By Maha Ansari
From being able to learn from the comfort of one’s home, to helping students fit coursework into busy schedules, online education has many benefits. At Carleton University, a growing selection of online options exist at the graduate level.
Launched in 2016, this part-time program allows students to complete the courses required to become eligible for the Sprott Master of Accounting program.
Jacques Maurice, who developed the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Accounting (PBD), says the program is largely aimed at aspiring accountants. It offers prerequisites needed for the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) certification program.
“We decided to…make sure all the courses are available online so a student wanting to do the PBD could be anywhere in the world,” says Maurice.
Students enrolled in the PBD in Accounting can watch lectures online from virtually anywhere. Although courses are mainly online, proctored exams are held at Carleton and other institutions. Distance students make arrangements with Carleton University OnLine to write with an approved proctor at their location.
For those hoping to enhance their skills in policy evaluation, this diploma is an excellent option.
Robert Shepherd, the program’s graduate supervisor, says it was designed to address a need for federal evaluation training. Although the program was targeted at federal public servants, its applicants tend to come from both government and the nonprofit sector.
The program has come a long way since its 2006 launch. What was once a six-course program with a traditional, face-to-face learning style has evolved into a fully online program.
Shepherd says the online nature of the program helps connect people with diverse perspectives across the country and internationally.
This 6.5 credit graduate program is a promising path for aspiring changemakers. Students learn the fundamentals of philanthropy and nonprofit leadership through their courses, and then have the opportunity to apply their knowledge through a major research project.
After a summertime study period at Carleton University, students can take courses online in the fall and winter terms.
Working on a capstone project with a partner organization gives students the chance to observe what they have learned in a real-world context.
Carleton’s graduate programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration aim to meet the educational needs of Indigenous people and others who work for or with Indigenous governments and organizations. Most IPA courses are delivered online to ensure maximum accessibility for people who are working or who may not be able to relocate to Ottawa. The online courses feature videos, PowerPoint presentations, discussion boards and other multimedia elements.
“We make use of a full range of tools that are available on cuLearn,” says Frances Abele, the graduate supervisor of Carleton’s IPA programs. “The graduate diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration is the only program of its kind in the country, so we would like to make sure that [it is] accessible.”
Students can enrol in a six-course graduate diploma, or take IPA graduate courses as part of their Master of Public Policy and Administration degree. The diploma is laddered with the master’s program, so that students who have completed the diploma can receive credit for some of the courses they’ve already taken should they apply for the master’s program.