Students

Relationship between PSE participation and household income

The current decade has seen very little new research into the relationship between household income and PSE participation for Canada in general and Ontario in particular. The effects of recently adopted policies aimed at increasing PSE accessibility on this relationship, such as the reforms to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, are consequently poorly understood. This project uses a time series of harmonized long-form data from the Canadian Census 1996-2016 to examine the relative impact of household income and parents’ human capital on their children’s post-secondary education participation.

Start-end date: March 2017 - October 2018
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

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 - July 2017
Sponsor: AVID Center

Assessing Impact of Federal Student Financial Assistance Eligibility on Targeted Part-Time Programs at Public Post-Secondary Institutions

Under the Canada Student Loans Program, part-time post-secondary programs that do not have a full-time equivalent option are ineligible for federal student financial assistance (SFA). Little is known about the impacts of this policy on student demand for these types of programs, potential demand if they were SFA-eligible, and the capacity of post-secondary institutions to deliver them. This project includes an assessment of the federal legislation, regulations, and policies that oversee SFA program eligibility, a jurisdictional scan of targeted programs at public post-secondary institutions across Canada, and a market demand assessment. The findings will inform recommendations regarding students' accessibility to SFA for part-time programs.

Start-end date: November 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education

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

Mentorship and Skills Development in BC's Construction Sector: A Needs Analysis

The large majority of technical training in the skilled building trades takes place on the job through mentoring relationships. Employers report mentorship as the key to developing a qualified tradesperson — however, they also report the quality of mentorship as drastically uneven. Many tradespersons are required to mentor apprentices but have never been prepared adequately to do so. This project supports the development and evaluation of mentorship training models in BC’s construction sector. The focus is on the electrical trade, the largest of skilled building trades in BC. The design includes a sector needs analysis where we explore the most prominent skills and job performance gaps and business needs through key informant interviews and a province-wide survey of electrical contractors. The primary goal of this analysis is to understand the role that quality mentorship can play in addressing these skills and performance gaps and to support the design and evaluation of a mentorship training model in a subsequent pilot.

Government of British Columbia news release

 

Start-end date: May 2016 - March 2017
Sponsor: Electrical Joint Training Committee

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 - June 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

Essential Adult Skills Initiative (EASI)

The Essential Adult Skills Initiative (EASI) is a pilot project using the OECD’s newest version of the PIAAC assessment instrument, Education and Skills Online. The pilot is designed (a) to explore the practical challenges of administering the test to substantial numbers of PSE students and (b) to establish the utility of Education and Skills Online to assess PSE student skills. SRDC is advising the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario on planned survey design and analysis including sample size estimation.

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

Learning and Labour Market Information Symposium

SRDC organized a learning and labour market information (LLMI) symposium in May 2016 to engage Federal/Provincial and Territorial government senior officials in a discussion with subject matter experts on ways and means to improve the availability and quality of data and tools to inform student choice. In addition to planning the agenda and facilitating the symposium, SRDC conducted an environmental scan, and prepared a synthesis document for circulation prior to the event.

Start-end date: December 2015 - June 2016
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada + Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Assistive Equipment and Technology for Students with Disabilities

There is a commitment to support students with disabilities in the post-secondary environment by federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, as well as post-secondary institutions. The advent of assistive technology over the last few decades has drastically altered the ways in which curriculum is delivered in education and has also resulted in making education much more accessible to students with disabilities. In partnership with the Neil Squire Society, SRDC is conducting a literature and information source review; developing an inventory of assistive technology for barriers to post-secondary education; reviewing new and emerging technologies and the assessment processes used to identify suitable technologies; as well as the application of assistive technology as part of the universal design in curriculum delivery. The findings from this study will inform decision making for all jurisdictions and post-secondary institutions experiencing challenges related to the accommodation of increasing numbers of students with identified disabilities, the rapidly evolving state of assistive technology and the effective provision of the most appropriate and applicable assistive technology to address disability related barriers to education.

