The conventional pathway model in postsecondary education (PSE) has traditionally been one of simple, linear choices, where enrolment after secondary school in either college or university ultimately leads to the attainment of a credential and entry into the labour force. Today, however, PSE pathways are no longer as direct. Fewer students are entering PSE programs directly from high school (Bayard and Greenlee, 2009: 11) and students are more likely to have previous PSE experience or to attain multiple credentials than students in the past (Boothby and Drewes, 2006: 6; Bayard and Greenlee, 2009: 11; Colleges Ontario (CO), 2009). Students are opting to alternate between part- and full-time studies, switch programs, return to PSE after an
absence or time in the workforce, pursue further credentials, or transfer between postsecondary institutions and even sectors.
One of the primary functions of many Ontario universities and colleges is to provide students with a high quality teaching and learning experience. However, as resources are stretched and postsecondary institutions focus more on research, funding into teaching development and support has been put at risk. A number of additional challenges – including rising
student/faculty ratios and class sizes, an aging faculty population, outdated methods of instruction and curriculum design, and uneven access to teaching development for new instructors – are making it even more difficult to develop and maintain quality teaching. Many student associations, faculty and administrators, the general public, as well as provincial government officials have agreed that the quality of the teaching and learning experience available to students at Ontario’s colleges and universities is increasingly at risk.
In the knowledge-based economy (KBE), a strong education system should produce a citizenry that is equipped with the tools for success: skills, competencies, and knowledge. The role of higher education in the development of the KBE is crucial because institutions are the "creators of, and venues for, cultural and social activity” (OECD, 2007: 39). Around the world, governments are aiming to provide higher education equitably and en masse while ensuring it is both of high quality and of relevance to the labour market. This is a challenge that Ontario, too, faces as it prepares its strategies to enhance the knowledge and skills of its citizens.
This document supersedes the sections outlining assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy in The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 9 to 12: Program Planning and Assessment, 2000 and in curriculum policy documents for Grades 1 to 8, Grades 9 and 10, and Grades 11 and 12 published before the release of this document, with the following exception: The achievement charts in all current curriculum policy documents remain in effect.
This study examines online and offline political engagement and pays special attention to the role of social networking sites in people's political activities.
In three of the four postsecondary performance domains examined for HEQCO’s first annual performance indicator report, Ontario fares reasonably well. Comparatively, the system is efficient and productive. Its considerable investments in creating an accessible system places Ontario at the forefront of Canada and among world leaders in enrolment and attainment. Educated Ontarians (and their fellow Canadians) are more likely to be civically engaged and satisfied with their lives than citizens of other OECD nations. It’s largely a good news story, but one that demands a new headline: It’s time to focus on quality. And therein lies the caveat for this report and the challenge ahead for higher education systems in search of definitive quality measures.
This paper exploits longitudinal tax-filer data to provide new empirical evidence for Ontario on i) overall PSE
participation rates on an annual basis over the last decade, ii) how access is related to a number of important
individual and family characteristics, including sex, family income, area size of residence and family type, and iii) how these relationships have changed over time. This is done for Ontario as a whole, in comparison to the rest of Canada, and then broken down by region within Ontario. The findings are informative, in some cases surprising, and highly relevant to public policy regarding access to postsecondary education.
Ensuring a nation’s capacity to compete in today’s knowledge based economy (KBE) has placed increased attention on each nation’s higher education systems. In order to maintain or develop a highly skilled and qualified workforce, governments must ensure that students have access to higher education. Those responsible in postsecondary education institutions must
ensure that the curricula offered in varied programs of study provide students with opportunities to strengthen and further develop the knowledge, skills, and competencies essential for success in current and future labour markets. Considering the globalization of labour markets, Governments must also ensure that, through assessment of the knowledge, skills and
competencies of their students, they can provide accurate reports and appropriate recognition in documents that describe in commonly accepted terms the graduates’ competencies. It is the identification, measurement, and designation of qualifications that inures transparency of the credential to the benefit of the students/graduates and their institutions, as well as to future
national and international employers.
Ontario’s educational sector has experienced numerous changes in recent years, with increasing rates of participation in postsecondary education (PSE), declining secondary school drop-out rates, and strong performance by Ontario students on international academic assessments. Within these signs of progress, however, are indications that all students are not advancing equally (McMullen, 2004). The example that has attracted attention from the media as well as from educators and policy makers is the male population. Males have been referred to as the “new, disadvantaged minority” (Millar, 2008) and the “second sex” (Conlin, 2003). In the United States, a male high school student sued his school district, claiming that schools routinely discriminate against males (Jan, 2006). More recently, the Toronto District School Board, the largest in Canada, proposed the development of a single-gender school, boys-only classes and “boy-friendly” instruction (Wingrove & Reinhart, 2009). The concept of affirmative action on behalf of males has been raised and opposed at Canadian universities (Millar, 2008;
Coates & Keen, 2007). Is the male population becoming an under-represented group in postsecondary education, as some reports in the media seem to suggest?
In recent years, there has been a great and growing interest in measuring educational quality in the Ontario postsecondary education sector (PSE). Colleges and universities are interested in quality measures for academic planning purposes. Reliable indicators would allow them to identify effective educational practices as well as areas for improvement and to develop strategies in the hopes of improving educational experiences for students.
