Student Transitions, Access, and Research on Tertiary Education logo


This is the home of the Student Transitions, Access, and Research on Tertiary Education Partnership. This partnership is the result of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant held by Dr. David Walters at the University of Guelph, along with five co-investigators from Nipissing University, York University, University of Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and McMaster University. Find out more about the research team and their expertise here or find out more about the grant project below.

photo of apple and books

About the Grant Project:

Postsecondary enrollments in Canada are rising as youth seek the skills that they will need to be successful in our changing society and in the changing world of work. However, some groups of students (e.g., students with disabilities, students from low-income families, students from immigrant families, visible minority students, and Indigenous students) are still being left behind their peers in terms of completing their postsecondary journeys. We need additional research to better understand and address the barriers facing these underrepresented groups of students.

This project will explore these barriers to student success by linking data from the Toronto District School Board, with data from postsecondary institutions across Canada, and other datasets from Statistics Canada on income, employment, and taxes. This will allow us to follow the key indicators and outcomes of 13 cohorts of Toronto students starting in grade 9, through high school graduation, application to and attendance at post-secondary education, and into the workforce.

There are 4 main goals of this project:

1) Identify the programs and skills required to succeed in the Canadian labour market

2) Understand the changing barriers and challenges experienced by students as they transition from high school through postsecondary education and into the labour market

3) Assess the effectiveness of programs and strategies available to high school students to improve their chances of getting into and completing postsecondary programs

4) Enable the sharing of new understandings from this research with relevant government and non-government stakeholders

The partnership will create a network of connections between researchers from multiple fields (including sociology, education, school-to-work transitions, and at-risk groups) at five different universities, with school boards, government agencies at federal, provincial, and municipal levels, and organizations focused on skill development, improving access to education, and improving youth employment outcomes for all youth and specifically for underrepresented youth.

While this project is starting with a focus on the Toronto District School Board data, we plan to expand to include other school boards, partners, and researchers as we aim for a larger partnership on a national scale.

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