Guidance – Frequently Asked Questions

Students can request language support during the time of registration.

Registration can only be confirmed upon receipt of all complete documents.

Even though students may have completed English studies in their home country or English diagnostic test may have placed them at the Grade 12 level, the Ontario English curriculum is very heavily based on English literature which is something students may not be familiar with. Grade 12 English is the only course in Grade 12 that is required by all university/college programs and required to graduate; therefore, it is very important that students are successful in the course. If a student has not taken English literature before, we highly recommend they build their familiarity and foundation in Grade 11 English first before pursuing the very critical Grade 12 English course.

Student who are not good at math are encouraged to improve their foundations if they are determined to pursue a math related program. If not, there are many options within the field of social science. (Please refer to the “Programs” list under “University Admissions”)

All students must write an English and Math diagnostic test prior to registration at CIC. These are the tools that we use to effectively determine a student’s optimal placement in the Ontario curriculum.

We find many of our students are interested in pursuing Engineering or Science related programs in university. These programs are very competitive and require high grades in subjects like Chemistry and Physics. Science curriculums vary significantly around the world. We recommend students take a Science Diagnostic Test to make sure that they feel comfortable with all the content needed to be successful going directly into Grade 12 Science courses. Having to repeat courses can have a negative impact on university applications, as well as student morale; so we want to make sure students are set up for success from the beginning.

No. Unfortunately, students only have one chance to take a diagnostic test.

We first advise students to consider their strengths and weaknesses in terms of academics (math, science etc.) and interests. Guidance Counsellors offer career assessment tools and workshops that will help students narrow down their pathway and discover options. (Please see “General Requirements for University Programs” for more information to help you plan)

Although many high schools around the world teach courses in the field of Computer Science, the curriculums vary significantly; for this reason we do not feel that we can grant an EQV for Grade 11 Computer Science in most cases. The Ontario Computer Science course is very heavily based on Java programming, which we find is not typical in most other countries.

Students must present all transcripts and certificates at time of registration for review. A certificate may be accepted as a prerequisite for an art course.

Generally a student chooses the courses specific to Program of Study (PoS) in Grade 11.

During the regular Fall/Winter semesters a full time student takes 4 courses. Each period is 80 minutes long, making for a complete day with a period break for lunch and allowing to complete school at 4:00pm. This also provides students with adequate time to be successful in each course and manage their time. Currently, we are operating on a new schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students take 2 classes each with an hour and a half synchronous learning and an hour a half independent learning. We also encourage students to be involved in after school activities and community service to gain a holistic education and have a positive, well-rounded experience here at CIC.

This is a course that is mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education for attainment of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. (Please see “Graduation Requirements” for more information)

Yes. Textbooks are assigned to each class and are available at the College Store for students to buy. The book list will be available at the College Store. Students need to know the courses they are enrolled before going to the College Store to buy books.

New students have 5 school days to add or change a course.

No. Every student’s timetable is unique and classes are determined by schedule and availability.

Students without a lunch period should see a Guidance Counsellor for either a change in timetable or a “special lunch” permission.

Guidance Counsellors are assigned according to student’s family name.

Students are encouraged to connect with their Guidance Counsellor as often as they need. Students can email their counsellor, drop by their office, or request an appointment.

Guidance Counsellors help students with educational issues, academic support, and personal and social issues.

Columbia International College offers academic support through teachers and tutors. Students are encouraged to meet with their Guidance Counsellor to seek academic support.

If a student fails a compulsory course, they will need to repeat it in order to graduate. Failure of a course does not grant credit towards the required 30 credits for the diploma. A student can retake a course to upgrade their result. There will be no additional credit granted towards diploma for repeated courses when students earn a credit but choose to upgrade their mark. All courses appear on the transcript and all courses are disclosed to universities and colleges when applying. Repeated courses may have a negative impact on applications.

May is the ideal time to graduate and have the most opportunity to be accepted to all universities and programs for September.

Community services hours are a mandatory requirement set by the Ontario Ministry of Education for all Ontario high school students. Students will not receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) without completing the required hours. Community service will help students to develop character, become an active global citizen, as well as feel a sense of pride and contribution to the community; but also can be an asset to university supplementary applications and scholarship applications.

Student Development helps students organize and plan their community service requirement.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. All students across the province write this test on the same date, usually in late March each year.