Start-end date: December 2015 - March 2017
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education

School Choices and Educational Trajectories of Youth of French-speaking Immigration Backgrounds

As stated in the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018 : Education, Immigration, Communities, education plays a vital role in strengthening Francophone minority communities (FMC). This project aims to understand the factors (environmental and social) and motivations of students (and their families) of French-speaking immigrant backgrounds living in FMCs in their choices and educational trajectories in three different education systems, namely French-language schools, English-language schools offering various French-second-language educational options, and English-language schools offering no classes in French. Moreover, the impact of these choices on Francophone identity and the sense of belonging to the Francophonie will be explored. The project scope is limited to Ottawa, Ontario.

Start-end date: November 2015 - February 2017
Sponsor: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Women Gaining Ground Research Study

SRDC was engaged by the United Way of Greater Toronto to inform the further development of their Career Navigator program to better meet the needs of young women facing multiple barriers to employment, by gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and service/support needs of this group. The study includes a systematic literature and evidence review, and interviews and focus groups to identify and understand: the main barriers (environmental/external and personal) that young women facing multiple barriers are experiencing while transitioning into the labour market; evidence-informed and promising approaches for serving young women with multiple barriers; how the current Career Navigator program is addressing barriers and where there might be gaps; and how adjustments to program design/delivery can be implemented in a way that works for both jobseekers and employers.

Start-end date: September 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto

Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) Strategy for Evaluation and Evidence Generation

The purpose of this project was to develop a framework for conducting effective monitoring and evaluation of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities' Employment and Training Service Integration (ETSI) initiative. The framework sets the standards for, and provides strategic guidance around alignment, for all evaluation activities supporting ETSI. This work is supporting the Ministry's goal of ensuring it has a comprehensive strategy for evidence generation to inform current pilots, programs and system features being introduced, as well as to guide future evaluation frameworks for programs and system features under ETSI. The project involves: conducting a review of evaluation approaches and existing frameworks from other relevant jurisdictions used to assess active labour market programs; developing a monitoring and evaluation framework of ETSI in consultation with key stakeholders and based on findings from the review of existing frameworks in other jurisdictions; and developing options for a monitoring and evaluation strategy and methodology.

Start-end date: August 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Evaluation of the Thompson Rivers University Front-End Loaded Truck and Transport Vehicle Mechanic Pilot Program

The BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC, is evaluating the Industry Training Authority/Thompson Rivers University Front-End Loaded Pilot Program for the Truck and Transport Vehicle Mechanic apprenticeship training. The objective is to determine the effectiveness of the model in achieving its intended objectives and how it compares to the traditional apprenticeship training model.

Start-end date: July 2015 - October 2015
Sponsor: Industry Training Authority

Measuring Resilience as an Education Outcome

SRDC is investigating the most appropriate means for Ontario postsecondary institutions to assess the impacts of their programs on student resilience. In addition to an extensive literature review, the study assesses how well one of the most promising existing measures of resilience (the Brief Resilience Scale) predicts student coping behaviours over a three-year period post-measurement. The project report includes the combined results and recommendations for next steps based on lessons learned from the literature and from implementing resilience measures in the field.

Start-end date: May 2015 - April 2016
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

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: A Canadian Foundation

PSE Mobility of French Immersion Secondary School Students in Central Southwestern Ontario

The study surveys high school students in grades 11 and 12 enrolled in English high schools offering a French immersion program to establish the viability of offering PSE programs in French immersion in the central and southwestern regions of Ontario. A stratified sample frame is used to select 12 school boards and 22 high schools offering French immersion and Extended French programs. Secondary school students complete an online survey on their language preference for university and/or college studies (i.e., French, English, or both) and factors they are considering when selecting a postsecondary program and a location.

