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Welcome to Liberal Arts at Georgian College

Liberal Arts studies help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to access a broad range of careers. Some of the skills we focus on here at Georgian College include written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve problems, to work well with others, to adapt in a changing workplace, to think independently and make sound judgements.

A Liberal Arts program is also a good foundation for further studies in higher education at either the college or university level. Learn more about Georgian’s articulation and transfer agreements.

Consider joining us for your Liberal Arts education. You’ll benefit from excellent faculty, small class sizes, state-of-the-art facilities and excellent support services.

We look forward to helping you get started on your future.


A group of EAP students stand with Growler, Georgian College's bear mascot

International students studying English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Level 4 had a growling good time at Grizzly Day this year. The class of 20 was challenged by their instructor to take part in a day full of athletics activities to learn more about the college and to connect with Canadian students and staff. Read more...

Alumnus David Hamilton

David Hamilton

Golf Course Greens Keeper, Lake St. George Golf Course and Resort Grounds Maintenance, Bayview Wildwood Resort


Community Integration through Co-operative Education (Hotel and Resort)



At Lake St. Georgian Golf Course, my main job is to make sure the golf course looks good and is easy to play on. I keep the sandtraps raked with the SandPro machine, repair divots and collect and sort recyclables. At Bayview Wildwood Resort, I cut all the grass. Read more...

Renee Ferguson

Renée joined Georgian College in 2003, beginning her teaching career in the General Arts and Science program and general education. She continues to teach social sciences courses and is co-ordinator of the Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program. As an accessible education advocate, co-ordinating and teaching in CICE is a perfect fit for Renée. Read more...

Photo Credit Nuccia Morelli

Esther Griffin

Esther has been a Liberal Arts professor at Georgian College since 1999 and a dedicated faculty member of the General Arts and Science program since 2004. She teaches literature and creative writing. Read more...

Clement Bamikole

Clement Bamikole

Clement holds a PhD in agricultural science. His passion for food security and safe environment for farming families led him to join two international research institutes in Africa while undertaking postgraduate studies. He later transferred his skills in agricultural research into agricultural finance by working in the banking industry helping small- and medium-sized enterprises. Read more...

Beth Mawhiney

Beth Mawhiney

Beth has been a full-time faculty member in Liberal Arts at Georgian since 1997. She teaches General Arts and Science and Communications courses at the Barrie Campus, and a variety of courses at the Orangeville Campus. Read more...

Faculty member Emily Cramer with sunglasses on her head, posed outdoors in front of cedar trees.

Emily Cramer

Emily has been teaching at Georgian College since 2006 and prior to that, worked in publishing. She teaches Communications within the Liberal Arts area. She believes strongly that communication skills are the most transferable skills a person will develop, and that those skills are applicable well beyond academia. Read more...

Christine Pryce

Christine teaches courses including Communication Essentials, Technical Communication, Environmental Communication and Culture and Communication. Read more...

A group of EAP students stand with Growler, Georgian College's bear mascot

International students studying English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Level 4 had a growling good time at Grizzly Day this year. The class of 20 was challenged by their instructor to take part in a day full of athletics activities to learn more about the college and to connect with Canadian students and staff. Read more...

A group of multicultural students gathered together.

Georgian's International Centre and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) office organized a successful Multicultural Day at the Barrie Campus as part of Diversity Week. Students from the EAP program, international ambassador program and various cultural clubs participated. Read more...

Karley Hogarth

Like any first-year college student, Karley Hogarth was both nervous and scared about starting studies but she was also excited to have a chance to reinvent herself in a new environment. More than two years later, Hogarth says she is a new person. Read more...

See caption.

The English for Academic Purposes department congratulates Anastasia Kurmasheva, Yongil Lee, Yiqiong Zheng and Jae Young Lee, recipients of the Dean’s List Letters. The Dean’s List acknowledges students’ hard work and dedication. Read more...

Dan Kennedy, standing in front of a screen with the OSAP website displayed. A camera is pointed toward him.

a.k.a. Dan the GC man

You can find my tips and instructions on Facebook at The goal is to help students transition into college by shining some light on the process. I overcame some personal hardship to get here and know how hard it can be to go to school. Read more...

