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How to Find Accredited, Legitimate Universities and Colleges in Canada

By: Ashton College

Published On: February 25, 2022

Going to university for the first time or heading back to school later in life is an exciting and memorable time. Taking a career program or a continuing education course is supposed to be life-changing in a positive way. Doing this should be easy to do right? Choose the school you want to go to and the program you want to complete, apply to the program and you are on the way to starting the career of dreams. Unfortunately, it is not always so simple, especially if you are an international student looking for schooling from overseas. It is important to apply or register at an accredited institution that is authorized to accept international students. Even if they say they do, it is important to double-check because you may not get your study permit for Canada if do not go to a school on the designation learning institution (DLI) list. Or, if you are taking an online career program before coming to Canada, you want to ensure the certificate you receive is valuable and recognized in the Canadian workforce.  

Also of note, you are not eligible for student loans if you do not go to a school on the DLI list. Read on to learn about the different types of educational institutes in Canada that are on the designated learning institution list, how does an institution get blacklisted and the consequence for both schools and students, and why Ashton College should be your top choice as a private institution.  

Types of Educational Institutes in Canada 

When looking at the designated learning institutions list on the government of Canada website, you will see a 4-character alpha code of letters beside the name of the school, the first character indicates the geographic location, the second character indicates the type of educational institution, and the last two characters will uniquely identify the institution within its type and geographic location. For example, Ashton College is APZE, A is for British Columbia, P is for Private Institution and ZE is its unique character code. The types are as follows: 

  • University: a technical degree granting institution 
  • Junior College: community colleges and CEGEPs that offer the first two years of a degree program  
  • Nursing Schools 
  • Teacher Training 
  • Technical and Vocational: Colleges of Applied Arts and Technologies and all schools whose highest diploma/certificate is vocational or technical  
  • Private Institutions: includes commercial institutions, not-for-profit secular, and not-for-profit religious institutions 

Any type of educational institution can become blacklisted but what does it take to become blacklisted? 

Becoming Blacklisted  

First, what is a blacklisted school? It is a school that has lost its accreditation, making all degrees, diplomas, or certificates unrecognized by employers or the government. Colleges can be blacklisted for a variety of reasons but usually, the school has broken some rules, cheated, or was involved in illegal activities, other reasons include: 

  • Recruiting unprofessional academic staff 
  • Low quality of education 
  • Poor management of school  
  • Poor infrastructure facilities 

As I mentioned earlier, schools that are under investigation or have been blacklisted can still operate as an online school and take money from new students.  

Consequences of Going to a Non-Accredited or Blacklisted University 

If you happen to be a current student when a school becomes blacklisted you are most likely left with nothing, all the money you have given the school and the time trying to earn your diploma, degree, or certificate has been wasted. Check out this recent news story from January 2022 about a now blacklisted college in Montreal. 

Why Ashton College? 

So, then what should you be looking for when you are researching your next school? For starters, check out their website for accreditation, both of the school and the programs offered, and of course that they are on the designated learning institutions list. Ashton College is on the DLI list and is accredited by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. A government organization that administers the Private Training Act and associated regulations to private training institutions in British Columbia. Also, look at any licensing bodies and associations that partner with the school such as: 

  • Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) 
  • College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants 
  • Canadian College of Health Information Management (CCHIM) 
  • Financial Advisors Association of Canada (Advocis) 
  • Canadian Bookkeepers Association (CBA) 
  • Canadian Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (CPB) 
  • Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) 
  • FP Canada 
  • National Association of Health Unit Coordinators (NAHUC) 

All of the above licensing bodies and professional associations have given accreditation or partnered with Ashton College in the delivery of programs and courses. It is important to also visit accreditation sites to confirm the accreditation.  

To continue your research, you can look for the following: 

For a legitimate college, you should be able to easily find all of the above. Going back to school is a momentous event, ensure your success by going to a reputable institution like Ashton College. 


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