Start-end date: April 2015 - January 2016
Sponsor: University of Ottawa

How youth develop career decisions

Making use of existing literature from Canada and abroad, this study examines when, where and how youth use labour market information to make postsecondary education and career-related decisions, including recommendations for the development and refinement of labour market information tools and initiatives. The report includes design considerations, critical features and strategies including those to adopt and those to avoid.

Start-end date: February 2015 - March 2015
Sponsor: Employment and Social Development Canada

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

Essential Skills in Douglas College

The Essential Skills in Douglas College (ES in DC) program is offering up to 20 hours of in-class Essential Skills training to students in selected programs. By targeting the training to learner needs, and utilizing occupationally-relevant materials, the program aims to increase students’ literacy and essential skills, and their academic success. The study includes a research framework, designing pre- and post-training student surveys, and analysing administrative data from school records and literacy scores in addition to the survey data. Using historical program data from the school records, SRDC conducts a comparative analysis to estimate program impacts in addition to measuring the outcomes of interest.

Start-end date: August 2014 - August 2015
Sponsor: Douglas College

Market Study and Feasibility Study related to the offer of trades and applied technology programs in the Greater Toronto Area

The goal of the market and feasibility studies is to increase access to trades and applied technology programs for the Francophone population of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The market study focuses on various potential sources of labour force supply and demand based on labour market trends and economic forecasts in the GTA. Analyses address trades and apprenticeship training needs as dictated by the local economy, with an emphasis on the Francophone population. As for the feasibility study, it presents a partnership-based action plan to identify program and service delivery models in the GTA.

Start-end date: July 2014 - September 2014
Sponsor: Collège Boréal d’arts appliqués et de technologie + Collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie La Cité

Students' exit profile

The goal of this project is to develop qualitative and quantitative measurement tools to collect an exit profile for each student. This profile includes the main attitudes, values ​​and competencies that the Board wants to develop in every student from kindergarten to Grade 12. The tool will be used to populate the Board's Accountability and Improvement Framework. This framework will serve the planning and evaluation needs of teachers as well as those of principals and senior administrators. SRDC's mandate is to provide technical support toward completing the profile.

Start-end date: April 2014 - May 2014
Sponsor: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est de l’Ontario

Review of Manitoba Employment Assistance Service Providers

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Manitoba’s Employment Assistance Service (EAS) providers to inform future funding decisions of the Manitoba government intended to promote an effective and efficient service delivery network. SRDC’s analysis provides indications of where changes in EAS programming are needed so that the program can “do more of the things that help, and less of the things that do not.” The analysis addresses five key questions: To what extent is EAS programming aligned with provincial and federal policy objectives? To what extent is current programming responsive to the needs of key population groups and communities? To what extent are programs responsive to the changing dynamics of Manitoba’s labour market? How effective is current programming in achieving results for job seekers, employers, and communities? What is the relative value for money of the existing EAS program, and are there opportunities for service improvements?

Start-end date: April 2014 - September 2015
Sponsor: Manitoba Department of Jobs and the Economy

Ontario Labour Market Focused Credential Options

SRDC conducted an evidence-based analysis of Ontario’s current mix of labour market credentials to determine whether Ontario has the appropriate mix of credential options in its publicly-funded post-secondary education system to ensure successful student labour market outcomes. The analysis informs the development of detailed recommendations for enhancing the provincial credential framework. Options take into account evidence from eight other jurisdictions and an analysis of potential costs and benefits of the recommended changes.

Start-end date: April 2014 - January 2015
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Measuring the Impact of the YMCA of Greater Toronto on Community Health

The project supports the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s 2010-2020 Strategic Plan and the establishment and continuous improvement of its new Centres of Community by identifying a community health monitoring strategy that cuts across life stages and the community level, the regional level, and the GTA. The project provides a set of options for a community health monitoring strategy based on an analysis of other community health monitoring initiatives in Canada and abroad, data availability and quality for selected indicators in the GTA, and the YMCA’s outcomes of interest related to its programming.

