HEQCO Skills Consortium

Ontario’s labour market is unpredictable — as are student pathways into and through it. Many graduates of Ontario postsecondary education programs find themselves working in different careers or sectors than the one they planned on when they began their journey. While HEQCO can’t predict every job-specific skill that students will require after graduation, we can say — with certainty — that today’s employers demand transferable skills such as literacy, numeracy and critical thinking: skills that also form the basis for effective lifelong learning.

Employer surveys consistently show a demand for other core skills, such as teamwork, communications and problem solving. They are skills that students want to improve as part of their postsecondary education and that employers look for when hiring.

“What are effective ways of teaching essential skills?”

Building on our previous work on assessing and measuring skills, HEQCO partnered with eight postsecondary institutions in Ontario to form a new Skills Consortium. The goal of this project is to evaluate programs of interventions related to acquiring, developing and articulating transferable skills.

All of the projects seek to cultivate one or more in-demand, transferable skills such as numeracy, leadership, time management and civic engagement. The focus is on innovative education interventions that help students acquire, hone or articulate these types of skills.

Download the interim report here.

More details about the specific projects and the institutions involved can be found below. All project summaries are written by the participating institution. Special thanks to Lena Balata, Nia Spooner, Sophie Lanthier, Spencer Gordon, Hagar Effah and Alexandra MacFarlane for their contributions.

The Global Skills Digital Badge:
Innovative Interventions to Imp
rove Global Skills for Adult Learners

This project evaluates the Global Skills Digital Badge (GSDB), a co-curricular initiative at Centennial College which aims to prepare students more effectively for the global workplace. Specifically, the focus is on exploring “Intercultural Intelligence” as a key global employability skill.

Key research questions:

  • To what extent does completing a ‘Building Intercultural Intelligence’ workshop develop students’ ‘Intercultural Intelligence’ skills for employment in diverse industries?
  • To what extent does completing a workshop and experiential learning component develop students’ ‘Intercultural Intelligence’ skills for employment in diverse industries?
  • To what extent does completing a workshop, experiential learning component and reflection develop students’ ‘Intercultural Intelligence’ skills for employment in diverse industries?

To learn more about this project, contact the Primary Investigator: Dr. Silvia D’Addario sdaddario@centennialcollege.ca

The Supportive Care Assistant Program:
Skill Acquisition and Work-integrated Learning within a Healthcare-based Microcertification

Numbers for Life:
Measuring Learning Gains and Exploring the Wider Adoption of Numeracy Curricula

The New Respect Cultural Safety Course:
Helping Students Work with Indigenous Peoples to Uphold Reconciliation

The Social Innovation Program:
Evaluating Community Based Learning Programs for Transferable Skills

Reversing Un(der)employment:
A Novel Work-integrated Learning Skills Development Intervention

The Power Skills Self-assessment and Career Preparation:
Empowering Doctoral Students to ‘Own Their Future’