June 14-16











CCO Conference | 

CCO's 45th Annual Conference includes unmatched networking opportunities, featured guest speakers, and informative session specially designed to bring value to your PCC. 

CCO’s annual conference is a gathering of career colleges and their stakeholders across the province in celebration of the sector, its students and the continued progress being made in recognition of the important role career colleges play in Ontario’s postsecondary education system. 

This year's conference will incorporate the 6th annual CCO awards ceremony to recognize a deserving instructor and seven outstanding graduates of the career college sector.




Hilton Hotel & Suites

6361 Fallsview Boulevard
Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9


Wednesday, May 30
4PM - 12AM

Thursday, May 31
7:30AM - 10 PM


(519) 752-2124 ext.113

Wednesday, June 14

Annual General Meeting

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Join us for CCO's Annual General Meeting as CCO and its members shape the future of your Association and your voice.

Registration will be made available to all members from 1 pm to 4 pm on June 14 at Queen's Landing. Please note that attending the Annual General Meeting is free for all members. Those who wish to attend the Annual General Meeting are not required to attend the conference.

Welcome Reception

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kicking things off, CCO welcomes delegates and special guests to the beginning of our much anticipated annual conference.

Guests are free to take full advantage of the catered reception and abundant networking opportunities, beneficial to new and seasoned veterans of the sector.


Thursday, June 15

Keynote Speaker - Vicki Saunders

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Entrepreneur, award-winning mentor, advisor to the next generation of changemakers and leading advocate for entrepreneurship as a way of creating positive transformation in the world. 

Vicki was recently named one of the 100 most influential leaders of 2015 from "EBW - Empowering A Billion Women", alongside Marissa Mayer, Melinda Gates, Sheryl Sandberg, and Michelle Obama. In 2001, Vicki was selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. She has spoken regularly at events around the world including; The World Economic Forum in Davos, Women of Influence Series in Canada, TEDx Conference, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs events and the Tallberg Forum.

10 Questions For Optimizing PCC Operations

10:00 am - 10:55 am

“Whenever you have two executives who always agree – you only need one of them.”

10 Questions For Optimizing PCC Operations is a unique session designed to promote a healthy debate around multiple aspects of PCC operations.

Don Thibert and Robert Prendergast are executives/consultants with a combined experience approaching 50 years in our sector. They've seen the sector undergo dramatic changes over that time, and both seem to have survived thanks to their aptitude in overseeing PCC operations.

JP Roszell, senior advisory, Anderson College, will moderate the panel and pose questions about PCC operations which are expected to stimulate responses from the panel that may or may not be in perfect alignment. The audience will be invited to engage in the debate through an open mic opportunity, and can, therefore, challenge the participants and other operators. 

Be prepared for answers to questions like:

  1. What ways can I grow my college, and is there a “best way” that I should focus on?

  2. Why do career colleges fail, and who is really responsible? (Note that we are in a shrinking sector with respect to the number of PCC campuses in Canada.)

(All answers will be collated and provided at the end of the conference.)

Have a questions or relevant propositions for discussion? Email it to info@careercollegesontario.ca.

All submissions will remain anonymous.

Career Colleges Can Benefit From Strong KPI and KPI Processes

11:05 am - 12:30 pm

In this session, Don Thibert of Don Thibert & Associates, Edmund Leong of Tator, Rose and Leong, and CCO Executive Director Paul Kitchin will provide conference delegates with the most up to date information on key performance indicators for the career college sector as well as their expert guidance on proven approaches that will allow career college owners and managers to derive maximum benefit from KPI at minimal cost.

This session will explore how KPI results can provide career colleges with essential information required to ensure that their decision-making and planning exercises lead to quality student outcomes, reduced expenses and increased profitability.

The presenters will share best practice tips that all career colleges can incorporate into their regular KPI activities in order to streamline their data gathering, submission and audit processes.

This session will provide an overview of the KPI results to date and clarify, for all,  the future benefits and potential implications of such results.

The ultimate goal of this session is to help career college officials understand how to embrace KPI to drive and support business models while maintaining sustainability, profitability and future enterprise value.



1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

In this session, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario and Dan Attwell, a workplace lawyer at Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP, join forces to provide an overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”), including specific requirements that impact career colleges. 

Included in this session will be some practical guidance on what larger organizations need to do to meet the critical deadline to file an accessibility compliance report by December 31, 2017.