Start-end date: November 2013 - March 2014
Sponsor: YMCA of Greater Toronto

Understanding current employment programming and services for BC youth

This project funded five research papers that explored challenges faced by BC youth who are struggling in the labour market. The project involved a call for papers inviting researchers to submit proposals to explore youth employment barriers from a variety of angles, and to identify promising solutions for such issues as supporting youth who are entering the labour market or helping them find work that is a better match for their skills. The five selected papers covered such topics as: the barriers faced by vulnerable youth and youth living with mental illness; the value of work placements for refugee and immigrant youth; the role of employers; and the potential of social enterprises for supporting transitioning youth. The papers were presented at a June 2014 symposium in Vancouver involving approximately 80 stakeholders. The research teams also presented their findings during a series of webinars hosted by the Centre in fall 2014. The final papers have been published on the Centre’s Web site. This project was managed by the BC Centre for Employment Excellence, a division of SRDC.

Start-end date: October 2013 - August 2014
Sponsor: British Columbia Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation

PSE-related financial literacy among disadvantaged youth

This project aims to address information barriers to post-secondary education (PSE) access faced by disadvantaged youth – specifically, the lack of engaging online resources to learn about the benefits of PSE and how to afford it. Together with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC), SRDC is conducting an evaluation project that tests the effectiveness of new, online financial literacy resources related to PSE and targeted to low-income youth. The resources are provided through Rogers Raising the Grade, a new after-school program offered at 35 Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada, and build on an existing collaboration between SRDC and BGCC. Funding for this project is provided by the TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund administered by Prosper Canada.

Start-end date: October 2013 - April 2015
Sponsor: Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI)

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

Design phase: Promoting mental health for youth through transitions

Building on an earlier phase of background research into student mental health issues, this project aims to design an intervention to support students through the transition from high school. SRDC met with potential collaborators, finalized the conceptual framework, developed an intervention/ delivery model and curriculum outline, developed an evaluation plan, and identified potential funders for a subsequent pilot test. SRDC also consulted with youth on design and delivery, and engaged experts as required to ensure the feasibility, scalability, innovation, and appeal of the intervention to high school students. The result is a detailed proposal to a funder to implement and test the program on a pilot basis, to learn what works to promote and protect student mental health.

Start-end date: September 2013 - June 2014
Sponsor: Anonymous sponsor

Skills Bridge essential skills pilot project in BC

Skills Bridge offers Essential Skills training with the aim of ensuring that participants in academic, trades training, and apprenticeship programs emerge fully ready for employment. The pilot project is an outcome evaluation of a system of Essential Skills coaching at three sites – Douglas College, North Island College, and SkillPlan. The performance measures include Essential Skills learning gains, student engagement, and grades. The study develops an evaluation framework and survey instruments, and includes a cost-effectiveness analysis. Implementation of Skills Bridge at the three pilot sites informs a larger consortium of educational institutions implementing Essential Skills training for their students. SRDC is a research partner in the pilot project funded by the participating colleges and industry training institutions.

Start-end date: September 2013 - April 2014
Sponsor: DataAngel Policy Research Inc.

Further Analysis on the Impacts of Needs Assessment Simplification

This project extends work seeking to identify options to simplify student financial aid (SFA) applications in Canada by assessing the scope for limiting or modifying the data elements currently collected to determine SFA offers. The analysis involves data from actual applications and awards. SRDC simulates aid offers to assess the role played by each data element in determining the level and composition of actual aid offers made and runs sensitivity tests for different student sub-groups to assess their vulnerability to the removal or modification of each element. The simulations and sensitivity tests are undertaken at both a national and a provincial level. The main deliverable is a range of simplification options along with the pros and cons of each, including a range of possible effects on program costs.

