The PSE Outcomes Study was commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to explore the pathways of applicants from postsecondary education (PSE) application to the Ontario labour market, and their employment experiences during and after PSE. This report provides statistically reliable Ontario data to supplement the findings of national studies such as the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS). It offers insights into the factors that contribute to postsecondary education participation and persistence, the barriers that impede access to higher learning, and the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes. In particular, the analysis considers the experiences of four groups who are traditionally under-represented in PSE: Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, students whose parents did not complete PSE, and students who delayed their entry into PSE after secondary school.
The results are based on a sample of 45,000 Ontario applicants to college and university who had participated in Academica Groupâ€Ÿs University and College Applicant Surveyâ„¢ (UCASâ„¢) between 2005 and 2009, and had agreed to participate in future research. The 4,029 respondents to the PSE Outcomes survey (including 214 French language respondents) yield an overall survey response rate of 9% and a margin of error of +/- 1.55 at the 95% confidence level. Survey respondents were organized into five mutually exclusive postsecondary education pathways, based on the outcome of their initial PSE application:
â€œNot offeredâ€ respondents did not receive offers of admission following their application to PSE (n=273 or 7% of respondents). â€œOffered/declinedâ€ respondents were offered admission to PSE but declined the offer (n=317 or 8% or respondents). â€œStill attendingâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œcurrent PSE studentsâ€) were offered admission to PSE and were attending the institution to which they had initially applied when they responded to the PSE Outcomes Survey (n=2,297 or 58% of respondents). â€œAttended/leftâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œearly leaversâ€) were offered admission to PSE but left their postsecondary program prior to completion (n=279 or 7% of respondents). â€œAttended/completeâ€ respondents (also referred to as â€œPSE graduatesâ€) were offered admission to PSE and had completed the postsecondary program to which they applied (n=766 or 19% of respondents).
Overall, 85% of all respondents who received offers of admission accepted the offer, and about three-quarters had a specific occupation or career goal in mind at the time they applied.
PSE participation rates1 were highest among applicants who were younger than 20 when they applied to PSE, never married, with high household incomes, high grade averages, and interested in full-time study. Participation was lower among applicants who were older, from 4 â€“ From the Postsecondary Application to the Labour Market: The Pathways of Under-represented Groups lower household incomes, married or divorced, interested in part-time study, and with lower grade averages. University applicants were more likely than college applicants to accept offers of admission, while college applicants were twice as likely to decline. The overall rate of PSE participation for under-represented applicants (83%) was lower than the participation rate of applicants who did not fall into one of the four groups (88%).