In November 2013, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) asked students to comment on their experience with summer and in-study employment. Of particular interest were: the number of jobs students were working during these terms;
whether or not these opportunities were within a student’s field of study; and whether they positively impacted their academic performance.
Results of OUSA’s 2013 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey (OPSSS) were further broken down based on institution and field of study for questions of particular interest. This was done to easily compare the responses from these distinct groups to
see how consistent the undergraduate employment experience was across academic disciplines and universities.
In this white paper, we report on the chronic problem of humanities PhD academic underemployment, develop an argument for the social value of high-level humanities research and teaching, and outline a series of measures for the reform of the PhD in the humanities. We note that most recent thinking about humanities graduate study has focused on the institution of the academy and the academic labour market. While we agree that these are significant focal points, we nevertheless maintain that it is important to develop a wider viewpoint that sees the university as a participant in the political world.
Recognition of the importance of a high-quality system of postsecondary education (PSE) in meeting the demands of Canada’s knowledge-based economy has focused recent media and policy attention on the role of Ontario’s colleges and universities in facilitating the successful transition of postsecondary graduates to the labour market. In particular, there is growing interest in the expansion of postsecondary work-integrated learning (WIL) programs – which include co-op, clinical placements, internships, and more – as a means of improving students’ employment prospects and labour market outcomes.
These programs are also believed to benefit students in other ways, for example, by enhancing the quality of the postsecondary experience and improving learning outcomes. Yet despite assumptions about the benefits of postsecondary WIL programs, relatively little empirical research has been conducted to assess students’ perspectives on the value of WIL and the learning outcomes associated with WIL participation.
There is a lot of talk about high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment and the increasing difficulties faced by young Canadians as they seek to make a successful transition from education to work. But talk is cheap, and significant government and employer action has been notably lacking.
This report details some key dimensions of the youth jobs problem. It highlights the Conservative government’s cuts to federal youth employment programs and calls for concrete action now, from both government and large employers to create more and
better jobs for young Canadians.
We are urging the development of a bold Youth Job Guarantee that would ensure those under age 25 have access to a good job, paid internship, or training position within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.
Ontario's youth are among the best educated, most diverse and digitally connected in the world.
Our investments in education, social development and inno-vation helped them weather the recent economic downturn better than their counterparts in many developed countries.
Yet the unemployment rate for Ontario youth remains unaccept-ably high and more than double that of workers aged 25-64. For young people facing multiple barriers to employment – Aboriginal youth, recent immigrants, visible minorities, and young people with disabilities – the rates are even higher.
Our future prosperity depends on giving young people the right skills, experiences and supports they need to succeed in today’s global economy.
That is why we’ve developed an unprecedented $295 million Youth Jobs Strategy that aims to help young Ontarians develop their career skills, find employment, or be their own boss.
And to help tackle this challenge and ensure success, we’re partnering with employers, educators, industry, labour and not-for-profits.
With growing concern for postsecondary degree attainment sweeping public discourse in state and national circles, the traditional emphasis on access and enrollment headcounts is expanding to include a keen interest in student progress
In many cases, though, conversations among policy experts are well ahead of conversations on college campuses. Too often, many still think it is enough to provide opportunity to students: What they do with that opportunity is up to them.
Institutions that don’t make the shift — from focusing on access alone to focusing on access and success — aren’t likely to fare well in the new environment of performance-based funding and increasingly hard-edged accountability. More important, neither will their students. In this economy, “some college” won’t get young adults very far; we need to help more of them get the degrees that will.
This chapter examines the policy issues and challenges in planning and implementing e-learning in teacher education. The most significant issue is that implementing e-learning requires organizational and attitudinal change; in other words, e-learning requires the understanding and support of a wide range of stakeholders if it is to be successfully implemented. This chapter looks
at why e-learning requires organizational and attitudinal change, and suggests some strategies for bringing about such change.
In 2011, as part of a comprehensive research agenda on learning outcomes development and measurement, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) began supporting eight Ontario institutions to assess the generic skills acquisition of their students. This report summarizes the activities and results of the eight institutions that piloted the Council for Aid to Education’s Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), a written examination designed to assess the critical thinking and problem solving skills of entering and graduating students. It reviews the rationale for the project, the challenges and issues encountered with CLA test administration and implementation, and the institutions’ impressions of the value of the resulting data. While there is significant interest from institutions and programs in measuring the generic skills of students and understanding the amount of learning that can be attributed to the institution, the experiences of the institutions that participated in this project highlight certain administrative and methodological challenges that arise in the move from theory to practice in large scale assessments.
