About Us

Our mission is to provide adult, alternative and continuing education program staff working in Ontario’s school boards with the knowledge, skills and abilities to assist learners in achieving their education and employment goals.

CESBA (full name: The Ontario Association of Adult and Continuing Education School Board Administrators) is a provincial non-profit professional association that represents, advocates for and supports adult and continuing education (A&CE) program staff working in over 60 school boards across Ontario.

Incorporated in 1999 and provincially funded, CESBA works to ensure that adult and continuing education programs offered by school boards are accessible, affordable, and successful in helping learners achieve their education, training and employment goals.

Our members provide programs to over 300,000 adult learners in Ontario every year. School boards strive to assist learners to obtain their high school diploma and go on to post-secondary education, as well as offer career pathway programs, employment preparation and skills development through credit and non-credit courses.

What is Adult & Continuing Education (A&CE)?

A&CE programs in Ontario school boards include credit courses leading to a high school diploma, language support programs such as English/French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL), Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC), International Languages (IL) and literacy and academic upgrading to help people transition to credit, employment, post-secondary, apprenticeships and independence. Some boards offer training programs such as Personal Support Worker certification, chef training or hair styling.

What We Do

Working collaboratively with school boards, community partners and policymakers, we support and build capacity for professionals working in the A&CE sector through:

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Advocacy & Policy Work

We spread awareness to help boost support and inform policy for A&CE with school boards and government ministries.

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We give CESBA members the opportunity to interact, exchange information and develop contacts with others in the sector.

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Knowledge sharing

We develop tools and resources, as well as facilitate the exchange of knowledge between members and professionals.

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CESBA membership is open to publicly funded school boards with A&CE programs across Ontario (English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic).

Who We Are


paul cox

Executive Director

Erinn Graham-Barter

Innovation and Logistics Specialist

UrSzUla Mazur

Administrator/Project Coordinator

Andrea Murphy

PLAR Guidance Coordinator

Charlotte Parliament

Program Manager

Anita plunkett

PSW Lead/QA Coordinator

Ananda Umar

Communications Specialist

Board of Directors

CESBA is governed by a Board of Directors, made up of individuals who are administrators in the A&CE sector of our member school boards. The Board uses a Policy Governance model to ensure the organization is inclusive, transparent and accountable to its members and funders. The Board is committed to addressing the needs of its members and bringing key issues related to A&CE to the attention of the government, stakeholders and decision-makers.

Julie Bodiam

Upper Grand District School Board
2016 – present

GREG Carruthers

Grand Erie District School Board
2022 – present

norbert costa

Toronto District School Board
2022 – present

Mario divittorio

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
2022 – present

Andrea Ellsworth

Durham Catholic District School Board
2022 – present

Lisa Hickman

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
2021 – present

judith hoffman

2020 – present

Marianne Kayed

Ottawa Catholic School Board
2020 – present


CESBA is the provincial non-profit association that represents, advocates for and supports adult and continuing education (A&CE) staff working in public school boards across Ontario. In addition to advocacy and professional development opportunities, we support and build capacity for professionals working in the A&CE sector through information, tools, resources and community partnerships.

A&CE programs in Ontario school boards include but are not limited to: credit courses leading to a high school diploma, language support programs such as ESL/FSL and LINC/CLIC, literacy and academic upgrading to help people transition to credit, employment, post-secondary, apprenticeship or independence. There are also training programs offered in several boards, including Personal Support Worker certificate, chef training, hair styling, aesthetics and more. A&CE programs are flexible and include supports for different learning styles to enable adult learners to achieve their learning and employment goals.

This is a program that helps participants work more effectively in daily life or in their jobs. Through a wide range of learning activities, participants improve their reading and writing, along with their self-esteem. The program allows students to become more independent and build critical life skills, prepare for a job or a better position, move to high school credit courses, apply to a pre-apprenticeship, trades programs or post-secondary education.

Adults 18 years or over can work to complete their Grade 12 Ontario High School Diploma through this program. Adult credit courses can be taken during the day or night, and during the summer. Courses are offered in classrooms, as well as through e-learning and correspondence. Credits can also be granted to adults in recognition of their prior learning through PLAR for Mature Students assessments.

PLAR is the formal evaluation and credit granting process whereby mature students may obtain credits for prior learning. This includes knowledge and skills that mature students have acquired in both formal and informal ways outside of secondary school. After PLAR, mature students are given a list of high school credit equivalencies they have been granted and the courses they still require to complete their diploma.

ESL and FSL programs provide instruction in the language of the school for adult students whose first language is not English or French. Most ESL/FSL students are at or near appropriate levels of linguistic and cognitive development in their own languages. ESL/FSL programs help students move to more employment opportunities, further education and stronger engagement in their communications. ESL is funded by the provincial government and there are no eligibility requirements.

LINC provides free basic language skills for newcomers. In Ontario, the program is generally offered in English, but there are a few institutions that offer it in French. To be eligible for the LINC program in Ontario, participants must be at least 18 years old and must be a permanent resident of Canada, or Convention Refugee, or be a person in Canada whose application for Permanent Resident status is being processed in Canada and who has been informed by a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada of the initial approval of application subject to an admissibility assessment. 

Both ESL/FSL and LINC/CLIC teach newcomers language skills. ESL is funded by the provincial government and eligibility is not determined by residence status. The LINC program is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).