Detailed Program

Session Chart | Detailed Program | Session Slides | Plenary Speakers Bios | Previous Conferences

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Note: All Conference sessions take place on the lower Convention Level of the Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Check in at the desk to pick up your Conference badge, Final Program and registration package. Refreshments available upon arrival.
ONCAT Remarks + Land Acknowledgement – Executive Director
All delegates welcome to attend; each institution is requested to ensure the voting ONCAT Council member participates.
Presenter: Toni Morgan – Social Change Activist

How do you go from homeless to Harvard? Toni shares the three experiences that shaped her journey and the lessons she’s learned along the way. From being kicked out of high school and told that she’d never get a university degree, to her 10-year journey to complete her undergraduate degree and her eventual arrival at Harvard, Toni challenges the notions of a “traditional” student. A colorful and unconventional path, her story is one of determination and innovation, which will inspire you to think outside of the box.
Move to breakout session rooms
Presenters: Ciara Byrne, Director of Advocacy – College Student Alliance;
Marc Gurrisi, Research and Policy Analyst – Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance;
Rajean Hoillet, Chairperson Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario

Given the trend towards increased student mobility provincially, and the existing barriers faced by Ontario’s students in navigating an inconsistent system with often unclear institutional credential recognition policies, student organizations recognize the need for strong provincial advocacy toward an improved credit transfer system. The session will provide an overview of the College Student Alliance (CSA), Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), and Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-ON), and will include the student perspective on credit transfer, how students are involved with the credit transfer system, and provide recommendations for next steps in achieving a robust and transparent credit transfer system for the students of Ontario.
Presenters: Adam Wingate, Kimberley McCartney-Young – UOIT; Nair Lacruz – Mohawk College; Jessica Bugorski – Fanshawe College

The session seeks to inform and inspire, drawing on the experiences and work of two ONCAT-funded initiatives. For each, the presentation will cover: purpose, methodology, successes and challenges encountered, lessons learned, and next steps.
Featured initiatives:
• "Examining the relationship between proactive transfer credit communication, applicant conversion rates and student persistence" Research by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) – focus on examining how the provision of an interim transfer credit assessment at the time of offer impacts an applicant's propensity to accept the offer and their subsequent success.
• “Continuing Education Credential Completion Strategy” Project by Mohawk College and Fanshawe College – focus on leveraging Continuing Education and the General Arts and Science program to support post-secondary credential completion for early-leavers.
Presenter: Alana Wiens – ONCAT

Through the use of frank storytelling, the session will examine three major transfer projects in universities and colleges in Massachusetts and Connecticut where transfer was used for targeted recruitment, retraining, student retention, and an institutional culture shift.  In these case studies, well-designed transfer programs, built through the perspective of students, solved problems such as increasing diversity in computer science programs, retraining mature workers after the offshoring of manufacturing, and increasing student retention and success in high risk populations.

In each case, bringing transfer to the table, and building the systems to support it, had a high impact on the institutions and lives of students.  Attendees will look at the lessons learned from these stories and how they can help institutions use transfer strategically to help students achieve their success, and reach institutional goals.
Presenters: Jeannette Miron, Mary Wabano – Canadore College; Lana Ray – Minowewe Consulting

In September 2016, Aboriginal institutes, colleges and universities in Ontario were sent an online survey containing 42 multiple choice and open-ended questions designed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of Indigenous pathways in Ontario. In December 2016, follow-up conversations were held with twelve willing survey respondents, followed by a forum in spring of 2017, to review the survey results, and compile a final report by Indigenous Program Subject Matter Experts.

The session will review the study’s process and results, with a focus on what insights were gained, including an exploration of actionable outcomes and future areas of focus.
Buffet Lunch
Presenter: Alan Bourke, Jeremy Atkinson, Natalie Shearer, Lauren Soluk – Mohawk College

City Schools are neighborhood-based learning hubs that deliver academic upgrading services, tuition-free and for-credit academic courses, and workshops to at-risk students and vulnerable youth. The initiative is the first in Ontario to implement a comprehensive and inclusive strategy of bringing college learning to the community hub level, aimed at reducing the educational disparities associated with poverty. 

