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Graphic Communications

Diploma
Graphic Communications

Program Overview

Innovative. Idea-driven. Important. Graphic communications revolutionized society with the printing press. Now it’s leading a new revolution into the digital age. It’s an industry of team players who combine artistic, technical, and entrepreneurial talents to get the job done. It could be the career for you.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Graphic Communications diploma program will challenge you both creatively and technically. Our training ensures you meet national skills standards set out by the Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council. You’ll graduate with the kind of practical, hands-on skills you need to succeed—in both traditional and digital printing environments, as well as publishing, advertising, design, and communications.

Graphics Communications is a two-year diploma program offered full-time at Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus. Come here to develop practical, hands-on skills in electronic file management, industry-standard software applications, and print management, production, and administration. This includes training in:

  • colour copier operation
  • colour theory and colour management
  • design and typography
  • digital photography
  • hydraulic cutter operation and maintenance
  • image editing and page layout
  • industry-standard software and hardware systems
  • logos, graphs, vector graphics, PDF creation
  • mixing inks
  • preflighting, proofing and output methods
  • screen printing
  • sheetfed offset press operation and maintenance
  • wide-format printing
  • vinyl decal/sticker creation

Learn by Doing

  • You’ll learn about leading software applications by using them in your classes and labs.
  • You’ll learn about printing by operating Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s in-house pre-press equipment, vinyl cutter, screen printing system and offset press.

Ready to Work

At graduation, you’ll have developed a professional portfolio, completed a four-week work experience and have experience managing and producing a “live job” from concept through delivery.

Scholarship Opportunity

Graphic Communications students are eligible to apply for a national scholarship through the Canadian Printing Industry Association (CPIA). An application form is available at www.cpia-aci.ca

Career and Salary Information

Your Career

Graphic Communications graduates are working in many different areas—advertising agencies, graphic design firms, electronic pre-press studios, sign shops, commercial and quick-print shops, newspaper, magazine and book publishers, in-house marketing departments, and government communications departments.

Look for entry level jobs in design, production art, packaging design, signage, image editing, bindery and finishing, digital print operation, print production planning, management, screen printing and press operations, branding and marketing.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at a campus nearest you.

Potential Careers

Sample Job TitleNOC Classification1Earning Potential2
PhotographerPhotographers (5221)$21,300 - $54,100
Graphic DesignerGraphic Designers and Illustrators (5241)$32,400 - $90,100
Printing Press OperatorPrinting Press Operators (7381)$29,200 - $64,500

Length and Start Date

Start Date(s): September

Length: 68 weeks: 

Year 1 - 32 weeks; Year 2 - 36 weeks

Locations

  • Regina

Admissions

Admission Requirements

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 80 Arithmetic
  • 75 Reading
  • 75 Sentence

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of Saskatchewan Polytechnic programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

See Admission Processes for more information about this method of admission.

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

Year 1 - $6,300
Year 2 - $6,600

International Students

Regina

Year 1 (32 weeks) - $12,700 tuition only (estimated)

Year 2 (36 weeks) - $13,200 tuition only (estimated)

Courses

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Semester 1

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
COM 160
Communications for Graphic Arts
2
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You will learn basic listening, writing, and speaking skills as well as critical thinking and problem solving skills. Your studies will also include effective presentation techniques and business telephone communication skills.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 30.0
Equivalent Course(s): COMM 127
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
GRPH 144
Digital Printing
3
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Your studies will focus on digital printer operation, using theory and lab experience. You will learn how to optimize and output jobs to digital colour presses, and wide format equipment. You will also learn how to perform maintenance on digital colour presses and wide format equipment.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 146(concurrent), GRPH 147(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 145
Introduction to Graphic Communications
4
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You will be able to identify and explain various design and production considerations for print. An understanding will also be gained of the variety of hardware and software components utilized in prepress along with the MacIntosh operating system and digital file basics. You will understand digital output and the basic functions found in prepress workflow solutions.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 146
Introduction to Printing
4
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Your studies will introduce you to a variety of printing and finishing techniques. You will be able to identify the basic types, specifications, and configurations of a sheetfed offset press. You will demonstrate proper safety procedures for sheetfed offset press operation. The course content also includes Occupational Health and Safety Procedures and Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
GRPH 147
Digital Page Layout 1
3
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You will be introduced to the user interface of page layout software and acquire the basic knowledge required for digital page layout. Through lab experience, you will focus on the basic use of text, objects, colour, formatting skills and keyboard shortcuts.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): COM 160(concurrent), GRPH 145(concurrent), GRPH 146(concurrent), MATH 165(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 153
Image Editing 1
3
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You will acquire the practical skills required for the efficient use of image editing software by using Adobe Photoshop to build a wide range of real-world projects. You will learn how to manage layers, create complex selections, work with vector tools, apply styles and filters, retouch damaged images, and use layer styles.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): COM 160(concurrent), GRPH 145(concurrent), GRPH 146(concurrent), MATH 165(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 154
Image Correction
3
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Your studies will focus upon fundamental techniques for correcting images. You will learn proper file management techniques and how to apply basic colour management to your images. You will learn the correct way to crop, straighten, and remove image imperfections. You will learn techniques for neutralizing colour and correcting colour skin tones. You will learn how to scale and sharpen images for specific output conditions. You will learn how to make decisions about the specific requirements needed for the proper output of images to various devices.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PHOT 125(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
MATH 165
Mathematics for Printers
2
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You will acquire the basic mathematics skills required for entry level occupations in the graphics/print industry. Your studies will include basic mathematics, problem solving, and measurement systems.
Credit Units: 2
Course Hours: 24.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Theory
PHOT 125
Photography 1
3
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Your studies will focus on a foundational digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera image capture. You will learn the importance of image resolution and image file formats. You will study the intricacies of a balanced exposure and photographic composition. Camera operation will be examined through aperture, shutter speed, sensor sensitivity, white balance and focusing techniques.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 153(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Semester 2

