ACE Credentials and Equivalencies

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Ontario Credentials for ACE, TOWES, GED, OSSD

WhatWhat is it?Target AudienceProcessOutcome
ACEAcademic and Career Entrance program is an adult upgrading certificate program approved for delivery in all 24 colleges through preparatory/upgrading programs.
ACE is the updating and renaming of the Basic Training for Skills Development (BTSD) program approved in 1965 for College delivery.
Delivered exclusively by colleges
Provincially Developed and Recognized Credential
Adult students seeking admission to a post- secondary college program or an apprenticeship who either did not receive their OSSD or have an OSSD but are missing the courses (usually math and science) required for post- secondary admission.
Assessment at intake to determine courses required based on student goal.
Completion of two mandatory courses: (English/Francais, Math) and two other courses chosen based on student’s goal.
Qualifying students receive training free of charge and may also receive financial support to cover child care and travel costs through OBS funding.
Time required depends on previous education and student commitment – usually 6 to 9 months
  • College certificate recognized as equivalent to an OSSD by colleges
  • Appropriate preparation to succeed in the full range of college post-secondary programs
  • Accepted by Apprenticeship as OSSD equivalent
  • Accepted by many employers as OSSD equivalent for hiring and advancement purposes
TOWESTest of Workplace Essential Skills
Testing available primarily through colleges. Some not-for-profit agencies may also arrange testing.
Nationally Developed and Recognized Credential
Job seekers, employees and employers requiring alternate certification for hiring and advancement purposes
Educators needing to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses to develop focused intervention strategies especially for clients with employment goals.
Test – Price is based on cost identified by the supplier, Bow Valley College, but is currently less than $75.00. Test takes two hours.
Students not receiving the test score required can access TOWES remediation training in order to rewrite the test
  • Scores on document use, reading text and numeracy tests which reflect workplace tasks.
  • Compared to NOC codes for level required.
  • Alternate credential to OSSD for employment purposes
  • Note: is not accepted as equivalent for admission to college post secondary programs
GEDGeneral Educational Development Testing
Recognized by colleges, apprenticeship and employers as equivalent to an OSSD.
GED preparation delivered by a variety of community based, school board and college deliverers depending on the community
Internationally/Nationally Recognized Credential
People over 18 yrs. and older and out of school for at least one year who do not have an OSSD.Series of multiple choice tests: writing (includes writing a short essay), social studies, science, literature and the arts, math.
Takes up to 7 hours to write, Cost $80.00 for the test.
GED preparation course costs vary depending on the delivery agency and may be free of charge in some instances.
  • Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate
  • Note: students applying for post-secondary college programs requiring specific math and science courses will still need to successfully complete these courses in a college upgrading or high school credit program.
OSSDOntario Secondary School Diploma
Delivered by Ministry of Education agencies including Ontario School Boards and the Independent Learning Centre (ILC).
Provincially Delivered and Recognized Credential
Students who withdrew from high school without completing their OSSD requirements seeking to move on to further education or employment which requires an OSSD.Students who withdrew from high school without completing their diploma requirements seeking to move on to further education or employment
Enrollment in an adult education program in a school board program. Assessment determines subjects and credits required to qualify for an OSSD
Contact the local school board or the Independent Learning Centre (ILC)for an accurate determination of appropriate route to an OSSD.
Free of charge
  • OSSD recognized by educational institutions, apprenticeship and employers
Skills people use to carry out a wide variety of everyday life and work tasks. These skills are not the technical skills required by a particular occupation but rather the skills applied in all occupations. HRSD and other national and international organizations have identified 9 Essential Skills (reading text, document use, numeracy, writing, oral communication, working with others, thinking skills, computer use, and continuous learning).
Internationally and Nationally recognized skills
There is not a specific Essential Skills course. It has provided a common language which can be used in the development of courses and training initiatives especially for workplace and workforce development.
Major focus of the Federal and Ontario Governments.
  • TOWES is the one credential specifically articulated to Essential Skills
  • Increasing awareness of Essential Skills in curriculum development in College Upgrading Programs

Source: College Sector Committee for Adult Upgrading

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