Start-end date: July 2013 - December 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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

Manageable Student Debt Threshold Research

This project assesses current understanding on levels of manageable student debt. It begins with a review of existing theoretical and empirical evidence, both national and international, and an environmental scan of the existing practices in defining and measuring manageable student debt. Current private and public sector practices on definition, calculations, and measurements of manageable debt are gathered through key informant interviews with private sector loan providers, credit agencies, and debt counselling representatives. Data analysis of individual level microdata from Statistics Canada is used to estimate various manageable student debt thresholds, corresponding to those identified in the initial review.

Start-end date: January 2013 - March 2013
Sponsor: Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education

Study of the gaps between French-language and English-language postsecondary education and training systems

SRDC reviews the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario through comparative analyses of the French and English systems. Of particular interest is a review of the gaps between the two systems in terms of access, retention, and participation, as well as the quality of services offered by the French-language postsecondary education and training system in Ontario. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the Ministry of Education, SRDC developed a tool to assist postsecondary and training institutions self-assess the quality of the services they provide to Francophones. The results of this review provide information to both ministries on the strengths of the French-language system and aspects that would benefit from greater attention in order to better serve the student population wishing to pursue studies in French and increase the number of individuals studying in French in Ontario.

Start-end date: December 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Job Entry Manitoba (JEM)

The project is a developmental evaluation that examines and provides regular feedback to the client on the development and implementation of the new Job Entry Manitoba (JEM) program, a key component of Manitoba’s new training-to-employment service support continuum. The project also identifies key immediate outcomes and measurement approaches to support the building of a data collection system and tools. The evaluation addresses standard implementation questions such as how does the JEM model work in practice? It also aims to systematically understand how the implementation of JEM influences provider practices in both intended and unintended ways. More fundamentally, it assesses how JEM has impacted providers’ sense of professional efficacy by exploring the extent to which providers feel that the new model enables them to better meet the needs of their target population.

Start-end date: November 2012 - December 2013
Sponsor: Workplace Education Manitoba

Predicting Student Loan Delinquency and Default

This project develops a model to predict student loan delinquency and default based on borrower characteristics using administrative data. The goal is to improve the targeting of at-risk borrowers and improve the efficiency of program resources devoted to reducing student loan default. The work involves documenting the theoretical and empirical evidence to date, a thorough data assessment to identify key variables, statistical modelling of loan delinquency and default, calculating probabilities for different borrower characteristics, and comparing again to the literature to identify discrepancies and new findings.

Start-end date: October 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Needs Assessment Simplification

This project seeks to identify options to simplify student financial aid (SFA) applications in Canada. It does this by assessing the scope for limiting or modifying the data elements currently collected to determine SFA offers. The main analysis involves data on actual applications and awards. SRDC simulates revised aid offers to assess the role played by each data element in determining the level and composition of actual aid offers made and runs sensitivity tests for different student sub-groups to assess their vulnerability to the removal or modification of each element. The simulations and sensitivity tests are undertaken at both a national and a provincial level. Based on these findings and a review of the literature, a range of simplification options are presented along with the pros and cons of each, including a range of possible effects on program costs.

Start-end date: September 2012 - March 2013
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Learning how to promote youth mental health through the transition from high school

With youth mental health rapidly emerging as a public policy priority, this project examines the needs of students as they make the transition from high school to post-secondary education or work. It aims to develop a plan for an intervention that will help improve students’ mental health literacy, so they are better equipped to recognize potential problems, develop effective coping strategies, and know how to use resources to promote and protect their mental health. The project involves a review of the relevant research literature, an environmental scan of existing programs, and interviews with key stakeholders, as background research to designing a potential intervention.

Start-end date: August 2012 - December 2012
Sponsor: Anonymous sponsor

Focus Groups for the Expert Panel on French-language Post-secondary Education

To conduct focus groups with high-school and post-secondary students, learners, and parents from Francophone communities in the Centre and South-West regions of the province, with a view to inform the work of the Expert Panel on the most efficient models to adopt in order to increase the capacity to offer post-secondary education in French in those regions.

