They were extremely inconvenienced and irritated, but 2017-18 Ontario college students apparently didn’t “hold a grudge” following the five-weeks-long faculty strike last autumn.
College officials throughout Ontario thought results of the annual, spring-administered Key Performance Indicator (KPI) quality-and-satisfaction surveys would be severely skewed by the negative mindset of students who had been impacted by the work-stoppage.
But, as it turns out, the belatedly-compiled and just-released 2017-18 KPIs are pretty much on par with those of previous years, with no indication that students’ satisfaction with the quality of their educations was drastically affected by the strike.
Indeed, St. Clair’s “satisfactoriness” continued to climb in 2017-18, placing it in the top five among Ontario’s two dozen college’s in several “quality categories” of the comprehensive provincial survey.
KPIs have been mandated by the provincial Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) for the past 20 years as a means of evaluating colleges' academic performance. Several of the assorted surveys also play a role in the formula that provides provincial grant-funding to the two dozen public colleges.
St. Clair College students and graduates believe their educations prepare them well for the employment marketplace - and that belief is well-founded, considering that 87.2 percent of 2016-17 grads had secured jobs within six months of completing their studies. That was up from 84 percent in the previous year’s KPI surveying of 2015-16 grads. Province-wide among the two dozen public colleges, the 2016-17 Grad Employment Rate averaged 85.7 percent.
St. Clair's excellence as an academic institution and job-trainer is further emphasized by the fact that 86.7 percent of employers are "satisfied/very satisfied" with the job-performance of graduates who they've hired.
The most recent survey results also show that:
• 81.0 percent of St. Clair's 2016-17 graduates were "satisfied/very satisfied" with the academic quality of their educations. The provincial average "Graduate Satisfaction Rating" was 79.5 percent. St. Clair’s rank among the two dozen colleges was 12th;
• In addition to the snapshot of recent graduates, all full-time students are surveyed during the annual process. KPI questionnaires seek their opinions about the academic quality of their educations, and the quality of services and facilities of their schools.
A number of questionnaire topics related to academics, job-preparation, and campus services and facilities are combined to come up with an overall "Student Satisfaction Rate". In 2017-18, 78.0 percent of currently enrolled St. Clair students described themselves as "satisfied/very satisfied" with all aspects of their college experience. The provincial Student Satisfaction Rate was 73.4 percent. St. Clair's rank among the 24 colleges was fifth. (There may have been a bit of “strike grudge” involved here. St. Clair’s Student Satisfaction Rate in the previous year was 80.2 pecent, and the provincial average was 76.5 percent.)
• In several of the sub-categories that make up that overall Student Satisfaction Rate, St. Clair also excelled:
- “Giving you knowledge and skills that will be used in your future career”: 87.7 percent of student gave a “thumb’s up”, fifth in the province;
- “Overall quality of the learning experience in your program …”: 81.2 percent of students were satisfied/very satisfied, fourth in the province;
- “Overall quality of services at the college”: 67.5 percent are happy, sixth in the province; and
- “Overall quality of the facilities/resources in the college”: 75.5 of St. Clairians were happy with those, sixth in the province.
• Another KPI survey gauged the 2016-17 graduation rate. That is the percentage of students who remained in school for the full duration of their educations, from first-year enrolment to graduation - that is, who did not depart, for one reason or another. St. Clair's number was 67.2 percent, above the provincial average of 66.8 percent.
"We are extremely pleased with our 2017-18 KPI results, most of which saw us retain our 'top five' satisfaction ranking in the provincial college system among both students and graduates," said St. Clair President Patti France.
"The student-related results are indicative of the exceptional dedication of our faculty and staff, the quality of our curriculum, and the assistance provided by the many academic and non-academic services at the college.
"And the favourable opinion rendered by current students is confirmed by the excellent KPI results pertaining to our graduates, who are enjoying high employment rates with extremely satisfied employers," France added.
"Both our results and those of the province-wide system indicate, once again, that a college education – combining theoretical knowledge with extensive practical experience – provides unparalleled employment skills for all of the 21st century's economic sectors."
Contributed by Colleges Ontario
College education continues to provide a clear gateway to employment, as about 86 percent of Ontario’s most recently surveyed college graduates found employment within six months of graduation, new statistics show.
“Our career-focused programs provide an excellent pathway to employment,” said Colleges Ontario President Linda Franklin. “In this increasingly competitive economy, Ontario college graduates enter the workforce with the professional expertise that is valued by employers.”
The employment rate for graduates is one of five key performance indicators (KPIs) for Ontario’s 24 colleges. Colleges and the provincial government gather the results annually.
Other highlights include:
• More than 92 percent of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the graduates they hired;
• More than 79 percent of college graduates were satisfied or very satisfied with their college programs.
Ontario’s colleges offer 900 programs that prepare students for success in all sectors, including careers in business, health-care, energy, tourism and hospitality, advertising, engineering, technology and manufacturing. Successful Ontario college alumni include award-winning Hollywood directors and animators, company presidents, hospital CEOs, and national TV hosts.
More than 240,000 full-time students and about 300,000 part-time students are enrolled in Ontario’s college programs, including record numbers of international students.
“As new technology and innovations revolutionize the workplace, it’s becoming essential that students acquire workplace-specific expertise as part of their education,” Franklin said. “College education is pivotal to the province’s economic prosperity and to ensuring more people land rewarding careers.”
The full, 2017-18 KPI results are available at https://collegesontario.org/outcomes/key-performance-indicators/2018_KPI-results_eng_v1.pdf