Through a combination of lecture and discussion, the session will introduce attendees to the guiding rationale informing the initial development of City School and will address the challenges involved in fostering a community-engaged and evidence-based response to educational disparities. It will identify and share what has been learned through Mohawk’s ONCAT-funded research, since the launch of City School, and   potential next steps toward making post-secondary education accessible to all.
Presenters:  Joan Martin Saarinen, Johanne Carbonneau, and Shelly Hosman – Northern College

A student may transfer for several different reasons, ranging from failure in courses, to finances.  Students often wonder how their decision to transfer might address the underlying reasons for the transfer, the differences between the programs, and whether they will receive credit for courses already taken. The nursing faculty at Northern College has a history of teaching across both baccalaureate (BScN) and practical nursing (PN) programs.  Faculty are located in the same area and attend weekly joint faculty meetings. Nursing faculty may be involved in developing and revising both nursing programs, as well as related forms and policies.  Faculty has strong knowledge of the requirements of both programs and the similarities and differences amongst these nursing categories.  The session explores how this unique approach to nursing education enables Northern College’s nursing faculty to help students navigate the transfer process across programs quickly and seamlessly.
Kick off your conference experience with a structured networking session designed to help you get to better know, and learn from, other delegates passionate about student mobility.
Presenters: Nancy Noldy-MacLean, Heather Raikou – Georgian College

Gap analysis between credential levels is complex. Institutions struggle to determine which learning outcomes have been met by an entry program, where the gaps in learning are, and which courses should be credited. Qualitative Data Analysis programs, like NVivo, allow the user to manage data from numerous sources, explore themes, find patterns, and create meaningful reports, which are useful properties in the process of learning outcome gap analysis.

The session will feature the Qualitative Pathway Development Protocol (QPDP), the first application of its kind, using NVivo to create transfer pathways, developed with the support of ONCAT-funded research. Course learning outcomes were used to assess the strength of this protocol by examining diploma to degree transfer that takes into account all of the learning across the diploma instead of course-to-course transfer. Attendees will discuss principles and processes for using the QPDP to map course learning outcomes from diploma to degree.
Presenters: Gavin Moodie, Jinli Yang, and Ruth Childs – University of Toronto

The session reports an analysis of data from the 2011 National Household Survey of the frequency of Ontario residents with various combinations of postsecondary credentials, by field of study of highest credential, job skill level, industry, occupation, and income decile. The study concentrates on outcomes for those graduates with a trade or college credential, or a combination of a trade or a college credential with another postsecondary education credential. The session will report some comparisons of Ontario with other big provinces.

Attendees will learn which postsecondary credential combinations are most common, their respective occupational destinations, and graduates’ income decile, which may provide insights into potential pathway investments.
Refreshments and move to Plenary II
Presenter: Professor Martin Nakata – Pro Vice Chancellor, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre, James Cook University

Social justice agendas in many countries have successfully raised the participation rates of minority groups in higher education studies. Like Australia though many have struggled with the progression and completion rates of students from these groups, and none of us sleep too well knowing that large numbers of these students return home without a degree and a student debt. A key educational challenge has been how to get under-prepared students to finish their degree programs? In this keynote address, Prof Nakata will share a 5-year case study of a particular approach to under-prepared Indigenous students in an Australia university where their retention rates now surpass the sector average for all students in undergraduate studies.

Prof Martin Nakata is an internationally recognized published scholar – both in terms of learning and teaching, and research. He has delivered keynote and plenary addresses in PNG, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Africa, Norway, Scotland, Greece, Iceland, Peru, New Zealand, United States and across Australia.
Prof Nakata has worked in Australian Indigenous education for over thirty-six years, challenging the established ways of understanding the contemporary position and possibilities for Indigenous Australians in education. His areas of focus have included higher education curriculum areas, the academic preparation of Indigenous students, and Indigenous knowledge.

