ALBERTA POSTSECONDARY OPTIONS PROJECT (APOP) - SRDC

The Alberta Government asked the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) — a non-profit research organization created in 1991 specifically to develop, field test, and rigorously evaluate new programs — to develop a project to test new approaches to increase the proportion of the province’s high school students accessing postsecondary education (PSE).

For this project, SRDC has developed an online PSE decision-making tool to be piloted for Grade 12 students in a limited number of high schools. The pilot also adds replicable additional features, including workshops on the tool and the waiving of PSE application fees, to determine the extent to which these enhance the use of the tool and, hence, its effectiveness in increasing PSE access. The APOP tool and its additional features will only be piloted for one year.

The goal is for the results to guide the province in developing an optimal strategy for developing and delivering this type of decision-making tool in the future.

APOP Tools and Features

Implementation

The pilot will reach approximately 22,000 Grade 12 students during the 2024-25 school year across 86 high schools with lower Grade 12 to PSE transition rates.

The schools are divided into three groups:

  • 28 Control schools, which will rely on their existing PSE decision tools,
  • 29 APOP schools, which will have access to the APOP website only, and
  • 29 APOP Plus schools, which will have access to the tool as well as the workshops and application fee waiver features.

Evaluation

SRDC will evaluate the impacts of the piloted APOP website and its features relative to existing resources used by high schools on key outcomes of interest to the province such as PSE application rates, offers received, and PSE enrollment rates using existing administrative data collected by the province.

This evaluation will use anonymized records derived from these administrative data, comparing groups of schools piloting different combinations of tools and features. Eligible schools were invited to participate and assigned to groups using a random, lottery-like process. SRDC will not collect or analyze personally identifying information from students as part of the evaluation.

School Workshop Facilitator Role

SRDC is looking for passionate and energetic individuals to facilitate workshops as part of APOP.

We are seeking interested and qualified individuals to whom we can offer short-term contracts to facilitate one- to two-hour-long APOP workshops with high school students during the 2024-25 school year.

The purpose is to enable students to apply for a place in postsecondary education and for student financial aid.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Attend virtual training on program delivery.
  • Study program materials to become familiar with the scope and content of each workshop.
  • Liaise with SRDC staff regarding scheduling session times with schools.
  • Travel to and from school sites within, and possibly between, regions of Alberta.
  • Introduce and facilitate sessions with Grade 12 students in accordance with program training and the project’s program manual.
  • Support students to reach program milestones within workshop sessions (choosing program, applying for a program, starting financial aid application) using project resources.
  • Identify and liaise with school personnel on non‐project issues arising in sessions as required.

If you are ready to join us and contribute to the success of APOP, we invite you to apply:

About SRDC

The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) is a non-profit research organization created specifically to develop, field test, and rigorously evaluate new programs. SRDC's two-part mission is to help policymakers and practitioners identify policies and programs that improve the well-being of all Canadians, with a special concern for the effects on the disadvantaged, and to raise the standards of evidence that are used in assessing these policies.

Since its establishment in December 1991, SRDC has conducted over 450 projects and studies for various federal and provincial departments, municipalities, as well as other public and non-profit organizations. SRDC has offices located in Ottawa and Vancouver and satellite offices in Calgary, Hamilton, Montreal, Regina, Toronto, and Winnipeg. >>> More About SRDC

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