Specialized services and programs

Current and Completed Projects:

High School Student and Parent Perceptions of OSAP

This project examines the relationship between aspirations towards postsecondary education and students/parents’ perception and knowledge of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). The project administers surveys before and after students’ compulsory Grade 10 career studies class, and tracks postsecondary access and student financial aid use over four years, to evaluate provision of new interventions including information on OSAP and the likely actual costs and benefits of postsecondary education. The evaluation framework involves a clustered randomized trial.

Start-end date: August 2017 - September 2021
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Mapping of Specialized Services available in French in Ontario

The study provides a detailed inventory and geospatial mapping of specialized services available in French to children from birth to the end of schools and their families in Ontario. For the purpose of this study, specialized services include school rehabilitation services, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, child and youth mental health services, and addiction services. This compressive review of available French-language services provides information on what services exist, service volumes, their location and their availability in French or English as well as identified gaps in services.

Start-end date: April 2017 - June 2018
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Learning more from the BC AVID Pilot Project: impacts of program delivery on postsecondary persistence

This project examines the long-term impacts of BC AVID on students’ post-secondary outcomes by obtaining up to four more years of updated postsecondary records. It is the first stage of a two-phase research endeavour to learn which elements of AVID program fidelity are predictors of student success. The research team is analyzing the patterns of outcomes and evolution of impacts over time. If the program impacts vary between student cohorts experiencing different levels of AVID program intensity, the research team will seek a second phase to study the relationship between AVID program fidelity and students’ long-term outcomes.

Start-end date: January 2017 - September 2017
Sponsor: AVID Center

Evaluation of the AILE program

Launched during the 2012-13 school year, the Appui intensif en lecture et écriture program (known under its acronym as AILE) is part of the Ontario Ministry of Education goal of improving the literacy achievement of children enrolled in grades one to six. The program aims to offer additional supports to students in grades one to three at risk of a delay in their reading and writing skills conducive to educational achievement. The intervention takes place outside the classroom, in small groups of three students for about 30 minutes, five days per week over a period of 12 weeks. The program AILE is the subject of an implementation study and outcome evaluation.

Start-end date: September 2016 - May 2017
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Life After High School Ontario – Phase III

The purpose of Life After High School is to improve the rates at which high school students transition to post-secondary education by reducing the non-financial and financial barriers students face. The program applies lessons from behavioural economics to provide all Grade 12 students at selected Ontario secondary schools with practical support applying for post-secondary education and financial aid. Students are guided through online tools and video in the process of selecting a post-secondary program of their choice, applying for a place in that program without incurring a fee, and applying for financial aid. As options are considered for the delivery of a streamlined Life After High School program in Ontario in future years, SRDC is running the program in 69 low-transition schools in 2016-17.

Start-end date: September 2016 - June 2017
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

The long-term impacts of offering enhanced career education to Manitoba high school students

This project extends analysis of the impacts of offering Future to Discover (FTD) enhanced career education on Manitoba high school students. While FTD reports to date have covered the 2005 to 2010 period for Manitoba, this extension permits analysis of impacts on later education and labour market participation through to the end of 2014 when the participants were in their mid-twenties. The study examines impacts on education and earnings using tax records that capture outcomes for all 1,044 participants regardless of whether the participants still reside in Manitoba.

Start-end date: February 2016 - September 2017
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Education and Training

Long-term Education and Labour Market Impacts from the Future to Discover Project

Postsecondary access has been the dominant priority in Ontario’s higher education policy over the past three decades. With this project, SRDC is undertaking data collection and analysis to help answer critical questions about the impacts of postsecondary access policies. The study provides answers to the question "When students at the margin of participating in postsecondary education actually go, what happens to them?". This study uses data on 5,400 students from SRDC’s Future to Discover Project and links these to tax records.

Start-end date: January 2016 - September 2017
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Evaluation of the Active Outdoor Play Strategy

'Active outdoor play' is unstructured and of varied intensity, takes place outdoors with natural materials, and involves an element of risk (e.g., due to the height, speed, context, or tools involved). A wide range of sectors and organizations has recently begun to promote active outdoor play as a means of correcting a perceived over-emphasis on safety/risk and injury prevention, as well as promoting healthy child development in the long term.

