2017/18 Request for Proposals for Postsecondary Pathway Development Projects
Reference: ONCAT 17/18 RFP ― Pathway Development
Submission deadline: November 26, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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ONCAT is seeking proposals for postsecondary pathway development projects that develop and implement strategies to enhance student mobility, expand opportunities for students to transfer, and increase postsecondary collaboration in order to contribute to the ongoing development of a more seamless postsecondary education system in Ontario.
Priority areas for projects are as follows:
- Create access to educational pathways for Indigenous learners among colleges, universities, and Aboriginal Institutes;
- Create new pathways or systems for university-to-university mobility and university-to-college mobility;
- Develop new pathways in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) areas between college and university programs;
- Create pathways in accredited programs that effectively incorporate the constraints of regulatory bodies;
- Create new pathways in programs underserved by current pathways, to be supported with data from the applicant’s institution(s); or
- Develop new pathways for marginalized learners such as mature students, Northern students, students with disabilities, and Francophone students in the areas mentioned above (see bullets 2 to 5).
Ineligible Pathways for Funding
The following pathways will be ineligible for funding:
- Pathways that are intended for internal use at an institution.
- Pathways funded through the Credit Transfer Innovation Grant (CTIG). The applicant must ensure that its institution has not been granted funding for the same or similar pathway development.
- Projects that consist of fully online initiatives. Note: For applications that include an online component, the online development will not be eligible for ONCAT funding and will be at the expense of the institution(s).
- Pathways developed with institutions outside the province of Ontario.
RFP Submission Criteria
Please refer to the following guidelines when preparing a proposal:
- Proposals must outline a clear plan for developing new credit transfer pathways and identify the specific programs involved.
- All pathway development projects should be conducted with a learning outcomes analysis.
- A detailed gap analysis will be required for all pathway development projects.
- The applicant must include a sustainability plan to ensure that pathways will be viable and available to students beyond project funding (can be presented as a five-year term or ten-year term).
- Proposals must include a rationale and quantitative data for the proposed pathway(s), including evidence of student demand (i.e., program enrolments, current transfer patterns, application trends) and, where possible, estimated numbers of students who would use the pathway(s).
- Please provide an explanation of how this pathway intends to be replicable and scalable in the larger Ontario postsecondary education system.
- If it is the applicant’s intention to create an access pathway for marginalized populations (Indigenous, Francophone, mature learners, those with disabilities, Northern students, etc.), the proposal must include an explanation of how this pathway intends to be a model for other institutions and provide data on the expected impact on students at your institution(s).
- Partner institution engagement must be confirmed at the time the proposal is submitted for consideration. The applicant will be asked to include letters of intent from all partner institutions when applying.
- Proposals must provide a strategy and timeline for the implementation of the pathway, including final approvals from all participating institutions, and an anticipated date for posting the pathway on ONTransfer.ca.
- Proposals must include a plan to hire an external evaluator for projects that exceed $50,000 in requested funding. The evaluator must be external to the institution(s) involved in the project. This person will be responsible for advising on the following: methodology, value of pathway for students, and implementation plan. The evaluator must also provide a summative evaluation report. This report should include a review of any data collected, a verification of methodology, and an assessment of the validity of outcomes and recommendations. Project funds dedicated to the support of the external evaluator will be determined similar to overhead costs (see budget form for additional details).
- A timeline including Research Ethics Board approval, as needed for projects involving human participants.
Priority areas for projects are as follows:
1) Create access to educational pathways for Indigenous learners among colleges, universities, and Aboriginal Institutes
Research has shown that Indigenous students are faced with significant barriers to higher education. While collaboration with Aboriginal Institutes and the publicly-funded institutions of Ontario continues to grow, access to education for this population remains an issue. ONCAT encourages proposals that seek to address these imbalances and generate access to pathway success. Although access on its own is of considerable value, institutions are encouraged to collaborate with Aboriginal Institutes to pursue programming that will address the skills gaps of Indigenous students and provide them with transferrable credits.