As part of Orientation, the International Centre hosted a Community Connection Fair at the Barrie Campus. The fair was designed to provide new international postsecondary and EAP students with valuable information regarding community and college services. Read more...

A group of people stand in front of a YMCA billboard.

As part of a community service learning partnership between Georgian and the YMCA, students from various programs interviewed donors of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, discovering personal journeys never before told. They recently unveiled the stories at an event held at the Barrie YMCA, and read their stories to celebrate the community members. Read more...

Allie Webster, a first-year student in the Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program, speaks to the crowd gathered outdoors at the Cenotaph at the Barrie campus of Georgian College on April 2. The assembly was to raise the flag for World Autism Awareness Day. Other speakers included Renee Ferguson, CICE co-ordinator and Erin Nightingale, manager of the Barrie chapter of Autism Ontario. Webster, who is diagnosed with Asperger’s, part of the autism spectrum disorder scale, spoke of how she has grown as a person and come to accept herself, and appreciate what she can contribute.

Allie Webster used to fear that she would never fit in with the rest of her family. Diagnosed with Asperger’s, part of the autism spectrum disorder scale, Webster says her shyness and feeling of being different worried her considerably. Read more...

A group of CICE program staff and students

In April 2013, the CICE program organized a Graduate Transition Fair to connect alumni to agencies and supports in the community that could assist them in their transition to the workplace. Read more...

Ken Choi, working with a fellow student at the Accessibility Centre at Georgian

Ken Choi is a second-year student in the Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE) program at Georgian’s Barrie Campus. In addition to the CICE core courses, which focus on essential employability skills, Ken has taken a number of courses in both computer and culinary studies. Read more...

Smiling group of four international students wearing habitat for humanity t-shirts

Hard work paid off on Aug. 23 for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) students Alba Calero, Omar Zelah, Sebastian Aponte and ZiFeng (Daniel) Xu. They paddled as part of the Habitat for Humanity Dragon Boat team in Barrie, helping to raise more than $4,000 to support a home build. Read more...

Alumnus David Hamilton

David Hamilton

Golf Course Greens Keeper, Lake St. George Golf Course and Resort Grounds Maintenance, Bayview Wildwood Resort


Community Integration through Co-operative Education (Hotel and Resort)



At Lake St. Georgian Golf Course, my main job is to make sure the golf course looks good and is easy to play on. I keep the sandtraps raked with the SandPro machine, repair divots and collect and sort recyclables. At Bayview Wildwood Resort, I cut all the grass. Read more...

Andrea Kirk

Andrea Kirk

Office Assistant, Century 21


Community Integration through Co-operative Education (Office Administration)



The thing I liked most about Georgian is the staff I got to know and the teachers. They were really nice and easy to get along with, and asking questions to wasn’t hard to do. Not only did I learn the necessary skill to work in an office I also learned skills for everyday life. Read more...

Alumna Amanda Fournier

Amanda Fournier

Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services


General Arts and Science (with honours)



Like many teenagers, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study after high school. After contacting Georgian, I realized General Arts and Science was my best option because it would allow me to learn a number of subjects. Read more...

Yukiya Sasagawa - General Arts and Science Diploma Grad

Yukiya Sasagawa


General Arts and Science



The comprehensive knowledge gained from General Arts and Science definitely helps you to be a person who thinks critically and multi-dimensionally. I really appreciated the amazingly helpful and knowledgeable professors and coordinators who helped me to study and enjoy every subject. Read more...

Davina Liu, standing in front of the Georgian Grizzlies logo

Davina Liu

English for Academic Purposes graduate, Electrical Engineering Technology student


English for Academic Purposes



A woman of many interests and talents, Davina has a degree in art and design from her native China. Before deciding to embark on a new adventure in Canada, she spent 10 years working as an architect and project manager, helping to renovate buildings for the Beijing Olympics. Read more...

Karley Hogarth

Karley Hogarth

Student, Office Administration - General


Community Integration through Co-operative Education (Office Administration)



I loved a lot of things about my time in college. I enjoyed going to class, gaining hands on experience, and making friends. The CICE program helped me develop the confidence I needed to get out there and apply for work after graduation. Read more...

