MapIT: Institutional Process Mapping Project

Project Update: June 2020

ONCAT aims to improve transfer processes so that they are more responsive to and transparent for students, they lessen the burden of transfer process navigation, and they improve the efficiency and workflow of transfer credit assessment for institutions.

Recently, ONCAT selected 10 postsecondary institutions—Cambrian College, University of Waterloo, Conestoga College, Laurentian University, Brock University, Algonquin College, Université de Hearst, George Brown College, Queen’s University, and First Nations Technical Institute—to participate in the MapIT Project: our way to examine the known and the ‘behind the scenes’ workflow steps when institutions receive a transfer application, either directly or through OCAS/OUAC.

 By working through a consortium approach, and with HESA as a consultant, ONCAT conducted a gap analysis to develop deeper understanding of the entire transfer process (including application, assessment, registration, and advisory practices). HESA provided us with an aggregate report of the ten participating institutions, which includes collated maps of the transfer journey from both a staff and student perspective. Furthermore, each institution received an individual report based on the results of their mapping activities. The project concluded with several knowledge-sharing sessions to distribute key learnings and opportunities for improvement based on their maps.

ONCAT will be launching the next phase of MapIT over summer 2020, and insights will be shared with the sector.

Institutions also receive funding support from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant.

Project Overview

ONCAT is piloting a Learning Collaborative focussed on understanding current transfer practices within postsecondary institutions in Ontario and the steps transfer students go through while transferring into and out of an institution. ONCAT has worked very closely with transfer advisors and other transfer experts; their recommendations based on an in-depth mapping of the student journey can support institutional planning, capacity building, and communication within and across institutions. More specifically, documenting these ‘current state’ processes will help inform the development of tools, strategies, and frameworks to support process improvements and collaborative learning across the sector.

Over the next year, ONCAT will work with 8-12 postsecondary institutions in Ontario to map current transfer student processes in order to identify common and distinct practices each institution uses (for more information, see backgrounder). Depending on the level of interest expressed,the number of institutions selected for the pilot may change.

ONCAT insitutional process mapping (MapIT)

Join MapIT Learning Collaborative

Colleges, Universities and Indigenous Institutes that join MapIT Learning Collaborative will receive:

  • Training on process mapping.
  • An external facilitator/consultant to support the development of a transfer process map of their institution.
  • Funding to support participation in the project and project activities.
  • Travel reimbursements for 1-2 in-person meetings with other participating institutions to discuss current practices and strategies.
     

Eligibility

  • Colleges, Universities and Indigenous Institutes in Ontario are eligible to join
  • ONCAT is especially interested in engaging a diverse cross-section of postsecondary institutions in this learning collaborative. In selecting participants, ONCAT will ensure there is diverse representation based on institution type; size; region; populations served; level of institutional involvement in transfer; volume of transfer; and so forth.
     

Participation

  • Please note that the expression of interest for this round of MapIT is now closed. Please sign up to our e-newsletter, or check back to this page, for future MapIT announcements.
  • For additional information, please reach out to Carolyn Poplak, Project Lead: Collaborations and Community Programs, cpoplak@oncat.ca; 416 690-6951 x304

Background

At some point in a student’s academic career, they may decide to transfer out of their current post-secondary institution (PSI) to another. Students transfer for a variety of reasons, including geographic relocation, personal or financial challenges, change in career trajectory, and/or desired change in program or field of study. According to a recent study led by e-CampusOntario’s Student Mobility Design Lab (see Student Mobility Final Report) and supported by ONCAT, the student experience in transfer includes a number of stages categorized in three main areas: information seeking (realizing and researching), preparing (applying, transferring credits, accepting offer), and transferring (adapting).

ONCAT is interested in documenting the current state of transfer processes at publicly assisted colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes in Ontario from the student perspective.

ONCAT’s goal is to define the current state of the student journey in transferring in and out of a specific institution. This could include how prior courses and/or credentials are assessed by the institution a student is transferring to (receiving institution), whether they receive advanced standing or course exemptions, and when students find out the outcomes of their transfer request.

Key questions that process mapping may help to identify include:

  • How/when does a student apply for transfer credit?
  • Who/what are the student’s first point of contact and what are their roles in the process?
  • How long is the process time for acceptance/non-acceptance?
  • What staff/departments are involved?
  • What information systems are involved?
  • What are the non-value added activities in this process that could be eliminated?
  • Where are the bottlenecks?
  • What fees, if any, do students pay?
  • What documents are students required to submit to institutions (e.g., course outline, etc.)
  • What are the baselines and metrics to measure improvement and success?
     

Project Outcomes

MapIT will support the development of  a comprehensive resource with documented transfer processes for the selected PSIs that can be used 1) share/disseminate best practices so that learnings can be replicated and implemented by other institutions across the sector; and 2) help inform future updates on ONTransfer.ca.