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What to Look for in a Post-Secondary Institution

Looking to further your education? You’re not alone! According to Statistics Canada, the number of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions in Canada from 2000 to 2019 has been climbing steadily, from 1.34 million in 2000 to around 2.15 million in 2019. 

There are a lot of people who are looking to change their life through education, and there are hundreds of schools to choose from. It can be a bit daunting to choose your school, and your decision will likely take into account a number of different factors and priorities that matter to you.  

To help guide you through the process of choosing the right school for you, we’ve put together this short list of what to look for in a post-secondary institution.  

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When you were interested in applying, did someone take the time to follow up with you? Did they help answer all your questions clearly? Often, a school’s initial responsiveness can be indicative of how they operate on a regular basis, so if you’re phoning or emailing their student advisors and not hearing back, or they are very delayed in getting back to you, this may be something to take into account when deciding whether or not to enrol at that institute. 


How helpful were the staff when you inquired about enrollment? Did they go out of their way to help remove obstacles like financing, childcare or scheduling? While we knowingly make sacrifices to invest in our education, life happens. Look for a school that can be flexible with you when needed. It can help ease your mind about the decision you’re making.  

Bigger is Not Always Better 

Depending on the program you’re taking, larger institutions do not always equal a higher quality of education. In fact, sometimes larger schools mean larger faculty and class sizes, more red tape and less flexibility overall. Instead of going to school because it’s one of the largest or most popular, do some research on their instructors and others who have attended the school to find out if it’s the right fit for you.  

Faster is Not Always Better 

Just like all schools are not equal, either are their programs. While it may seem important to you to finish your schooling as soon as possible, make sure you consider all factors when deciding where to take your program of choice. For example, will your certification be recognized elsewhere? Will your training be transferrable should you decide to change or advance your career down the road? Will you really feel prepared when you graduate to be successful in your career? Take a good look at the curriculum, and always ask about their practicum offerings before making your final decision.  

What Supports do They Provide Students?  

Does your school offer supports to help you succeed in your schooling? Regardless of your age, background or economic or social situation, your post-secondary school of choice should provide assistance to its students to help them succeed. Ask your school what the class sizes are, if one-on-one time with instructors or tutors is available, if they have learning strategists on their team or if they offer ESL services if that’s relevant to you. Be sure you feel supported right from the beginning of your time at your school, because it is likely you will struggle at some point, and without resources available you may be tempted to give up.  

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Do they Offer Online Programming Options?  

While Covid-19 has pushed many schools to operate on an online basis in some capacity, not all schools offer all programs online or in a blended format. Review your school’s curriculum and learning options, and be sure to ask the Student Advisor about flexible learning options available to you.  

In general, be sure to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions! You are investing time and money into your future, so it’s important to take the time before making this important decision.  

Have feedback on this article? Or want to learn more about MaKami? Contact us. 

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