Start-end date: February 2012 - May 2012
Sponsor: Ontario Ministry of Education

Session on Student Financial Aid Research

To provide expert advice on research priorities for the student financial aid system in Canada at a session hosted by the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ICCSFA).

Start-end date: January 2012 - February 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Non-Standard Delivery of Post Secondary Education and Student Financial Assistance

The majority of PSE students undertake programs of study which are delivered in a standard format — typically they attend full-time, on campus programs, during fall-winter semesters. A segment of PSE students is, however, opting to pursue learning opportunities outside of this standard model by participating in a wide range of non-standard formats, including online or e-learning, modular programs, and compressed or extended semesters. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that student financial assistance (SFA) fully addresses the needs of all segments of the PSE student population, including those who wish to pursue PSE through non-standard programming. The purpose of this project is to examine the role that non-standard programs play in PSE and how SFA can help support student participation in such programs.

Start-end date: October 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

An Overview of Financial and Social Supports for Students with Dependants in Canada

This project fills knowledge gaps pertaining to existing policy and program levers in place to respond to the needs of students with dependants. The initiative entails jurisdictional policy review to identify the range of federal, provincial, and territorial social and financial programs available to students with dependants and provide an in-depth analysis of the extent to which these programs interact with each other, their degree of integration, and identification of existing program gaps that may prevent these students from undertaking and completing post-secondary education. The analysis informs policy decision-making on the accessibility issues faced by post-secondary students with dependants.

Start-end date: October 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

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

Assessing the Impacts of the New Canada Student Grants Program

This project consists of a program evaluation study of HRSDC’s new Canada Student Grants Program (CSGP). Introduced in 2009, the CSGP consolidates all previous federal student grants. The new grants aim to improve access to post-secondary studies and to reduce costs for students from low- and middle-income families, students with permanent disabilities, part-time students, and students with dependants. The project involves a literature review of relevant policies and programs, an evaluation of the feasibility of the available data and research methods to assess the CSGP, and a final report containing an empirical analysis of the effectiveness of the CSGP in achieving its stated objectives.

Start-end date: February 2011 - March 2012
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Financial Literacy of Low-income Students

This project seeks to inform the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario about the relationship between financial literacy and post-secondary access for low-income youth, and what programs may be implemented to help youth overcome the financial literacy barrier in attending PSE. The first part consists of a literature review of research related to the financial literacy of low-income high-school students with respect to their decisions about post-secondary attendance. The second part consists of an environmental scan of programs that have been implemented to raise financial literacy among low-income youth with respect to post-secondary attendance.

Start-end date: January 2011 - May 2011
Sponsor: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

First-generation Post-secondary Education Households: Scoping Paper

The purpose of this project is to describe existing data sources and pertinent variables contained therein that relate to first-generation PSE households (FGH) in Canada. First-generation PSE households consist of households where neither parent has completed PSE, namely a university, college, or apprenticeship program. A list of data sets with the pros and cons of each, along with the available information contained therein, are to be produced.

Start-end date: November 2010 - February 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Relationship Between Funding, Learning Objectives, and Choice of Instructional Programs and Courses for Adult Learning

Making use of the micro-data from the 2008 Access to Supports and Education Training Survey and the Adult Education and Training Surveys, this study documents existing theoretical evidence and conducts descriptive and multivariate analysis on the sources of funding for Canadian adult learners, with a focus on the relationships with learning objectives and instructional programs and courses chosen.

Start-end date: November 2010 - March 2011
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

The Community Service Learning Program

SRDC was commissioned to conduct the summative evaluation of the University of Ottawa’s Community Service Learning (CSL) program. CSL is an innovative pedagogical model which allows students to contribute to their community by doing volunteer work that is related to their program of study. This evaluation of the CSL program aims to discover the benefits experienced by participating students, professors, and community partners, as well as to identify ways to improve program delivery and positive results.

