At the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), one of our focuses is on advancing institutional innovations that support collaboration and student mobility. An exciting type of pathway development that has recently emerged out of this area of emphasis has been pathways for remediation.
While different institutions may have different versions of this concept, referred to by varied terms, generally these are pathways wherein students who are struggling academically and are required to withdraw from a given university program, are able to take up study through a partnering college. Upon successful completion, the students can transition back to the university to complete their degree.
These “boomerang” pathways, are paving the way for novel outlooks on student mobility, through the lens of access.
Entering university can be an equally exciting and challenging experience for many students. As such, not totally uncommon is the case that a student may end up being required to withdraw from studies due to academic performance. Failure to succeed is often due to academic (ex. different learning needs, lack of study skills, poor time management, etc.), social, and/or personal barriers (ex. long commutes, need to work, family commitments, anxiety, stress, etc.), with marginalized groups disproportionately impacted by such factors.
Many institutions have policies that prevent readmission of a student until a certain suspension period has been complete, but few have remedial mechanisms to address difficulties before returning to studies. Left unattended to, such external issues can greatly decrease the chances of students’ earning a credential.
With these realities in mind, in 2015 three project teams from six of ONCAT’s member public colleges and universities in Ontario – Trent and Fleming, UOIT and Durham, and Seneca and York – set off to create pathways that redirect suspended students, through programs that balanced the need to support academic progress, with retaining credits earned.
Projects & Participating Institutions:
- 2016-36 "Proactive retention tools pre-university pathway" - University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) - lead, Durham College (Durham)
- 2015-24 “University to College pathway for students not meeting academic progression requirements in Administrative Studies”
- Seneca College (Seneca) - lead, York University (York)
- 2015-34 “Student Redirect Initiatives between Fleming College and Trent University”
- Trent University (Trent) - lead, Fleming College (Fleming)
- Hailey Wright, Trent University Coordinator of Articulation and Transfer Pathways, and Co-Lead Coordinator of project 2015-34.