As an Athabasca University student, you are well aware of distance education, its convenience, and its value. AU is not alone in offering distance education. More and more, other schools are offering distance programs and individual courses to students throughout Canada and the world. The difficulty for the student is finding the schools and the programs they need. Canadian Virtual University (CVU) makes this process easier by providing a network of participating universities across Canada who are offering a wide variety of courses and programs to a growing number of distance students. Those courses and programs can be completed – as with any AU course – from wherever the student happens to reside.
Offering a growing list of over 250 programs and 2000 courses (many offered completely over the Internet, and over 300 are offered in French), the CVU is a veritable candystore of learning. It can enrich the learning of an AU student, or indeed any student, by providing access to courses not offered by their host schools. This network of universities currently includes Athabasca University, British Columbia Open University, Laurentian University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Royal Roads University, Télé-université du Québec, Université de Moncton, University College of Cape Breton, The University of Manitoba, and University of New Brunswick.
Enrolling in a program via CVU gives a student access to courses from all the participating universities, without having to fill out extra enrolment forms or having to pay for the sometimes required Letter of Permission and Visiting Student Applications. The student can take any courses from the catalogue they wish, as each school is committed to allowing transfer credits, so long as those courses fulfill the program requirements. Programs on the CVU website can be browsed, sorted by level (certificate, diploma, bachelors, masters, noncredit), by providing university, or by subject area; and courses may be browsed the same way. Both sections offer a search function in case you’re looking for something specific. The CVU website also provides access to the course catalogues of individual universities, and a form you can fill out in order to enrol at a host university.
The CVU does not grant degrees, diplomas, or certificates itself, though; that will be granted by one of the universities connected with the CVU, the student’s host school. You needn’t have any worry about the acceptability of your degree, as “all partners are chartered under provincial legislation and are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, you can be confident that you will earn a recognized credential that will be recognized by other post-secondary institutions and by employers around the world” (CVU F.A.Q.).
Learners worldwide are welcome to enrol into a program or individual course via the CVU, but the student should be aware that each Canadian university has its own policy regarding fees for non-residents, so some courses may be more costly than others. The CVU provides links to the regulations of each participating university regarding fees for non-residents and residents alike, so finding what you need to know is easy. The CVU also provides information regarding prior learning and work assessment, in case the student wishes to use previously gained knowledge towards their chosen degree.
Distance education has been described as “education without barriers”, and the CVU makes that education easier by linking those dedicated to providing accessible and quality education to all who seek a flexible learning environment tailored to individual needs.