School of Continuing Studies marks official opening of new building

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York University’s School of Continuing Studies celebrates the official launch of its new, signature home – a state-of-the-art building with a unique, twisted design located at the York University Keele Campus.

“The York University School of Continuing Studies is transforming the Canadian workforce by reinventing traditional models of education and transforming barriers to education into opportunities. Our leading edge, cohort programs are co-developed with industry to develop graduates prepared to thrive in a skills-based economy. Last year alone we delivered more than a million hours of learning,” says Christine Brooks-Cappadocia, interim vice-president of continuing studies at York University.  

The May 1 event is an opportunity for the School of Continuing Studies to formally unveil its new facility – located at 68 The Pond Rd. – to the York University community and showcase how a post-pandemic learning space can blend in-person and virtual learning formats using the latest technology to support the needs of students.

School of Continuing Studies
An interior shot of the new School of Continuing Studies building

The building allows the School more capacity, space and resources to support York University’s Academic Plan 2020-2025. The York University English Language Institute’s pathway programs, for instance, are core to the University’s international student growth and help the University achieve its priority of reaching a 20 to 25 per cent international student population within the next five years.

This new building also enables the School to continue growing its programming and support York’s priority to create 21st century learning opportunities with innovative programs in emerging fields that meet the diverse needs of adult and non-traditional learners.

“The School of Continuing Studies embodies York’s commitment to 21st century learning which identifies access to a high-quality education and global engagement as core components of York’s University Academic Plan,” says York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton. “We have been a leader in the lifelong learning space since our inception and we had the goal to create dedicated space to accommodate the unique needs of continuing education students locally and from abroad, many of whom are seeking to complement degree programs and/or upgrade and reskill in a labour market that is being profoundly impacted by automation and AI.”

The invite-only event to officially mark the building’s opening includes a plenary session with speeches from Lenton and Brooks-Cappadocia, to be followed by a keynote address from world-champion Canadian hurdler, author, TV host and public speaker, Perdita Felicien.

Invited guests will be offered guided tours of the building, networking sessions attended by York University leaders and industry-expert instructors, and the opportunity to visit an exhibit hall with information on the School’s roster of programs.

York University staff and faculty are welcome to visit the new building and experience its features.

After nine years of planning, the School of Continuing Studies opened its doors to students in December 2022, uniting under one roof its programs, staff and students.

School of Continuing Studies
Inside the new School of Continuing Studies building

The building is designed by the architecture firm Perkins + Wills, with architects Safdar Abidi and Andrew Frontini leading the project. The signature twisted architecture of the building symbolizes the evolving nature of post-secondary education today.

The structure is built to ensure complete adherence to sustainability in design. The building is designed to meet LEED Gold standards as well as the City of Toronto Green Standards. Strategies used include a high-performing façade system, direct outside air system with heat recovery ventilation, and daylight harvesting. The building is well positioned to achieve net zero in the future due to its low energy consumption. Additionally, the building is designed with the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability. 

“Students, instructors and staff were included in both the scoping and design phases of the project. To ensure the building is meeting the needs of students of different ages, religions and cultural backgrounds we designed the structure with the highest accessibility standards,” says Brooks-Cappadocia.

“From having guide rails for students with sight impairment to touch-free surfaces to the lactation room for nursing mothers and a prayer and meditation room. Everyone is welcome and supported in pursuing their educational goals.”

Other key accessibility features include automated doors, standing desks in all classrooms, elevators and large hallways spaces for those requiring wheelchair access.

One student praised the design of the building, and how it shapes her approach to critical thinking. “The building is so open, meaning there aren’t walls everywhere, it’s not constricted. It helps you think out loud, and I really like that concept of the building,” says Shilpa Pradeep.

Another student said the accessibility features of the building are inspiring. “This building is amazing – from the exterior and once we enter the interior, everything is completely accessible,” says Ismail Sibgatullah Mohammed.

“We’re all in one area and we have access to these amazing facilities,” says Leigh Mitchell, instructor for the Post-Graduate Certificate in Digital and Content Marketing. “I think it is a game-changer for the engagement and also just getting to feel like you’re part of the community.”

Learn more about the School of Continuing Studies.

School of Continuing Studies launches new post-graduate certificate in CloudOps

A beautiful blue sky with clouds

A new specialized CloudOps program aims to create a talent pipeline for organizations focused on cloud migrations.

The pandemic has reshaped how companies operate and employees work.  Organizations are developing cloud adoption roadmaps and quickly implementing those plans. A recent market forecast predicted global spending on cloud services will grow by 16.9 per cent annually to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025.

The York University School of Continuing Studies announced the launch of its new full-time Post-Graduate Certificate in CloudOps. The only full-time, university-level cloud operations program to be offered in Canada, it is designed to prepare recent domestic and international university graduates for entry-level cloud computing roles.

“Many enterprises today are contemplating a strategic move to the cloud. Because of this, cloud professionals are in high demand to manage the complexities of cloud migrations and to choose the right cloud vendor. People looking to enter this profession need the right mix of cloud competencies from organizational change management to data governance and flawless execution and deployment,” says Claude K. Sam-Foh, cloud computing expert, curriculum developer, instructor and advisory member for the program.  