The government is interested for accountability reasons. Quality has become an increasingly prominent focus of the McGuinty government, which seeks not only to increase the number of PSE graduates in the province but also to ensure the quality of
degrees being awarded. Robust quality measures could be used to monitor individual institutional performance and to address issues at the sector level. Reliable and comparable provincial-level quality indicators could provide answers to questions such
as how the Ontario PSE system is doing compared to other jurisdictions.
Drawing mainly from HEQCO’s own research, this @Issue paper:
• Describes how the definition of student success has gradually broadened at Ontario colleges and universities;
• Summarizes some of the underlying institutional and student population factors that also impact on most current measures of student success;
• Provides broad observations about some recent findings as they relate to the awareness, utilization and impact of various student service, course-based and other initiatives designed to promote student success;
• Recommends what can be measured – as well as how and what outcomes can be expected – when it comes to initiatives and interventions designed to improve student success.
An important goal of Ontario’s postsecondary education system is to provide the appropriate level of educational attainment to meet the current and future human capital needs of the province (HEQCO, 2009: 19). This purpose reflects the recognition that education and training contribute to the human capital of individuals and make them more productive workers and better informed citizens. Attainment of further education not only provides for individual returns such as higher earnings and
lower levels of unemployment , improved health and longevity, and greater satisfaction with life, but it is also strongly linked to social returns such as safer communities, healthy citizens, greater civic participation, stronger social cohesion and improved
equity and social justice (Riddell, 2006). In order for the province to maintain and enhance its economic standing in the changing global economy, and to provide its citizens with the social benefits that higher education affords, it must ensure that the
human capital needs of its society are met.
In 2011, CASE founded the Center for Community College Advancement to provide training and resources to help community colleges build and sustain effective fundraising, alumni relations and communications and marketing programs. A goal for the center is to collect data on best practices in community colleges. This white paper summarizes the results of a groundbreaking survey on alumni relations programs at community colleges across the United States and Canada. The purpose of the survey was to help community college staff benchmark their experiences and programs in alumni relations with peers.
In 2008, the OECD launched the AHELO feasibility study, an initiative with the objective to assess whether it is possible to develop international measures of learning outcomes in higher education.
Learning outcomes are indeed key to a meaningful education, and focusing on learning outcomes is essential to inform diagnosis and improve teaching processes and student learning. While there is a long tradition of learning outcomes’ assessment within institutions’ courses and programmes, emphasis on learning outcomes has become more important in
recent years. Interest in developing comparative measures of learning outcomes has increased in response to a range of higher education trends, challenges and paradigm shifts.
This research uses the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) to compare participation in postsecondary education (PSE) in Ontario to such participation in other Canadian regions. We begin by presenting access rates by region, which reveals some substantial differences. University participation rates in Ontario are in about the middle of the pack, while college rates are relatively high. We then undertake an econometric analysis, which reveals that the effects of parental income are quite strong in the Atlantic provinces but much weaker elsewhere, including within Ontario. We also find that the relationship between high school grades and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test scores (measures of academic “performance” and “ability”) differ by region and are generally strongest in Ontario. From this perspective, Ontario would appear to have a relatively “meritocratic” system, where those who are more qualified are more likely to go to university and where overall attendance rates are less affected by family income. Interestingly, the effects of parental education, which are generally much stronger than family income, are similar across provinces. Understanding the reasons underlying these patterns might warrant further investigation.
Canada’s colleges, institutes and polytechnics stimulate innovation, enhance curriculum and produce highly skilled, innovative graduates through applied research partnerships with firms and community organizations. Closely linked with regional public and private enterprises, colleges play a central role in advancing innovation.
In its 2012 economic survey of Canada, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recognized that Canadian “colleges are becoming proactive in directly meeting the needs of small businesses in areas of problem solving, process innovation and technical skills.” In 2011-12, more than 24,000 college students and 1,700 faculty and staff collaborated with 4,586 companies across 524 research areas.
Association of Canadian Community Colleges Annual Report 2010-2011
Colleges Serving Aboriginal Learners and Communities 2010 Survey Highlights
The ACCC 2009-2010 survey of Aboriginal programs and services demonstrated that most colleges and institutes across the country offer targeted programs and services for Aboriginal learners. Many are expanding their reach and working with Aboriginal communities to deliver tailored post-secondary programs.
The following case studies, collected in 2011-2012, show that colleges and institutes are creating partnerships for future generations by reaching out to Aboriginal youth through innovative recruitment activities and by supporting adults’ access to learning and employment opportunities. Based on a commitment to improving outcomes for Aboriginal learners, colleges and institutes operate as institutions of inclusion, and provide the support services needed for student success. Programs
delivered in partnership with Aboriginal institutions ensure the specific needs of Aboriginal communities are met. The promotion of Aboriginal culture, art and knowledge is achieved through awareness activities on campuses and specialized programs that teach and celebrate Aboriginal worldviews. Programs in Aboriginal governance prepare the leaders of tomorrow.
Trends in post-secondary education participation in Canada continue to show that Aboriginal1 people rely significantly on
Canada’s publicly-funded colleges, institutes, polytechnics, cégeps, and universities with a college mandate (hereinafter
referred to as “colleges”). ACCC is the national voluntary membership association which serves Canada’s publicly-funded
colleges and informs and advises various levels of government, business, industry and labour. Aboriginal peoples’ access
to post-secondary education, inclusion and community development has been one of the Association’s strategic priorities
since its creation in 1972.