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Old 09-14-2007, 09:37 PM
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Why did Ontario have a 13th grade?

Until 2003 the school system in Ontario consisted of 13 grades (plus kindergarden), but it's my understanding that one only needed to attend grade 13 if one wanted to go to university. How did Ontario schools come to have 13 grades when nearly every other Canadian and American school system only developed 12 (or did other provinces/states once have a 13th grade too)?
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:40 PM
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I guess they figured it'd take en extra year for you guys. LOL!


Just kidding. no useful knowledge for this thread...
Old 09-14-2007, 09:57 PM
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The fifth year was not mandatory to graduate from high school. It was originally designed to be a prep year for university, giving students an opportunity to take special courses, called OACs for the last 20 years or so of Grade 13, which were then used to apply to university.

You could graduate in four years if you wanted to, and in fact many kids rushed and finished in four years while still fitting in the OAC courses. It eventually became obvious that it was pointless.

Last edited by RickJay; 09-14-2007 at 09:59 PM.
Old 09-14-2007, 10:38 PM
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New Zealand and the state of NSW here in Australia have a Year 13 (Known until recently in NZ as 7th Form).

Given the educational standards here in Queensland (which only goes to Year 12), I'm inclined to think NZ and NSW have a much better system...
Old 09-15-2007, 03:49 AM
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IIRC from my time in Ontario in the '70's, you could finish college in 3 years that way.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield
New Zealand and the state of NSW here in Australia have a Year 13 (Known until recently in NZ as 7th Form).

Given the educational standards here in Queensland (which only goes to Year 12), I'm inclined to think NZ and NSW have a much better system...
Far better than only going up to eleven
Old 09-15-2007, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outlierrn
IIRC from my time in Ontario in the '70's, you could finish college in 3 years that way.
You could. (I was at an Ontario high school in the 1970s too, BTW.) With your Grade 13, you could get a three-year degree from an Ontario university. Of course, you could get a four-year degree too, if you liked, and many of us did.

Another quirk of having completed Grade 13 was that if you went to a university outside of Ontario, you were generally considered a second-year student, so you'd only need to attend university for three years anyway. This happened to some people from my Grade 13 class who went to university in other provinces and in the US.
Old 09-15-2007, 10:06 AM
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Because ours' go up to 13, man. Don't you get it? 13!
Old 09-15-2007, 11:23 AM
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Let me mention that Quebec had only 11 grades. You could then go to university (college, to Americans) and finish in four years and all three of my children did exactly that, at American schools. (Downside: they aall stayed.) Then nearly 40 years ago, Quebec introduced what in the US would be called JUCOs (here CEGEPs) that you had to go to for two years if you wanted to go to a Quebec univeristy. The universities were forced to introduce 3 year programs (plus a Freshman year open only to people not from Quebec). But the CEGEPs are so lame that most students take 3 1/2 or even four years to finish. It is certainly possible to finish in 3. It is even possible to go directly from CEGEP into medical (and presumably other professional) school, taking 5 years instead of 4, where the first year you take ordinary undergrad courses.
Old 09-15-2007, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon
But the CEGEPs are so lame that most students take 3 1/2 or even four years to finish.
Cite for this? I did my cégep in two years, as did most people I know. Of course, when you're 17 or 18 years old is the perfect time to try different programs in order to decide what you want to do with your life, so it's not surprising that a large number of students will switch programs once or more while in cégep.
Old 09-15-2007, 10:30 PM
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I think (at least, I hope) Hari meant 3 1/2 or 4 years to finish university. To which I must add, many Quebec universities have co-operative programs that make finishing in 4 years the norm.

And to get back to the thread in progress, I'm surprised to hear Ontario got rid of Grade 13. Man, does this make me want to point and laugh at my snooty classmates who were so proud to leave Montreal and go to Upper Canada College for grade 13 (thus "ensuring" that they could get into prestigious US universities). Seems kinda pointless now, donnit?
Old 09-15-2007, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield
New Zealand and the state of NSW here in Australia have a Year 13 (Known until recently in NZ as 7th Form).
This confused the heck out of me when I first moved to Australia. Not only do I not use the nomenclature, but I couldn't explain why I seemed to have had an extra year's worth of education.