The purpose of the paper is to describe our peer mentorship experiences and explain how these experiences fostered transformational learning during our PhD graduate program in educational administration. As a literature backdrop, we discuss characteristics of traditional forms of mentorship and depict how our experiences of peer mentorship was unique. Through narrative inquiry, we present personal data and apply concepts of transformational learning theory to analyze our experiences. Our key finding was that it was the ambiguous boundaries combined with the formal structure of our graduate program that created an environment where peer mentorship thrived. We conclude that peer mentorship has great capacity to foster human and social capital within graduate programs for both local and international students.
Le but de cet article est de décrire nos expériences de mentorat par les pairs et d’expliquer comment ces expériences ont favorisé l’apprentissage transformationnel au cours de notre programme d’études supérieures de doctorat. Avec la littérature comme toile de fond, nous discutons des caractéristiques des formes traditionnelles de mentorat et décrivons comment
notre mentorat par les pairs est unique. Grâce à l’analyse narrative, nous présentons des données personnelles et appliquons les concepts de la théorie de l’apprentissage transformationnel pour analyser nos expériences. L’élément clé de l’étude démontre clairement que les frontières ambiguës, combinées à la structure formelle de notre programme d’études supérieures, créent un environnement favorable au mentorat par les pairs. À la lumière de notre étude, nous concluons que, tant pour les étudiants locaux qu’internationaux, le mentorat par les pairs rehausse le développement humain et social dans les
programmes d’études supérieures.
One of the core principles of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is that all willing and qualified students should be able to attend post-secondary regardless of their ability to pay. However, students in Ontario face the highest tuition fees in the country and the cost and perceived costs of post-secondary education are consistently identified as barriers to post-secondary education. These barriers are contributing factors to the persistently high attainment gaps for various vulnerable groups
in pursuing an undergraduate degree.
5 Think nationally, act locally – Paul Cappon
Why should Canadians build a national education strategy? What would it look like? How can we construct it? What role should business play in that strategy?
These questions are central to optimising learning conditions nationwide.
This analysis will begin with a review of the declining performance of Canadian education in contrast to comparator countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Recent results from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) are particularly alarming. They confirm the mediocre basic skill levels of Canadian adults. Since the competencies of adult Canadians with post-secondary education (PSE) are near the bottom for all three basic
While the most traditional metric, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), measures all goods and services produced by a country, it has two critical shortcomings. First, by focusing exclusively on the economy, GDP fails to capture areas of our lives that we care about most like education, health, environmental quality, and the relationships we have with others. Second, it does not identify the costs of economic growth — like pollution.
To create a robust and more revealing measure of our social progress, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) has been working with experts and everyday Canadians since 1999 to determine how we are really doing in the areas of our lives that matter most. The CIW measures overall wellbeing based on 64 indicators covering eight domains of vital importance to Canadians: Education, Community Vitality, Healthy Populations, Democratic Engagement, Environment, Leisure and Culture, Time Use, and Living Standards. The CIW’s comprehensive index of overall wellbeing tracks progress provincially and nationally and allows comparisons to GDP.
Comparing the CIW and GDP between 1994 and 2010 reveals a chasm between our wellbeing and economic growth both nationally and provincially. Over the 17-year period, GDP has grown almost four times more than our overall wellbeing. The trends clearly show that even when times are good, overall wellbeing does not keep up with economic growth and when times are bad, the impact on our wellbeing is even harsher. We have to ask ourselves, is this good enough?
Sexual violence is more than just a crime against individuals. It threatens our families, it threatens our communities; ultimately, it threatens the entire country. It tears apart the fabric of our communities. And that’s why we’re here today -- because we have the power to do something about it as a government, as a nation. We have the capacity to stop sexual assault, support those who have survived it, and bring perpetrators to justice.
