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Additional Qualifications Online Application System

You may use this system to:

  • Apply for Additional Qualifications courses
    (Note that a valid email address and credit card are required)
  • Check the registration status of your application
  • Update your current contact information
LEADERSHIP, HIGHER &  ADULT EDUCATION

 Frequently Asked Questions 

This page addresses some frequently asked questions about the Adult Education and Community Development program. For questions related specifically to application requirements, visit the Registrar's Office.

If you have specific inquiries that are not addressed on this page, e-mail your question to the Graduate Programs Coordinator. 

Where is the program located?
What is the satisfactory Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) for admission in the AECD program? 
As an MA applicant, should my statement of intent include OISE faculty members with whom I am interested in working or is this requirement more relevant for Doctoral applicants? 
Based on your experience, do you have any recommendations/suggestions on what best to include in my Statement of Intent? 
Since admission to this program (and to the OISE by extension) is highly competitive, can you share with me what are the desired characteristics for admitting a student? 
How can I learn about activism and improve my activism while a student in the program? 
What are the differences between the MA and MEd programs? 
How many courses are normally required in each degree program? 
Do I need to take the course LHA1100H (Introduction to Adult Education) in the first semester of my program of study? 
What are the differences between being a part-time and a full-time student? 
How much time do the programs take to complete? 
Can I take courses outside of the program? 
Can I see course outlines before selecting courses? 
Can I take a research course from another OISE program to fulfil my research course requirement?What research courses are available in the program? 
How are classes in the program formatted? 
Will I be able to bring my own life experience to the program? 
Are there opportunities to complete a practicum? 
Is it possible to do two collaborative programmes during my course of study or must I choose between the two? 
What is the difference between my advisor and my supervisor? 
What happens if my Faculty Advisor retires or leaves the university during the course of my program of study? Can I change my faculty advisor? 
What are the thesis expectations? 
What happens if my thesis supervisor is on study leave or leaves the university? 
Does the program have any partnerships or collaborations with other departments? 
How can I become involved in research activities? 
What are research centres and how can I become involved? 
Are there opportunities for interaction with other programs or organizations? 
What sorts of careers do graduates of your program enter? 
Does this program certify me as an Human Resources professional?

Where is Adult Education and Community Development located?

The AECD faculty are located on the 7th floor and the administrative staff are on the 6th floor of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto at 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto. Individuals can enter OISE directly from the subway, without having to go to street level.

As an MA applicant, should my statement of intent include OISE faculty members with whom I am interested in working or is this requirement more relevant for Doctoral applicants?

It is a good idea to mention 1-3 faculty members who you feel would be able to assist you, and/or with whom you'd like to take courses and how this would contribute to your stated goals.

Based on your experience, do you have any recommendations/suggestions on what best to include in my Statement of Intent?

Something brief about your background; a carefully constructed (and referenced) statement of your scholarly focus/goals and core books/researchers that orient you in this;  how this relates to faculty/courses; a brief statement on your planned time-line to completion.

Since admission to this program (and to the OISE by extension) is highly competitive, can you share with me what are the desired characteristics for admitting a student?

A strong academic background; a strong experiential background related to your scholarly focus/goals; a clear and well-written statement of interest/plan for your work in the degree; evidence of scholarly writing ability (a writing sample); and strong evidence of your abilities based on referees.

What is the satisfactory Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) for admission in the AECD program?

Students applying to the doctoral degree in Adult Education and Community Development must have a Master's degree in adult education or a related area and normally with a standing equivalent to B+ or better. The  expectation is that it be a thesis-based Masters, though if it is not, an undergraduate thesis would also be acceptable.  In the event that none of the prospective student’s degrees include a thesis, the applicant is required to submit a Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) to be handed in directly to the department no later than December 12.  A QRP is an original and rigorous piece of research that is considered a masters thesis equivalent and that is solo authored, with a length between 50 and 90 double-spaced pages, and with methodology and theoretical perspective spelled out as appropriate.

For more general OISE information about QRPs (and please note that Adult Education’s criteria for the QRP are higher), please see the Guidelines for the QRP Information Sheet.

How can I learn more about activism and improve my activism while a student in the program?