The aim of the Lawson Foundation’s Outdoor Play Strategy is to better understand how to support Canadian communities to foster children’s opportunities for outdoor play; in other words, how to create environments that enable – rather than hinder – such play. The Strategy is designed to support the development and implementation of a variety of creative ideas across sectors and a range of contexts, including community programs, services, and supports as well as policy and research initiatives. SRDC conducted an evaluation of the Strategy to develop understanding about how and why funded initiatives experience success, and to what degree. The evaluation includes information about both implementation and early impacts of the Outdoor Play Strategy, at three levels: individual projects/grantees; the collective cohort of grantees; and the broader landscape of stakeholders involved in outdoor play. In addition to examining multiple levels of operation and impact, the project takes a developmental evaluation approach – one that is flexible, future-oriented, and focused more on learning and performance improvement than on narrow definitions of merit and accountability.

Read more

 

Start-end date: November 2015 - April 2019
Sponsor: Lawson Foundation

Demonstrating an enriched Kocihta eMentoring Program Model – A Design/Development Phase

The first phase of a project to tackle one of Canada’s major policy problems: too few Indigenous youth achieving successful transition into the labour market. SRDC is working with Kocihta - a national Indigenous charity founded in 2013 by the Aboriginal Human Resource Council - to develop and test an innovative program model. The model bridges career education to eMentoring with the intent to encourage Indigenous youths to identify and pursue their desired career paths, thereby enhancing their educational investments and improving their labour market outcomes. This phase of the project involves designing an enriched eMentoring program model and developing a comprehensive, detailed implementation and evaluation plan for Phase 2. The main ‘developmental’ activities include: continuing discussions with potential collaborators; developing the intervention/delivery model; finalizing the conceptual evaluation framework; developing the evaluation plan, feasibility and market research for low-cost delivery of eMentoring; and identifying potential funders for a subsequent demonstration project.

Start-end date: April 2015 - May 2016
Sponsor: Carthy Foundation

Transformation of CEPEO school readiness programs

This project aims to develop a suite of workshops targeting the parents of children aged 0 to 3.8 years old. Workshops will be offered in schools of the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) starting in the fall of 2015. The intent is to equip parents so that they may better support their child’s school readiness and smooth transition to school. Topics covered will address the following: parent involvement over the short and long term, the construction of a family identity, the notion and importance of attachment to a significant adult, learning through play at home, and resilience in young children. The project is conducted in collaboration with the AFÉSEO (Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario).

Start-end date: February 2015 - May 2015
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Long-term impacts of the Life After High School program in BC

This project extends analysis from SRDC’s previous study of the Impact of Lowering Non-financial Barriers on Access to Post-secondary Education (Life After High School) in British Columbia. The intervention tested a sequence of three workshops delivered to high schools’ Grade 12 students intended to encourage the students to apply for post-secondary education and related student financial aid. A total of 50 BC high schools with low rates of students entering post-secondary education are involved. Impacts on students’ enrolment and persistence in post-secondary education, use of student financial aid and program choices are investigated across key subgroups defined by Aboriginal status, gender and high school achievement.

Start-end date: January 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: Max Bell Foundation

School engagement in middle and secondary schools – Phase IV

The « Engagement scolaire » project is funded by the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO). The objective of the research project is to evaluate the impact of a program offered by the CEPEO on teaching practices, and in turn, of these teaching practices on student outcomes. This phase also focuses on scaling up the initiative in all classes at participating schools. The program offered by the CEPEO aims to help teachers develop effective teaching strategies, including the integration of ICTs, to promote student self-regulation and engagement, as well as learning skills and work habits as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Start-end date: November 2014 - February 2015
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Evaluation of the Urban and Priority High Schools (UPHS) Initiative

The initiative was first implemented in the 2008-09 school year with 37 urban secondary schools across the 12 school boards receiving funding until 2013-2014. It aimed to enhance the well-being and academic success of students living in high-needs neighbourhoods by way of creating a safe and positive learning school environment. The secondary schools that participated in the UPHS worked with community partners to provide additional supports and opportunities to these students based on a needs assessment and existing services. This evaluation intends to increase our understanding of how additional supports and opportunities influenced at-risk youths’ academic success, to document effective practices in engaging students, parents, and the community, to provide recommendations in regards to the content of a program monitoring information system, and to draw recommendations for improving student outcomes at the system level.

Start-end date: February 2014 - March 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

School engagement in middle and secondary schools – Phase III

The « Engagement scolaire » project is funded by the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO). The objective of the research project is to evaluate the impact of a program offered by the CEPEO on teaching practices, and in turn, of these teaching practices on student outcomes. This phase also focuses on scaling up the initiative in all classes at participating schools. The program offered by the CEPEO aims to help teachers develop effective teaching strategies, including the integration of ICTs, to promote student self-regulation and engagement, as well as learning skills and work habits as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Start-end date: September 2013 - June 2014
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Evaluation of the Healthy Eating After School project

Healthy Eating After School (HEAS) is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Health and implemented by the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. SRDC was contracted to conduct the evaluation. The purpose of the project is to create an environment that supports healthy eating in the after-school care setting. The objectives of the project are to: 1) improve the knowledge and confidence of after-school care staff in healthy eating and in food skills and their confidence to implement these; 2) develop and implement healthy eating policies/guidelines for an after-school care setting; 3) engage parents of children in after school care, in implementing and maintaining children’s healthy eating behaviours; and 4) increase the interest and ability in food skills for children attending after-school care programs.

