Quality at Conestoga

Conestoga is committed to supporting the needs of the communities we serve. We have fostered growth and innovation to benefit our region and its ever-changing job market. We strive for excellence in the development and delivery of our programs and services and have developed formalized processes to support our ongoing commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

As a leader in polytechnic education, Conestoga provides a broad range of education and training opportunities, including graduate certificates, degrees and advanced diplomas, apprenticeships, Ontario College certificates and recognition for corporate training.

Our commitment to quality includes a formal program review process and regular program enhancements to ensure that programs meet the needs of students and the 21st century workplace.

Quality programs

Program review and renewal

Conestoga is committed to a multi-faceted program review process that will identify program enhancement opportunities and contribute to student and client success. This process is designed to reflect the needs of learners and meet government and external accreditation requirements.  

The program review process includes annual monitoring, reflection and action for all programs as well as a major review for each program at least once every five years. This process supports our ability to positively impact the learning of current and future students and supports our graduates’ ability to meet the needs of employers. Our ongoing review process also allows for the identification of additional program development opportunities and needs.  

Program development

Conestoga continually strives to meet the employment needs of our local labour force and the community of students we serve. Our wide range of programming reflects this understanding. View our full list of our programs that are already developed.  

Quality engagement

Student feedback

Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:  

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicator surveys are conducted annually with students, employers and graduates to provide vital feedback on many areas which relate to program quality. This quantitative data is collected and analyzed to determine areas of strength as well as potential areas for improvement. KPI data is integrated throughout our program review process.  

Please visit Colleges Ontario for more information on KPIs and to view each college's results.  

Student Appraisal of Teaching

Conestoga regularly collects Student Appraisal of Teaching feedback. Every semester students in the classes of selected faculty participate in a survey to assess student satisfaction with teaching. Results are used to identify needs for program amendments and professional development opportunities for our faculty. The results of this feedback are incorporated into the program review process.  

Student focus groups

Conestoga often connects with students using focus groups to give them the opportunity to meet other students to provide qualitative feedback and share insights to support college decision making.  

Program Advisory Committees (PACs)

Conestoga students benefit from Program Advisory Committees for diploma, degree and certificate programs. Committees are composed of volunteers who are employed in functional areas related to the program including; employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. Students, faculty and administrators serve as resources to the PACs while representing the college.  

The role of the PACs is to provide a strategic outlook on three essential elements of the program:  

  • Workforce/Industry/Business Trends
  • Curriculum Effectiveness and Enhancing the Learning Experience
  • Student/Graduate Success and Continuing Professional Learning

Each program lists member companies on the program information page, please visit a program page for more information.  

If you are interested in becoming a Program Advisory Committee member, contact PACinfo@conestogac.on.ca.

Quality assurance

Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU)

In Canada, the Constitution Act gives each province the authority to make laws regarding education. In Ontario, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Colleges and Universities are responsible for the administration of laws relating to education and skills training.  

In the area of post-secondary education, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities is responsible for:  

  • developing policy directions for universities and colleges of applied arts and technology
  • planning and administering policies related to basic and applied research in this sector
  • authorizing universities to grant degrees
  • distributing funds allocated by the provincial legislature to colleges and universities
  • providing financial-assistance programs for post-secondary school students
  • registering private career colleges.

For more information, see Ministry of Colleges and Universities.  

Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS)

The Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS) provides services to ensure specific program quality and consistency through credential validation and quality assurance processes for the public college system in Ontario.  

OCQAS operates within the structure of Colleges Ontario, and is responsible to a separate Management Board. The Management Board operates independently of government and of any individual college or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.  

By working in unison with OCQAS, government and industry, our colleges provide a greater scope of quality education. This cooperative relationship provides countless advantages to Ontario’s colleges and to students and their families, here and abroad.  

This work assures students, graduates, employers and the public of the quality of the college system’s comprehensive programs and services.  

For more information, see Ontario College Quality Assurance Service.  

Credential Validation Service (CVS)

The Credential Validation Service (CVS) is consistent with the Minister's Binding Policy Directive, Framework for Programs of Instruction. The mandate of CVS is to:  

  • provide reasonable assurance that all programs conform to the established Credentials Framework
  • maintain the integrity of the credentials and protect the interests of students and employers who require a reasonable guarantee of consistency and quality in Ontario’s programs of instruction.

Validation by the CVS is signified by the assignment of an Approved Program Sequence (APS) number.  

For more information, see Ontario College Quality Assurance Service.  

College Quality Assurance Audit Process (CQAAP)

Conestoga engages in a provincially-legislated College Quality Assurance Audit Process (CQAAP) on a five-year cycle. CQAAP is an opportunity to share current processes and future plans with an externally-trained panel that reviews the college's quality assurance processes at an institutional level. The external review provides a formal report that includes commendations, affirmations, and recommendations for the college.  

The site visit and report outline the degree to which processes and future plans conform to the quality standards that define exemplary quality assurance processes. The process audit assesses program quality and consistency based on six standards:  

Standard 1: Program quality management system

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the quality of a program management system and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

Standard 2: Program development

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the quality of the programs of study being developed and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

Standard 3: Conformity with government requirements

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the conformity of programs of study with relevant government requirements and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

Standard 4: Program delivery and student assessment

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the quality of program delivery and student assessment, and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

Standard 5: Existence, monitoring, and communication of academic policies and practices

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the communication and monitoring of established academic policies and practices related to academic issues that support program implementation and delivery, and student achievement of vocational learning outcomes, and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

Standard 6: Availability and allocation of college-wide resources

Effective quality assurance mechanisms ensure the existence, availability, and allocation of resources (human, physical, financial) and technological infrastructure to support student achievement of program vocational learning outcomes, and demonstrate continuous improvement.  

For more information, see Ontario College Quality Assurance Service.  

Post-secondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB)

Conestoga was one of the first colleges in Ontario to offer degrees. In order to offer degree programs, Conestoga received degree-granting authority from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU).  

The Post-secondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) is an agency that advises the Ministry on new degree program applications under the terms of the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000. PEQAB has identified the Degree Level Standards for degree programs in Ontario and developed the Ontario Qualifications Framework which is the only framework in Canada that includes all post-secondary education credentials from apprenticeships to doctoral degrees.  

All of Conestoga’s degrees are reviewed by PEQAB and approved by the MCU. In order to ensure ongoing quality enhancement of our degree programs, the degree programs are reviewed and renewed every five to seven years.

By working with the MCU and PEQAB, and with continuous feedback from students, academia, and industry, Conestoga delivers current, quality bachelor’s degree programs.  

For more information, see Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board.  

Conestoga policies & procedures

At Conestoga, our commitment to excellence in the delivery of programs and services results from the dedicated efforts of our many employees who contribute to the quality of the Conestoga experience. These efforts are guided by a comprehensive set of policies and procedures that govern the college’s academic and operational areas.  

Policies and procedures provide clear guidance on academic practices such as advancement, recognition of prior learning experience, and academic integrity. Information about college policies and procedures is provided in orientation sessions and student materials and is available on the college website.  

For more information, visit Conestoga policies & procedures.  

Contact us

For more information about quality practices and initiatives at Conestoga, please contact Academic Administration at quality@conestogac.on.ca.