TORONTO – The Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) has issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for new projects in postsecondary Innovative Transfer, Pathway Development, and Research
on credit transfer in the province of Ontario.
FUNDING: PATHWAY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
ONCAT supports pathway development projects that create formalized transfer pathways in disciplines and areas where there is clear evidence of need based on student interest, regional needs and/or labour-market opportunities. Pathway development funding supports projects with clear evidence of need, based on student interest, regional needs, experiences of under-represented learners, and labour market opportunities.
ONCAT is focused on supporting ‘in-demand’ pathways, which is not synonymous with high-demand pathways. In some instances, high demand for particular credentials and skills can drive pathway planning. However, depending on populations, geographical regions, and student-experiences, the demand for transfer pathways changes.
ONCAT supports research that advances knowledge and understanding of the current state of transfer students and transfer pathways in Ontario. The objective of this funding strategy is to generate knowledge that can directly inform policies, pathways and institutional practices and contribute to a greater understanding of system-wide issues that impact transfer and student mobility.
INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFER PROCESS MAPPING PROJECT (MAPIT)
ONCAT is piloting a Learning Collaborative focussed on understanding current transfer practices within postsecondary institutions in Ontario and the steps transfer students go through while transferring into and out of an institution. ONCAT has worked very closely with transfer advisors and other transfer experts and their recommendations into the insights we can garner from an in-depth mapping of the student journey can support institutional planning, capacity building and communication within and across institutions. More specifically, documenting these ‘current state’ processes will help to inform the development of tools, strategies and frameworks to support process improvements and collaborative learning across the sector.
Over the next year, ONCAT will work with 8-12 postsecondary institutions in Ontario to map current transfer student processes in order to identify common and distinct practices each institution uses (for more information, see backgrounder). Depending on the level of interest expressed,the number of institutions selected for the pilot may change.
PATHWAY UPTAKE AND OUTCOMES - INSTITUTIONAL DATAPILOT
Since 2011, ONCAT has supported the development and implementation of transfer pathways between colleges and universities that respond to student demand, labour market needs and community/regional priorities. While hundreds of pathways have been launched, there has been no systematic monitoring of student uptake of such pathways or subsequent outcomes. Improving institutional capacity to monitor and report on pathway traffic and associated student outcomes (e.g. graduation rates) is key to the development of a more robust and seamless transfer system. Over the next 3 years, ONCAT is committed to working with our partners to improve the capacity for pathway monitoring across Ontario colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes.
As a first step towards this broader goal, ONCAT is launching a call for publicly-assisted colleges, universities and Indigenous institutes in Ontario to participate in a pilot to assess student uptake of transfer pathways, along with the characteristics and outcomes.