Start-end date: July 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Vancouver

Life After High School Ontario – Phase II

A pilot project to develop and test streamlined options for delivery of the Life After High School program in Ontario. The program options provide Grade 12 students at selected Ontario secondary schools with practical support applying for post-secondary education and financial aid. Students are guided through online tools and video in the process of selecting a post-secondary program of their choice, applying for a place in that program, and applying for financial aid. In the initial stage of the project, SRDC provided consulting services and a set of recommended models for test, including consideration of a variant model for Crown Wards. Following the selection of preferred models, the second stage commenced delivery of the options during the 2013-14 school year. Delivery models vary in order to assess the impact of paying the application fee of either the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) or the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) and different forms of facilitation. This research project seeks to learn which models are most effective in supporting all Grade 12 students at a school to make applications for post-secondary studies and financial aid, and in increasing enrolment in further education.

Start-end date: April 2013 - March 2016
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Extension of Future to Discover data collection and analysis

The evaluation of a demonstration project involving 4,400 high-school students in New Brunswick that is testing, through a randomized trial, an alternative form of financial support and enhanced career education as ways to increase youth participation in post-secondary education, especially youth from low-income families. This extension permits the study to collect data for the analysis of outcomes through to the completion of post-secondary education and early labour market experience.

Start-end date: March 2013 - December 2017
Sponsor: New Brunswick Education and Early Childhood Development

School engagement in middle and secondary schools – Phase II

Pilot project for testing educational practices that encourage school engagement among middle and secondary school students. This second phase of the study focuses primarily on creating the measures required for evaluating implementation of the educational practices tested during Phase I of the project. The tools were developed in close collaboration with stakeholders from four schools in the Ottawa region, in particular school board and teaching staff members, as well as students. The third phase of the project aims to evaluate the effect of educational practices on student school engagement. To achieve this, student engagement is examined based on the degree of implementation of educational practices.

Start-end date: October 2012 - April 2013
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

School Engagement in Middle School

A pilot project aiming to develop, apply, and test teaching strategies that enhance school engagement in middle school students. The existing strategies are identified based on document and literature reviews. In addition, new strategies are developed using a motivational framework extensively applied to the school setting. The strategies are then tested in two classrooms in a school located in the Ottawa area.

Start-end date: September 2011 - January 2012
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

Life After High School in Ontario

A pilot project to test an innovative program called Life After High School in Ontario. Starting in October 2011, the program provides Grade 12 students at selected Ontario secondary schools with practical support applying for post-secondary education and financial aid. In three on-line facilitated workshops at 43 schools, students are guided through the process of selecting a post-secondary program of their choice, applying for a place in that program, and applying for financial aid. The application fee of either the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) or the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) is covered by the program. This research project seeks to learn whether supporting all Grade 12 students at a school in making real applications for post-secondary studies and financial aid increases enrolment in further education.

Start-end date: May 2011 - March 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation, Phase II

The Welcome to Kindergarten Program aims to prepare children and families for the important transition to school. The first phase of the current Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation began in 2009, which resulted in an evaluation framework and plan, cost proposal, and literature and policy review. SRDC conducted the Phase II of the Welcome to Kindergarten Program National Evaluation, to compare 20 high implementation fidelity schools across Canada that have two years of experience participating in the program against 20 non-program schools to determine program effects. This pan-Canadian evaluation is being guided by Dr. Fraser Mustard.

Start-end date: March 2011 - July 2012
Sponsor: The Learning Partnership

Healthy After School Pilot Project

The aim of this project is to develop a program around physical activity and healthy eating in after-school care. The program will provide after-school care providers with a range of supports and resources to encourage and facilitate children to be more active and to choose healthy foods. After-school care sites participating in the project will be trained and given a resource bin that will include some equipment and tools to help staff incorporate the program into their activities. Ongoing training and support will also be provided to staff and they can choose what to use from these resource bins. Lines of evidence: consultations, interviews, observations, surveys, and measurements of physical activity.

