Learning opportunities for all ages
Huron County has a wide variety of learning options for the whole family, from pre-schoolers to retirees. For school-age children, public and private learning opportunities are available; 24 elementary schools and 5 secondary schools are located throughout the county, all with safe school policies. If you like opportunities for adult education, skills development, and self-improvement, Huron County hosts several unique learning partnerships that bring a range of programming to local residents.
Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Avon Maitland District School Board
- Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
- Huron Christian School
- The Virtual High School
- Mennonite and Amish parochial schools
Home schooling your children is another alternative in Huron County. Home schooling is, simply put, the practice of teaching your own children at home. We suggest you visit these sites for detailed information and assorted resources about home-based learning:
- Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents
- Ontario Christian Home Educators’ Connection
- The Learning House
- Ontario Ministry of Education: Homeschooling Policy
- Home School Legal Defence Association
Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB): AMDSB covers the counties of Huron, Ontario’s West Coast, and Perth, famous for the Stratford Festival. A full service, public, English school district in southwestern Ontario, the AMDSB’s Education Centre is located at 62 Chalk Street North, in Seaforth. The board’s administrative offices are housed here, attached to Seaforth Public School, and provide central support for 41 elementary and 10 secondary schools, 18,000 students and 1,700 staff. Phone 519.527.0111 or 1.800.592.5437 or visit their website, Avon Maitland District School Board.
Check out these public school resources…
- Directory of schools
- Ontario Ministry of Education: Ontario Curriculum, Elementary: Kindergarten
- Ontario Ministry of Education: Elementary
- Ontario Ministry of Education: Secondary
- Avon Maitland District School Board, International Studies
Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board (HPCDSB): The HPCDSB has a rich 165-year history of providing quality Catholic education to students. Located in mid-western Ontario, the board encompasses Huron and Perth Counties. The board’s administrative offices at 87 Mill Street, Dublin, provide central support for 14 elementary and 2 secondary schools, approximately 4,500 students and 500 staff members. Telephone 519. 345.2440 or visit the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.
Check out these Catholic school resources…
- 168 Years of Success: Ontario’s Catholic Schools
- Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education
- The Ontario Institute for Catholic Education
- Schools and Education – The Diocese of London
- Catholic Elementary Schools – Ontario Ministry of Education
- Catholic Secondary Schools – Ontario Ministry of Education
Post-Secondary and Adult Education
Huron County, with its wide variety of adult learning options, makes it easy to study whatever you are interested in closer to home.
Post-secondary and adult education opportunities at every level – from trades and PhDs to professional and vocational – are available within an easy commute. There are two of the largest community colleges in Ontario and four Universities located within a half hour to 1.5 hour drive of the boundary of Huron County.
Online college and university credits courses, offered by many of the educational institutions mentioned below, are a convenient alternative or addition to in-person classes.
Adults of any age and background can take courses to build their knowledge and skills. At any time, an adult learner can study for an Ontario High School Diploma, improve computer skills, take English language classes free, or pursue a university degree.
Read the latest Learning & Training in Huron County newsletter here!
Post-Secondary and Adult Education Opportunities
The Centre for Employment & Learning is a one-stop employment and educational facility bringing the world of learning to Huron County residents offering:
- Computer courses
- High school credits and academic upgrading
- GED Preparation
- English as a Second Language (ESL): The Centres for Employment & Learning of the Avon Maitland District School Board offer English as a Second Language programs. The programs are conducted in a classroom setting and are specifically designed to assist adults in the community for whom English is not their first language but who would like to speak, read and write better in English.
- Skills Upgrading & Readiness Program (SURP): SURP is a FREE program providing learner-centred, task-based upgrading opportunities for adults preparing for employment, apprenticeship, secondary school credit (Grade 12), and post-secondary education.
- Reach for Success: an employability through work experience program funded by the Federal Government Skills Link Program, to help youth aged 15 to 30 years of age overcome barriers to employment.
- Career Planning
- Employment Services: Resumes, Interview Skills, Job Search, Second Career
Visit www.thecentreforemploymentandlearning.ca for more information.
Contact North/E-Learn Network: Learn where you live! Contact North|elearnnetwork.ca works with colleges, universities, high schools, and literacy organizations in Ontario. Want to take one of their programs or courses, but don’t want to move? With us, you take classes through e-learning, video or audio at our local centre or from home.
Study for a post-secondary certificate, diploma, or degree in any field or discipline with a college or university of your choice. The possibilities are endless.
Contact North/E-Learn Network provides online continuing education options for Huron County residents. Providing access to both college and university level programs and courses, Contact North enables learners to learn at home with support from the local learning and employment centres.