Start-end date: September 2010 - June 2011
Sponsor: University of Ottawa

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology

Providing expert advice on accessibility of post-secondary education in Canada.

Start-end date: June 2010 - June 2010
Sponsor: Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology

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

Labour Market Information to Help High-School Students Access Post-secondary Education: The “Life After High School Experiment”

Concept paper to assess whether the process of providing information to high-school students about labour markets, their post-secondary options, potential post-secondary program acceptance, and eligibility for financial aid can improve knowledge acquisition and human capital acquisition.

Start-end date: March 2009 - May 2009
Sponsor: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (Policy Research)

Feasibility Study for Evaluating Debt Management Measures

A study exploring the feasibility of using random assignment designs to test various debt management measures administered by Canada Student Loans, including the Repayment Assistance Program (RAP) in the fall of 2009.

Start-end date: October 2008 - December 2008
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Challenges and Opportunities Facing Canada’s Student Financial Assistance System

A concept paper profiling future challenges to Canada’s post-secondary education and student financial assistance systems, in the context of enrolment trends, labour market demands, returns to a post-secondary education, and current policy tools.

Start-end date: September 2008 - December 2008
Sponsor: Human Resources and Social Development Canada (Canada Student Loans)

Evaluation of the BC Healthy Living Alliance (BCHLA) Initiatives

BCHLA is a provincial coalition of organizations working together to improve the health of British Columbians. The coalition has implemented 16 initiatives in the health promotion and population health areas, designed to deliver activities across the province in three themes: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Tobacco Reduction. In the first phase of the evaluation project, SRDC conducted evaluability assessments for each initiative as well as the clusters or themes to produce evaluation plans and budgets for “evaluable” projects and clusters. In the second phase, SRDC evaluated 6 of the 16 initiatives, as well as a case study of the Community Capacity Building Strategy and provided technical assistance to the other BCHLA initiatives that were not part of the evaluation project. Some of the evaluations involved vulnerable populations, such as Aboriginal communities.

Start-end date: July 2007 - May 2010
Sponsor: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research
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Willingness to Pay for Post-secondary Education Among Under-represented Groups

A study to evaluate high-school students’ debt aversion or willingness to incur debt to access post-secondary education. The study focuses in particular on the decision-making process of youth from low SES families, Aboriginal families, and rural sectors, and on first generation students. Participants are tested for numeracy, risk, and time preferences. A sample of 1,400 students in 14 schools across 4 provinces took part in this project.

Start-end date: May 2007 - December 2009
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
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Keeping in Touch with Project Participants: A Mailing Experiment

A randomized experiment to test the effect of between-wave mailing contact on survey response among Future to Discover project participants.

Start-end date: January 2006 - March 2007
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

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

Making Education Work

Provides advice on the random assignment evaluation for a project concerned with increasing educational attainment among Manitoba Aboriginal students.

Start-end date: August 2005 - December 2009
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
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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
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Design Options for Demonstration Projects to Improve Participation in Post-secondary Education

Start-end date: May 2002 - June 2002
Sponsor: Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

Potential use of an Economic Experiment to Examine Issues Related to Student Financial Aid

Start-end date: December 2001 - December 2001
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada

Will the Working Poor Invest in Human Capital?

An examination of people’s willingness to delay consumption, to invest in education for themselves or their children, and their reaction to risk.

Start-end date: September 2001 - February 2002
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada

Transitions

A study to review promising school-based programs to increase student retention. The study involved reviews of the reasons students “drop out” of high school and field visits to 24 stay-in-school programs in 5 cities across BC. It recommended several promising intervention options and strategies for their evaluation.

Start-end date: January 1999 - July 1999
Sponsor: BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology

Student Financial Assistance Programs

Report for HRDC’s Lessons Learned Series.

Start-end date: October 1997 - October 1997
Sponsor: Human Resources Development Canada