The Peer Helper Program at the University of Guelph: Analysis of Skills Objectives

Research Summary: Students Involved in On Campus Activities More Likely to Improve Key Skills Students involved with on-campus activities like student government, residence associations and peer mentoring are more likely to improve several skills valued highly by the labour market and postsecondary education, according to a new study published by the Higher Education Quality Council […]

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Students: A Measure of the Effectiveness of Information Literacy Initiatives in Higher Education

Research Summary: No Simple Solution for Improving Students’ Research and Critical Evaluation Skills The ability to locate, evaluate and accurately utilize complex information, often referred to as information literacy, is a critical skill for success in school, work and life. A new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) recommends colleges and […]


Evidence of declining literacy among Canadian university graduates lends urgency to academic reform – Ian D. Clark

At HEQCO’s November Learning to Earning Conference, UBC labour economist Craig Riddell presented the results of his research with David Green on literacy skills, recently published as “Ageing and Literacy Skills: Evidence from Canada, US and Norway.” The findings are alarming and support the concern that David Trick, Richard Van Loon and I expressed in […]

The Communications Adjunct Model: An Innovative Approach to Language and Literacy Remediation for Adult Learners

New strategies, rigorous evaluation needed to improve literacy skills of postsecondary students Low literacy levels are not only an impediment to success in higher education; Canadian adults with lower literacy levels have significantly lower employment rates and incomes, higher rates of unemployment and are less likely to be engaged in their community. While colleges and […]


Postsecondary education: Pipe dream or prerequisite? Ask a plumber.

One of the most ubiquitous and powerful arguments made by advocates of greater investment in higher education is that a postsecondary education is instrumental to economic success, for both the individual and the public.  The public and governments appear to have accepted that 70-80 per cent of future jobs will require some postsecondary credential and […]

College-Level Literacy: An Inventory of Current Practices at Ontario’s Colleges

Research Summary: Colleges need system-wide approach to help students with reading and wr​​​​​iting deficits to succeed in their studies  An increasing percentage of Ontario college students enter postsecondary education with a range of reading and writing abilities and often face challenges communicating at the level that is expected of them.  Ontario’s colleges are well on […]

@ Issue Paper No 2-2 A Fine Balance

Supporting Skills and Competency Development​​​​​ Summary: The second in a three part series, this paper examines issues related to the development of skills, competencies, and knowledge and the labour market issues faced by skilled graduates. It draws on the experiences of the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States. Like many jurisdictions around […]

@ Issue Paper No 2-3 Signalling Abilities and Achievement

Measuring and Reporting on Skill and Competency Development Sommaire : The third in a three part series, this paper examines initiatives designed to measure and report on acquisition of skills and competencies. It looks specifically at how various jurisdictions have developed common definitions when stating expectations about learning outcomes, transparency in communication of goals and […]