There are a number of courses that directly deal with activism learning that you can take.  These include but are not limited to: Community Development: Innovative Models;  Community Organizing and Development;  Creative Empowerment
Work with the Disenfranchized;  Queer Interventions: Tools for Community Organizing; and Working with Survivors of Trauma.  You can also do a thesis in this area. Correspondingly, do consider hooking up with our unique activist centre --The Transformative Learning Centre: Centre for Community Activism.

What are the differences between the MA and MEd degree programs?

The Master of Education (MEd) is a professional, non-thesis degree that introduces students to practical applications and theoretical concepts for use in a wide variety of adult learning and community development environments. The Master of Arts (MA) is a thesis-based degree intended for students wishing to engage in a research program or who are pursuing academic careers, some of whom will progress to a doctoral degree.

How many courses are normally required in each degree program?

MEd - Ten half-courses
MA - Eight half-courses plus thesis
PhD - Six half-courses plus thesis

Do I need to take the course LHA1100H (Introduction to Adult Education) in the first semester of my program of study?

No. We suggest that you take this course during the first half of your program, but you can take the course LHA1100H (Introduction to Adult Education) anytime during your program of study.

What are the differences between being a part-time and a full-time student?

Typically, full-time students take three half-courses during each of the Fall and Winter sessions, and two courses during each of the Summer Sessions (May-June and July-August respectively). Full-time students may choose to register for four courses in one of the Fall or Winter session with the approval of their faculty advisor.

Part-time students can take one course per session, amounting to up to four half-courses per year.

Full-time versus part-time registration also has fee implications. Students should inquire about these in the Registrar's Office.

How much time do the programs take to complete?

This question depends on the student's specific situation. Full-time MEd students can finish their required ten courses within a year, but may take longer because fewer courses are available during the Summer sessions. Part-time MEd students take between two and three years to complete their coursework.

Full-time MA students can easily complete their required courses within a year, but may require time to complete their thesis. Part-time students take between two and three years to complete their coursework, and however long they require to complete their thesis.

The doctoral program should take between three and four years to complete.

All programs must be completed within six years of admission, with the exception of the flex-time PhD which is eight years.

Can I take courses outside of the program?

Yes. Every student in the AECD program may take up to half of their courses from outside of their program, provided they are graduate level courses and have some relevance to your degree. Students should consult with their advisors about the relevance of courses outside the program, and must have their advisor's signature to enroll in courses outside of OISE. Two courses may be taken at another institution beyond the University of Toronto.

Can I see course outlines before selecting courses?

Course outlines for upcoming courses are often not available until class begins. Archived paper copies of older outlines are for viewing only, contact one of the administrative staff to make arrangements.

Can I take a research course from another OISE program to fulfil my research course requirement?
Yes.

What research courses are available in the program?
A large number. These include but are not limited to:  Introduction to Qualitative Research Part I; Introduction to Qualitative Research Part II, Participatory Research in the Community in the Community and the Workplace; Introduction to  Research Methods in Adult Education; and Introduction to Institutional Ethnography.

How are classes in the program formatted?

Most graduate courses are seminar-based--in other words, there is little lecturing or testing, and active student participation is encouraged in class discussions. Most course assignments consist of reflective and analytical papers. We expect students to be fully engaged in making sense of new knowledge and understandings, and to be applying that new learning to the practical situations they encounter in their lives. We also expect students to prepare for class each week with assigned readings or writings. A major paper is usually required at the end of each course.

Will I be able to bring my own life experience to the program?

Generally, all our courses make the link between students' experiential knowledge and theoretical concepts. We strongly value the fact that many of our students have rich and diverse life experiences, which can be drawn on to understand and evaluate theories and analyses. Given that this is a graduate program, theoretical knowledge of the field is also required. 

Are there opportunities to complete a practicum?

Although there is no formal practicum requirement the program, we offer the practicum course LHA1122, Practicum in Adult Education and Community Development.

Is it possible to do two collaborative programmes during my course of study or must I choose between the two?

