Funding: Transfer Pathways

ONCAT supports the development of in-demand pathways that respond to student interest and connects students with opportunities that address regional and/or labour market needs. Through cross-institutional collaboration, system-level

Pathway Areas of Focus

  • Addressing Student Demand and Priorities:
    • Pathways that respond to student needs and interests and high student demand disciplines;
    • Pathways that increase postsecondary access and credential completion for under-represented learners; 
    • Pathways that result in time savings for students. Pathways that reduce time to completion for transfer students. Remodelling or developing new pathways that reduce completion time (e.g., Move from 3+2 to 2+2 models); 
    • Pandemic recovery pathways that address student transfer/mobility needs that may have arisen from education disruptions due to COVID-19. 
    • Increasing Consistency and Standardized Pathways:
      • Institutional Policy Pathways. Pathway policy development to reduce the need for one-off or individual pathway agreements and increase consistency and transparency for students. 
      • Foundational Years Pathways. Projects that develop new, or expand existing pathways, in high-demand transfer disciplines, with a goal to increase the recognition and transferability of foundational (first and second year) courses. This can include within specific institution types (e.g., C-C, U-U, II-II), between institution types and through multilateral strategies.
    • Addressing Regional and Labour Market Needs:
      • Pathways that connect students to Regional and Labour Market Needs. Pathways that respond to regional and labour market needs and trends, as well as to changes to professional requirements requested by accreditation bodies. 
    • Enhanced Pathways between Types of Credentials:
      • Indigenous Institutes Pathways. Development of pathways with Indigenous Institutes as sending and receiving institutions and increased postsecondary mobility opportunities for Indigenous Institute students. 
      • Projects that develop pathways into and out of skilled trades and apprenticeship.
      • Projects that support transferability among micro-credentials and/or trackability and stackability of credentials. 
      • Building pathways into and out of new programs. As colleges expand degree offerings, and Indigenous Institutes expand standalone programs, pathways projects that incorporate pathways into the design of these programs. 

Funding Strategies

a. Pathway Viability Grants offer 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. If a pathway is deemed viable at the end of this stage, the final deliverable can be a proposal to implement/develop the pathway.

b. 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. 

c. 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. 

d. Pathway Remodelling Grants provide funding to reshape existing pathways based on changes in student demand, institutional needs, updates to curriculum/program standards, or regional needs. 

Funding Ranges

Grants generally range from $10,000-$75,000. Larger requests will be considered based on the number of institutions involved, the complexity of the pathway, and resources required. 


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


If you would like to discuss your project before applying, please reach out to Nick Hanson, Director of Research, Data and Funding, and copy Inna Yeranosyan, Grants and Projects Specialist, at

Apply Here

To view the Budget Guidelines, please click here.

Submission Requirements

To be considered for Pathway Development/Scaling/Remodeling funding, proposals must include the following:

  • Rationale/ Evidence of Need for the Pathway: Assessment of need for particular pathway(s) based on review of institutional data, student transfer flows, labour market opportunities, and priorities of underrepresented learners.
  • Overview of Work to Date to Demonstrate Viability. Proposals should include an overview of work to date to ensure it is viable and appropriate to develop/scale or remodel the pathway. This includes having: 
  • Confirmed partnerships with sending/receiving institution(s) for bi/multilateral agreements. Proposals should demonstrate likelihood of approval and support for implementation (i.e., decanal support, buy-in from relevant academic governance committee, etc.)
  • Engaged relevant faculty at the postsecondary institutions involved to ensure general alignment (i.e., that a pathway is possible) 
  • Assessment of accreditation requirements (if applicable) that could impact pathway viability.
  • Engagement with relevant employers/workforce to ensure demand (if applicable).
  • Pathway projects that have a strong evidence of student demand/need but have not engaged in the work to date to ensure viability, are encouraged to apply for a Pathway Viability grant.
  • Action Plan: A clear strategy and timeline for the development and implementation of the project, including any relevant internal approvals for the pathways.
  • Knowledge Mobilization Strategies: Identification of tools/approaches to pathway development that could be relevant to other stakeholders. 
  • Confirmation of Partners (if applicable): Partner institution engagement must be confirmed at the time the proposal is submitted for consideration. Partners must confirm their role in the project and that they have reviewed the application and budget.
  • Budget: A clear and realistic budget that aligns with the proposed activities.