Policy Briefs and Reports

As part of our broader efforts to enhance transfer pathways—and reduce barriers faced by transfer students—ONCAT staff routinely perform policy analysis and research. Often, this work includes scans of policies or other innovations in jurisdictions with differentially structured transfer systems. This work informs various activities, ranging from the funding of pilots to the advice that we provide to system stakeholders and other strategic initiatives. This page houses policy reports and shorter articles written by either ONCAT staff or externally funded actors that we deem of potential interest to the broader Ontario post-secondary education (PSE) sector.

Is There a Transferable Sociology ‘Core’ in Ontario Colleges? A Content Analysis of First-Year Course Outlines

by Rod Missaghian, ONCAT | January 2021

Regardless of how a transfer system operates, it is fair to conclude that curriculum assessment—the process through which faculty members evaluate and contrast course outlines—plays a key role. ONCAT is interested in learning more about how faculty make decisions on transfer credit and how that evaluative process plays out. To develop a better understanding of faculty’s role in transfer, in the summer of 2020, the research team at ONCAT decided to explore the curriculum assessment process. Our overarching goal here is to develop insights that could inform upcoming ONCAT-funded interview- and survey-based research projects focused on faculty members’ role in transfer.

For this exploratory exercise, we chose first-year introduction to sociology college courses offered in Ontario and taught as part of General Arts and Science diploma/certificate programs.

Policy Innovations in Transfer: A Look across the United States

by Rod Missaghian, ONCAT | August 2020

Policy Innovations in Transfer: A Look across the United States
Acknowledging the extensive and varied American experiences with transfer, ONCAT recently performed a scan of statewide transfer policy innovations across the U.S. We conducted a comprehensive review of scholarly and policy-oriented articles and reports while focusing on statewide guaranteed transfer of Associate's degrees, statewide reverse transfer, common lower-division courses, and common course numbering. Our goal was to identify useful practices that merit consideration for Ontario. Rather than attempt to push the sector in any direction, we hope to kick-start fruitful conversations about potential strategies to improve the Ontario transfer system.