School of Distance Education

About the School of Distance Education

George Brown College (GBC) has a long history in alternative delivery of courses and programs.  The College offered its first correspondence course in 1968 and since then its enrolment in distance education courses has grown to over 20,000 students from around the world.  Enrolment growth in online courses increased at a rate of 10 – 15% a year from 2005 (while still known as ‘Continuing Education’) to 2015, and GBC has become the largest provider of distance education courses in Canada.

The GBC School of Distance Education (SDE), framed by its own mission and values, was formed in 2014 in response to the significant increase in enrolment in distance education courses and programs within the Centre for Continuous Learning and in recognition of the unique challenges associated with supporting thousands of online students in different international time zones and in supporting the unique needs associated with asynchronous learning.

Historically, SDE certificates were either purposely designed and developed specifically for distance learning or have evolved over time from traditional in-class or hybrid continuing education programs, reflecting the growing demand for online learning options.

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The School of Distance Education provides quality higher education opportunities for non-traditional learners by removing barriers to college-level courses and programs, thereby enabling students to develop the knowledge and skills to achieve their personal and professional goals. By delivering courses and programs online, the School of Distance Education meets the needs of a diverse and geographically dispersed student population, and provides adult learners with convenient and affordable education..

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Building on an established reputation for academic excellence and innovation, the School of Distance Education will be the premier provider of quality distance learning opportunities in its class. 

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The School of Distance Education implements its mission and vision through consistent application and monitoring of its values: 

  • Outcomes-based distance learning programs that are affordable, accessible and up-to-date with current industry and academic standards. 
  • Student-centered academic advising and support services by phone, email and on-line. 
  • Diversity of people, ideas and innovation in its programs and its organizational structure. 
  • A quality assurance framework that is integral to strategic planning, operational efficiency and fiscal sustainability processes. 
  • Faculty and staff who are subject experts, committed to best practices in distance education programming and student support.

George Brown College is a fully-accredited post-secondary institution operating under the authority of the Ministry Colleges and Universities (MCU) in the Province of Ontario. The College received its Charter in 1967 and operates four campuses in Toronto, Canada with over 12,000 full-time and 60,000 part-time students. All certificates, diplomas, and degrees conferred by George Brown College are done so under the power vested in its Board of Governors through the Government of Ontario. George Brown College is a member of the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) which is a national organization consisting of over 200 post-secondary institutions.

School of Distance Education Leadership Team

Dr. Colin Simpson, Dean, Centre for Continuous Learning

Kathleen Abbott, Associate Dean

Brenda Yip, Manager of Distance Education and Finance

Joseph Sirianni, Chair, Technology and Trades

Jonathan Gould, Chair, Business and Graphics

Patricia Marten-Daniel, Chair, Nursing and Emergency Management

Scott Duncan, Manager, Business Development

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