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Our History

In 1968, McGill University launched the Centre of Continuing Education - the predecessor to what is today the School of Continuing Studies. The Centre was intended for the community at large and developed with the community’s needs in mind. But the university’s roots of continuing studies go back much further. In the early 1800s, Professors Alexander Skakel and A.F. Holmes of McGill College began offering experimental lectures in chemistry at Skakel’s home. A McGill prospectus from 1853 refers to young men in business being permitted to “attend the College sessions as their other engagements will allow, and thus complete a university course and be entitled to rank with its other graduates.”

In 1899, McGill first introduced summer school for regular McGill daytime students, providing off-session regular program classes administered by the University’s Extension program. As the demand for continuing education grew, extension, extra-mural, and adult education courses became more readily available. Today SCS has over 15,000 students pursuing language classes, professional development courses, community engagement, and more.


Our Mission

Located in the heart of Montreal, the McGill University School of Continuing Studies offers diverse adult learners a path of life-long professional and personal transformation through innovative teaching, practical experience, and applied research. We empower learners, strengthen communities and support partner organizations to thrive in a world of fast paced change and technological advances with greater access, mobility and adaptability. Together with our partners and alumni, we help shape the future of work and learning by building bridges across the University and beyond.

Our Vision

We will be a global university partner of choice for individuals, communities, and employers alike. We will offer the highest quality of experiential learning, inspire confidence and trust, enrich lives, and be recognized for our thought leadership at undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.

Our Values

  • We prize personal and professional integrity and ethics in all that we do.
  • We strive to achieve excellence.
  • We are learner-centred and employer-responsive.
  • We value and promote inclusivity, diversity, and equity.
  • We champion innovation, entrepreneurship, and learning from experience.

Strategic Goals 2020-2023:

  1. Enhance the future of work through excellence in lifelong experiential learning/adult education, applied research, & professional partnerships.
  2. Strengthen access & inclusion/integration for diverse communities.
  3. Expand global outreach/international competencies through language training, written communication, and strategic global partnerships.
  4. Accelerate innovative, highest quality digital learning to at least 30% of SCS' portfolio by 2023.
  5. Make SCS a best-in-class, agile and collaborative learning organization through excellence in governance & staff professional development.
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