Academic Upgrading for Deaf & Hard‑of‑Hearing (Study On‑Campus)

  • A specialized approach to academic upgrading tailored to the needs of the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing

    This program is for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students who want to upgrade their English, American Sign Language (ASL) and Math, and helps increase your chances to be accepted to college and apprenticeship programs, or to find a job. Many of our students go on to successfully attend programs at George Brown and other colleges.

    What you can expect:

    • All courses are taught in ASL and everyone uses ASL.
    • Each course is designed to meet the needs and interests of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.
    • You’ll get career advice, counselling and other supports from the college.

    How it works:

    George Brown Deaf upgrading courses are offered at different levels, right up to ACE (Academic and Career Entrance). ACE credits are recognized by Ontario colleges for admission to college and apprenticeship programs. Many employers recognize the ACE certificate as equal to a high school diploma.

    Finished high school but missing credits?

    • Deaf Academic Upgrading can help you get the ACE English or math credits you need for the program you want. Most students only need to complete 1 or 2 ACE credits for acceptance into their college program.

    Haven’t finished high school?

    • Students who complete 4 ACE credits are eligible for the ACE Certificate, which is accepted as an alternative to the Ontario high school diploma. Many employers also recognize the ACE Certificate as equal to a high school diploma.

    To apply, contact

    Start your upgrading courses with confidence

    • Come and meet with us. Our faculty members are Deaf and use ASL.
    • Take an ASL assessment and a written test in reading and writing.

    Who can apply

    If you are age 19 or older, are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, use ASL and live in Ontario, you can apply.


    Deaf Academic Upgrading is tuition-free for Ontario residents age 19 or older. It is funded by Employment Ontario. Eligible students can apply for transportation subsidies.

    Program length

    Deaf Academic Upgrading courses run 10 hours per week, for 15 weeks, Monday-Friday, starting at the beginning of the semester in September and January at our St. James Campus, 200 King Street East, Toronto.

    Courses begin in September and January. Students are welcome to contact us by email as

    Your program may take from 1-2 years to complete, depending on your other work and personal commitments. Many students study part-time.

    Who to talk to

    Email for more information on how to apply to the Academic Upgrading Program for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing adults.

    How to apply

    Contact us by email at: to apply.