Exploring the transferability of Preparatory Programs in Northwestern Ontario Post-Secondary Institutions


The purpose of this project was to develop a regional ‘snapshot’ of preparatory credentials delivered by post-secondary institutions in the Thunder Bay region using both quantitative data (enrolment statistics, Key Performance Indicators) and qualitative data (narratives from instructors and administrators). Preparatory credentials refer to programs offered by post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges and Indigenous education institutes) that act as a gateway to diploma and degree programs. Some examples include the Indigenous Transition Year Program and the Native Nurses Entry Program at Lakehead University and the Pre-Health, Pre-Technology and College Access programs at Confederation College. 

The deliverables/key learnings that resulted from this project include: 

1) An inventory of all preparatory credentials delivered by universities, colleges, Indigenous education institutes and other stakeholders in the Thunder Bay region and their connection to industry and credential “flow through.” 

2) A summary of the enrolment numbers and the success rates of students taking access credentials in the region. 

3) A summary of themes in conversational interviews with faculty and administrative staff that help to inform the enrolment numbers and success rates. 

This project provided an opportunity to engage in relationship building, leading to increased 

collaboration between the partnering institutions and was an important step towards serving Indigenous students and industry collectively.