Funding: Transfer Pathways

ONCAT supports the development and implementation of in-demand pathways that respond to student interest, regional needs, institutional priorities, labour market opportunities, and/or the experiences of under-represented learners. This includes pathways that support COVID-19 recovery efforts and future work in support of greater pandemic resilience.

Pathway Areas of Focus

ONCAT’s pathway projects will focus on the following priority areas:
  • Student Demand. These pathways respond to student needs and interests; they include pathways that specifically support the needs of under-represented learners.
  • Institutional Demand. These pathways address an institution’s strategic needs and specific interests, such as targeted program and/or content areas.
  • Regional/Labour Market Demand. These pathways respond to regional and labour market needs and trends, as well as to changes to professional requirements requested by accreditation bodies. 
  • Provincial/System Demand. These pathways may originate from provincial policy directives and may prioritize specific initiatives that align with institutional and regional demand. This includes Pandemic Recovery Pathways that address health, employment, and regional needs resulting from COVID-19 and support resilience to future pandemics.

Funding Strategies

  • Pathway Viability Grants are seed funding to identify the viability and relevance of a proposed pathway. This funding supports foundational activities to pursue in-demand pathway development, including partnership development, preliminary exploration of alignment, and the establishment of clear evidence of need by reviewing institutional data, labour market data, institutional needs, and other innovative models. In addition, funding can support partnership development activities as well as identification of student supports and wrap-around supports that will support transfer student success. If a pathway is deemed viable at the end of this stage, the final deliverable can be a proposal to implement/develop the pathway. 
  • Pathway Development Grants offer funding to support the development and creation of pathways with clear evidence of need and clearly explained demonstration of viability. This stream supports the implementation of exploration-stage grants, as well as proposals developed by partners based on their demonstration of viability.
  • Pathway Scaling Grants offer funding to scale pathways that have demonstrated impact, based on strong evidence of student uptake and success. This may include scaling-out pathways to other institutions offering those programs, and scaling-up the pathways to include other programs. 
  • Pathway Remodelling Grants provide funding to reshape existing pathways based on changes in student demand, institutional needs, curriculum/learning outcomes,or regional needs.  

General Funding Ranges

  • Viability Grants: Up to $10,000.
  • Pathway Development, Scaling, or Remodelling Grants: Between $10,000 and $40,000.
Larger requests will be considered based on the number of institutions involved, the complexity of the pathway, and resources required.


Applying for Transfer Pathway Funding?

Which type will you consider?

Transfer Pathway funding supports different stages of pathway development to support effective collaboration across postsecondary institutions leading to the development of pathways that respond to clear need and demand.


What you need to apply for a viability grant:
  • A clear starting point for exploring particular pathways that aligns with ONCAT demand priorities (i.e., student demand, institutional demand, regional/labour market demand, provincial/system demand).

This could include:
  • Regional pathway planning, which could involve several institutions in a particular region looking at gaps in pathways or working with labour market partners to establish regional employment needs.
  • Disciplinary pathway planning, including pathways that involve accreditation bodies.
  • Population pathway planning to support francophone, Indigenous, mature students, and other underrepresented learners.
  • Career readiness pathways and pathways to enter the labour market (i.e., maximization of transfer credits for high affinity degree to graduate certificate transfer).
  • Accelerated program pathways (e.g., Masters Programs and Graduate Certificates that grant credit for high affinity programs).
  • Institutional pathway policy development to reduce the need for one-off or individual pathway agreements.
  • Development of pathways with Indigenous Institutes.

You can apply for viability funding to:
  • Explore the viability of new pathways.
  • Explore the viability of scaling an existing pathway.
  • Explore the viability of remodeling an existing pathway.

At the end of a viability grant, you should have:
  • Clear assessment of need for particular pathway(s) based on review of institutional data, student transfer flows, labour market opportunities, and priorities of underrepresented learners.
  • For bilateral/multilateral agreements, confirmed partnerships with other postsecondary institutions involved in the proposed pathway and those partners’ commitment to pathway development.
  • Preliminary engagement of institutional stakeholders needed to ensure transfer student success (i.e., wraparound supports).
  • Assessment of accreditation requirements (if applicable) that could impact pathway viability.
  • Prioritization exercise detailing which pathways make sense to pursue and/or clarification where viability does not exist.
  • Clear next steps:
    • If the viability grant indicates high interest and evidence of need for pathway development, your final deliverable can include a proposal to develop the pathway and support the continuity of the work if additional funding is needed.


