As Canadaâ's youth consider their increasingly broad and complex array of post-secondary education (PSE) options, they are faced with potentially costly decisions. Moreover, they often do not have the information they need to make appropriate choices, which can negatively impact their participation and persistence in PSE. For many students, it is a challenge to choose, design and follow a post-secondary pathway to its conclusion without deviating from their original plan. Students are increasingly taking non-linear pathways through PSE. Some may need to relocate and attend a different institution. Many students may decide to change the focus of their study, while others may wish to change their program entirely. Some may shift their goals from academic to applied forms of study, or vice versa. However, the structures of post-secondary systems in our provinces, and the various mechanisms that bind them, do not always provide clearly apparent and unobstructed pathways for students, particularly for mobile students. These problems are exacerbated by shifting mandates, roles, and labels of institutions across the Canadian PSE sector.
Canada does not have a clear framework for understanding the many changes that have occurred within its PSE sector over the past 15 years. This monograph sets out to explain these changes, with a view to clarifying their potential effects on studentsâ€™ comprehension of, and mobility through, the structures that comprise our current PSE landscape.
In the past, Canadian post-secondary education has been described as binary, a term that indicates the presence of two separate institutional sectors: public universities offering academic and professional programming at the degree-level; and public colleges providing diplomas and certificates in programs of a more technical or vocational nature. However, this conceptualization overlooks private post-secondary institutions and, as Marshall (2006) notes, significant growth in the number and types of degrees offered by a wider variety of Canadian post-secondary institutions over recent decades.1 As a result, the distinction between the university and college sectors has become increasingly blurred, and the nature of some Canadian post-secondary institutions is no longer made clear by their names. Canada's PSE sector is now characterized by a broad and complex mix of institutions for which a clear and comprehensive taxonomy has yet to be developed.
Evolutionary and legislative changes in many Canadian jurisdictions challenge the transparency of current Canadian post-secondary education vocabulary. Studentsâ€™ ideas about which institutions offer which programs, and which programs lead to which opportunities, may not be aligned with these changes. It is arguable that Canadian PSE has become less transparent in recent years, exacerbating the potential that students make PSE decisions inappropriate to their aspirations. Issues of program choice and fit might be better addressed through the provision of a classification framework aimed at making Canadian PSE more transparent to its users.
From 2006 to 2009, Indigenous Elders and scholars shared their insights in the Comprehending and Nourishing the Learning Spirit Animation Theme Bundle of the Aboriginal Learning Knowledge Centre (ABLKC). The ABLKC was an applied research, knowledge exchange, and monitoring program with a mandate to advance Aboriginal education in Canada. One of the six bundles, Nourishing the Learning Spirit, was led by Mi’kmaw education scholar and Academic Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Marie Battiste. In this paper, the authors discuss how they applied knowledge gained in the Nourishing the Learning Spirit Animation Theme Bundle to their post-secondary classroom practice.
The authors argue that teachers are better able to nourish the learning spirit of students when they understand themselves as lifelong learners, validate and learn from their students, and use holistic teaching pedagogies.
De 2006 à 2009, les aînés autochtones et les pédagogues ont partagé leur compréhension de l’esprit de l’apprentissage dans un ensemble de trousses d’animation (Comprehending and Nourishing the Learning Spirit Animation Theme Bundle). L’une des six trousses, Nourishing the Learning Spirit, a été chapeautée par la directrice de l’Aboriginal Education Research Centre
(ABLKC) à l’Université de la Saskatchewan, Dre Marie Battiste, chercheure en éducation d’origine micmaque (mi’ kmaq). L’ABLKC était un programme de recherche appliquée, d’échange d’idées et de contrôle, ayant un mandat de reportage visant l’avancement de l’éducation autochtone au Canada. Dans le présent document, les chercheurs discutent des connaissances acquises au cours de l’implantation de la trousse Nourishing the Learning Spirit dans leur salle de classe postsecondaire. Ils affirment que les professeurs peuvent nourrir l’esprit d’apprentissage de leurs élèves quand ils se voient eux-mêmes comme apprenants perpétuels, valorisent et apprennent de leurs élèves, et utilisent des pédagogies d’enseignement holistiques.
The promotion of mental health and well-being in our students, faculty, and staff is important to the University of Calgary. Given the symbiotic relation between health and education, Universities are increasingly recognized as places to promote the health and well-being of the people who learn, work and live within them. Research-intensive universities create cultures that demand high performance while promoting excellence and achievement, and also carry the risk of stress, stigma, and challenges to mental health. With the recognition of the importance of promoting mental health and intervening to address illness in a timely way, we join groups across Canada and beyond that are committed to enhancing the mental health of university students, faculty, and staff.