The Emergency Services Training Centre (ESTC) in Blyth, Ontario has become a model for fire, emergency response and corporate training in Ontario.
The ESTC is an excellent facility providing firefighter and emergency responder training for municipalities and companies. Through partnerships with accredited training providers, the ESTC provides the high quality instruction that responders need to deal with today’s ever-changing demands.
Contact the ESTC by phoning 226.523.9500 or visit www.estc.ca to learn more.
Lake Huron Learning Collaborative (LHLC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable and accessible in-class training in Huron and Bruce counties. Since 2004, LHLC has formed partnerships with local teachers and educational institutions to offer a variety of post-secondary, professional development and interest courses at its centres in Goderich and Kincardine.
For more information on upcoming post-secondary and adult education programs go to www.lakehuronlearning.ca or call 519.524.4154.
The Regional Equine & Agricultural Centre of Huron Inc., (REACH Huron) is a non-profit registered charity that supports the agricultural community of southwestern Ontario with a special focus on equine studies. Reach offers a variety of learning opportunities for children and adults. REACH Huron offers innovative programming as well as recreational activities to support both the equine and agricultural industries.
The REACH Centre is located at 169 Beech Street, Clinton. Phone: 519.482.3998 or visit www.reachhuron.ca to find out more.
Nearby University and Community Colleges
University and Community Colleges:
- Conestoga College (Kitchener)
- Fanshawe College (London)
- Georgian College (Barrie)
- University of Guelph
- University of Waterloo
- University of Western Ontario (London)
- Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo)
College & University education resources
A good education–an important component and boost to any career–provides many opportunities. Financial assistance may be available at the college or university you choose to attend and the Government of Canada offers sponsorship and funding programs. Colleges, universities, and educational institutions offer post-secondary learning within Huron County.
The following three colleges, within driving distance of Huron County, offer both in-person and online courses.
Conestoga College (Kitchener): Established in 1967, Conestoga has become a leading polytechnic institute, providing a wide variety of education and training programs, from upgrading through to four-year degrees. Conestoga offers more than 120 full-time diploma programs, 26 apprenticeship programs, 9 four-year bachelor degree programs as well as 2 collaborative degrees, 23 graduate certificate programs and more than 130 part-time programs. Conestoga has campuses in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Stratford, Cambridge, Brantford and Ingersoll.
Fanshawe College (London): Fanshawe College is a community college with six campuses in Southwestern Ontario. Fanshawe provides training in applied arts, business, health care, human services, hospitality, literacy, academic upgrading, life skills, computers, technology, apprenticeship and English as a Second Language.
Georgian College: Georgian College offers more than 100 programs taught in any of their seven campuses. Academic upgrading, apprenticeship, diploma, college degree, university degree or graduate studies – are all available at Georgian.
Huron County residents have the option of in-class or online university-level courses and can pursue degree studies in a wide range of academic disciplines.
University of Guelph (Guelph): Ranked as one of Canada’s top universities, the University of Guelph offers a wide variety of academic programs ranging from undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degrees to diploma and certificate programs. They also offer courses for those seeking to upgrade their skills or develop their interests.
University of Waterloo (Waterloo): The University of Waterloo is one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities with 34,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo, home to the world’s largest post-secondary co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery.
University of Western Ontario (London): The University of Western Ontario is one of the oldest universities in Canada. Since the first graduating class in 1883, the university has become a vibrant centre of learning with more than 1,400 faculty members and approximately 35,000 students. With 12 Faculties and Schools and three Affiliated University Colleges, Western offers more than 400 different specializations, majors and minors at the undergraduate level.
Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo): With more than 17,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Laurier has campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, as well as locations in Kitchener, Toronto and Chongqing, China. Laurier’s Waterloo campus offers a broad range of full- and part-time graduate and undergraduate degree programs through seven faculties: Arts, Music, Science, Education, Social Work, Graduate Studies and the School of Business and Economics. Laurier’s Brantford campus is dedicated to innovative programming within the liberal arts.
Literacy and Basic Skills
Literacy—basic reading, writing, math, communication, and computer skills—is essential to a satisfying quality of life, to be able to contribute to your community and workplace, and to fully enjoy all that living in Huron County offers.
The Centres for Employment and Learning offer literacy and basic skills training. If you wish to upgrade reading, writing, math, computer, and communication skills, the Centres can help. Staff can also help adult learners who may wish to get their GED (Grade 12 Equivalency Diploma). Pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship assistance and opportunities are available. To find out more about the program in your area, contact the Centre for Employment & Learning nearest you. The Centres are located in Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Seaforth, and Wingham.
