ERIC Number: ED536640
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 10
Transition to College: Perspectives of Secondary School Students. ACAATO Document
King, A. J. C.; Warren, W. K.
This research report represents the first phase of a multi-year collaborative research initiative of the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario. The initiative is designed to develop a cohesive picture of the pathways from secondary school to college. The major purpose of this phase of the research was to identify secondary school students' perceptions of Ontario colleges and of college as a possible post-secondary educational destination for them, and to determine the factors that have shaped these perceptions. A second purpose was to identify secondary school student achievement patterns, graduation rates and course enrolments in order to consider their influence on current and future college enrolments. The main source of data for the study was a survey of 21,385 Grades 11, 12 and Year 5 students enrolled in 73 Ontario secondary schools. The schools were selected to represent Ontario college regions, school size and school type (i.e., Roman Catholic, public, and serving francophone students). In addition to the survey, the schools were asked to provide school calendars or course option sheets and course enrolments in order to assess the availability of college-destination courses and course sequences that lead to college. Sixty-one schools provided information for this analysis. Data from the "Double Cohort Study, Phase 3" (2004) and "Phase 4" (2005), were also examined in order to conduct a preliminary analysis of the characteristics of college applicants in terms of their secondary school courses taken and marks obtained. This study confirms that there is a need to provide a clear picture of the variety of programs available at the colleges and the economic and personal benefits associated with them, not only to interested students but also to all students, school guidance counsellors and the general public. Since few non-core college-preparation courses are offered in secondary schools, and very few students take college-preparation sequences of courses while there, it would be useful to review the viability and appropriateness of Grades 11 and 12 post-secondary destination programming as it applies to the colleges. College applicants' pattern of course selection and differential achievement while in secondary school ensures that enrollees in most college programs will have a diverse background in terms of secondary school courses and achievement in them. While this finding may not be news for those who teach in Ontario colleges, the factors that contribute to it, that are outlined in this study, may not be well known. It would be helpful to determine why the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) schools produce so few college registrants (in comparison with university registrants), and develop strategies to increase the flow of students from the GTA to colleges. Appended are: (1) ACAATO Collaborative Research Project Steering Committee; (2) Post-Secondary Plans Survey: Grades 11 & 12 Students; and (3) Appendix Tables (C1 to C308). Individual chapters contain footnotes. (Contains 358 tables and 56 figures.
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Applicants, Student Attitudes, Secondary School Students, College Programs, Foreign Countries, Program Attitudes, Transitional Programs, Developmental Studies Programs, Research Reports, Performance Factors, Achievement Rating, Graduation Rate, Enrollment Rate, Enrollment Trends, School Surveys, Student Surveys, Student Characteristics, Majors (Students), Enrollment Influences, Cohort Analysis, Enrollment Projections, Gender Differences, Institutional Characteristics, Statistical Data, Academic Records, Student Records, Student Educational Objectives
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Sponsor: Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario (ACAATO) (Canada)
Authoring Institution: Colleges Ontario (Canada)
Identifiers - Location: Canada