The Ontario government recognizes the importance of ensuring equality of access to postsecondary
education (PSE). One group that has been and continues to be underrepresented in PSE is students with
disabilities. As a response, the Ontario government has made improvements to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, with the end goal of making Ontario a more accessible province for people with disabilities by 2025. In addition to making changes to legislation, there has been increased funding for students with disabilities, with more than $47 million allocated in 2010-2011 to help these students achieve success in PSE. The Ontario government now also provides targeted funding for students with learning disabilities (Tsagris and Muirhead, 2012).
What are the most popular practices and tactics for electronic student recruitment at the undergraduate level? To find out, Noel-Levitz conducted a web-based poll in the spring of 2014 as part of the firm’s continuing series of benchmark polls for higher education. As a special bonus, a number of gaps between campus practices and prospective students’ expectations are identified based on a parallel study of college-bound high school students in spring 2014 (see information at bottom).
This report is based on findings from a pair of Pew Research Center surveys conducted this spring. One is a telephone survey taken among a nationally representative sample of 2,142 adults ages 18 and older. The other is an online survey, done in association with the Chronicle of Higher Education, among the presidents of 1,055 two-year and four-year private, public, and for-profit colleges and universities.
Here is a summary of key findings:
Survey of the General Public
Cost and Value. A majority of Americans (57%) say the higher education system in the United States fails to provide students with good value for the money they and their families spend. An even larger majorityâ€”75%â€”says college is too expensive for most Americans to afford. At the same time, however, an overwhelming majority of college graduatesâ€”86%â€”say that college has been a good investment for them personally.
Monetary Payoff. Adults who graduated from a four-year college believe that, on average, they are earning $20,000 more a year as a result of having gotten that degree. Adults who did not attend college believe that, on average, they are earning $20,000 a year less as a result. These matched estimates by the public are very close to the median gap in annual earnings between a high school and college graduate as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010: $19,550. A more detailed Pew Research Center analysis (see Chapter 5) shows that this gap varies by type of degree and field of study.
Student Loans. A record share of students are leaving college with a substantial debt burden, and among those who do, about half (48%) say that paying off that debt made it harder to pay other bills; a quarter say it has made it harder to buy a home (25%); and about a quarter say it has had an impact on their career choices (24%).
Why Not College? Nearly every parent surveyed (94%) says they expect their child to attend college, but even as college enrollments have reached record levels, most young adults in this country still do not attend a four-year college. The main barrier is financial. Among adults ages 18 to 34 who are not in school and do not have a bachelorâ€™s degree, two-thirds say a major reason for not continuing their education is the need to support a family. Also, 57% say they would prefer to work and make money; and 48% say they can't afford to go to college.
I am pleased to report that Humber had another strong year as we embrace and deliver on our new strategic plan: Strengthen, Sustain, Maximize. Leading up to the launch of this plan last fall, Humber experienced unprecedented growth.
From 2008-2013, full-time postsecondary enrolment increased by 43% compared to the provincial increase of 25% over the same period. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we continue to innovate and collaborate in order to bring our
students the highest quality education delivered by faculty and staff committed to their success.
We do this by living the values of a learning organization. That means fostering an organizational culture that encourages curiosity, creativity, innovation and collaborative problem solving. All skills necessary to succeed in today’s increasingly
interconnected and global world.
The choice of whether and where to attend college is among the most important investment decisions individuals and families make, yet people know little about how institutions of higher learning compare along important dimensions of quality. This is especially true for the nearly 5,000 colleges granting credentials of two years or fewer, which together graduate nearly 2 million students annually, or about 39 percent of all postsecondary graduates. Moreover, popular rankings of college quality, such as those produced by U.S. News, Forbes, and Money, focus only on a small fraction of the nation’s four-year colleges and tend to reward highly selective institutions over those that contribute the most to student success.
Drawing on a variety of government and private data sources, this report presents a provisional analysis of college value-added with respect to the economic success of the college’s graduates, measured by the incomes graduates earn, the occupations in which they work, and their loan repayment rates. This is not an attempt to measure how much alumni earnings increase compared to forgoing a postsecondary education. Rather, as defined here, a college’s value-added measures the difference
between actual alumni outcomes (like salaries) and predicted outcomes for institutions with similar characteristics and students. Value-added, in this sense, captures the benefits that accrue from both measurable aspects of college quality, such as graduation rates and the market value of the skills a college teaches, as well as unmeasurable “x factors,” like exceptional leadership or teaching, that contribute to student success.