The LearningHUB is a free Literacy and Basic Skills Upgrading program offered by The Centres for Employment & Learning of the Avon Maitland District School Board. The LearningHUB provides flexible, online opportunities to upgrade reading, writing, math, computer and other essential workplace skills to adults in Ontario so they can:
- Be prepared to get a job, or to perform better in an existing job;
- Be ready to take a secondary school credit course or Grade 12 equivalency test (GED);
- Be more comfortable entering a college, university or apprenticeship program;
- Feel better about themselves and their ability to reach their life goals.
For course descriptions and scheduling, visit: www.learninghub.ca.
Quality in Lifelong Learning (QUILL) Network is one of 16 regional literacy networks in Ontario funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. QUILL Network can help connect adults to essential skills upgrading programs. All programs are free and based on individual needs and goals.
If you want to earn more high school credits, get your GED (General Educational Development) certificate, or take college or apprenticeship courses, literacy programs will prepare you for success.
Programs will also benefit adults who need to upgrade their skills for current or future jobs. Based in Walkerton, QUILL serves Bruce, Grey, Huron, and Perth counties.
Literacy programs can help you:
- Improve your skills for present or future work
- Prepare for the GED or high school credits
- Upgrade your skills for post-secondary courses or apprenticeship training
- Become more independent
Contact the QUILL Learning Network at their office located at 200 McNab Street, Suite 202, Walkerton or call 519.881.4655, toll-free: 1.800.530.6852. Check out their website at www.quillnetwork.com.
English is the language most commonly used for business, education, and to access government and municipal services. English language skills are therefore essential to your professional success and to your involvement in your new community. Learning English is a necessity in order to settle in and make Huron your new home.
English and French are the two official languages of Canada; all Government of Canada services and documents are available in these two languages. In Huron County, you may hear different languages being spoken, but English is the language of schools, businesses, and municipal offices.
If you are interested in learning more about our languages, visit the links below:
- Learning English or French – Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Learning English or French – Ontario Immigration
- Languages Canada
- Languages of Canada – Wikipedia
- Language Portal of Canada
English language training
If you are thinking about learning English or improving your English language skills, you won’t need to look too far to find help. There are many resources in Huron County to help you enhance your English skills. Training in the English language is called ‘English as a Second Language’ or ESL. In Huron County, ESL learning opportunities and resources are available through a variety of providers:
- The Centres for Employment and Learning
- The Avon Maitland District School Board
- Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada home study program (LINC)
- Huron County Library
The Centres for Employment and Learning
The Centres for Employment and Learning offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The non-credit, adult ESL programs are conducted in a classroom setting and are specifically designed to offer assistance to adults in the community for whom English is not their first language but who would like to speak, read and write better in English.
The English as a Second Language program teaches skills in:
The classes are offered at 3 levels (Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced) during morning, afternoon, or evening class sessions.
For ESL class locations, times, or for more information, please contact a centre nearest you:
- The Centre in Exeter: 349 Main Street, Exeter; phone: 519.235.0471
- The Centre in Goderich: 41 West Street, Goderich; phone: 519.524.2515
- The Centre in Wingham: 152 Josephine Street, 2nd floor, Wingham; phone: 519.357.4995
The Avon Maitland District School Board
The Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) is a full service, public, English school district in southwestern Ontario that covers the counties of Huron and Perth. The AMDSB head office is located in Seaforth, Ontario at 62 Chalk Street North.
The AMDSB offers supported English language immersion to all school-aged children who may need assistance. English Language Learners have access to adapted daily programming and assessment, individual or small group tutoring, and computer assisted language learning. The ESL Resource Centre website offers access to the tools used to assess, program for, and to support each student as they move towards full Academic English proficiency.
Visit the AMDSB ESL Resources:
- The Avon Maitland District School Board
- The Avon Maitland District School Board: English as a Second Language
- ESL Resource Centre
Huron County Library ESL Learning Resources
Huron County Library offers resources for learning English to people of all ages. To access the services, all that is required is a library card. Branches of the Huron County Library are located in Bayfield, Blyth, Brussels, Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Hensall, Howick, Kirkton, Seaforth, Wingham, and Zurich. Phone the main library office on Hwy. #4 south, RR 5, Clinton at 519.482.5457 or visit any branch of the Huron County Library in person.
- The Newcomer Settlement Collection is a collection consisting of books and resources relating to the immigrant experience. The collection includes a variety of print books, audio books, and English as a Second Language (ESL) resources that will help ease a newcomer’s settlement in Huron and enhance their language skills if needed.
- Mango Languages: A variety of languages – basic to advanced levels – are available though this online learning tool. Over 30 languages, ESL included, are accessible through this learning tool. Learn English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more.