Enriched Learning Experiences for Accounting and Business Programs

3:00 pm - 3:55 pm

We are introducing live QuickBooks Online training at the Career Colleges Ontario Conference. This 1-hour session will help you get started on the features and functions of QuickBooks so you can get the most out of teaching cloud accounting in your classroom. After attending this session, you will be ready to unlock the power of QuickBooks Online for your classroom.  

We’ll start with the basics, then we will cover everything you need to know about teaching QuickBooks in the classroom. 
Our trainer, Gisele Doucet, will provide in-depth and interactive training plus use real life scenarios based on actual experiences. She will cover, 

  •  Time saving features. 
  • How to setup and navigate the system. 
  • See how you can use pre-built reports and customization tools so your students can uncover full business insights.
  • Money in Tasks: Customers and Sales in QuickBooks Online. Show your students everything they need to know to keep the cash flowing for their business. 
  • Money Out: Supplies and Expenses in QuickBooks Online. Show your students everything they need to know to gain control and eliminate oversights in their books. 
  • And much more… 

Join us and unlock the power of QuickBooks cloud accounting for your students.

Creativity across the college: Getting the most out of your students from day one!

3:00 pm - 3:55 pm

Introducing creativity into the classroom doesn't have to make the job harder — it can actually make it a lot more interesting for instructors and students!

Come to this session to learn about what creativity is (and is not), why creativity is important for seizing the opportunity for institutional transformation and experience easy engaging ways to bring more creativity to teaching and learning college-wide.

Ontario Student Grant

4:05 pm - 5:00 pm

Get the latest information on the incoming and evolving Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Join the Director of the OSAP Transformation Branch, Noah Morris, as he provides an overview of the New OSAP often referred to as "Free Tuition".

This session will focus on the transformation of OSAP, covering the two-phased implementation of incoming changes that will begin August 1, 2017, with a comprehensive look at the Ontario Student Grant and issues specific to private institutions.

Paid Search and Social Media Advertising for maximum impact

4:05 pm - 5:00 pm

Paid search and social media advertising can be an invaluable way for career colleges to increase lead generation and improve their visibility in strategically important markets. This session will provide a comprehensive framework for creating, implementing, and managing campaigns across a range of popular digital channels.

Led by Philippe Taza, CEO of Higher Education Marketing, both new and intermediate users will learn how to use paid advertising to supplement their existing recruitment efforts, localize their campaigns for more effective targeting, and boost their overall visibility online. Participants will also be shown how to optimize their pay-per-click and social media advertising to reduce cost per lead (CPL) and increase return on investment (ROI).

The topics covered will include:

  • Understanding the Google AdWords interface
  • Setting up geo-targeted PPC Campaigns
  • Implementing  social media advertising campaigns
  • Nurturing existing leads with remarketing
  • Creating custom landing pages
  • Carefully managing bids to reduce CPL
  • Tracking and measuring campaigns
  • Interpreting monthly reports to increase ROI

Friday, June 16

It Takes Two to Tango – Shifting Economies and the Workforce

10:00 am - 11:00 am

The Economy of today looks very different from that of 30 years ago, and we can only begin to imagine 30 years into the future.

Conversations of student success are dominated by matters of shifting economies, labour supply, job vacancies of today and jobs of tomorrow. This session will explore Ontario’s labour market, sharing near-time data that showcases job vacancies at a community and regional level across Ontario. To effectively plan our workforce and the skills and knowledge needed, we are required to examine both labour supply and labour demand. This session will share a snapshot of labour market activity and trends emerging in Ontario. 

Let’s chat about where the jobs are, what the jobs are, and what skills employers are seeking; learn about a community hub solution that is tracking the disconnect between supply and demand. Let’s explore how these elements will strengthen program planning and student graduate success.

Demographic Survey Report

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

On December 7, 2016, CCO contracted an independent research group—Environics Research Group—to coordinate with career colleges across the province and administer an online student survey from January 18, 2017, to February 24, 2017.

This broad and inclusive collection of demographic data from students in our sector will strengthen the accuracy of the student profile and serve as a powerful tool that will buttress CCO's advocacy efforts with government officials and policy makers on behalf of the sector.

Join us for this session as Environics Research Group unveils their final report, which will delineate the facts regarding the unique demographics, needs, and challenges of our students, as well as compare relevant data to that of the public institutions’ students.

It is crucial that these facts be clearly defined and identified, because our students are different, and they choose career colleges because career colleges satisfy their needs in ways that universities and community colleges cannot.