Orientation & support

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).

Orientation information

Research

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 MCU 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.

Have a question?

Email apprenticeliasion@conestogac.on.ca with general questions about your program. 

Academic skills & student supports 

If you are looking to improve your academic skills, or have general questions about Conestoga College student services you can connect with a Student Success Advisor through the online help form

Accessible Learning

Please make an appointment with Accessible Learning if you:

  • had difficulty learning in high school,
  • have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or any documents confirming a disability or condition, or
  • have difficulty with reading or writing.
Accessible Learning helps set-up supports, accommodations and resources that are available to help you succeed in your apprenticeship program. Email accessibility@conestogac.on.ca with questions or to book an appointment.

Ordering textbooks

Purchase your books in advance of class starting by visiting Conestoga's Bookstore to access your personalized booklist. Please note: the bookstore is available online only and there is free shipping on all orders.

For questions about resources, please refer to the bookstore FAQs or email bookstore@conestogac.on.ca.

Timetable

Shortly before you begin your program, you will be able to print your timetable from the Student Portal.

Upload your ONE Card photo

Your ONE Card is your official student identification card. Refer to get your card for information about uploading your photo and how to receive your ONE Card.

Here's some important information to help you prepare:

  • Theory classes will be delivered online and shop classes will be delivered on campus.
  • You will require access to a computer or tablet with a webcam and reliable Internet connection to participate in this delivery. A smartphone is not sufficient. Minimum device specifications are available on your program page. Select your trade and follow the device requirements link in the Notice box.
  • Theoretical content will be available on eConestoga, Conestoga’s online learning platform, an important and primary source of communication with your instructor. Click here to access and get started with eConestoga.
  • It’s essential to regularly visit eConestoga for instructions, schedules, and expectations. Be prepared to log into eConestoga during the scheduled course delivery time where your instructor will outline course expectations, assessment deadlines, attendance, and scheduling.
  • “Live” lessons or support will be provided using Zoom or another conferencing platform; and your instructor will communicate this through eConestoga. The specific time will be determined by your instructor who will provide teaching materials from the live lectures so you can review course material.
  • While on campus for shop classes, you will be required to observe new guidelines to protect the safety and well-being of yourself, your classmates, staff and the community in general. Physical distancing, diligent hand hygiene and infection control measures will be required (including the use of masks and/or face shields provided by the college, as mandated).
  • Parking is free and permits are not required at this time. Please park in the lot closest to your class.

It is very important that you retain your login information for the Student Portal to use the services available, as well as for future registrations. Three weeks prior to your start date you can access:

  • Timetable - Select the Calendar tab, My Timetable subtab
  • Booklist - Select the Services tab, Bookstore subtab
  • Enrolment letter - Select the Services tab, Print a Letter subtab
  • Verify your final grades - Select the Grades tab

Additional useful information:

Please monitor the college’s COVID-19 Information for updates.

Refunds

Contact the Registrar’s Office to withdraw by emailing apprentice@conestogac.on.ca or calling 519-748-5220, ext. 3244.
  • Withdrawal prior to the start of classes: Full refund of fees
  • Withdrawal by the third day of classes: Full refund of fees less $100
  • Withdrawal after the third day of classes: No refund

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 MCU 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 MCU. The MCU 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).