Academic Upgrading

Upgrade your education

The Academic Upgrading program is a free educational initiative designed for adults who lack a secondary school diploma, need to improve their grades for college or apprenticeship programs, or wish to refresh their skills after a period of absence from formal education.

The program offers a flexible schedule, allowing students to learn at their own pace and around their commitments. It focuses on subjects relevant to the student’s goals, including Math, English, Biology, Chemistry, and Computers. Both self-directed and teacher-led study options are available.

The program is available in several locations, including Brantford, Cambridge - Downtown, Guelph, Stratford, and Waterloo.

College Bound

College Bound is a free, six-week program with individualized support to explore the possibilities of attending college.

Read more about College Bound

What is keeping you from college?

  • Didn't complete high school?
  • Don't have money to pay for college?
  • Not sure what to choose?
  • Not sure where to start or who to talk to?
  • Don't have the time?
  • Think you are too old?
  • Need individual support to make it through?

What will you learn or gain?

  • Try out if college is for you - for free.
  • Find out how to get into college.
  • Be a Conestoga College student.
  • Receive personalized support from staff interested in your success.
  • Explore your interests and career options.
  • Develop a realistic plan to reach your career goals.
  • Build your confidence to start your journey.

Is this program for you?

  • Are you able to study online and willing to learn more about how it works?
  • Do you want to work one-on-one with an instructor and a mentor?
  • Do you find it difficult to know where to start to change your future?
  • Are you willing to take a chance but need extra help?
  • Do you want to explore if college might be for you?

Get started

For more information, complete the online form or email    

Academic Upgrading

Academic Upgrading is a free program. Students may qualify for transportation subsidies and assistance with childcare costs needed to attend the program. Please ask for more information during intake.

Read more about Academic Upgrading

For individuals who:

  • don't have a secondary school diploma (OSSD)
  • need to improve their grades for entrance into college or apprenticeship programs.
  • completed secondary school some time ago and need to refresh their skills.

Program highlights

  • Free
  • Learn in an adult atmosphere.
  • A flexible schedule lets you learn at your own pace and around your busy life.
  • Focus on subjects relevant to your goals, including Math, Communications (English), Biology, Chemistry, and Computers
  • Self-directed and teacher-led options available

Admission requirements

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Ontario
  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Provide documentation of completed Canadian Benchmark level (CLB) 7 or higher if English is not your first language.

Academic Upgrading availability

  • Self-directed study: flexible schedule, receiving in-class instructor support, and starting anytime.
  • Teacher-led study: start and end at set dates, taught by an instructor, and attend all classes.
  • Classes run in Brantford, Cambridge - Downtown, Guelph, Stratford, and Waterloo

Get started

For more information, complete the online form or email

Basic Computer Skills

Basic Computer Skills is a tuition-free program for those who have little experience using computers.

Learn more about Basic Computer Skills

Program highlights

  • Learn the basics of how to work with the Windows Operating System and use word processing and spreadsheet software to improve your digital communications skills by producing electronic, written works.
  • Learn to navigate the Internet to conduct research and communicate with others in a positive working environment.


  • Asynchronous course with optional three-hour drop-in sessions once a week for seven weeks.
  • Teacher-led course with two three-hour classes for seven weeks

Admission requirements

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Ontario
  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • An Academic Upgrading Assessment is required for admission into this course.

Get started

For more information, complete the online form or email

Academic and Career Entrance (ACE)

The Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate is a grade 12 equivalency program for adult learners delivered through Academic Upgrading and ACE Distance Delivery.

Learn more about Academic and Career Entrance (ACE)

Program highlights

ACE is a tuition-free program that allows adults to prepare for college at college. 

ACE can help you obtain grade 12 equivalency and qualify for: 

  • admission to college post-secondary programs.
  • registration as an apprentice.
  • jobs that require a high school or equivalent credential.

ACE is flexible as courses can be taken both online and in class at the same time. 

Intake for this program is continuous. 

Students build a customized learning plan with the assistance of program staff to plan out courses and a schedule. 

Admission requirements

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Ontario
  • Online study: completion of the ESEE - Essential Skills for Employment and Education Assessment for ACE distance courses plus the successful completion of the Learn to Learn 20-hour course.


Students are awarded an ACE Certificate when they complete four courses in the program. Students are required to take one communications course and one mathematics course and can complete two more courses from the following options: self management/self direction (Strategies for Success), chemistry, biology, physics (online only). An additional mathematics course is also an option.

Get started

For more information, complete the online form or email

Canada, Employment Ontario and Ontario logo

These Employment Ontario programs are funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

For more information