Two Way Transfer: Development of Multiple Postsecondary Mobility Pathways for Ontario Health, Fitness, and Well-Being Students

Brenna Beard, Brian Bennison, Micheline Demers, Jeannette Miron, Letitia Nadalin-Penno, Larry Sheppard, Shane Strickland, Matt Koller, Celia Mirco, Kaylin Kainulainen, Glen Paterson, Joey Farrell, Nancy Luckai

Executive Summary

Bi-directional pathways between the Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology (HBK) program at Lakehead University and health, wellness and physical fitness related college diploma programs have previously been identified as beneficial for students in regard to enhancing academic training, providing practical experience, and increasing overall student mobility. The objective of this project was to explore the potential for creating these pathways in either direction, as well as to specifically develop pathways from identified college programs to the HBK.

Partner colleges that offer health, wellness and physical fitness related diploma programs were identified and approached for collaboration. These colleges included Canadore College, Confederation College, and Georgian College.

In preparation for course comparison between institutions, a thorough review of all HBK course outlines was completed. This review included verifying and revising course outline content, as required, to include: accurate, up-to-date course descriptions; clear, specific, and measurable learner outcomes; and consistent, standardized formatting.

Course outlines from partner colleges were obtained via college websites. An initial review was completed that identified courses with content that was potentially similar to material offered by the HBK. This information was used to first create spreadsheets and then surveys aligning similar courses. These surveys provided a means of comparing courses based on descriptions, learner outcomes, and other content in a clear, simple, and accessible way.

Surveys and supporting materials were distributed to contacts at Canadore, Confederation, and Georgian, as well as to HBK faculty. Results received from Canadore, Georgian, and HBK representatives were then analyzed, summarized, and discussed at face-to-face meetings with parties from each institution. No responses were received from Confederation representatives.

Information gleaned from the surveys and subsequent meetings was then used to create transfer pathways from five college diploma programs to the HBK. Potential transfer credits from the HBK to the five college diploma programs were also identified, and resulting information was shared with the partner colleges for their use in developing pathways from the HBK to their respective diploma programs.

The diploma to degree pathways developed include:

  • Georgian College Fitness & Health Promotion to HBK
  • Georgian College Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant to HBK
  • Canadore College Occupational Therapist & Physiotherapist Assistant to HBK
  • Canadore College Recreation Therapy to HBK
  • Canadore College Strength & Sport Conditioning to HBK

The potential degree to diploma pathways identified include:

  • HBK to Georgian College Fitness & Health Promotion
  • HBK to Georgian College Occupational Therapist Assistant & Physiotherapist Assistant
  • HBK to Canadore College Occupational Therapist & Physiotherapist Assistant
  • HBK to Canadore College Recreation Therapy
  • HBK to Canadore College Strength & Sport Conditioning

Throughout the duration of this project, it was recognized that students transferring from college programs to the HBK would benefit from bridging content presented in multiple forms. These include a bridging module and a transfer course.

First, bridging content will be presented as a module on Anatomy and Human Physiology, areas consistently identified as requiring further academic attention within the transition from college to university. The bridging module must be completed prior to program commencement, and will ensure that transfer students are provided with the academic content required to continue in the HBK program. Only those students whose program was identified as requiring advanced study of Anatomy and Human Physiology will be required to take the bridging module.

Additionally, a 1 FCE “College Transfer Course”, to be taken during the students’ first year at Lakehead, will cover other content identified through the course comparison as well as material developed to improve the transfer process. As all transfer students are required to take this course in first year, it will assist in the creation of a cohort of transfer students, providing the opportunity to address any concerns regarding social support, peer mentorship, university resources, and the overall transfer process. Course content is aimed at providing additional tools and support necessary in order for the transfer students to be successful at university.

While the identification and development of credit transfer pathways was the main focus of this project, the student experience became an additional and nearly equally-important aspect. Future projects would likely benefit from employing this dual-focus to not only create potential pathways but also to provide support for their future viability and maintenance.