Ontario College Pathways

For high school students planning for post-secondary, a lot of emphasis is placed on applying to university programs, and there is plenty of assistance from teachers and guidance counsellors in that department.

However, not every student seeks to attend a university program, instead hoping to apply to college or trade school. Yet, there doesn’t seem to be as much support or easily accessible information for many of these students, which can make the process challenging.

Attaining a college education is just as important and valid as going to a university program. Colleges tend to be less academic or theory focused and instead allow students a more hands on learning style, which helps teach them necessary skills for future career paths.

At OVS, our goal is to help students achieve success in whatever pathway they choose. So, to help provide information and support for students seeking to attend college, we will be releasing a series of blogs that will help students understand their options, courses that they can take, and how to follow their pathway to post-secondary success at a college program.

Broad Program Options

Many students are not aware of just how many programs and pathways can be found by attending college. Perhaps you don’t know specifically what college program or career math might be right for you, but knowing what general options there are can help you to narrow it down. Below is a list of general subject areas a student can pursue with a college program.

These are just some general categories that encompass many additional programs that are more specialized. We’ll explore more specific programs throughout this series of blogs.

Applying to College

For students looking to attend an Ontario college, you can apply from one centralized program, which is the Ontario Colleges Application Centre. Both Canadian and International students can apply to colleges through this program. 

This site helps you to create an account, review and update college applications, request Ontario high school transcripts, request Ontario college and university transcripts, and view and accept offers of admissions from Ontario colleges. It also has a centralized database where you can search different programs and find colleges.

To make things even easier OCAS has a mobile app as well, which has all the features available on the desktop application. So, you can check your application status, update your account, and do research from wherever you are, at any time.

OVS can help students with their OCAS applications by submitting records and transcripts directly to OCAS. We are able to do this whether you’re a current high school student, or a mature student who is now looking to apply to college.

General Courses for College at OVS

If you’re still trying to decide on your future college program and don’t have a specific one in mind, if you have a general idea of the subject you might like to study, there are several general courses that OVS offers, which can be applied to a multitude of college programs.


The first and foremost is English. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to a college or a university, you are required to have a grade 12 English in order to graduate, but it is also a requirement for all Canadian colleges and universities as well.

For those students planning to attend a college, at minimum, you’ll need to complete ENG4C, Grade 12 College English. However, if you want to take ENG4U Grade 12 University English, you can do so as well, and it will absolutely be accepted for any college program.


There are several college programs that fit under the science category, studying anything from Health or Veterinary Sciences, to Engineering and beyond. If you’re passionate about sciences, there are several options that you can take which can be applied to a variety of programs and can provide you with a great foundation for future studies.

At OVS we offer both SPH4C Grade 12 College Physics and SCH4C Grade 12 College Chemistry. Both subjects only require that you have completed Grade 10 Science. We also offer the university level versions of these subjects, but that requires you to have taken the Grade 11 prerequisite in the same subject. Whether you take the College or University level versions of these course, either option can be used for a college application.

It’s important to note that not all college programs require you to have the Grade 12 level for science courses. Many colleges will accept Grade 11 College or University level courses for admissions. At OVS, we offer Biology (SBI3U and SBI3C), Chemistry (SCH3U), and Physics (SPH3U) in Grade 11.


Several college programs, such as Health Science, Engineering, Computer Science, or Business among others, will require you to take math in high school in order to help prepare you for the courses you’ll be taking in post-secondary.   

Depending on the program, you might be required to have either a Grade 11 or a Grade 12 math course. Some college programs may require you to have the University level math, however, for most a college level is the minimum requirement. At OVS, we offer several math courses that would meet your needs. Below is a list of our math subjects for both Grade 11 and 12.

All of the above are general foundational courses for a variety or programs, so even if you aren’t sure what you plan is yet for college, you can still take courses aimed towards your potential goals.

At OVS, we want all of our students to achieve their goals, not just by earning high grades in their courses, but making sure they are taking the courses they need and have the information required to make informed decisions about their post-secondary future.