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A Blueprint for Success: Case Studies of Successful Pre-College Outreach Programs

Case studies of Pre-­College Outreach Programs in the United States that help at-risk and other, less-prepared students prepare for and succeed in post-secondary  education. 

A Skills beyond School Review of the United States: Vocational Education and Training

As Canada deals with a perceived skills gap that has many stakeholders touting the benefits of more work-integrated learning, a new US report sees both strengths and failings in the country’s career and technical education (CTE) programs. The report says that there is an “exceptionally rich” variety of these types of programs in the US, and that labour market returns from CTE programs are good, on average. However, the authors also say that this diversity of programs may lead to confusion for students, leaving them wondering which programs are high quality and worth the investment.

A snapshot of educational attainment in Canada

According to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), Canadian educational attainment continues to increase; a greater proportion is completing high school and going on to complete post-secondary education. The share of Canadians with a college diploma or university degree continues to rise. However, the share with a trades certificate has continued to decline (see chart). There is a great deal of detail on educational attainment in Canada in the NHS, but this observation will focus on some of the trends hidden in the national average, those among particular demographic groups; women, immigrants and Aboriginal peoples.

Academic Outcomes of Public and Private High School Students: What Lies Behind the Differences?

This study examines the roles played by student characteristics, school resources and teaching practices, peer group effects, and province fixed effects in accounting for differences in the academic outcomes of private and public high school students.

Are all experiental learning opportunities created equal?

A new report from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance explores the benefits of work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities in PSE, but expresses concern about WIL participation rates among marginalized populations. The report notes that Aboriginal students and students with disabilities are 3 times less likely to have participated in co-op placements, while low-income students’ participation rate is less than half the general average. Moreover, Aboriginal students and disabled students were more likely to have participated in an unpaid internship.

Bridge That Gap: Analyzing the Student Skill Index

A gap exists between how qualified students think they are for a career and how confident employers are about finding skilled graduates, reveals a new study by Chegg textbook rental company, which also runs a service connecting graduating high school students with colleges and scholarships. Half of PSE students said they felt “very” or “completely” prepared for a job in their field of study. However, even fewer employers – 39% of those surveyed – said the recent graduates they interviewed in the past 2 years were prepared for a job. Even wider gaps emerge when the survey focuses on several different skills, including “creating a budget or financial goal,” “writing to communicate ideas or explain information clearly” (each show a 22% gap), and “organization” (25% gap). Chegg hopes the findings will be educational for students. “We’re going to go directly to students and help them understand what this gap is,” said Chegg President Dan Rosensweig.

Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Canada

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) is used for classifying instructional programs according to field of study. 

Clearer Sightlines to Employment: What Works for Job-Seekers with Low Educational Attainment

This brief explores the needs and solutions for Ontario’s job-seekers with low educational attainment. It aims to initiate a discussion among government, business and literacy and essential skills practitioners to look for innovative and effective solutions that assist Ontarians in getting back to work.

Competing in the 21st Century Skills Race

The report says that Canada faces a growing shortage of workers with university degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in large part because relatively few Canadian high school graduates choose to enroll in such programs. 

Do Education & Training Amount to Skills Gains?

Essential Skills Ontario has just released the second of its 2014 Essential Skills Bulletins on PIAAC – the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies. Over the past several months, the research team at Essential Skills Ontario has been using the OECD’s public database to unpack and analyze PIAAC results in Canada and Ontario. The second bulletin – Do Education & Training Amount to Skills Gains? – talks about the relationship between education and training on skill levels, as well as the findings in Ontario and Canada.

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