GAAS alumna Sandrine Lawson

Sandrine Lawson


General Arts and Science



Before entering the General Arts and Science program, I did not know what to expect. Now I realize coming to this program at Georgian was the best decision I ever made for my life. The teachers are incredibly knowledgeable, inspiring and always challenging you to become better as a person . . . Read more...

Alumnus Darrell Stoddart

Darrell Stoddart

Professor of Liberal Arts, Georgian College


General Arts and Science



The General Arts and Science program allowed me to experience different social sciences. I was able to choose from a wide-array of general education courses to discover what my interests were as well as develop my beliefs and values through critical discourse. Read more...

Grant Collins

Grant Collins


General Arts and Science



General Arts and Science has transformed me...

GAAS Alumni Larissa Vinals-2014-05-20

Larissa Vinals


General Arts and Science



The General Arts and Science program has opened up many opportunities for further study. Taking advantage of the two-year program, I have achieved a diploma and, in one more year at Lakehead University, a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree. The program itself offers a variety of topics that are relevant and important for current global issues and societal concerns. Read more...

Your success and the completion of your college program are important to us. The Communications Placement Assessment (CPA) is an assessment process developed to correctly place you in the appropriate courses.


The CPA is composed of two sections:

  1. Sentence skills
  2. Reading comprehension

To be placed into a college-level Communications course, you require a knowledge of basic grammar and sentence structure, and reading skills at a high school graduate level. To prepare for the assessment, you may want to review a basic grammar text.

View sample questions (pdf)


There are two sections to the math assessment:

  1. Arithmetic
  2. Algebra

Calculators may be used during the assessment.

View sample questions (pdf)


No, except when the assessment is necessary to meet admission requirements as a mature student applicant or by specific programs for selection purposes. If you are a mature student applicant, please notify your admissions representative as soon as you have completed the assessment.

Write the CPA at the Georgian College campus closest to you – Barrie, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound or South Georgian Bay. If you live out of province, please make alternate arrangements through Testing Services at the campus you plan to attend.

Write the CPA as soon as you have been accepted and have decided to attend Georgian. If you choose not to write the CPA prior to your program’s registration, you will be required to register into the College Communications course.

Bring your Georgian College student ID number as well as photo ID.

Refer to the programs page to determine which assessments must be taken for specific programs or contact your admissions representative in the Office of the Registrar.
There is a fee included in your tuition-ancillary fees unless the assessment is for selection or admission purposes. The fee would then be required prior to your assessment. (The fee is $30 for Communications and $30 for Math).

We can make numerous accommodations for persons with disabilities. Please call the Barrie Campus Centre for Access and Disability Services at 705.728.1968 ext. 1523 or the campus closest to you.

On average it takes one to one-and-a-half hours to complete. The assessments are not timed and individuals may take as long as they need. The time taken to write the assessments bears no relation to how well an individual does on them.

Yes. We will accept scores from other institutions as long as the score is an official record, is recent, and the assessments are the same ones as we use. Please contact Georgian’s Testing Services at 705.728.1968, ext. 1235, for more information.

Yes, but you will be required to register in the College Communications course unless you have applied for and been given an exemption for College Communications based on an equivalent course from another postsecondary institution.

Yes, you have the option to rewrite the CPA once. Please contact the Georgian College campus of your choice to make arrangements. Also, please be aware that there is a $30 fee for rewriting the CPA. You must complete the assessments prior to registering.

Preparing you for life and work.

  • Arts in Society
  • Civic Life
  • Social and Cultural Understanding
  • Personal Understanding
  • Science and Technology

If you have questions that are not answered here, please don’t hesitate to call us at 705.728.1968, ext. 1621 or email Christine Hess. We’re here to help you!

Students enrol in Georgian College programs to fulfil specific vocational goals. The college, for its part, recognizes the importance of job-specific education by providing both an academic and, in most programs, an on-the-job experiential component. The academic component is divided into vocationally specific courses, Communications courses and General Education courses. Communications and General Education courses, grouped under the heading Liberal Arts, help students achieve a number of different goals. Specifically, these Communications and General Education courses:

  1. Complement the vocational courses by helping students develop competencies in writing, reading, research and critical thinking
  2. Create a context for students’ vocational goals by helping them understand their roles in the broader world as knowledgeable and responsible members of society
  3. Develop skills necessary to continue learning in an increasingly complex, interdependent world

In addition, the General Education program offers students a wide range of course choices in a number of different disciplines along with the opportunity to meet and collaborate with students with a variety of vocational interests. Georgian’s General Education program contains an array of elective courses that fall into three major categories:

  • Arts and humanities
  • Social science
  • Science and technology

General Education requirements vary by program. To find out how many General Education courses you need to take, consult your program area. You can also review the academic policy for General Education.

