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.

Areas of Focus

  • Student Demand: Developing in-demand pathways that respond to student needs and interests, including pathways that support under-represented learners. For these pathways, ONCAT will be looking for evidence of student interest based on institutional data and the prevalence of students transferring through unpaved pathways (ie. not formalized); and qualitative data on the experiences of specific communities of underrepresented learners. 
  • Labour Market Demand: Developing in-demand pathways that respond to current or emerging labour market opportunities. For these pathways, ONCAT will be looking for evidence of demand based on student outcomes for a specific credential/credential combination and macro economic data. In areas where there are accreditation requirements, ONCAT will be looking for clear strategies that address accreditation processes and involve accreditation bodies in pathway planning. 
  • Regional Demand: Developing in-demand pathways that address regional economic development, social/community development and address skills gaps. For these pathways, ONCAT will be looking for evidence of need based on industry trends within specific regions, existing skills gaps and labour shortages; alignment with retention strategies and other regional planning strategies


Grants generally range from $10 000- $100 000.



  • Postsecondary institutions in Ontario (Colleges, Universities and Indigenous Institutes) are eligible to apply. Applications must be collaborative and consist of a lead applicant and partner(s) who have already confirmed participation.


  • Projects/Activities and/or personnel that are funded through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant (CTIG) are not eligible for ONCAT funding. The applicant must ensure that its institution has not been granted funding for the same or similar pathway
  • Pathways that are intended solely for internal use within an institution.
  • Pathways developed with institutions outside the province of Ontario.
  • Pathway proposals led by external consultants


  • Please note that the expression of interest for this round of Pathway Development Projects is now closed. Please sign up to our e-newsletter, or check back to this page, for future announcements.

Submission Requirements

To be considered for funding, proposals must include the following:

  • Evidence of Need: clear evidence the proposed pathway is in-demand (ie. Student flows based on institutional administrative records, labour-market data; regional needs; student population needs); and, where possible, estimated numbers of students who would use the pathway(s).
  • Viability: demonstration that preliminary steps have been taken to determine pathway viability (ie. a review of existing programs within each institution to prevent duplication or competition; a gauge of faculty interest in sharing required materials to map programs; administrative support; etc);
  • Action plan: A clear strategy and timeline for the development and implementation of the pathway, including final approvals, internally and from all participating institutions
  • Confirmed and Active Partners: Partner institution engagement must be confirmed at the time the proposal is submitted for consideration. Partners must confirm their role in the project and that they have reviewed the application and budget. The project team must include representation from institutions involved
  • Budget: A clear and realistic budget for the scope of work

NOTE: We appreciate that, due to their nature, pathway development proposals may sometimes involve or result in new program development, including programs that require Ministry approval. Please be aware that ONCAT project awards are not connected to any program approvals processes, and successful proposals should not be understood as having been endorsed by the Ministry. As such, proponents must discuss any potential new programs with the Ministry prior to submitting a project proposal. Similarly, internal approval or academic governance processes may differ institution to institution. Proponents should explore viability of potential new articulation/transfer pathways with the relevant internal units either prior to submitting a project proposal or at early stages of the project.

Reports and Check-ins

ONCAT is committed to learning with its partners and values open and ongoing communication. If you are successful in receiving a grant, the following check-ins and reporting are required:

  • An interim update and financial report
  • Check-in’s on the project as needed (via email and/or in person)
  • A final report and detailed financial statement