Start-end date: February 2011 - October 2012
Sponsor: Public Health Agency of Canada

Sip Smart! Follow-up

To make applications to selected Foundations and other funding sources for funding to conduct a longitudinal study of students involved with the Sip Smart! program.

Start-end date: January 2011 - March 2011
Sponsor: BC Pediatric Society

Multisite evaluation of the Francophone Youth Inclusion Program (YIP)

A multisite evaluation of a youth crime prevention program entitled Youth Inclusion Program (YIP). The Francophone YIP seeks to reduce the number of arrests, truancy, and school expulsions for a group of high-risk youths within the same community. To achieve its objectives, the program offers youths, by way of an individualized intervention plan, a combination of sports, education, training, and interventions on subjects such as health and drugs. The evaluation of the Francophone YIP is spread over five years and was conducted in Montreal (Quebec) and in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield (Quebec). SRDC conducted a process evaluation, an impact evaluation, a costs analysis and a relevancy evaluation.

Start-end date: November 2010 - December 2016
Sponsor: Public Safety Canada

Petits pas à trois – Monitoring System

To provide advice and technical assistance with the development of a program monitoring system with the objectives of ensuring that the program delivered is of high quality and that the training needs of early childhood educators are identified and addressed in a timely fashion.

Start-end date: October 2010 - July 2011
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Impact of Lowering Non-financial Barriers on Access to Post-secondary Education (Life After High School)

The project aims to develop, implement, and test an intervention to find new ways to lower non-financial barriers on access to post-secondary education. The intervention targets British Columbia high schools with low rates of students entering post-secondary education. A sequence of three workshops delivered to the schools’ Grade 12 students have the intent of encouraging the students to apply for post-secondary education and related student financial aid.

Start-end date: March 2010 - March 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada + Carthy Foundation

Sip Smart! Education Module

A process evaluation of a short-term early prevention school-based education program to inform students in grades 4, 5, and 6 about the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages. The resources were delivered by classroom teachers.

Start-end date: January 2010 - July 2010
Sponsor: BC Pediatric Society

Petits pas à trois

Impact and outcome evaluation of a new preschool program targeting minority Francophone preschoolers and their families.

Start-end date: July 2009 - June 2010
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Readiness to Learn in Minority Francophone Communities

This large-scale demonstration project was part of the Government of Canada’s 2003–2008 Action Plan for Official Languages and was continued under the 2008–2013 Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality. The tested preschool program combined a childcare component developed specifically to meet the needs of Francophone children in minority settings with a family literacy component targeting the parents of these children. The program aimed to develop children’s language skills, knowledge and use of French, knowledge of and engagement in Francophone culture, as well as to foster their school readiness and overall development. The project involved some 400 children living in six minority Francophone communities in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta. A mixed-methods approach was used to conduct an implementation study and an impact evaluation. Project findings will serve to inform decision-makers, service providers, and program developers on the delivery, effectiveness, and efficiency of a program whose aims are ensuring children master the language of instruction in addition to the preservation and strengthening of minority Francophone communities’ vitality.

Start-end date: March 2006 - May 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Read More

Research Support for Dissemination: Early Analyses of Future to Discover Baseline Data

In advance of planned publication, the Future to Discover evaluation team undertook early analysis of Future to Discover’s two recruited cohorts from New Brunswick and one cohort from Manitoba, prepared tables for three conferences and presented at the conferences.

Start-end date: December 2005 - April 2006
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

BC Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Pilot Project

The evaluation of a demonstration project, using a random assignment design with more than 1,300 high-school students in British Columbia, of an academic preparation model for under-achieving students who are unlikely to go on to post-secondary education without some supportive intervention. To date, SRDC has published BC AVID Pilot Project: Early Implementation Report (2008), BC AVID Pilot Project: Interim Impacts Report (2010), and BC AVID Pilot Post-secondary Impacts Report (2014).

Start-end date: August 2003 - December 2013
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
Read More

Future to Discover Pilot Project (FTD)

The evaluation of a demonstration project involving 5,400 high-school students in New Brunswick and Manitoba that is testing, through a randomized trial, an alternative form of financial support and enhanced career education as ways to increase youth participation in post-secondary education, especially youth from low-income families. To date, SRDC has published the Future to Discover Pilot Project: Early Implementation Report (2007), Future to Discover: Interim Impacts Report (2009), Future to Discover: Post-secondary Impacts Report (2012), Future to Discover: Fourth Year Post-secondary Impacts Report (2014), Future to Discover: Fifth Year Post-secondary Impacts Report (2016), and Future to Discover: Sixth Year Post-secondary Impacts Report (2016).

Start-end date: August 2003 - December 2013
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
Read More