2) Create new pathways or systems for university-to-university mobility and university-to-college mobility
In consultation with the sector, a large gap remains in university-to-university transfer and university-to-college transfer. This is a considerable area for improvement for the sector. In an attempt to enhance opportunities for university-to-university and university-to-college transfers, institutions are strongly encouraged to develop pathways or develop models of improved transfer systems for students.
3) Develop new pathways in the STEM areas between college and university programs
Over the past six years, ONCAT has funded pathways in a diverse range of program areas. This year, ONCAT would like to encourage proposals in the STEM program areas. Recent research has shown that pathway opportunities in the STEM fields remain limited while uptake and interest in STEM continues to grow at a rapid rate for students. STEM pathways will address a significant need in the system and contribute to a more seamless flow into the workforce.
4) Create pathways in accredited programs that effectively incorporate the constraints of regulatory bodies
ONCAT is aware of the challenges involved in creating pathways among professionally accredited programs. This project would involve investigative and collaborative work with accrediting agencies of Canada (for a full list, see: http://aaac.ca/english/about-us/members.php) to develop pathways for students. Key areas of interest include, but are not limited to, engineering, nursing, teaching, and technology.
5) Create new pathways in programs underserved by current pathways, to be supported with data from the applicant’s institution(s)
ONCAT is looking to institutions to identify and develop pathways in previously underserved programs. Institutions are required to specifically identify programs intended for pathway development. Additionally, data must be provided indicating why these areas require attention and what the intended student impact would be. For information on what pathway projects have been previously funded, see this list of ONCAT projects.
6) Develop new pathways for marginalized learners such as mature students, Northern students, students with disabilities, and Francophone students in the areas mentioned above (see bullets 2 to 5)
Supporting marginalized learner opportunities has and continues to be a priority for ONCAT. This year, ONCAT has chosen to align pathway development for marginalized learners with the current priority areas. Specifically, pathways or enhanced systems for university-to-university and university-to-college transfers, pathways in STEM programs, accredited programs and underserved program areas. Please provide institutional data and/or community demographics as evidence of addressing the needs of a marginalized group(s).
NOTE: We appreciate that, due to their nature, pathway development proposals may sometimes involve or result in new program development, including programs that require Ministry approval. Please be aware that ONCAT project awards are not connected to any program approvals processes, and successful proposals should not be understood as having been endorsed by the Ministry. As such, proponents must discuss any potential new programs with the Ministry prior to submitting a project proposal. For college programming, please contact Karen Belfer at the Ontario College Quality Assurance Service.
RFP Budgets and Timelines
Proposal budgets must adhere to the guidelines indicated on the Pathway Development Budget Form. To allow for the widest possible range of proposals, except where otherwise indicated, no maximum funding limit is set; however, requested amounts may require additional rationale before approval. Activities and/or personnel that are currently funded through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant (CTIG) are not eligible for ONCAT funding.
Where possible, projects should be scheduled for completion, including submission of a final report to ONCAT, by February 28th, 2019. Should projects propose to extend beyond this timeline, applicants should provide a clear rationale for requiring additional time.
Deliverables and Expectations
Proponents must be prepared to submit the following to ONCAT as part of their project deliverables:
- An interim report every 4 months.
- Plans to host an ONCAT representative for a Project Site Visit after six months.
- A final report detailing the complete development of the transfer pathway(s), including:
- An executive summary;
- A description of the pathway(s), including how much credit will be granted to students and how it will be applied;
- A detailed curriculum/learning outcomes analysis to determine gaps, including an explanation of the development of any new curriculum, that can act as a resource for the system;
- Details of expected implementation dates, including a list of completed and pending approvals, as applicable, and the date that the pathway will be posted on ONTransfer.ca;
- A report on “promising practices” and “lessons learned” from this approach to the development of transfer agreements, in order that future proponents can build on the project experiences;
- A detailed financial statement; and
- The external evaluator summative report.