Academic Upgrading Program (A751)

Academic Upgrading
School of Work and College Preparation
St. James Campus
1 to 3 semesters depending on student’s goals
George Brown College Certificate
Academic Upgrading is a tuition-free, full-time program for English-speaking adults, designed to improve their reading, writing, math and science skills. The program prepares students for college level post-secondary studies, further skills training, apprenticeship or employment. Students create individualized learning plans based on their goals. For acceptance into the program, applicants complete a reading and writing assessment to determine their literacy levels and eligibility for the program. While in the program, students are provided with advising services and may be eligible for a transportation allowance. The program runs year round and has a monthly intake.

Full Program Descriptions


Academic Upgrading is a program for English-speaking adults who need to upgrade their communications, math and science skills in order to prepare for college level post-secondary programs, apprenticeship or employment.

Communications courses are offered at the following levels of study:

  • Foundations
  • Pre-ACE
  • ACE (Academic and Career Entrance, Grade 12C equivalent course for college admission purposes)

Math courses are offered at the following levels of study:

  • ACE Workplace Math
  • ACE Business Math (Grade 12C equivalent course for college admission purposes)
  • ACE Apprenticeship Math (Grade 12C equivalent course for college or Apprenticeship admission purposes)
  • ACE Technology Math (Grade 12C equivalent course for college admission purposes)

Science Courses (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) are offered only at the ACE level for college admission purposes.

The Academic Upgrading program also offers academic and vocational counselling. Program length varies for each student according to their beginning level, their goals and their progress.

This program has intake throughout the year. Prospective students participate in an assessment of reading and writing skills to determine academic preparedness for participation.

Students begin the program with a three-week orientation to determine their appropriate upgrading class level, and create a learning goal plan. Applicants not fluent in English may be referred to an English as a Second Language program.

Students may be eligible for a transportation allowance.

There are no fees. This program is funded by the Employment Ontario branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Program Standards and Learning Outcomes  

Every credential at George Brown College delivers detailed program learning outcomes that are discipline specific and aligned with the appropriate credential level. Program learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate by the end of their program of study.

In addition to the learning outcome requirements, College programs are required to provide students with exposure to a breadth of learning beyond their core disciplinary or vocational field, to increase their awareness of the society and culture in which they live and work. This breadth requirement is addressed for College programs through additional mandatory General Education or Liberal Studies courses in the program curriculum. Also, programs are designed to provide essential transferrable skills (referred to sometimes as essential employability skills), which include: communication, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving, information management, interpersonal and personal skills, among others.

To see the relevant program learning outcomes for your specific program of study, please visit

Course Outline

Required Courses 

Courses will vary depending on students’ goals and their current level of study.

semester courses
Code Course name
BIOL7104 ACE - Biology
CHEM7104 ACE - Chemistry
PHY7104 ACE - Physics
COMP7101 ACE Computer Studies
COMP7110 Quick Strike Computers
ENGL7028 Foundations Communications
ENGL7030 Pre-ACE- Communications
ENGL7101 ACE Communications
ENGL7108 Quick Strike Communications
ENGL7125 U-Level ACE Communications
MATH7101 ACE Math for Technology
MATH7102 ACE Math for Apprenticeship
MATH7103 ACE Math for Business
MATH7105 ACE Workplace Math
MATH7109 Quick Strike Mathematics
MATH7125 U-Level ACE Mathematics
PREP7026 Core Skills
PREP7138 ACE Personal and Professional Exploration
PREP7140 Pre-Health Summer Institute

Careers and Post-Graduate Study Opportunities

Tuition and Fees


There are no fees. This program is funded by Employment Ontario through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

How to Qualify and Apply

Admission Requirements  

  • Admission assessment
  • Fluency in English
  • Mature student status (19 years of age or older)

Suitable for adults planning to begin a new career or enrol in apprenticeship.

Call 416-415-5000 ext. 3560 or email to attend a program information session.

How Do I Apply to the Program  

George Brown College’s Academic Upgrading program offers intakes into the program every month. Information sessions are held weekly and everyone is welcome to attend a session to determine if this program is right for them in preparing for their post-secondary, employment or apprenticeship goals.

For information on upcoming information sessions, please call 416-415-5000, ext. 3560 or email

In order to apply for Academic Upgrading, all learners will complete a reading and writing assessment. Appointments for assessments are made during the information session. Assessment sessions are booked weekly throughout the year as space permits.

Apply To

Contact Us

Contact Us  

For more information, call 416-415-5000, ext. 3560 or email

Want to explore different options for post-secondary programs and careers?

Join our free week-long CHOICES class, offered at St. James Campus. To learn more about CHOICES, visit, email or phone 416-415-5000, ext. 2949.

Want to upgrade for post-secondary or apprenticeships online?

ACE level classes in math, sciences, computers and communications are available online through our ACE Distance Program! Visit or email for more information.

Are you Deaf or hard-of-hearing?

George Brown also offers Academic Upgrading for Deaf and hard-of-hearing adults. Visit for more information.

If you are a Deaf or hard-of-hearing adult and would like to study online, you can join Deaf Learn Now. Visit for more information.

Visit Our Campus  

The Academic Upgrading program office is located within the School of Work and College Preparation. The office is in room 524A at 200 King St. E. (St. James Campus, “A” building), Toronto.

Book a general campus tour to see the common areas of the campus (i.e. cafeteria, student services, the gym, etc.) or explore our virtual tour.

George Brown College is continually striving to improve its programs and their delivery. The information contained in this calendar is subject to change without notice. It should not be viewed as a representation, offer or warranty. Students are responsible for verifying George Brown College admission, graduation, and fee requirements as well as any requirements of outside institutions, industry associations, or other bodies that may award additional designations concurrently with, or after completion of, a George Brown College program.