Northern College Pursues Degree Status to Further Welding Technology Learning

November 19, 2021

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is pleased to announce changes to the way it delivers its world-renowned suite of welding technology programming, developing plans to offer a 3-year degree program in Welding Technology and Metallurgy.

“We’re confident that the Ministry will support 3-year degrees in colleges, which will directly impact our future students,” stated Northern College President and CEO, Dr. Audrey J. Penner. “Ontario Colleges have been advocating for approval of 3-year degrees, and we see positive signals from the Ministry. A degree program will provide new opportunities for our welding graduates to contribute to further innovations at industrial and mining sites.

“This change in credential status allows our students to conduct independent applied research, and seek further graduate education in technical fields, if desired,” added Dr. Penner.

Northern College currently offers internationally recognized welding and industry training programs at the Kirkland Lake Campus, programs which Northern has invested in significantly, with four million dollars in upgrades to the KL campus, including equipment upgrades for the welding labs aimed at enhancing required infrastructure.

“It’s a perfect time to be considering a career in welding,” stated Program Coordinator Josh Fuller. “Employers are going out of their way to find the best talent and ensure that new welding engineering professionals come up to speed quickly and safely. Our graduates stand out with employers, continually learning the kinds of technical and leadership skills that help grow these companies.”

The push to create higher levels of certification in the welding profession will be aided by the professional and academic expertise of Northern College’s faculty and staff, some of whom possess graduate degrees in the fields of engineering and metallurgy.  This talent pool is critical to the achievement of 3-year degrees.

The pursuit of degree-level training for those learning welding will continue to make excellent use of the College’s partnership with The Materials Joining Innovation Centre (MaJIC), an innovative not-for-profit organization focusing on developing materials, science, and engineering expertise within the industrial sector located at the Kirkland Lake campus.

Over its 13-year history, MaJIC has played a vital role both in Canada and internationally by aiding companies to enhance productivity and quality, meet regulatory requirements, and improve industrial safety.

“MaJIC and Northern College’s welding programs have been instrumental in supporting growth within the Canadian welding industry,” stated Jeff Molyneaux, Executive Director of MaJIC. “Industry is in need of competent and qualified welding professionals, and Northern College continues to strive to train the best of the best.  The ability to offer a degree program will strengthen Northern College as a pre-eminent provider of welding education and training.”

As with any academic program change, some future study options will be paused to make way for the new credential options.  Applications for the 3-year advanced diploma in welding technologist will be suspended for Fall 2022 term in order to focus on developing the new credential option. 

“Existing students will be encouraged to finish the credential they began,” stated Aaron Klooster, Northern College’s Vice-President Academic and Student Services. “When we plan this way, we always make sure we support those students enrolled in our current programs as they move towards completion, while keeping financial sustainability of programs in mind.” 

Northern College will continue to place emphasis on supporting one-year certificate and two-year diploma training in welding. Northern will continue to offer targeted training within its credentials to further prepare students for their Canadian Welder’s Bureau (CWB) exams, a popular licensure that opens up new employment prospects for graduates.

Any changes to academic programs are subject to approval by the College’s Board of Governors and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), and the College will provide updates as they move into the next planning cycle.


Media Contact: 
Kyle Gennings (he/him)
Communications & Government Relations Officer 
Marketing, Communications, and External Relations
P. 705-235-3211 ext. 2276
F. 705-235-6888
C. 705-288-1101 

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