April 11, 2022

Belleville, ON – Loyalist College celebrates today’s announcement by the Government of Ontario, which allows Ontario colleges to develop new three-year degree programs. This historic breakthrough in program offerings will ensure more students have access to degree programs allowing them to acquire professional expertise needed to succeed in their careers. 

Building on Loyalist College’s long-standing expertise in media arts, business, applied sciences, and health, coupled with its soaring capability in applied research, expanding the degree programs at colleges will fulfil the growing demand among employers for graduates with more highly specialized qualifications. 

“As Loyalist College prepares to launch our new Academic Plan, the timing for this announcement is exceptional,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO, Loyalist College. “Building on the success of our recently launched Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, today’s announcement ensures we can continue broadening the diversity of higher education opportunities locally, which is extremely critical to supporting and enabling social and economic development and growth as we emerge from the pandemic. It is wonderful and exciting news for Loyalist, our students and alumni, employers and our community.  We know the quality of a Loyalist College education leads to great careers for our graduates. Providing more local access to degree credentials allows us to expand our services to the community. It is truly an historic day.” 

The announcement was made today by Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop at an event at Conestoga College in Kitchener.  

The Minister announced colleges can begin developing new three-year degree programs alongside their diploma programs and can expand their range of career-focused four-year degree programs. 

“Expanding the degree programs at colleges ensures more students will have access to high-quality, career-focused programs,” Minister Dunlop said. “More students will acquire the expertise and credentials to succeed in today’s job market.” 

“The City of Belleville is fortunate to have such a strong post-secondary partner in the region, as it empowers our industry and community partners to seize the economic development opportunities coming out of the pandemic,” said Mitch Panciuk, Mayor of Belleville. “The expansion of the colleges’ degree programs at Loyalist College is exciting news as it will offer even more pathways for career-ready graduates to meet industry needs – and allow more students to enroll in programs that lead to rewarding careers.” 

“This is great news for all colleges and a game-changer for our region,” said Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison. “As the only post-secondary institution in the Quinte region, Loyalist College plays an important role in developing our local workforce. This will create new career opportunities in the community and is a big win for students, employers and industry.” 

Currently, most programs offered at colleges are diploma programs. Prior to today’s announcement, colleges were only authorized to award degrees to graduates of their career-focused four-year programs 

The announcement today recognizes the success of the colleges’ degree programs and brings true equity to Ontario’s post-secondary system. It ensures every student whose education fulfils Ontario’s degree-level requirements is awarded a degree upon graduation. 

Importantly, this also benefits companies that promote themselves and their workforce internationally, as most jurisdictions outside Ontario aren’t familiar with the diploma credential.  

About Loyalist College            
Loyalist College is located on the territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, and the Haudenosaunee people. We acknowledge our shared obligation to respect, honour, and sustain these lands and the natural resources contained within. Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.8 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $396.3 million annually to the regional economy – based on an October 2021 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit  


Braden Root-McCaig 
Director of Marketing and Communications 
Loyalist College