The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) oversees the development and review of Program Standards. Program Standards describe the performance-based outcomes expected of a gradate of a particular program. There are more than 200 college programs with Program Standards in Ontario. When a Program Standard exists, Durham College is required to ensure that its programs and program delivery are consistent with these standards.

Program Standards are created using a comprehensive consultation process. The Standards are reviewed by employers, professional associations, industry, and program graduates currently working in the field for the program. This process helps to ensure that the programs are designed to meet the needs of employers and that students will gain the skills they need to be successful.

When a Program Standard does not exist, colleges are required to be consistent with existing Program Descriptions supplied by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). Program Descriptions are similar to Program Standards in that they provide performance-based outcomes, however they do not include detailed elements of performance and have not been developed using the rigorous development process used when developing a Program Standard.

View the the following Program Standards 101 Video for an overview of all the various components of Program Standards including a) Vocational Learning Outcomes, b) Essential Employability Skills Learning Outcomes, and c) the General Education Requirement.

The college has a Program Learning Outcome Repository where the program learning outcomes for all programs are stored. There may be two versions, an MAESD version and a local Durham College version, though these two could also be the same. These PLOs are reviewed once a year with the program team and the Program Advisory Committee. While you may be able to view the outcomes, modifications are made by contacting the CAFE.

Program Learning Outcome changes are guided by the Durham College Policy and Procedure ACAD-120 and 120.1.

For advice about writing or modifying outcomes contact Jacqueline Towell.