Enhancing Student Success in Ontario Higher Education

Ensuring that students have a worthwhile student experience while pursuing a credential and succeed in postsecondary education is a top priority for HEQCO research. That is why the topic of student success was the primary focus of a research conference hosted by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) on June 29, 2010.

Ensuring that students have a worthwhile student experience while pursuing a credential and succeed in postsecondary education is a top priority for HEQCO research.  That is why the topic of student success was the primary focus of a research conference hosted by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) on June 29, 2010. Enhancing Student Success in Ontario Higher Education showcased the outcomes of various interventions that aim to improve student access, retention, and success – as well as effective teaching and learning – at Ontario’s colleges and universities. 

Packed with presentations, speakers discussed topics ranging from student retention within institutions and financial incentives to increase student success, to specific projects on targeting at-risk students and interventions at the class level.

Ontario already has a 67.5 per cent attainment rate for postsecondary credentials, meaning that we are well on the way to reaching the provincial government’s goal of increasing attainment in the adult population to 70 per cent.  Research suggests that in order to meet this target, we are going to have to start increasing the participation of students who are typically under-represented in the system – individuals from low-income families, Aboriginal students, students with disabilities, etc.  Many of these interventions are looking at how to better engage these under-represented students and how to ensure that they succeed in postsecondary education.

We would like to thank all presenters and participants who took part in the conference.

The slide decks made available by the presenters are hyperlinked.

Recent Findings of HEQCO-Funded Research
Richard Wiggers, HEQCOPanel 1: UnderstandingStudent Retention and Success within PSE Institutions

Research and Retention
Maria Lucido Bezely and Mark Neumann, Sheridan College

Retention Risk Prediction Pilot Project
Mark Conrad, York UniversityPanel 2: Access and Pathways

First Generation Initiatives
Susan Kulczycki, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Pathways to Education Canada Overview
Stacey Young, Pathways to Education Canada

HEQCO Research on Pathways from K-12 to PSE
Ken Norrie, HEQCOPanel 3: General Interventions

Writing Proficiency Assessment Research Project Theresa Hyland and Grace Howell, Huron University College

Evaluation of Nipissing University’s UNIV 1011
Al Carfagnini, Nipissing UniversityPanel 4: Targeting “At-Risk” Populations

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Ontario Post-Secondary Student Services on Academic Engagement of Recent Immigrant Adult Students (RIAS) Lillie Lum, York University

Identifying Trends and Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in PSE
Susan Alcorn MacKay, Cambrian College

University Access, Engagement, Retention and Success of Under-Represented Populations Rona Abramovitch, Ryerson UniversityPanel 5: Class-Based Interventions

Classroom-Based Interventions: Effects on Engagement and Academic Performance
Chris Conway, Queen’s University

The Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Program & Student Academic Success
Carleton University
Carol A. Miles and Dragana Polovina-Vukovic, Carleton UniversityPanel 6: Financial Incentives to Promote Academic Success and Retention

Foundations for Success 
Fiona Bain-Greenwood, Seneca College

Opportunity Knocks
Philip Oreopoulos, University of TorontoPanel 7: Other Initiatives

Organizational Structure of Student Life Divisions: Communicating Who We Are and What We Do Christine Arnold, OISE/HEQCO

Student Success from a Student Perspective
Alexi White, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance