About SCS

Our School

At the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS), we celebrate the continuous journey towards knowledge, expansion, and new understandings. We’re here to help you step up and take ownership of your future, again and again.

Our roster of over 800 courses, over 50 program areas, and more than 110 certificates across a wide range of fields gives you the opportunity to customize your unique learning path. Whether you are looking to upgrade your skills, learn a new language, feed a curiosity, or take your career to the next level, we’re here to help you journey forward. We also know that flexibility is key to learning success, and offer over 540 online learning options.

SCS programs can also help you achieve your potential in Canada. Our English Language Program  provides international learners an exciting opportunity to learn English and experience Canada. Meanwhile, our Comparative Education Service (CES) can provide you with an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) that shows how your international credentials compare to those offered here, helping you launch your career in Canada.

Learning is a vital lifelong process. Keep exploring and own your future.

Our mission

Our Vision

To be a global leader in university continuing education by enriching lives,

transforming careers, and celebrating lifelong learning.

 

Our Mission

SCS impacts lives by keeping skills and knowledge fresh and future-focused

through excellence in learner-centred academic programming,

exceptional teaching, and high quality services.

 

Our Values

Learners First

Excellence

Creativity

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Diversity and Inclusion

Accountability

Our Learners

Our learners are people just like you who push forward and embrace the unknown. They step up, welcome change, and courageously journey towards knowledge and expansion. They represent all walks of life and every aspect of diversity, including:

  • Professionals passionate about upgrading their knowledge and skills in a specific area of study for their current or future career
  • Professionals courageously considering a career change or shift
  • Internationally educated professionals pushing forward to supplement their knowledge and skills to gain employment traction in Canada
  • Individuals with significant academic experience, seeking complementary applied skills
  • Recent university and college graduates who are just starting out or wish to accelerate their momentum in the job market
  • International students who want to improve their English skills to pursue university studies
  • Curious people at every stage of life looking to expand their intellectual and cultural horizons

Our Commitment To Accessibility

Our Goal

The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) is committed to providing support to our learners with disabilities to ensure a positive learning experience in all of our courses and programs. We are dedicated to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (AODA) and the University of Toronto’s commitment to promote inclusion and minimize barriers within the educational sector. SCS’ goal is to become a leader in barrier-free continuing education and to incorporate AODA standards and regulations within our best practices. Designing for inclusivity improves the learning experience for everyone.

Confidentiality and You

SCS respects your right to privacy. Any information and documentation shared with us will be securely stored in an encrypted database and used only for developing a suitable accommodation plan. No information will be shared beyond the Accessibility Services Team without your written consent. At all times this information will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter please visit www.fippa.utoronto.ca.

Self-Advocacy

SCS encourages learners to advocate for their own needs and supports within their course(s). If for any reason you are not comfortable in doing so, please contact the SCS Accessibility Team, and with your permission, we can communicate with your instructor(s) on your behalf.

SCS works closely with the University of Toronto Accessibility Services to assess individual needs and coordinate the provision of necessary services.  Some of the services provided include but are not limited to:

  • Test and exam supports
  • Note-taking services
  • Accessible classrooms
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Adaptive technology and devices
  • Alternative formats for course materials

If you are interested in learning more about Accessibility Services available to you as an SCS learner, please visit: 

accessibility Services

"It is the University's goal to create a community that is inclusive of all persons and treats all members of the community in an equitable manner. In working toward this goal, the University will strive to provide support for, and facilitate the accommodation of individuals with disabilities so that all may share the same level of access to opportunities, participate in the full range of activities that the University offers, and achieve their full potential as members of the University community. The University will work to eliminate or minimize the adverse effects of barriers, including physical, environmental, attitudinal, communication and technological barriers, that may prevent the full participation of individuals with disabilities in the University community."

Statement of Commitment Regarding Persons with Disabilities
(University of Toronto Governing Council, November 2014

Our History

The history of continuing education

The concept of continuing education was introduced in 1867, when James Stuart, a fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge, believed that scholars should go outside of the walls of the universities to teach men and women who were being denied an education.

Formal university extension courses were offered across England with most popular subjects being natural science, history, literature, and art. Two notable features of this education movement included the high number of historians who engaged in the work, and the high proportion of female students who saw access to higher education as a way of helping them in their fight for social and political equality.

Continuing studies in Toronto

In 1872, the University of Toronto introduced evening classes to fill gaps for practical competencies and skill building, under the new School of Technology.  Over the next 25 years, the school evolved from a technology school to a practical school for applied science and engineering. Toward the end of the century, Saturday lectures were introduced and topics broadened to include literary subjects.

Throughout the 1900s, the school evolved further to include a three-year certificate course in business, and a series of mail-based courses for men stationed in England and prisoners of war in Germany. 

To meet cultural and technological changes in the 1950s, new courses were developed in such areas as transistor electronics, atomic energy, construction management, retail lumbering, pre-stressed concrete, and executive development for women.

Always with an aim of preparing learners for success, content and programs consistently evolved to equip learners with strong, relevant skills that could be immediately applied in the workplace. To that end, liberal arts classes and refresher courses were offered, as were courses to help newcomers to Canada adapt to their new country. In 1973, the certificate course Teaching English as a Second Language (T.E.S.L.) was developed. 

In 1974, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS) was officially founded. At this time, the course offering was extended to include business and professional studies, creative writing, general interest arts and science courses, as well as an English language program for learners from abroad keen to pursue higher education and career opportunities in Canada.

Since then, courses and programs have continued to evolve to meet changing technology, workplace priorities, learner interests, and cultural shifts – all with an aim to support learners in deepening their knowledge and skills in a range of professional and exploratory disciplines. 

Throughout the 2000s, SCS studied market needs and tracked emerging trends in the workforce. As a result of this research, SCS focused on developing business courses that learners could either layer onto their existing degrees or use toward earning recognized credentials or designations.

In 2018 and beyond, SCS continues to have a global focus, developing online and hybrid options to reach beyond GTA classrooms. Courses, programs, and partnerships continue to evolve. SCS has become an intersection of academic excellence, creative and intellectual pursuit, and business knowledge.

Timeline

1867 – James Stuart introduces the concept of continuing education in England

1872 – Evening classes for adults offered in Toronto as part of School of Technology

1872 – 1899 – Classes in applied science introduced + Saturday public lectures that included literary topics

1939 – Three-year certificate in business introduced

1941 – U of T mailed courses to men stationed in England and prisoners of war in Germany

1950s – Programming evolved to meet changes in culture and technology

1973 – T.E.S.L. developed to help newcomers to Canada succeed in their new country

1974 – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies founded

1995 – The first six SCS certificates launched

1995 – Launch of Media and New Technology program, with great success

2001 – Launch of Academic English (AE) program with 147 students. Today, there are seven AE programs

2006 – Complete overhaul of programs to rebuild, renew, and revitalize

2018 – Ongoing creation of new opportunities and partnerships