Northern College Receives ONCAT Funding for Skills Inventory Project

Northern College News and Events

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College has received over $100,000 in funding from the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) for a project titled Documenting a Skills Inventory for Seamless Mobility. The intent of the project is to help maximize access to postsecondary education for learners in Northern College’s adult upgrading programs.

This innovative curriculum delivery project will document the skills that adult upgrading students already possess, in preparation for a formal Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process to facilitate mobility at the start of the learning journey.

Participating adult upgrading students will build a skills inventory with the assistance of a facilitator who will travel to each Northern College site. The process will help adult learners identify, articulate and demonstrate relevant learning acquired through a variety of life experiences, which will allow a personalized pathway to identify and achieve their learning goals.

This process is of particular value in the communities Northern College serves, where many adults have experience in a variety of vocational careers but no formal recognition for that experience. By developing a skills inventory, these learners have the ability to transition more quickly into postsecondary education.

“Documenting a vocational skills inventory is an innovative approach to enhancing the mobility for adult learners to continue on their educational path,” said Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Vice President, Academic and Student Success at Northern College. “This project has expansion potential across the postsecondary education system and is truly an innovative approach to learning and documenting that learning.”

Northern developed the research project in response to a request for project proposals issued by ONCAT in late 2016. ONCAT received proposals from colleges and universities throughout the province and is funding Northern’s proposal with its direct focus on innovative curriculum delivery, among others.

“Adult learners play an important role in the health of our province, which is why ONCAT is pleased to support Northern College in the development of this innovative project geared towards this population,” said Lia Quickert, interim Executive Director of ONCAT. “Northern’s project explores a creative approach to identifying prior work experiences of adult learners, and how to apply those skills to their education, allowing them the ability to more clearly see their way into the system and the path forward into postsecondary.”

The skills inventory project for adult learners will be delivered in three phases over the upcoming months and is scheduled to be completed in March 2018.


About ONCAT:
Established in 2011, the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) was created to enhance student pathways and reduce barriers for students looking to transfer among Ontario’s 45 public postsecondary institutions. As a member organization, it works with those institutions to develop transfer credit policies and practices to ease student mobility. ONCAT also maintains, a website for students interested in learning how to transfer their courses. To learn more, visit

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