Cloud instructor Claude K. Sam-Foh
Claude K. Sam-Foh

“The Post-Graduate Certificate in CloudOps is a comprehensive educational experience that will provide the essential theoretical and practical competencies to excel and contribute to an organization’s cloud transformational journey and maintain that infrastructure.”

Job postings for cloud service entry-level roles in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have grown at an annualized rate of 49.5 per cent over the last four years. The program is co-designed by an advisory committee of senior cloud professionals invested in developing a program that can be a pipeline for top-notch talent in their organizations and the CloudOps industry.

“Organizations are looking to bring talent in-house to build a cloud workforce from the ground up, creating a talent pipeline of entry-level roles with advancement potential to senior positions,” says Christine Brooks-Cappadocia, interim vice-president of continuing studies at York University.

“After graduating from this program, students will not only earn the fundamental cloud skills to establish their career in this field, but they will also gain critical cross-functional skills like problem-solving, decision-making, and an aptitude for curiosity that they will need to grow and advance in their career.”

Registration for the Post-Graduate Certificate in CloudOps is now open, with classes beginning in September 2023 and running for eight months.

For more information, visit the Post-Graduate Certificate in CloudOps program page.

Announcement of appointment of interim assistant vice-president, continuing studies (AVP)

The south west corner of the new building that will house York University's School of Continuing Studies

La version française suit la version anglaise. 

Dear colleagues,

I am pleased to inform members of the York University community of the appointment of Christine Brooks-Cappadocia as interim assistant vice-president (AVP), continuing studies, effective Feb. 1, until the completion of the search for the next AVP has concluded.

Christine Brooks-Cappadocia
Christine Brooks-Cappadocia

Christine previously served as the executive director, programs & partnerships, the director of professional education and director of marketing & enrolment management in the School of Continuing Studies.

The school’s Continuing Professional Education division is considered to be among the most innovative in the country, receiving unprecedented enrolment and program growth during her tenure. Recently, she has been focusing on supporting the transformation of the English Language Institute in the post-pandemic market. Christine is especially proud of the success of the school’s international students who have built careers in Canada and of the programs that help recent and mid-career professionals thrive in emerging roles.

Prior to joining York’s School of Continuing Studies in 2014, Christine spent six years building and managing the marketing department at McMaster’s Centre for Continuing Education. Her career highlights include supporting the launch of the York University School of Continuing Studies; the establishment of two endowed bursaries to support non-traditional students; the creation of several programs which are the first of their kind in Canada; launching a foundation to support at-risk youth; the development of the communications department for St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation in Hamilton; and the management of a high-profile event featuring former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Ontario Premier Bob Rae.

She has been privileged to serve in several governance roles in non-profit organizations including as president and founding board member of the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Golden Horseshoe chapter, the vice-president of Community Arts Ontario, and as a founding board member of the Coalition of Ontario Voluntary Organizations.

Christine has earned several awards for marketing from the Association of Healthcare Philanthropists, the International Business Communicators, and the Learning Resources Network (LERN). Christine holds a bachelor of fine arts from York University and a master of management, innovation and entrepreneurship from Queen’s.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Brooks-Cappadocia to the School of Continuing Studies. We are looking forward to working with her and benefitting from her leadership and experience.


Lisa Philipps
Provost & Vice-President Academic

Annonce de la nomination de la vice-présidente adjointe à la formation continue (VPA) par intérim

Chers collègues, chères collègues,

J’ai le plaisir d’informer les membres de la communauté de l’Université York de la nomination de Christine Brooks-Cappadocia au poste de vice-présidente adjointe (VPA) à la formation continue par intérim, à compter du 1er février et jusqu’à ce que la recherche du ou de la prochaine VPA soit terminée.

Christine Brooks-Cappadocia
Christine Brooks-Cappadocia

Elle a précédemment occupé les postes de directrice générale des programmes et des partenariats, de directrice de la formation professionnelle et de directrice du marketing et de la gestion des inscriptions à l’École de formation continue.

La division de formation professionnelle continue de l’École est considérée comme l’une des plus innovantes du pays et a connu une croissance sans précédent des inscriptions et des programmes pendant son mandat. Récemment, elle s’est attachée à soutenir la transformation de l’Institut de langue anglaise sur le marché post-pandémique. Elle est particulièrement fière de la réussite des étudiantes et étudiants internationaux de l’École qui ont bâti leur carrière au Canada et des programmes qui aident les professionnels récents et en milieu de carrière à s’épanouir dans des carrières émergentes.

Avant de se joindre à l’École de formation continue de York en 2014, Mme Brooks-Cappadocia a passé six ans à mettre sur pied et à gérer le service de marketing du Centre de formation continue de McMaster. Parmi les faits saillants de sa carrière, citons le soutien au lancement de l’École de formation continue de l’Université York, la création de deux bourses d’études pour soutenir les étudiantes et étudiants non traditionnels, la création de plusieurs programmes qui sont les premiers du genre au Canada, le lancement d’une fondation pour soutenir les jeunes à risque, le développement du département des communications de la St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation à Hamilton et la gestion d’un événement très médiatisé mettant en vedette l’ancien président américain Bill Clinton et l’ancien premier ministre de l’Ontario Bob Rae.