If you have previous learning experience and want to have that experience assessed for credit, you have at least two options:

  • You can request an exemption based on a postsecondary course you have taken by matching the learning outcomes with those of a Georgian College course; or
  • You can apply for PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) if you can demonstrate that you have acquired equivalent learning through life and/or work experience.


An exemption based on another credit course (or courses) may be granted for a credit course that is part of your program (including General Education). You must have achieved a minimum mark of 60 or a grade of C to apply for the exemption. You need to supply appropriate transcripts and course outlines to have your application assessed. If the exemption is granted, your Georgian College transcript will show the code “EX” and no course mark will be recorded. For more information regarding the exemptions process, refer to Policies and procedures.


You can apply for an exemption from a General Education course at any time, except in the case where you are already enrolled in a course and the add/drop period has expired (10 days from the start of the course). A fee is levied for individual exemption requests (whether or not the application is granted), up to a maximum per term (except where noted otherwise). Exemption request forms can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office, your program area or the General Education office. The application process for PLAR is similar. You must submit a request for exemption based on life and work experience and be prepared to support your application with documentary evidence and, if necessary, undergo a challenge test. Every Georgian College course outline explains the PLAR requirements for that particular course. A fee is levied for each PLAR request. This fee is payable in advance.

For assessment of General Education courses, contact:

Terry Heittola, Co-ordinator, General Education, Room B228, Founders Building 705.728.1968, ext. 1619. 

Course listings are available for the upcoming semester only and are available only for courses offered at the Barrie Campus (see list of PDFs below). Please contact other campuses for their current offerings.

General Education course offerings vary from term-to-term. You will be able to choose your General Education course from a range of subject areas including social sciences, humanities, arts and literature, and science and technology. While General Education is designed to offer you a breadth of content areas, your program may recommend that you take certain courses because they are closely related to the vocational objectives of the program. Consult your program information literature or ask your program co-ordinator for advice. In YEAR 1 of your program, your choices during registration may include:

  • 20th Century Canada
  • Contemporary Ethical Issues
  • Developing Leadership
  • Environmental Concerns
  • Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • Human Behaviour in the Workplace
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Personal Finance
  • Social Impact of Technology

After YEAR 1, you will choose your courses based on a selection of upper level General Education courses.

Part-time Studies

Some General Education courses are offered in the evening through Part-time Studies. These courses can be credited toward the General Education requirements for most Georgian College postsecondary certificate and diploma programs. Registration for all part-time courses for all semesters begins around mid-July. A listing of the courses offered through Part-time Studies can be accessed through the Part-time Studies Guide.

Barrie Campus

Georgian College Room B228, Founders Building, One Georgian Dr. Barrie, ON L4M 3X9 Canada Fax: 705.722.5145
Terry Heittola, Co-ordinator 705.728.1968, ext. 1619
Christine Hess, Program Assistant 705.728.1968, ext. 1621

Orillia Campus

Steve McDonald: 705.325.2740, ext. 3088

Owen Sound Campus

Steve Miller: 519.376.0840, ext. 2318

About Communications

Students must take Communications courses in semesters 1 and 2, as listed in their program outlines.

For two and three-year postsecondary programs, two Communications courses are mandatory. For one-year postsecondary certificate programs, check the program outline.

To determine the college-level Communications course appropriate to their language level, students are encouraged to complete the College Placement Assessment (CPA).

* If students choose not to complete the CPA assessment, they automatically take Communication Essentials – COMM1016.