You can apply to both; some people complete both, although most students end up gravitating toward one of these collaborative program. You should review the requirements of both collaborative programs looking for any challenges/conflicts (i.e. the total number of courses you might have to end up taking). One can always take the courses selectively from any of the collaborative programs without being admitted to those programs. The only trick is occassionally that there is limited space in required courses and they fill up fast, but if you're nimble and get on top of signing up for courses when the enrollment system opens then you should be fine.

What is the difference between my advisor and my supervisor?

An advisor is a full-time faculty member who is assigned to students when they are admitted. The advisor can help you with your course selection and answer any questions you may have about the academic issues associated with your program of study. If you are in a thesis program, your supervisor is the faculty member whom you have selected to guide you through the process of writing a thesis. The supervisor may or may not be the same person as your course advisor.

What happens if my Faculty Advisor retires or leaves the university during the course of my program of study?

You will need to be reassigned to another faculty member for advising by Graduate Program Coordinator. Be sure to notify her and request the reassignment.

Can I change my faculty advisor?

You may change advisors if you wish by simply arranging with a full-time faculty member willing to take on the responsibility.  Contact the Graduate Program Coordinator in order for the change to be completed.

What are the thesis expectations?

A thesis should consist of original work in an area determined by students in collaboration with their supervisors. A booklet outlining thesis guidelines is available on the Registrar's Office website. Students can also consult completed theses in the OISE library.

What happens if my thesis supervisor is on study leave or leaves the university?

Your thesis supervisor is responsible to either continue working with you until program completion, or to notify you that you will need to look for a replacement supervisor. Since this is a negotiated role, you will want to have some choice in deciding on the replacement faculty member, and therefore this person cannot simply be assigned administratively.

Does the program have any partnerships or collaborations with other departments?

Yes, our program has created official partnerships, known as "collaborative programs", with many other departments, which will result in the collaboration being noted on the students' transcript upon graduation. You can find out more about OISE collaborative programs here:  Programs/Collaborative_Programs/index.html and University of Toronto collaborative programs here:  http://www.gradschool.utoronto.ca/programs/collaborative.htm

How can I become involved in research activities?

There are many volunteer and paid positions in research projects carried out in our program. Our faculty's expertise often results in their receiving funding to concentrate their research towards a specific goal or purpose through seminars, conferences, and other projects that require the aid and input of engaged, interested students. Likewise, students can apply to OISE for graduate assistantships (GAs), and can also apply for research funding to agencies like SSHRC and OGS. Students interested in gaining research experience through a particular research project can contact the Principal Investigator or collaborators to ask for voluntary or paid opportunities.

What are research centres and how can I become involved?

There are several research centres affiliated with the Adult Education and Community Development program. These centres undertake a variety of activities related to research, teaching, professional development and community engagement. Among them are the Transformative Learning Centre: Centre for Community Activism, the Centre for Women's Studies, the Comparative and International Development Education Centre and the Centre for Learning, Social Economy and Work. Feel free to visit the centres' websites for information on projects, conferences, workshops, seminars and various other activities held throughout the academic year.

Are there opportunities for interaction with other programs or organizations?

Yes. There are many interdepartmental research areas involving Adult Education and other departments.

What sorts of careers do graduates of your program enter?

Our graduates enter careers in a diverse range of industries, communities, and organizations. Many consider our degrees to be an effective augmentation to existing careers, especially those careers that require the organization and leadership of people in some manner. Here are some of the areas that our graduates have entered into:

* Political Activism
* Research
* Labour education, industrial and labour relations
* Radical trauma counselling
* Educational consultant
* Social work and social services work
* Advocacy
* Human resource development
* Organization development consulting
* Workplace equity leadership, consultation
* Management and leadership development
* Workplace health and safety
* Employee ownership, cooperative organizational design
* Community development
* Policy analysis
* Environmental education
* International development
* Health education
* Continuing education
* Pre-service teacher training
* Facilitation (individual, group)
* Arts-informed adult education
* University or community college instructor

Does this program certify me as an Human Resources professional?

Our programs do not provide the certification required to become an HR professional. However, the program offers a number of courses that are relevant to those interested in human resource development work. Interested individuals may wish to consult our Workplace Learning and Social Change collaborative program