Public colleges are the only academic institutions in Canada that deliver a robust range of career-focused programs and training to all segments of the population. The colleges’ labour-market programs, such as Second Career, employment counselling, academic upgrading and apprenticeship training serve more than 160,000 students
Ontario’s public college programs are affordable and reach students in all socioeconomic groups – from people who need upgrading in order to qualify for full-time college programs, to university graduates seeking marketable skills.
Graduates of Ontario’s 24 public colleges earn credentials that have met the province’s rigorous standards for post-secondary education and are valued by employers. College graduates continue to be in high demand.
61% of parents have more than one type of debt, with a mean number of debt types at 2.25
▪ 28% of parents have either type of student loan debt (for parents’ or kids’ education), and 5%
have student loan debt for both parents’ and kids’ education
▪ Parents with student loan debt (from parents’ education) are significantly more likely to have
credit card debt (67% vs. 54%) and payday loan debt (19% vs. 7%)
▪ Parents with student loan debt (from kid’s education) are significantly more likely to have
credit card debt (75% vs. 54%) and payday loan debt (38% vs. 5%)
▪ Parents with student loan debt (from parents’ education) are significantly more likely to say
they lose sleep worrying about college costs for their kids (49% vs. 40%)
This longitudinal mixed method study collected quantitative data from 151 students with Learning Disabilities (LD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). Of these,117 students attended a combination of focus groups and personal interviews and shared their postsecondary education (PSE) experiences as persons with disabilities. The quantitative and qualitative data collection was carried out over two and a half years at the Centre for Students with Disabilities, which provides support and accommodations to college and university students within a shared campus environment at Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the educational quality of the existing student service programs designed to ensure PSE access for students with LD and/or ADHD, who are an under-represented and at-risk population. Specifically, the study set out to measure and explore the effect of the Summer Transition Program (STP) and enhanced services on promoting students’ engagement, academic performance and, ultimately, their ongoing success throughout PSE.
The Ministry’s STP funding is earmarked for students with LD. However, the Ministry recognizes that students with LD have high comorbid rates of AD/HD. The STP is offered prior to the commencement of the fall semester to give students with LD and/or ADHD a chance to learn evidence-based learning strategies, self-determination skills and the use of assistive
technologies that promote PSE success without the added pressure and demands of a PSE course load. The STP curriculum is delivered in August, in a classroom setting in the morning and in a computer lab in the afternoon. Each day has a specific theme and content is designed to enhance knowledge and skills, such as time management. LD-specific supports were found to improve student outcomes, and the ongoing enhanced supports were believed to ensure accessibility.
This study’s most optimistic finding was the positive association between attendance at the STP and use of enhanced services. The study’s findings demonstrate that the STP improves the quality of students’ transition to PSE by first facilitating an earlier intake requirement and then helping students acquire psychoeducational assessments. STP students complete this process before the academic year begins in September.
Students who did not attend STP (NSTP students) described an overall lengthier and more complicated intake process. Findings from this study demonstrate that the STP improves students’ orientation to campus, orientation to services, disability awareness and willingness to self-advocate. STP also promotes their use of student services. On the other hand, when examining the impact of the STP alone, there were no differences between STP and NSTP students in their likelihood of earning a GPA above 2.0 for any of the first five semesters. The sample groups were self-selected or parentally selected. This sample selection could not be controlled for due to ethical reasons and the limited sample size; this may have decreased the measurable effect. A combination of the two programs was found to enhance academic performance.
Background/Context: Parental involvement is a key ingredient in the educational success of students and an integral component of involvement is teacher-parent communication. One body of research finds that minority immigrant parents face barriers in interacting with schools, and communicate less with schools than native-born White parents. However, we know little of how schools reach out to parents.
Purpose: In this study, I use a nationally representative sample of high schoolers to examine patterns of teachers communicating with parents.
Interest in adult college completion, both for adults with some college credit and those who have never before attended college, has dramatically increased across the higher education community. This report draws from the considerable body of recent research focused on various populations of adult learners, including data gathered during Higher Ed Insight's recent evaluation of Lumina Foundation's adult college completion efforts. The goal of the report is to synthesize what has been learned about the needs of adult college students, particularly those returning to college after stopping out, as well as to identify areas where further inquiry is needed in order to demonstrate effective ways to support degree completion for adults.