It also appeared to me that some kids started school at age 6, while in NZ they begin at age 5.

I still am not clear on any of it, it appears from my point of view to be non-standardised.
Old 09-16-2007, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield
New Zealand and the state of NSW here in Australia have a Year 13 (Known until recently in NZ as 7th Form).
The highest year in NSW is Year 12. There are 13 years of education if you include kindergarten.
Old 09-16-2007, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnylder
I think (at least, I hope) Hari meant 3 1/2 or 4 years to finish university.
I'm not sure, I've heard Hari mention before that he dislikes cégeps so I'm kind of wondering why. I think they're a good idea: they separate high school from university preparation and they ensure that even technical students get a decent basis in French, English and philosophy.

Quote:
And to get back to the thread in progress, I'm surprised to hear Ontario got rid of Grade 13.
Yes, that happened a few years ago. I was at the University of Ottawa when the so-called "double cohort" (meaning Grade 12 and Grade 13 students entering university at the same time) happened. I believe that Spoons is correct that Ontario offered three-year university diplomas to Grade 13 graduates; I remember seeing them at the University of Ottawa before the double cohort, but they were general diplomas and less popular. Therefore, it makes sense for Ontario to have moved to 12 years pre-university education and four year university. (Quebec has 11-2-3, which amounts to the same thing.) This said, I've heard comments from professors that it has the effect that students arrive to university less prepared (not to mention younger) now.

Quote:
Man, does this make me want to point and laugh at my snooty classmates who were so proud to leave Montreal and go to Upper Canada College for grade 13 (thus "ensuring" that they could get into prestigious US universities). Seems kinda pointless now, donnit?
I'm not even sure how this would work. Were they leaving Montreal after high school or after cégep? If it's the first (and if they were admitted directly to Ontario Grade 13), I could see the appeal although I'm not sure it's so different from simply doing their first year of cégep and then applying to US universities, but if it's the second, they would simply be doing the same classes twice. Anyway.
Old 09-16-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severus
I believe that Spoons is correct that Ontario offered three-year university diplomas to Grade 13 graduates; I remember seeing them at the University of Ottawa before the double cohort, but they were general diplomas and less popular.
They weren't very popular at all. Out of all the Ontario students I knew during my years at the U of Toronto, only one or two opted for the three-year general degree. The rest of us went for four years. Perhaps we just wanted to delay the inevitable?

To more directly address the OP and to use my experience to flesh out some of the answers already given, perhaps the reason Ontario got rid of its Grade 13 was that there seemed to be no good reason for it. As I recall, for example, my first-year university English Lit and French courses basically mirrored my Grade 13 English Lit and French courses, so one of those years was a waste of time (at least as far as English Lit and French went). And some of our classmates came from outside Ontario. They were naturally admitted on the basis of their successful completion of their Grade 12 in their home province/state, and we often wondered why we couldn't be as well.
Old 09-16-2007, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severus
I'm not even sure how this would work. Were they leaving Montreal after high school or after cégep? If it's the first (and if they were admitted directly to Ontario Grade 13), I could see the appeal although I'm not sure it's so different from simply doing their first year of cégep and then applying to US universities, but if it's the second, they would simply be doing the same classes twice. Anyway.
Yes, your first guess is correct. They (or their parents, I suppose) believed that doing Grade 13 would be more likely to get them into US universities than doing one year of CEGEP. I'm not sure if this was true, but these students were very keen on doing it at the time.
Old 09-16-2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by severus
Cite for this? I did my cégep in two years, as did most people I know. Of course, when you're 17 or 18 years old is the perfect time to try different programs in order to decide what you want to do with your life, so it's not surprising that a large number of students will switch programs once or more while in cégep.
What I meant was that cegeps are so lame that most students take 3 1/2 to 4 years at university, instead of the canonical 3. I cannot give a cite, in fact it would be interesting to see the stats, but most of the students I personally advised did not finish in 3. For the most part, they did an abysmal job teaching calculus and we spent a lot of time making up for the deficiency. I should add that American students who cam with AP math were even worse and we basically ignored it. To be precise, a student in the "Freshman" class (called U1, as opposed to cegep grads who came in at U2) took beginning calculus. If they had AP calc, they took a 3 credit course with three lectures and one optional recitation (called tutorial). If they lacked it, they took a 4 credit course with three lectures and two obligatory tutorials per week. The syllabus for the lectures were identical. The trouble is that they believed they had learned calculus when all they had learned was a few formulas and tricks.