What you need to apply for a Pathway Development, Scaling, and Remodeling Grant:
  • Clear evidence of need and demand.
  • For bilateral/multilateral agreements, confirmed partnerships with postsecondary institutions involved that demonstrate likelihood of approval and support for implementation (i.e., decanal support, buy-in from relevant academic governance committee, etc.)
  • Engagement of relevant faculty members to ensure general alignment (i.e., that a pathway is possible).
  • Engagement with relevant employers/workforce to ensure demand (if applicable).
  • Assessment of accreditation requirements (if applicable).

At the end of your Pathway Development Scaling or Remodeling grant, you should have:
  • Approved pathways or pathways undergoing internal approvals.
  • A plan for transfer student supports that will increase their successes post-transfer.
Development/Scaling/Remodeling Readiness Quiz:
In future cycles, we anticipate viability grants leading to Development, Scaling and Remodelling funding. If you are applying directly to develop, scale, or remodel a pathway, be sure the institutions involved have done some initial planning and preliminary work to ensure the pathway is likely to be viable and responds to clear demand.
Have you done the following?
☐ Confirmed partnerships with sending/receiving institution(s) (for bi/multilateral agreements)
☐ Convened initial working group to establish institutional support
☐ Engaged relevant faculty at the postsecondary institutions involved
☐ Explored accreditation considerations (if applicable)
☐ Reviewed institutional data regarding student interest
☐ Reviewed labour market data and/or community priorities
☐ Reviewed internal policies to determine if the pathway is feasible
☐ Received support from the Registrar's Office
☐ Received support from employers or workforce areas to establish demand


  • You will be asked to expand these activities in the Evidence of Need and Work to Date questions in the applications.
  • If you have not had the opportunity to do the above activities, consider applying for a Viability Grant.


Publicly assisted postsecondary institutions in Ontario (colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes) are eligible to apply.




Reports and Check-ins

ONCAT is committed to learning with its partners and values open and ongoing communication. If you are successful in receiving a grant, the following check-ins and reporting are required:

  • An interim update and financial report.
  • Check-ins on the project as needed (via email and/or in person).
  • A final report and detailed financial statement.
  • Presentations (if needed) during knowledge mobilization events.

ONCAT Project Budget Guidelines

Please refer to the following guidelines when developing your budget.

  • Includes salaries, honoraria, and stipends, specified by rate and time.
  • In cases where a faculty member’s time on the project will affect workload, and/or a teaching release is required to provide backfill for the faculty member or academic administrator involved in this project, ONCAT will fund the hiring of a part-time instructor at the college/university/Indigenous institute at the institution’s per semester rate. Please be clear in the workplan and ‘core team’ sections of your application of the anticipated time commitment of each person, especially where support for backfill is being requested.
  • Senior academic administration (decanal or above) and full-time administration with responsibilities including academic partnerships, program development, and/or transfer credit should be considered in-kind contributions. 
Project Costs
  • Includes direct costs for materials and supplies related to this project.
  • ONCAT will not pay for permanent fixtures (for example: laptops, computers, permanent software purchases, and so forth). ONCAT will pay for costs specifically and solely related to the project, such as temporary software licenses (i.e., fluid survey). 
Travel and Accommodation
  • If applicable, this includes any travel and accommodations necessary to conducting project activities. Please be clear in the workplan where travel is needed and include in the budget a breakdown of number of trips and duration. Use of teleconferencing or other cost-effective means to reduce travel-related costs are highly encouraged.
  • For travel-related expenses, ONCAT abides by the Government of Ontario Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses Directive.
  • This is generally calculated at no more than 10% of the request for funding to ONCAT and is intended to cover activities such as overall project administration by the project lead institution, use of space and resources, and so forth. 
Ineligible Expenses
  • ONCAT will not duplicate any funding received from the Credit Transfer Innovation Grant. If you have sought and received funding through the CTIG for this project or any positions requested for funding, this project will be deemed ineligible for funding. Please note: ONCAT may request revisions to project budgets subject to CTIG funding decisions.
  • ONCAT will not cover expenses related to academic program or transfer pathway delivery.
  • For applications that include an online component, the online development will not be eligible for ONCAT funding and will be at the expense of the institution(s). Please refer to eCampusOntario for possible support.
  • ONCAT will not cover expenses not directly and clearly related to the project activities and goals as outlined in the application and workplan.