There is a growing body of research demonstrating that there have been major changes in the work and working conditions of university teachers in many countries over the last few decades. In some cases this has led to the increasing employment of non-full-time university instructors, and questions have been raised, especially in the United States, concerning the working conditions of part-time faculty and the implications of these changes on educational quality. The number of full-time faculty at Ontario universities has not increased at the same pace as the massive growth in student enrolment, raising questions about whether universities have employed non-full-time faculty in larger numbers and whether the balance between full-time and non-full-time instructors is changing. However, very little empirical research has been conducted on non-full-time instructors in Ontario. This study offers a preliminary exploration of the issue by addressing four key questions:
a) What categories of non-full-time instructors are employed by Ontario universities?
b) What are the conditions of employment for non-full-time instructors?
c) Has the number of non-full-time instructors employed by Ontario universities changed over time?
d) Has the ratio of full-time to non-full-time instructors employed by Ontario universities changed over time?
The research method focused on the collection and analysis of publicly available information through a detailed review of collective agreements and related documentation, and the analysis of institutional data on employment. Most institutions do not report data on non-full-time instructor appointments.
During the spring and summer of 2013, 41 Canadian universities conducted a survey of their baccalaureate graduates six or seven years following graduation (i.e. 2006 and 2007 graduates). Over 21,000 graduates provided information about their current employment situation, educational activity following their bachelor's program and their current social and civic involvement; and they assessed various elements of their academic program and university experience overall and the impacts these have in their lives today.
The Canadian University Baccalaureate Graduate Outcomes Project
This report is the first in a series that will report the key findings of the survey. Future reports will cover other survey topics, including the relationship between current occupation and academic program, educational activity following baccalaureate graduation, graduates' assessments of the strengths,weaknesses and impacts of their academic program, and discipline-specific analyses (e.g. for the STEM disciplines, Humanities and Liberal Arts, etc.).
When Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence MOOC made headline news in 2011, one of the early predictions was that quality education at mass scale and at low cost was around the corner. Given our research center’s interest in the productivity of educational interventions, we have been watching for evidence that MOOCs are cost-effective in producing desirable educational outcomes compared to face-to-face experiences or other online interventions. While the MOOC phenomenon is not mature enough to afford conclusions on the question of long-term cost-effectiveness, this study serves as an exploration of the goals of institutions creating or adopting MOOCs and how these institutions define effectiveness of their MOOC initiatives. We assess the current evidence regarding whether and how these goals are being achieved and at what cost, and we review expectations regarding the role of MOOCs in education over the next five years.
GRADUATES WITH RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE ARE AHEAD OF THEIR PEERS.
THE NATIONAL GRADUATES SURVEY SHOWS BACHELOR’S LEVEL GRADUATES WITH CO-OP EXPERIENCE EARN MORE THAN THEIR PEERS, HAVE HIGHER EMPLOYMENT AND FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT RATES, AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE PAID OFF DEBT TWO YEARS AFTER GRADUATION.
ACT has been measuring college readiness trends for several years. The Condition of College & Career Readiness
is ACT’s annual report on the progress of the graduating class relative to college readiness. This year, 54.3% of the graduating class took the ACT® college readiness assessment. The increased number of test takers enhances the breadth and depth of the data pool, providing a comprehensive picture of the current graduating class in the context of readiness levels as well as offering a glimpse of the emerging educational pipeline.
Based on recent public opinion polling commissioned by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), an
overwhelming majority of Ontarians (79 per cent) agreed that students and their families have to borrow too much money
to pay for their education. When asked to rank (on a scale of to 5) how important a university degree was to finding a good
job, 53 per cent of those surveyed selected 4 or 5, indicating that a degree was ‘important’ or ‘very important’. Only 11 per
cent of the respondents ranked a degree as ‘unimportant’ or ‘very unimportant’ to securing a good job. Finally, nearly half
of Ontarians indicated that they would be willing to pay more taxes to decrease student costs and increase student financial
This report compares eligibility for student financial aid by examining the amount of funds (both repayable and non-repayable) that a student would be eligible to receive in each province, based on their income group (low-, middle- and high-income). Provincial administration of part (or all) of financial aid has resulted in great variability in the type, quantity, and availability of resources offered to students. Individual provinces have demonstrated priorities such as debt reduction strategies, universal grants, and student independence from parental support, to name a few.
Key findings include that:
• The combination of federal, provincial and joint administered student financial aid programs are inherently complex, lack transparency, and thus, remain removed from public scrutiny and discussion.
• Appalling inequities exist in the amount of resources offered to students, based on their province of residence.
• Enormous differences in tuition between provinces are the greatest factor in determining the cost of education and therefore have a great impact on the amount of debt a student may accumulate.
• Provincial grant programs, whether needs-based or universal, are the largest contributor to debt reduction.