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College and university preparation

College preparation

Academic Upgrading – Academic and Career Entrance (A.C.E.) Grade 12 equivalency Certificate 

 Are you:

  • Looking to obtain your ACE certificate?
  • Missing courses required to enter a college program?
  • Trying to upgrade basic or workplace level credits?
  • Wanting to update your academic skills?

Programs of study include:

  • Communications (English)
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Skills
  • Self-Managment (on-line only)


  • Obtain your ACE certificate which can be used to help you obtain employment and/or qualify for apprenticeship.
  • Qualify for an offer of admission to a college program.
  • Qualify to receive scholarship and/or bursary awards to assist with the tuition fees for a post-secondary Durham College program.

Academic upgrading is:

  • Continuous – start dates available every week
  • Flexible – day or evening schedules
  • Personalized to meet your needs
  • Self-paced

Campus locations:

Oshawa Campus
2000 Simcoe St. North
Oshawa, Ontario L1H 7K4

Whitby Campus
1610 Champlain Avenue
Whitby, Ontario L1N 6A7

Uxbridge Learning Site
2 Campbell Drive
Uxbridge, Ontario 

Classes available Monday through Thursday 9 a.m to 3 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.Classes available Monday through Thursday  9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Class available Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
ACE Academic Upgrading

Online Courses

To learn more about online ACE courses visit Online education – Academic and Career Entrance Program (ACE)

Here’s how to get started:

Interested students are invited to attend an Academic Assessment session in math and/or English as a starting point. Writing the assessment provides us the opportunity to determine your skills and knowledge in these subject areas and helps us to create a personalized education plan to help you reach your goals. How much formal education you have completed doesn’t matter. In fact, the assessment is a great opportunity to reflect all types of learning from life experiences, work experiences, as well as formal education.


Room 1286, Simcoe Building (smaller one storey building closest to Simcoe Street) Durham College 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario.


Founders 3, located at the north end of the campus by the hydro tower. Please be advised that paid parking is in effect, the current rate is $10 per day.

How can I prepare for the assessment?

Remember, the assessment is not a pass or fail experience; it simply shows the skills you have gained or lost since you have been away from school.

Math – a review of the following subjects may be helpful: decimals, fractions, metric, order of operations, ratio and proportion, percents, geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. Some useful web sites you may wish to visit include:

English – a review of reading and comprehension and writing skills may be helpful. Some useful web sites you may wish to visit include:


Q: When will I find out the results of my assessment?

A: Results of the assessment will be available by the Friday following the week you write the assessment. If you have not received your results within a week and a half, please contact our office at 905.721.3131.

Q: When can I start Academic Upgrading?

A: Start dates are available within two weeks of writing the assessment. We offer flexible, personalized scheduling in both our day and evening classes.

Q: What courses can I take?

A: Courses include math, English, chemistry, biology, physics, computer skills, and self-management (Self-management is only available as an on-line course).

Q: How much does Academic Upgrading cost?

A: The first 16 weeks of your Academic Upgrading program is funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for students not linked to sponsoring agencies. If you are connected to a sponsoring agency such as Second Career or WSIB there are tuition fees for upgrading. Should you require more than 16 weeks, additional funding options are available. In addition, travel and child care funding is available to those who qualify. A $50 per subject book deposit is required and is refunded when the textbook is returned to the office at the end of a student’s program.

Q: How long does it take?

A: We work with you to create a personalized education plan focused on your goals. The length of time in the program is based on your individual needs and the academic pace you set as you complete subject topic tests and assignments.

Q: Will I get my Grade 12?

A: Students in the Academic Upgrading program can achieve the ACE (Academic and Career Entrance) Grade 12 Equivalency Certificate. In most cases, this will fulfill the requirements for entrance into a college program, apprenticeship, or employment. If you do not require the credential, you can take only those courses you need to reach your goals.

If you have additional questions please call us at
T: 905.721.3131
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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