Success Stories

Orientation

Welcome and thank you for choosing Conestoga.

At Conestoga, we recognize apprentices are essential participants in the third pillar of post-secondary education.

It is of the upmost importance to ensure that you are a member in good standing with the Ontario College of Trades throughout your apprenticeship. If you neglect to remain a member, this will affect your ability to attend trade school, write your licensing exam, receive incentives and grants and even work in the trade.

Conestoga grants a college certificate to every apprentice who completes all levels of trade school. We encourage every apprentice to celebrate this achievement at either the spring, fall or winter convocation ceremony (dependent on your program completion date).

We have developed these resources to help you prepare so please visit the School of Trades & Apprenticeship to learn more about incentives, exemption testing, awards and benefits of apprenticeship.

Before coming to trade school

How to succeed: Get the support you need.

Am I eligible for E.I.?

Block Release apprentices may be eligible for Employment Insurance Benefits (E.I.) while attending trade school. Once you have confirmed your enrolment (or seat) a letter will be sent to you from the MTCU providing details on how to apply for employment insurance, including the 16-digit code. Conestoga College does not have access to the 16-digit code. This reference code is required when applying to Service Canada for Employment Insurance Benefits.

Are you ready?

Learn what you need to know for your trade by visiting Essential Skills for Ontario's Tradespeople. Talk to your faculty or program coordinator to learn what help is available. Get help early in time to succeed.

Don’t know where to start?

A member of our Apprentice Liaison team can provide:

The Apprentice Liaison team does not require any previous documentation.

Contact a team member at apprenticeliasion@conestogac.on.ca or by phone at 519-748-5220, ext. 2154.

Accessibility Services

Conestoga College is committed to providing a safe and accessible environment for all students. Accessibility Services can help you succeed at college, in your apprenticeship program and help you to make connections even before you attend trade school.

If you have a physical, medical or a learning disability, contact Accessibility Services.

Improve your academic skills at the Learning Commons:

Visit the Learning Commons for more information.

Counselling 

Counselling services are free, voluntary and confidential. Any information that is shared by a student while in counselling will remain confidential. Get assistance to overcome personal, academic, career or financial challenges you might face while you are a student. Visit Counselling for more information.

Ordering textbooks

Many of our campuses have bookstores on site. Checkout lines can be long on the first day, so we encourage you to order your books online. It is easy to do, affordable and always convenient. For an additional $5.00 you can get books delivered right to your home.

Bookstore locations

There are bookstores at the following campuses: Doon (Kitchener), Guelph and Waterloo.

Please note that the Cambridge campus does not have a bookstore, so Millwright and Welding apprentices are encouraged to either order their books online or visit the Doon (Kitchener) bookstore before the start of their program.

Timetable

Shortly before you begin your program, you will be able to print your timetable from the Student Portal. Please make sure you look at your First Day Checklist (pdf) to see what time you are expected on the first day of class.

Upload your ONE card photo

For information on obtaining a Conestoga ONE card, please click here (https://www.conestogac.on.ca/onecard/) . You will be able to upload your photo 24 business hours after registration.

What to expect on the first day

Classes will be held on the first day; please come prepared.

A representative from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) will be present to do roll call and be on-hand to help you fill out your forms and provide additional support as needed.

Parking 

Parking costs are pro-rated for the length of each trade school delivery period.

Buy your parking permit online at Parking Services. Log in with your Conestoga email address. Your Conestoga email and default password can be found under the 'My Address' tab in the Student Portal.

Once purchased, you can pick-up your parking pass at the campus you are attending.

For more information, visit Parking Services.

Other important information

Refunds

Contact the Registrar’s Office to withdraw by emailing apprentice@conestogac.on.ca or calling 519-748-5220, ext. 3244.

Pathways and credit transfer

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View transfer agreement opportunities.

Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.

Exemption testing

Apprentices may challenge the in-school portion of apprenticeship levels from a variety of trade-specific apprenticeship programs depending on their level of expertise and time spent on the job. Non-apprentices can likewise challenge the in-school portion of the program starting first at Level 1. For more information visit Exemption Testing - Apprentices and Non-Apprentices.

Conestoga College Student Guide

All Conestoga College students and apprentices must abide by the Student Guide.

Level 3 exam prep

The sooner you write your Certificate of Qualification exam after having completed your in-school training, the higher your chance of success.

In most trades at Conestoga College, we offer a Certificate of Qualification Exam Prep course for Level 3 apprentices. As of January 1, 2017, the MTCU has made exam prep courses for block release training in a number of trades mandatory for Level 3 apprentices. Those apprentices who are affected will be notified of the mandatory exam prep course on their Offer of Classroom Training letter from the MTCU. The MTCU has determined that there will be an additional fee of $50 per apprentice to cover the cost of the five-day course, which will be included on the Offer of Classroom Training letter. If eligible for employment insurance and other income supports, these benefits will automatically be extended to cover the duration of the exam prep course.

If you are challenging your Certificate of Qualification exam or have failed your licensing exam you may benefit from the exam prep course. For more information, contact your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office.

Incentives and grants

Numerous incentives and grants are available to apprentices. For more information on these incentives contact trades@conestogac.on.ca or Student Recruiters/Employer Liaison.

Related websites and newsletters

Are you interested in learning more about pathways into apprenticeshipVisit these related websites about apprenticeship.

To stay current on the happenings in the School of Trades & Apprenticeship, please visit our newsletter section.

Student awards and recognition

Conestoga's School of Trades & Apprenticeship holds an annual awards ceremony that is supported by our industry partners who distribute more than 200 awards, totaling more than $250,000 each year to students and apprentices in motive power, construction and industrial programs. 

Convocation

Conestoga grants a college certificate to every apprentice who completes all levels of trade school. We encourage every apprentice to celebrate this achievement at either the spring, fall or winter convocation ceremony (dependent on your program completion date).

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