- Little Pim: Children ages 0-6 are introduced to foreign languages in ways they can understand and enjoy with Little Pim. A variety of courses, which combine animation and video plus memory-building exercises, are available.
- The library also provides access to the Interlibrary Loan system of Ontario public libraries and the Ontario Library Services for downloads of language learning materials.
Online ESL learning resources
- ESL Self-Assessment Tool: An online self-assessment tool for people who are interested in assessing their English as a Second Language (ESL). These tests are based on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) and will assess your language proficiency in reading and listening.
- The Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) are the national standards used throughout Canada for describing, measuring and recognizing second language proficiency of adult immigrants and prospective immigrants for living and working in Canada.
- The ESL Corner provides free online language exercises on a variety of topics relevant to newcomers to Canada: Canadian citizenship and culture, daily life, employment and education.
- 5-Minute English has free online lessons under the categories of grammar, vocabulary, reading, pronunciation, listening and slang/idioms.
- Many Things offers quizzes, word games, word puzzles, proverbs, slang expressions and other online learning activities for people studying ESL.
- Language Guide provides a picture dictionary with simple graphics. Place your cursor over an image or text to hear it pronounced aloud.
Library Learning Resources
The Huron County Library provides access to programs, services, and learning resources for residents of Huron and area. To access the services, all that is required is a library card. Branches of the Huron County Library are located in Bayfield, Blyth, Brussels, Clinton, Exeter, Goderich, Hensall, Howick, Kirkton, Seaforth, Wingham, and Zurich. Phone the main library office on Hwy. #4 south, RR 5, Clinton at 519.482.5457 or visit the Huron County Library.
Career Training & Planning
Apprenticeships combine job experience with technical training. Apprenticeship in Ontario is the responsibility of the provincial government, which offers apprenticeship studies in a variety of fields. Apprenticeships are available to adult and youth learners.
Apprenticeships are available to high school students through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a secondary school cooperative education program that allows students to participate in an apprenticeship occupation, while working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
For more information on apprenticeships, check out…
- Avon Maitland District School Board
- Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
- Four County Labour Market Planning Board
- I want to the work in the trades
- Apprentice Trades Inventory
People usually retrain after a job loss, to improve skills, or to change careers. Newcomers sometimes encounter challenges when looking for a job. If you are finding it difficult to find work in your field, one possible alternative is retraining. In Huron County, we have access to a variety of local and government programs that can help. The Second Career is one such government retraining program. Visit the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for more information.
A volunteer is someone who chooses to help an organization or group without receiving payment for their services. Volunteering is a great way to build social networks, develop professional connections, and gain work experience in Canada. Visit the links below for a listing of available volunteer opportunities:
The Huron Christian School: The Huron Christian School (HCS) is an independent, Christian elementary school that has been a part of the Clinton community for over 50 years. Run by school board members elected by the school society members, HCS has grades junior kindergarten through grade eight. The school is affiliated with London District Christian Secondary School and with the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) and Christian Schools International. The school is located at 87 Percival Street in Clinton, Ontario. Call 519.482.7851 for more information.
The Virtual High School: Since 2002, the Virtual High School in Bayfield, Ontario has been providing online high school courses to both Ontario students and international students. As a private school issuing Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) credits, Virtual High School has grown to be the largest private high school in Canada. For more information, call 1.416.800.1186 or 1.866.679.9377 x 301.
Lingen Lodge: Lingen Lodge Language and Preparatory School located in Bayfield, Ontario offers a unique program, in partnership with the Virtual High School, whereby a student can study for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) while learning to speak English. As well, students boarding at Lingen Lodge may receive a personalized ESL immersion program to further enhance their learning experience. For more information, contact Lingen Lodge Language and Preparatory School, Cameron Street, Bayfield by phoning 519.565.4515 or visiting their website.
Other Learning Resources
- Four County Labour Market Planning Board plays a leadership role in the development of innovative labour market strategies by providing reliable research; identifying employment trends; targeting workforce opportunities; promoting skills development; and raising public awareness of workforce issues.
- Guide for Foreign-Trained Trades people: In Ontario, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, through its Workplace Support Services offices, helps trades people to obtain recognition of their trade qualifications and experience, or to enter an apprenticeship. Trades people who have enough related work experience to meet Ontario standards and who pass a written examination receive a Certificate of Qualification.
- Ontario Network for Internationally Trained Professionals will help you find employment and build a career in your professional field. You will find information on licensing and employment options, that exist in your field. There is also help in learning the English language terminology used in your professions and opportunities to network with other professionals.