While Ontario had grade 13, we treated them as equivalent to cegep graduates. Now they are treated the same as other people from out of province.

Incidentally, cegeps also have more vocational ("professional") programs. The name is an acronym for college d'education general et professionel. The general part is the university prep and the professinel part is the vocational one. It was intended originally that the majority of students would go for the vocational track, but it didn't turn out that way.
Old 09-16-2007, 11:11 PM
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I went through Grade 13, got my Ontario Secondary School Honours Graduation Diploma, and went on to university. My Grade 13 classes were English, French, Art, Calculus, Relations and Functions, Algebra, Physics, and Chemistry. I was just interested in stuff, wanted to remain general because I was planning to go to architecture school, and I ended up with only one spare period in my entire year's timetable. Many people only had a few classes, ands were often away from the school.

There were a lot of people who left school at the end of Grade 12, got their OSSGDs (no H), got a job at on the line at GM or wherever, and within a couple of years were pullin' down the bucks, getting married, and buying houses, while my friends were slogging through exams and piling up debt. But they were the ones left more vulnerable to changes in the job market.

I don't remember Grade-13ers getting onto second year at university. I personally got into the second year of a three-year electronics technology program at college, but that was at least partly because I'd had a year and a half of university. And even then, I had to take a couple of courses during the summer before I started.
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Old 09-17-2007, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon
What I meant was that cegeps are so lame that most students take 3 1/2 to 4 years at university, instead of the canonical 3. I cannot give a cite, in fact it would be interesting to see the stats, but most of the students I personally advised did not finish in 3.
I assume there are differences between faculties/programs.

As for stats, I haven't found what you're looking for specifically (that is : average number of years required for cegep grade students to complete a 3 years university grade) - even though I remember having seen such data for cegeps in the "Guide pratique des études collégiales au Québec" (approx. Practical Guide of College studies in Québec) - I guess we would find it in the university equivalent - I found this on the MEQ's website

Graph 1 : Distribution of baccalaureate holders by age (average)
Graph 2 : same for masters

for 2003 graduates, out of a 34k sample (with some ~65% response rate)

http://mels.gouv.qc.ca/Relance/U...RelUni2005.pdf p.8

Although it gives only a rough idea since :

- It depends heavily on the amount of time spent in cegep (which - by memory - was an average of 2.4 years to complete the 2 years "general training" required for university)
- Some programs have a standard 4 years duration
- Others are "cooperative programs" (training courses embedded in the regular span of the studies) which extends the overall length by a semester or two

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon
The name is an acronym for college d'education general et professionel.
*Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel

Last edited by Papy; 09-17-2007 at 01:13 AM.
Old 09-17-2007, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by GuanoLad
This confused the heck out of me when I first moved to Australia. Not only do I not use the nomenclature, but I couldn't explain why I seemed to have had an extra year's worth of education.

It also appeared to me that some kids started school at age 6, while in NZ they begin at age 5.

I still am not clear on any of it, it appears from my point of view to be non-standardised.
I had much the same problem, actually. No-one had any idea what "7th Form" was or meant, my Bursary qualifications were meaningless- it took ages to get it all ironed out, and it only really stopped being an issue after I turned 21 and no-one cared about what your grades in High School were anymore.
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