As one of Australia’s top Indigenous scholars, Prof Nakata leads the James Cook University’s Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre, as Pro Vice Chancellor. Prof Nakata was one of JCU’s inaugural Outstanding Alumni, and the first Torres Strait Islander in Australia to graduate with a PhD. Previous to JCU, Prof Nakata served as Director of Nura Gili at the University of New South Wales. He is a Torres Strait Islander, one of Australia’s first people.
Move to breakout session rooms
Presenter: Noah Morris, Emily Kelsey – Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD)

Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, Ontario is moving forward with the single largest modernization of the OSAP in its history to ensure student financial aid is more transparent and targeted to those with the greatest financial need. Attendees will learn more about this transformation and how it affects all types of students, so they are able explain the changes to their clients and more specifically, inform underrepresented groups about the affordability of college or university. 

The session will also describe OSAP through the lens of a transfer student, for example, how transferring from program to program or from one institution to another affects eligibility, the application process, and repayment. A group discussion where attendees can use the knowledge they gained to better understand current OSAP processes and discuss how the program can be improved for students wishing to transfer programs or institutions will conclude the session.
Presenters: Rιjeanne Dιnommι – Collθge Borιal, Julie Cross – Fanshawe College, Brenda Webb – Humber College, Vicki Grisim – Algonquin College, Sandy MacDonald –
Sault College

There are a multitude of barriers to developing transfer pathways between colleges for the same program of study.  In Child and Youth Care programs there is diversity in delivery methods, unique course offerings, structure, and course sequencing.  Attendees will learn how a project team navigated through these barriers using an outcomes-based analysis to develop an inclusive and flexible transfer agreement.  The session will share the ONCAT-funded project’s methodology and resulting development of a live, web-based document that efficiently improves the transfer process.
Presenters: Christine Arnold – Memorial University of Newfoundland; Mary Wilson – Niagara College; Jean Bridge – Brock University; Mary Catharine Lennon – Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board; Nicole Fallon – ONCAT

The session will provide an overview of the Learning Outcomes for Transfer—Publishing Project that aims to assess critically the theoretical and conceptual foundations, assumptions, and implications of using learning outcomes for the purposes of credit transfer and student mobility. There is increasing interest in the use of learning outcomes in post-secondary education, and deliberations have surfaced with regard to them serving as a tool for advancing credit transfer. This provides an ideal opportunity to conduct a large-scale, comprehensive assessment of outcomes-based approaches.

International scholars from the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and South Africa have been invited to write a series of papers identifying critical themes and learning opportunities emerging from outcomes-based approaches for credit transfer in their environments for the intentions of policy learning. Attendees will learn of emerging approaches across national and international jurisdictions with a multivalent examination of their potential impacts in the unique context of Ontario.
Related work: http://www.oncat.ca/files_docs/content/pdf/en/oncat_reports/ONCAT_Positon_Paper_on_Learning_Outcomes.pdf
Presenters:  Rose Chan, Melinda Cheng, Sarah Fuchs, Rebecca Roibas, and Alana Weins – ONCAT

The session, led by ONCAT staff, will share key findings from ONCAT’s Student Survey, Focus Groups, and web analytics from ONTransfer.ca. Attendees will gain insights into what our data is saying about how students navigate ONTransfer.ca and experience and perceive student transfer, and trends related to student experience.
Join your ONCAT colleagues in the CATfι lounge at this networking reception to end the first day of the Conference.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Registration Desk Open
Breakfast for All Delegates
Presenter: John Fink – Research Associate, Community College Research Center at Teachers College – Columbia University

While the majority of community college students in the United States report a goal of attaining at least a bachelor’s degree, fewer than one in five students do so within six years of community college entry. Drawing on National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) data tracking an entering community college cohort nationally, the session will highlight the variation that exists in institutional and statewide effectiveness in helping students to transfer and earn bachelor's degrees, and surface some of the structural barriers these students encounter.

The Transfer Playbook, published in May, 2016, documents the practices of pairs of sending and receiving institutions identified, using NSC data, as very successful in helping students to transfer and earn bachelor's degrees. Based on visits to more than a dozen of these highly-effective institutions, findings from the Transfer Playbook will be discussed.