The NSSE National Data Project is an element of ongoing engagement research and implementation practice in Canada. It has two primary objectives. The first is the construction of detailed NSSE reports (items means and frequencies, benchmarks and learning scales) at the academic program- and student subgroup-level for individual institutions rather than for peer
groups. The second is the development of statistical (regression) models to measure the relative contribution to engagement variation of student characteristics, program mix andinstitutional character at both the student record- and institution-level. Both objectives address the broader goals of providing greater focus to engagement improvement efforts, identifying clusters of promising practices and best engagement results, supporting improved interpretation and use of institutional engagement scores, and informing the development of institutional accountability procedures and metrics. The core of the project is a record-level data file containing the approximately 69,000 2008 or2009 NSSE responses and additional student records system data representing 44 Canadianuniversities. Student responses were classified into 10 general academic programs (e.g., Social
Sciences) and over 75 specific academic programs (e.g., History, Biology) and over 30 student subgroups (including first generation, First Nations and international).
The detailed NSSE reports indicate a considerable level of variation in student characteristics and program mix across Canadian universities; large differences in engagement item scores and benchmarks across academic program clusters and specific programs within clusters, and across student subgroups; and wide engagement variability across institutions of differing size.
A summary of the results from these detailed reports is presented below. The program- and student subgroup-level NSSE reports provide a more focused basis for comparing engagement university by university, and strongly suggest that institution-level engagement comparisons should take account of student, program and size variation and should not be presented without context in ranked format.
The regression models provide a more formal basis for identifying and quantifying the role of student, program and size variation in engagement, and permit a number of conclusions. First, student characteristics, program mix and institutional character all contribute to a comprehensive statistical explanation of engagement variation. Second, the wide variation in
institutional engagement scores is reduced considerably when student characteristics, program mix and institutional size are controlled. Third, each engagement benchmark requires a distinct statistical explanation: factors important to one benchmark are often quite different from those important to another. Fourth, Francophone and Anglophone institutions differ with respect to
certain key engagement dynamics. And finally, the models suggest several approaches to defining the institutional contribution to engagement and the scope of institutional potential to modify engagement level.
Before the emergence of Internet-based technologies, the classroom was still a room. It featured a teacher at the front delivering learning content to a group of students. Much of today’s teaching and learning is stillconducted within the four walls of the classroom. However, the ubiquity of the Internet, mobile devices, wireless networks and other technologies has torn down the walls of the classroom, enabling a variety of unconventional, location-independent learning environments. By allowing students fl exible learning options, schools can provide more individualized instruction. If implemented properly, online and hybrid learning engage students of all ages, ensure equal access to underserved areas, provide learning opportunities for students with family and job responsibilities, and give older learners a second chance at a college degree. This Special Report will focus on the evolution of learning settings from traditional, instructor-led classrooms to completely virtual, student-centric classes and schools. We will describe and illustrate myriad K-12, college and university learning environments, give examples of how evolving classroom models impact students and teachers, and highlight the technologies that make it possible.
Today’s students use technology to make decisions, manage information and engage socially. They require new ways of learning, communicating, thinking, finding information and problem-solving. To continue to keep students engaged in learning in an environment of ever changing technology, the classroom — be it a familiar on-campus environment or a student’s home or even acoffee shop — must evolve.
Many recent immigrant adult students (RIAS) are highly trained in their source countries and anticipate finding suitable employment upon arriving in Canada. (In this study, RIAS are defined as individuals over 24 years of age who have been living in Canada as permanent residents or citizens for less than 10 years.) There is mounting evidence, however, that in recent years the process of obtaining meaningful employment has become significantly more difficult for RIAS in particular. As a consequence, increasing numbers are turning to the Canadian postsecondary education (PSE) system to obtain more credentials and work experience as a means of gaining better access to employment. However, current research suggests that after entering universities and colleges, newcomers such as recent immigrants face a number of unexpected barriers to educational success, including lack of proficiency in either of Canada’s official languages; non-recognition of foreign transcripts and prior work experience; financial constraints; and insufficient knowledge concerning how the Canadian PSE system operates.
With increasing numbers of RIAS attending Ontario PSE institutions, there is growing concern that their learning needs may not be met, leading to decreased academic and employment success. Unfortunately, it appears that most PSE institutions have not identified RIAS as a group with unique learning needs. Academic success in PSE requires that students be fully
engaged and that they have access to resources that enhance engagement. There is a paucity of research concerning the degree to which RIAS are engaged in both academic and nonacademic components of Canadian PSE. Although all PSE institutions provide a variety of student services, there is no evidence that RIAS utilize them or that any particular benefits accrue in terms of promoting academic and social integration to even those RIAS who do use student services. This multi-institutional research study was conducted with the financial support of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). The study objectives included the following:
• developing a preliminary scale to measure RIAS engagement, consisting of academic and non-academic involvement in PSE,
• describing the demographic and institutional factors that influence RIAS engagement within their academic environment,
• identifying the unique immigration challenges of RIAS in PSE programs,
• identifying service needs and utilization patterns of RIAS, and
• developing recommendations for educational policy and service delivery changes within the Ontario PSE system.
