Pathway programs are often in the form of a language course. Under pathway programs, students may meet the language requirements of the main study program by successfully completing a language course, rather than taking a recognized language test.
Pathway Programs include two stages. The first stage is usually the language course and is referred to as the ‘pathway program’, and the second stage — for example, a college diploma course or a bachelor’s degree — is referred to as the ‘main study program’.
When a potential international student receives a Letter of Acceptance to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI), in certain cases the offer is conditional upon the student proving his or her language ability in English or French. In this case, the international student may first attend a language course as a pathway program and then followed by that transfer to the main study program after completing the language course. There are two types of pathway programs for language courses. Have a look at the two programs:
The LOA may be conditional upon the international student completing an academic upgrading course. This condition may occur if the student has not completed the prerequisite courses required for the main program, or if secondary school in the student’s home country is not deemed equivalent to a Canadian secondary school. In such a case, the student may complete an academic upgrading course as a pathway program, before transferring to the main study program.
In order to ensure a smooth transfer between the pathway program and the main study program many universities and colleges in Canada have agreements with language schools and other institutions. Usually, a pathway program is taken at a different institution from the main study program. Occasionally, the pathway program and the main study program take place at the same Designated Learning Institution.