leading online school principal in Ontario says there are things students can do to ensure they will be well prepared to study in Canada.
“We have been able to help thousands of students achieve success,” says Gary Michael, principal of the Ontario Virtual School (OVS).
In the past dozen years, the Ontario Ministry of Education-accredited online school has grown to now offer more than 130 courses taught to upwards of 9,000 students all over the world by more than 100 certified instructors.
For quite sometime, the province of Ontario have allowed private K-12 online learning schools – assuming they have a Ministry of Education school identification code – to grant credits to fully online students… regardless of where they live. Over a decade ago, we published a brief issue paper entitled Waves Across the Oceans in 2012 that described this practice by the Virtual High School.
In fact, even public school districts can get involved in this practice. Based on data collected through our annual study, we have reported that:
Ontario’s publicly funded school boards may offer online programs to students living outside of Ontario provided they do not use the provincial learning management system which is licensed for use only by Ontario students and educators. A credit is granted in recognition for the successful completion of a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours. Credits are granted by a principal on behalf of the Minister of Education for courses that have been developed or approved by the Ministry. For the purpose of granting a credit, scheduled time is defined as the time during which students participate in planned learning activities designed to lead to the achievement of the curriculum expectations of a course.
Both of these provisions pre-date the existing government. And both of these provisions are unique to Ontario.