Elle a eu le privilège d’assumer plusieurs rôles de gouvernance au sein d’organismes sans but lucratif, notamment en tant que présidente et membre fondatrice du conseil d’administration de la section Golden Horseshoe de l’International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), vice-présidente de Community Arts Ontario et membre fondatrice du conseil d’administration de la Coalition of Ontario Voluntary Organizations.

Mme Brooks-Cappadocia a remporté plusieurs prix de marketing de l’Association for Healthcare Philanthropists, de l’International Association of Business Communicators et du Learning Resources Network. Elle est titulaire d’un baccalauréat en beaux-arts de l’Université York et d’une maîtrise en gestion, innovation et entrepreneuriat de l’Université Queen.

Veuillez vous joindre à moi pour accueillir Christine Brooks-Cappadocia à l’École de formation continue. Nous avons hâte de travailler avec elle et de nous enrichir de son leadership et de son expérience.

Sincères salutations, 

Lisa Philipps
Rectrice et vice-présidente aux affaires académiques

Schulich ExecEd ranks second in Canada in ‘Financial Times’

schulich 2nd floor

Schulich’s Executive Education (Schulich ExecEd) program ranked 32nd in the world and second in Canada in the 23rd edition of the Financial Times rankings of the world’s leading providers of customized and open-enrollment executive education programs. 

The executive education rankings include 50 of the top schools providing both custom and open courses. 

Rami Mayer

“Schulich ExecEd is proud to announce that we have achieved the highest Financial Times rankings ever for our unit,” says Rami Mayer, executive director, Schulich ExecEd. “Financial Times is a prestigious annual ranking which evaluates the quality of the school’s executive education based on many factors such as program design, quality of faculty, support offered to the learner pre, during and post the learning event as well as the overall learning experience. This achievement is extremely meaningful, particularly this year as it formally recognizes the calibre of our offerings in a year of change with much innovation across all lines of business. Thank you for the tremendous support we have received from our faculty and staff.” 

The results cap a year-long overhaul of the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC), which has recently rebranded as Schulich ExecEd. Learn more about Schulich ExecEd online. Additional information about the top 50 executive education providers can be found on the Financial Times website

School of Continuing Studies’ Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly named global 2021 Female Executive of the Year

Image announcing Awards

Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly has been named Female Executive of the Year in the 18th annual Stevie® Awards. Taylor-O’Reilly, assistant vice-president of continuing studies at York University, was recognized as the Gold Award recipient in the Government or Non-Profit category for organizations with 2,500 or more employees.

In total, there were 1,500 nominees for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business from 35 countries, with winners to be formally recognized at a global event in January 2022.   

Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly
Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly

The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards and have been called the “Oscars of the business world.” Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 160 business professionals around the world, working on eight juries. Regarding Taylor-O’Reilly, judges noted, “It is great to see visionary women leading the charge for education” and hailed the “valiant response to the COVID crisis, making education and upskilling more available than ever.”

Taylor-O’Reilly reimagined the role of universities to support upskilling and reskilling of recent university graduates and the workforce for the 21st century. Launching York University’s School of Continuing Studies in 2015, she created a vision and new model that is unique in North America, resulting in York’s emergence as a global leader in this space. She has tirelessly devoted her time and energy to ensuring cutting-edge and market-responsive programs that lead to in-demand and high-paying jobs. Many programs have won awards for quality and innovation.

“Starting a new school gave me the opportunity to fundamentally rethink professional education, how and when we deliver it, how we integrate employers, how we help people make career choices in an increasingly confusing world, and how we support career transitions,” said Taylor-O’Reilly, who sought to change the way education is developed and delivered. “We set a new standard for innovation and value in the face of the demands of Industry 4.0 and the pandemic.”

Reflecting on the success, Taylor-O’Reilly noted that “few great accomplishments come without great struggles. I am most proud of our passionate and dedicated team of staff and instructors that continue to innovate, adapt and serve with a deep sense of purpose. Never before has our work been more important.”

In its first five years, the School of Continuing Studies saw professional program enrolment grow 10-fold, followed by growth of another 24 per cent in the first year of the pandemic. This has been a by-product of innovative new full-time and part-time programs, talented instructors with deep industry experience, and new intensive learning options that help professionals to quickly upskill or reskill within months.

This growth represents the largest and most successful startup in the sector across North America. To help accommodate the rapid growth, Taylor-O’Reilly played a pivotal leadership role in designing the new 97,000-square-foot continuing studies building currently under construction on the University’s Keele Campus. Custom-designed to support the needs of adult and international students, the $73-million building will have more than 50 classrooms and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022.

Video: Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly talks about being named Female Executive of the Year

Judges commended the rapid and bold pandemic response. When in-person learning shut down in 2020, the school moved all classes online within two days, and provided unique career and emergency financial supports to both students and members of the public who found themselves in critical need because of the crisis.

To learn more about the 40 programs currently offered through York University’s School of Continuing Studies, visit