Related work: http://ccrc.tc.columbia.edu/publications/transfer-playbook-essential-practices.html
Presenters: Leesa Wheelahan (Moderator) – Associate Professor, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute of Studies for Education, University of Toronto;
Cliff Adelman – Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy;
Joanne Duklas – Higher Education Consultant and Researcher, Duklas Cornerstone Consulting;
Justin Rami – Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, Institute of Education, Dublin City University

Hear from four experts in the higher education sector on advancements in credit transfer, through the lens of our conference’s four session streams. Panelists will bring international perspectives to a discussion on underlying commonalities, and opportunities for collaboration in the field of student mobility.
Cliff Adelman (United States) on MAPPING MOBILITY – mapping post-matriculation mobility and circulation, in relation to migration theory and comparative international contexts
Joanne Duklas (Canada) on EMERGING DIRECTIONS & MODELS – new ways to recast and document learning and achievement of outcomes, in North America
Justin Rami (Ireland, via video-call) on STUDENTS FIRST – pathways and progression from continuing and vocational education (FET) to higher education, and barriers to progression
Leesa Wheelahan (Australia) on BUILDING ON SUCCESS – moderator
Move to breakout session rooms
Presenters: Qin Liu, Michael Skolnik, and Leesa Wheelahan – University of Toronto

The degree completion rate of undergraduate students at Ontario public universities approximates 77%.  Nearly 15% of college baccalaureate students in Ontario have some prior educational experiences at universities, according to the 2015-16 college Student Satisfaction Survey. Why did they not complete their baccalaureate studies at those universities? What were the considerations for their decision to choose a college to complete their baccalaureate education? The session will provide some insights into these questions by drawing upon recent interviews with five baccalaureate students studying at four Ontario colleges, each representing a distinctive scenario. Attendees will be engaged in conversations on the role of college baccalaureate programs in widening student access to baccalaureate education in Ontario. Some practical strategies, from the standpoints of different stakeholders, to support student success in receiving baccalaureate education, will also be explored.
Presenters: Karen Robson – McMaster University; Robert Brown – Toronto District School Board

A unique data set following 2006 grade 9 students over 8 successive years, yields exciting insights into student transitions from high school to college or university; the disparate pathways taken along the way; and, how these pathways vary by individual characteristics. The data includes administrative data from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), the 2006 Student Census (which carries information on self-reported race, parental characteristics, and various attitudinal items), and five years of college and university application data.

The session will review the ONCAT-funded research initiative’s process and results, considered through an intersectionality framework which understands race, class, gender, and special education needs status to be inextricably linked to the educational outcomes of young people. Attendees will learn about the key factors effecting students’ decisions to enter higher education, and through which pathways, including existing patterns for program or institutional shifts, and completion.
Presenters: Jason Hawreliak – Brock University; Andrew Hogue – UOIT

The Game Education Matrix (GEM) is an online tool which allows Ontario Colleges and Universities to compare game-related programs for the purpose of developing new transfer pathways. Participating institutions demonstrate the emphasis, specialization, and depth of their programs through the identification of competencies and learning outcomes. This information supports more seamless transfer for students.

The session details how feedback from past users and transfer specialists has informed the beta phase of the project. Most notably, it was found that the tool needed to be more user-friendly, and that both faculty and admissions personnel needed reliable, readable data which streamlines articulation agreements and student transfer. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with the tool, and also learn about the rationale and development process for the GEM’s “Articulation Wizard,” which uses an algorithm to generate potential bridge programs between participating institutions.
Presenters: David Porter – eCampus Ontario; Tracie Marsh-Fior – OntarioLearn

OntarioLearn, a consortium of all 24 Ontario Community Colleges, provides flexible, high-quality online education, accessible from across Canada, and internationally, with semester and monthly intake options. eCampusOntario provides access to information about all online course offerings from Ontario post-secondary institutions, currently listing over 15,000 courses and 600+ programs, along with course transfer information that helps students to make informed decisions about education and training offerings.

