Measuring Transferable Skills in Postsecondary Students

Are Ontario students graduating with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life and work?

Transferable skills like literacy, numeracy and problem solving are essential for workplace success and lifelong learning. These are also the types of skills that employers say they are looking for in prospective hires, but are they the skills that students are learning during their postsecondary experience?

HEQCO is committed to help institutions identify and define transferable skills, conduct province-wide assessments of transferable skills at entry and at graduation, and use the data to introduce and expand teaching and learning practices that will improve outcomes for graduates entering the labour market.

Key findings from HEQCO research on measuring transferable skills in postsecondary education:

  • Graduates need transferable skills such as literacy, numeracy and problem solving to succeed in the labour market.
  • HEQCO completed two large-scale assessment trials involving more than 7,500 students at 20 Ontario universities and colleges that measured numeracy, literacy, problem solving and critical thinking.
  • The pilot projects demonstrated that large-scale assessment of transferable skills in postsecondary students is feasible.
  • Large-scale skills assessments should be implemented on a province-wide level, and the results of the assessments should be used to improve teaching and learning practices.

Read the full summary of HEQCO’s research.