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
GRPH 148
Digital Page Layout 2
3
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You will be introduced to intermediate features of the user interface of page layout software. Through a combination of theory and lab experiences, you will focus on the efficient use of templates, style sheets, tables and master pages. You will develop the skills necessary to produce error-free spot colour and process colour digital documents using page layout software. You will preflight and package your job to industry standards.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 147, PHOT 125
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 149
Digital Page Layout 3
3
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You will be introduced to the interactive features of page layout software. Through a combination of theory and lab experiences, you will focus on creating interactive PDF and e-book files. You will develop the skills necessary to produce cross-media layouts for print and digital distribution.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 144, GRPH 148(concurrent), GRPH 156(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 150
Design 1
3
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You will be introduced to basic elements and principles of design. You will also gain an understanding of the use of colour and the application of typography in relation to effective graphic design. Using the fundamental design knowledge and skills you acquire in this course, you will create a logo and an advertisement.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 152(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 151
Self-Promotion
3
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You will create self-promotional material that will highlight your work created in the Graphic Communications program. You will develop online social media as well as traditional media to promote your profile, interests and self.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): PHOT 125
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 152
Digital Illustration 1
3
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You will be introduced to illustration software user interface, keyboard shortcuts, tools and drawing techniques, and acquiring the basic knowledge required for the digital production of vector graphics. You will acquire the practical skills required for the digital production of multi-coloured graphics and logo recreation.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 147
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 155
Image Editing 2
3
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You will acquire the practical skills required to enhance photos with the most popular creative effects in Adobe Photoshop. You will learn how to modify colour and light to add vibrancy, drama and emphasis. You will also explore blur effects that add a softer focus. You will be introduced to the techniques behind a variety of effects that can add the popular analog look to photos: vintage monochrome, color effects, border and edge effects. The course combines practical experience in editing images to be included in industry-standard documents, high quality print output and inclusion in a professional portfolio.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 153
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 156
Image Editing 3
3
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You will focus on applying a variety of effects to images using Adobe Photoshop. The course combines practical experience in editing and compositing images to be included in industry-standard documents, high quality print output and inclusion in a professional portfolio.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 155(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 157
Press Operation 1
3
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Your studies will cover aspects of proper safety procedures. You will operate and troubleshoot the feeder, register, delivery and print unit systems. You will explain plate, blanket, and impression cylinder principles; describe and implement proper procedures for packing, mounting, and removing plates and blankets; align and adjust cylinders; and troubleshoot plate, blanket and printing unit problems.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 146
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 158
Screen-Printing
3
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Your studies will focus on screen-printing on to textiles. You will learn to coat screens with emulsion, output film positives, expose and wash out screens, print onto garments and clean screens.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 153
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 191
Job Production 1
3
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Building on the skills you acquired throughout the first year of the Graphic Communications program, you will co-ordinate and produce a variety of projects to industry standards.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 149(concurrent), GRPH 150(concurrent), GRPH 156(concurrent), GRPH 157(concurrent), GRPH 158(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Semester 3

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
GRPH 207
Digital Output
3
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Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for digital output. You will acquire the skills required to develop on demand printing using variable data. You will perform digital trapping and imposition and examine why they are crucial to printing success in the graphic communications industry.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 208
Digital Illustration 2
3
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Your studies will cover advanced level techniques in Adobe Illustrator. You will examine advanced level tools within Illustrator and create technically sound vector artwork, such as logos. You will examine and implement industry standard best practices for vector artwork. You will create, output, and assemble, multi-colour vector illustration using the vinyl cutter.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 210
Premedia 1
3
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Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will create, output, and prepare a job package for a menu and a calendar.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 211
Premedia 2
3
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Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will create, output, and prepare a complementary job package for a stationery set, flyer and pocket folder.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 210(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 212
Premedia 3
3
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Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will create, output, and prepare a complementary job package for a wide format poster, newsletter and brochure.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 211(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 232
Design 2
3
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You will learn design problem solving steps. You will manipulate elements of design using visual techniques and principles of organization. Your studies will include exploring typography for various mediums and you will gain an understanding of the design process as applied to text-based design. Using a colour wheel, you explore and demonstrate effective use of colour relationships and palettes in design.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 208(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 236
Press Operations 2
3
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Your studies will cover ink and colour theory, inking system fundamentals and troubleshooting ink problems. You will examine dampening system fundamentals and chemistry; including conventional and continuous-flow systems and troubleshoot problems related to dampening systems. You will acquire the knowledge and procedures for efficient makeready; identify makeready problems and their solutions. You will perform the procedures necessary to prepare the sheetfed offset press for the production of a variety of two-colour projects to industry standards.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 237
Press Operations 3
3
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In your studies, you will identify and operate industry standard quality control and colour measurement devices. You will develop the knowledge and skills required for the operation of digital platemaking systems including the hardware and software used to drive the Heidelberg computerized console.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 236(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 239
Premedia Preparation
3
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Your studies will cover how to combine the individual concepts you have acquired from previous courses, into a cohesive workflow. The skills and knowledge that you acquire, when executing a cohesive workflow, will form the basis for the creation of industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 191
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
PHOT 225
Photography 2
3
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Your studies will focus on advanced Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera image capture, and the use of off-camera lighting. You will learn about various lighting and composition techniques for capturing professional portraits, and stock photography images. You will develop workflow procedures for sorting, preparing, and exporting, of your images. You will also create a portfolio of your images.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab

Semester 4

Code
Name/Description
Credits
 
GRPH 213
Premedia 4
3
Show course details
Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will create, output, and prepare a job package for a photo book and an annual report.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 212
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 230
Premedia 5
3
Show course details
Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will create, output, and prepare a job package for a variety of packaging projects.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 213(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 231
Premedia 6
3
Show course details
Your studies will equip you with the knowledge to prepare industry standard print-ready files for distribution within the graphic communications industry. You will identify and repair common problems with client-supplied files, meet deadlines, and solve problems while dealing with the pressures of managing multiple projects on a daily basis.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 230(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 233
Design 3
3
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You will learn to use a grid system to layout the elements of your design. Your study of typography will expand to the experimental and expressive use of type. You will also define design project goals, develop a design proposal, create complementary design pieces targeted to multiple audiences and present your design project to your classmates.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 230(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 234
Brand Building
3
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You will be introduced to the brand development process. You will learn the role that research and analysis plays in branding and how to develop core brand values and understand your audience. Your studies will also help you develop the visual vocabulary to communicate the message and develop a strong visual identity package.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 232
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 238
Press Operations 4
3
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You will safely set up and operate the offset press while maintaining register, colour and quality. You will recognize problems as they occur, determine the cause, and take corrective action. Building on the skills you acquired throughout the Graphic Communications program, you will produce a variety of four colour projects to industry standards.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 237
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
GRPH 291
Job Production 2
3
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Building on the skills you acquired throughout the first and second years of the Graphic Communications program, you will coordinate and produce a variety of projects to industry standards.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 231(concurrent), GRPH 233(concurrent), GRPH 238(concurrent), MULT 124(concurrent), PHOT 225
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Lecture/Lab
MULT 120
Web Authoring 1-Basic HTML/CSS
4
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You will learn the basics of web site authoring and publishing. You will create a web site using basic Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). You will use various software to create and manage a website. You will publish a website to your own domain service.
Credit Units: 4
Course Hours: 60.0
Equivalent Course(s): GRPH 260
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
MULT 124
Web Authoring 2-Intermediate HTML/CSS-CMS
3
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You will use intermediate HTML and CSS to design and create websites with a variety of layouts. You will incorporate interactivity along with audio and video into HTML pages. You will learn to install, configure, use, and manage Content Management Systems (CMS). You will develop the skills to apply themes and use modules.
Credit Units: 3
Course Hours: 45.0
Prerequisites(s): MULT 120
Potential Learning Method(s): Prior Learning, Online, Lecture/Lab
WORK 300
Work Experience
0
Show course details
You will participate in a four-week work experience which will prepare you for employment in the graphic communications industry. You will work within the graphic communications industry in Saskatchewan.
Credit Units: 0
Course Hours: 120.0
Prerequisites(s): GRPH 231(concurrent), GRPH 233(concurrent), GRPH 238(concurrent), MULT 124(concurrent)
Potential Learning Method(s): Online, Work Experience - Group, Work Experience -Individual

PLAR & Transfer Credit

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Saskatchewan Polytechnic recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training.


Transfer Credit

Many Saskatchewan Polytechnic students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 

Student Awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors and alumni, Saskatchewan Polytechnic gives away more than $2 million in student awards during the academic year.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers student awards for every certificate and diploma program at every campus. You don't have to be a brainiac to receive a student award. Not all student awards are based on marks - some are based on financial need or things like community or volunteer involvement.

More about scholarships

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