About our College

Willis College offers a career-focused approach to adult education, enabling graduates to transition into careers in business, technology, and healthcare.  Over the years, this adult private career college has played a major role in seeing more than 150,000 graduates,   leading successful lives in Canadian communities and around the world.

Women in Technology

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The Jim Watson Women in Technology Scholarship at Willis College

Mayor Jim Watson and Willis College, Canada’s first regulated Career College established in 1866, are proud to have a shared commitment to increasing the participation of women in critical technology careers.

As a part of our 150th anniversary celebrations, Willis College is delighted to announce The Jim Watson Women in Technology Scholarship (WITS) in Cybersecurity. This was undertaken to recognize the Mayor’s significant efforts to empower women and girls and also to help recruit new talent into the growing sector of cybersecurity.

Six Scholarships will be awarded to qualified recipients over a period of three years, with three dedicated to Indigenous women. The Scholarships will be valued at a total of $150,000 ($25,000 each).

The Scholarship will be administered by The Jim Watson WITS Board of Trustees, who will meet annually in Ottawa to evaluate and award the candidates. The Board of Trustees is comprised of the following exemplary individuals, who are recognized leaders in their fields:

Board of Trustees

Namir Anani, President & CEO, Information and Communications Technology Council

Michael Anderson, Senior Vice President, Sophos

Serge Buy, CEO, National Association of Career Colleges

Janet Kennedy, President and CEO, Microsoft Canada

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, President of Native Women’s Association of Canada

Bruce Lazenby, President & CEO, Invest Ottawa

Jennifer Teeters, Director of Fortinet Network Security Academy

Paul Vallée, CEO, Pythian


  1. A total of six (6) Scholarships will be awarded annually over a three-year period (2016, 2017, and 2018) to qualified female students from across Canada who require financial assistance to enroll in Willis College’s Advanced Network Security Professional Diploma Program. Three of the six awards will be dedicated to Indigenous women.
  2. The Scholarship is available to qualified Canadian and First Nations, Inuit and Métis women to pursue cyber security studies in the Advanced Network Security Professional Diploma Program.
  3. The Scholarship is awarded annually to two qualified students (one Canadian and one Indigenous) selected by the Jim Watson WITS Board of Trustees Selection Committee.
  4. The Scholarship carries a total value, at the time of announcement, of $150,000 – or $25,000 each.
  5. The Scholarship provides tuition, books, industry certifications and use of Canada’s only Fortinet and Sophos labs at Willis College for a one-year program at Willis College of Business, Technology, and Healthcare. The Scholarship is non-transferable and may only be applied to academic career courses at Willis College.
  6. The student may attend courses during a 12-month period (starting in the year of the award date) according to Willis College’s course start dates.
  7. Interested candidates must apply by August 31st of each year (i.e. 2016, 2017, and 2018).
  8. Information is available at williscollege.com.

Selection Process

Basis of Selection

The Selection Committee is looking for candidates with proven intellectual and academic ability, integrity of character, interest in technology, respect for fellow human beings, ability to lead, demonstrated leadership and creativity in the areas of cyber security stewardship, appreciation for education, and initiative to use their talents to the fullest.

Method of Selection

A Selection Committee, consisting of representatives of the Jim Watson WITS Board of Trustees, will choose the successful candidate. The decision of the Selection Committee is final.

Method of Application

The completed application, with all the required information, must be mailed to:

Selection Committee Jim Watson WITS Board of Trustees
c/o Willis College of Business, Technology & Healthcare
85 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M6

Admission Status

The applicant must:

  • Must be 19 years of age old or over.
  • Must successfully pass entrance requirements.
  • Provide proof of secondary or post-secondary education, including transcript of marks.

Payment of Award

The successful candidate will be presented with the award and a commemorative certificate at The Jim Watson WITS Award Annual General Assembly, which is held each summer at the Willis College Ottawa campus.

About Willis College:

Willis College, a proudly Canadian and Ottawa-based organization, is Canada’s first regulated Career College.  Willis College has a great track record of partnering with employers that extends back to when we were formed in 1866.  Our model has been to deliver industry-led, job-ready talent in a short period of time within Canada’s cultural mosaic.  Over the last 150 years, this best practice model has allowed Willis College to produce over 150,000 graduates locally, nationally and internationally. With three locations, Willis College offers many financial solutions for qualified students, a wide range of services and is home to Canada’s only Fortinet and Sophos Labs.  Students may take individual courses to upgrade their skills, or enroll in a full career diploma program that leads them to lucrative jobs in business, technology, and healthcare.  To learn more about Willis College and our programs, visit https://www.williscollege.com.

About Mayor Jim Watson:

Jim Watson was re-elected Mayor of the City of Ottawa on October 27, 2014 after having first been elected Mayor of the amalgamated City of Ottawa in 2010. Mayor Watson has dedicated most of his career to public service in Canada’s Capital. First elected as a Councillor in 1991, he was re-elected in 1994. Three years later he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Ottawa’s history with 82% of the popular vote. Following the amalgamation of Ottawa and surrounding communities, Mayor Watson was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission, a federal crown corporation. In 2003, he was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean and immediately appointed to cabinet as Minister of Consumer and Business services. In 2005, he was appointed as Ontario’s first Minister of Health Promotion and he successfully implemented the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Re-elected as MPP in 2007, he was promoted to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. An active member of his community, Watson has also served on the boards or as honourary chair of several community organizations, including the Riverside Hospital, the National Arts Centre, the Christmas Exchange of Ottawa and the Forum for Young Canadians. He served as chair of United Way’s 2002 campaign, which raised a record $21 million.

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