Communications Essentials prepares students to communicate at a college level and integrates concepts of:

  • information retrieval
  • critical thinking and reading
  • expression of ideas
  • effective use of technology
  • information literacy

Work Environment Communication prepares students with skills needed in the workplace, focusing on:

  • researching
  • writing and presentations
  • analyzing
  • problem solving
  • questioning
  • debating
  • managing information
  • teamwork
  • using technology for communication task,
  • communicating across cultures

Advanced Communications courses Virtual Communication, Technical Communication, Dynamic Presentations, develop a higher level of communication skills.

Communications courses are delivered in different formats:

  • classroom
  • classroom and computer lab
  • online
  • blended – online and classroom

Format is indicated upon registration for a specific course.

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COMM1016 Communication Essentials 42.0 hours

This course promotes effective communication skills essential for academic and professional success. Visual analysis and presentation strategies are employed to emphasize the importance of adapting communication to the intended audience. Students compose clear and concise messages through researching, writing and presenting to ensure effective communication. Students are expected to work both independently and collaboratively to achieve the course outcomes.

COMM1017 Work Environment Communication 42.0 hours

In the workplace, employers require high standards of communication skills and sensitivity to diverse audiences. In this course, students develop their skills by composing workplace messages, incorporating technology and considering the environment. Individually and collaboratively, students develop and deliver workplace messages through writing and presenting. 

COMM1019 Virtual Communication 42.0 hours

Navigating virtual environments requires evolving communication skills. Students investigate virtual communities in terms of privacy and boundaries, and other influences on personal and professional lives. In doing so, they learn to communicate effectively and make informed decisions within the virtual world.

COMM1020Technical Communication 42.0 hours

Technical communication skills are required in service, technical, and business environments. Students develop researching, planning, designing, and writing skills to prepare documents. Individually and collaboratively, students learn and apply information structures to produce documents such as descriptions, instructions, and manuals.

COMM1021 Dynamic Presentations 42.0 hours

Students develop the ability to design and deliver audience specific messages using media. Individually and collaboratively, students deliver presentations for use in academic, professional, and social settings. Self and peer critiques provide opportunities for reflection and enhanced presentation skills.

COMM1022 The Visual World 42.0 hours

The way messages are viewed and disseminated has changed through technological advances. Students develop theoretical and practical communication skills by investigating the power of visual imagery. Students focus on interpreting, analyzing, and critiquing a broad range of visuals in terms of intention and effectiveness.

COMM1014 Media Communication 42.0 hours

Students learn how media are used to raise awareness of, and generate approval for, an organization’s mission, policies and actions. Relevant textual, audio and visual messages are composed to inform or appeal to an audience, using traditional and emerging media. Individually and in groups students produce messages, and articles, as well as conduct announcements and interviews intended to capture media coverage, and generate a positive audience response.

COMM1015 Proposal Writing 42.0 hours

Proposal writing is a process including strategic planning, an awareness of long-term organizational development and targeted outcomes. Students conduct research to meet project and funding objectives. Additionally, students demonstrate effective planning and research to evaluate a range of funding opportunities. Developing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders and potential funders is addressed, as is the presentation of information in written and oral formats.

Be successful in college and in the workplace – know how to convey information effectively. Georgian’s Communications courses are designed to meet this goal.

Students must take Communications courses in semesters 1 and 2, as listed in their program outlines.

For two- and three-year postsecondary programs, two communications courses are mandatory:

COMM1016 Communication Essentials is a required course unless the student has written the CPA and received a score of 90/120 or higher. Upon such performance, a student has the choice of any two communications courses offered by his/her campus.

Students who do not write the CPA or achieve a mark below 90/120 must take COMM1016 Communications Essentials and have a choice of one more communications course offered by their campus.

  • For one-year postsecondary certificate programs, check the program outline

To determine the college-level Communications course appropriate to their language level, students may choose to complete the College Placement Assessment (CPA).

  • If students choose not to complete the CPA assessment, they take College Essentials.
  • Check the CPA page for more information.


Andrea Lovering, Co-ordinator
705-728-1968  ext. 1660


Diane DeCunha, Academic Support
705-728-1968 ext. 1993
FAX: 705-722-5145


Tracy Mitchell-Ashley, Lead Faculty
705-325-2740 ext. 3093

Owen Sound

Jesse Wilkinson, Lead Faculty
519-376-0840 ext 2187


For inquiries please contact Mary Jagert at (705) 728-1968 x 1814 or

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