General Education Policy

Approved by: Executive Committee – December 8, 2014

Approved by: Academic Advisory Committee – November, 2014

Effective Date – Revised December 2014

Replaces  November 2009 Executive Policy

Position Statement

As outlined in our Graduate Profile, Cambrian College graduates value their education, are proud of their accomplishments, and are motivated to be the best for themselves and for their community. Accordingly, each program of study will provide learners with the skills related to a specific field of study (vocational skills), essential employability skills, and general education as stipulated by the Government of Ontario’s Credentials Framework for Ontario College programs.


This policy will provide a mechanism for complying with the Government of Ontario’s Credentials Framework for Ontario College programs which requires each program of study to provide learners with vocational, essential employability and general education skills. General education is included in the Ontario college post-secondary curriculum to strengthen skills such as critical analysis, problem solving and communication in the context of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance and engages the learner in learning that incorporates some breadth beyond the vocational field of study.


“General Education Course Standard” refers to the criteria within the Credentials Framework for Ontario College programs that General Education courses must provide a broad theoretical overview of a topic of personal and/or societal importance (categorize as arts in society, civic life, social and cultural understanding and science technology) with little or no applications training.

Policy Statements

1. Program requirements for General Education for graduation:

  •  Ontario College Certificate programs – Although not required, it is recommended that learners complete at least one General Education course.
  •  Ontario College Diploma programs – Learners will complete three General Education courses.
  •  Ontario College Advanced Diploma Programs – Learners will complete three General Education courses.

2. For programs requiring three General Education courses:

  •  One course may be mandated by the program and must meet MTCU guidelines.
  •  Learners will select an additional two elective courses from a list provided by the College.

3. General Education courses will adhere to the General Education course standard as stipulated in the Credentials Framework for Ontario College programs. To be designated a General Education course, a course shall meet the following criteria:

  • Clearly contribute to learning that is distinct from specific program vocational skills/outcomes;
  •  Enable learners to effectively meet the societal challenges that face them as they take their place in community, family, and working life;
  •  Ensure the focus of the course is sufficiently broad to be of value to learners regardless of their vocational interests;
  •  Be three credits in value;
  •  Be discrete courses designed to meet one of the five themes outlined in the MTCU guidelines;
  •  Identify the theme(s) being addressed;
  •  Delivered in alternative delivery formats when feasible; and,
  •  Not require a pre-requisite.

Roles and Responsibilities

The General Education Curriculum Committee (GECC), a sub-committee of the Curriculum Committee, is responsible for the creation and review of General Education courses. In addition, the GECC will review each program’s mandated General Education course and, where applicable, make recommendations to ensure compliance with the policy.

In consultation with the Office of the Registrar, the General Education coordinator is responsible for developing and overseeing the exemption/transfer credit process.

The Vice-President, Academic is responsible for ensuring that the General Education policy is fully implemented.

Related Procedures

  • New Program Development Guidelines
  • PLAR policies and procedures
  • Advanced Standing and Transfer Credit Policy
  • Promotion, Graduation and Convocation Policy

Related Policies and Directives

Minister’s Binding Policy Directive – Framework for Programs of Instruction, revised July 31, 2009.