The study also included exploration of the following research questions:
1. To what extent do RIAS become engaged with the academic community at the PSE institutions that they choose to attend?
2. What demographic and institutional factors influence their degree of academic engagement of RIAS?
In our 2006 report, Canadian Post-secondary Education: A Positive Record – An Uncertain Future, CCL soberly articulated the various reasons for which uncertainty clouds the future contributions that the post-secondary education sector may make to Canada’s economic and social goals. Despite the myriad strengths that PSE educators and institutions have demonstrated
over many years, the absence of clear pan-Canadian goals, measures of achievement of goals and cohesion among the various facets of PSE led us to express deep reservations.
The mission of the Canadian Council on Learning is, in part, to describe our learning realities. If we have a remit to identify issues, equally we have a responsibility to report potential strategies for success. In last year’s account, we found that what we do not know can hurt us; that we must develop pan-Canadian information about PSE that can provide
decision-makers the best tools available to determine policies. We also found that almost all other developed countries have built not only the national information systems required to optimize policy, but have also—in both unitary and federal states—provided themselves with some of the necessary national tools and mechanisms to adjust, to act and to
succeed. Canada has not.
Over the past few decades, Canadaâ€™s labour requirements have changed drasticallyâ€”from a need for physical labourers to a need for knowledge workersâ€”as a result of changes in economic and social conditions that have included advances in information and communication technologies, globalization of economic activity and shifting demographics. Consequently, employers and firms are increasingly seeking skilled workers with a more sophisticated array of capabilities. Of recent concern, the current global recession has led to the deterioration of labour-market conditions in Canada and worldwide, profoundly affectingâ€”through increased vulnerability to unemploymentâ€”the economic and social well-being of families and communities across Canada. Canadaâ€™s economic strength, as in other countries, depends on its ability to develop a skilled and flexible workforce, capable of adapting to continuous change. While Canadaâ€™s formal education is of a high standard, it alone cannot provide the conditions needed to secure the development of Canadaâ€™s talentâ€”its human infrastructure*â€”which is a necessary element of our countryâ€™s future prosperity. Against this backdrop, Securing Prosperity through Canadaâ€™s Human Infrastructure, CCLâ€™s secondâ€ report on the state of adult learning and workplace training in Canada, demonstrates that investments in human infrastructureâ€”both in times of economic uncertainty and relative prosperityâ€”are critical to securing a strong economy and greater social equity.
When Emzhei Chen moved into residence at the University of Waterloo about 10 years ago, she found the experience nerve-wracking. Her parents supported her, but her dad was a machinist who had never gone to university and her mom hadn’t finished high school, so they were as unfamiliar with universities as she was. She saw a reference to “first generation” on the application form (a term that meant your parents hadn’t attended a postsecondary education institution or had done so abroad), but she doesn’t remember checking the box. “It didn’t seem to be a pressing characteristic,” she says. “I didn’t think it was important.”
Incoming students at Seneca College and at most other community colleges in Ontario undergo a post-admission
English language skills assessment. The assessment is used to diagnose their writing needs and
to place them into a course appropriate to their level of proficiency.
Over the past five years, an increasing number of incoming students at Seneca have been placed into a developmental English course called EAC149 (in 2005, 38.0 per cent; in 2009, 43.4). EAC149 is a four-hourper- week, non-credit reading and writing course designed to prepare students for college-level English.
While developmental or remedial classes are not necessarily associated with lower academic success (Attewell, Lavin, Domina & Levey, 2006), our records indicate that a lower success rate in EAC149 puts students at a pronounced risk of not graduating from Seneca College. Effective methods to encourage successful completion of EAC149 may thus increase students’ chances of graduating from their programs.
This project assessed the impact of tablet technology and DyKnow interactive software on the development of
students’ writing skills in EAC149. Tablets enable individuals to use a pen-like instrument called a stylus to
take notes, record marginal comments and modify digital text in a manner similar to writing with a pen on
paper. DyKnow interactive software enables teachers to share and record digital content and collaborate with
students individually and collectively as a classroom session proceeds. With each tablet linked to DyKnow
interactive software, a teacher can display the work of individual students anonymously on a screen for
viewing by all class members and incorporate notations and marginal comments as they discuss the text.