Together, the two organizations are exploring new pathways to servicing technical and/or trades programs through the use of technology-enabled learning strategies. Program models such as providing theory portions of trades training online will be explored to discuss their benefits for students, employers, and institutions.
Presenters: Ursula McCloy, Victoria Baker, and Henry Decock – Seneca College

Seneca College was the first, and remains one of the few Ontario colleges with a dedicated Degree and Credit Transfer Office (DCTO). Seneca’s DCTO provides a number of services to help students to continue their education at Seneca or other institutions, including information sessions, advisement appointments, and on-campus events. The session will review results from a study focused on students who used the DCTO’s advisement services, particularly the college to university pathway. Students who entered Seneca between 2007 and 2014 were tracked to graduation using a dataset linked to the DCTO registration database. Users and non-users of the DCTO are compared in terms of university aspirations at entry, demographics, academic background, and performance in college. Additionally, by linking with the KPI Graduate Satisfaction Survey, graduates who used Seneca’s DCTO are be compared in terms of overall transfer rates as well as their transfer experience and pathway choices. Results will be discussed in terms of their practical implications for the provision of transfer advising services at Seneca and elsewhere.
Lunch + Closing Remarks
Move to breakout session rooms
Presenters: Emily Willson and Brenda Small – Confederation College; Joyce Helmer and Adam Hopkins – FNTI; Angelique Lemay – Sault College; David Marasco – Algoma University

Building off the momentum of Phases I and II, the “first circle” of partners (Trent University, First Nations Technical Institute, Confederation College), invited additional institutions to join their process of creating and supporting Pathways for Indigenous Learners across Ontario’s Postsecondary. Through partnerships and collaborations involving 11 post-secondary institutions, this project sought to create opportunities and to enhance mobility for Indigenous learners, to build capacity on Indigenous learning, and to support Indigenous Studies programming, among post-secondary institutions in Ontario. 

The session will review the history of the partnership and pathways model used in Phases I and II; processes of transitioning from the “First Circle” to a “Second Circle” of   partnerships; pathways and partnerships created among the “Second Circle”; best practices and lessons learned; and, future steps and goals for this work. 

Project 2016-40 in progress, building from Project 2014-28 Phase I and Phase II
Presenters: Tracie Howieson, Andrea Ditullio – Northern College

Understanding the culture of an institution and how this impacts student mobility builds knowledge around institutional processes that further the integration and sustainability of credit transfer. A recent study on Measuring the Cost of Credit Transfer in Small Colleges points to a value system within the institution as a key indicator of success in credit transfer initiatives and sustainability.  The study involved ten small institutions, colleges and universities, and was unique in that the response and enthusiasm for the topic surpassed the data goals of the project.  

The session will define what a culture of mobility looks like and the spectrum it covers; outline the best practices that support a culture of mobility or examine the practices of several institutions to provide insights into institutional processes; and identify the challenges in creating and sustaining a culture of mobility.
Presenters: Alister Mathieson, Gina Antonacci, Judy Tavares, and Melinda Kao – Humber College; Susan Typert – Black Cat Advertising

To enhance the pathway experience for students, Humber has developed a three-tiered approach to maximize credit recognition across the system – involving marketing, technology, and administration.  From a marketing perspective Humber ensures that prospective students have a clear idea of all potential pathways available to them at the point of application through to graduation. Through technology, the institution has engaged in a transfer credit project that will automate credit transfer to ensure that students get maximum credit for prior learning.  Administratively, the institution ensures academic integrity through the implementation of policies and procedures, and coordination across the institution.  The three-tiered approach represents a cross-institutional collaboration focused on access and enhanced student experience.   
Attendees will gain insight into process and practice as it relates to coordinating these projects in a large institution to ensure an optimal student experience.
Presenters: Sylvie Gauthier, Marina Prokopenko – Statistics Canada; Ross Finnie – University of Ottawa

The session examines how different student pathways are related to post-schooling labour market outcomes, through the lens of two initiatives:
• Statistics Canada’s Education Longitudinal Linkage Platform (ELLP) – featuring pilot studies using Maritime university data linked over time and to other data sources, looking at median earnings, retention in the province of study following graduation, and longitudinal indicators of student persistence and completion in postsecondary programs.
• University of Ottawa’s ONCAT-funded research “How student pathways affect labour market outcomes: Evidence from tax-linked administrative data” – featuring analysis of outcomes of direct entry versus non-direct entry students using tax-linked administrative data from five Ontario colleges and universities.
Conference concludes