TIMMINS, ON: Data released by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities indicates that Northern College graduates find work quickly after completing their programs. The data shows that 87.3 per cent of Northern College graduates find employment within six months of graduating, which is nearly 4 per cent higher than the provincial average.
“We offer our students the kind of high-skills, career-specific training that employers are looking for,” says Fred Gibbons, President of Northern College. “We work closely with industry to ensure that much of the programming we deliver aligns with current and projected workforce hiring requirements. It’s clear that these partnerships lead to success for our students, industry and our institution. Employers are hiring our graduates with enthusiasm, and this clearly demonstrates that you don’t have to leave the North to receive a high-calibre education that can lead to high-paying careers.”
The employment rate of recent college graduates is just one of several Key Performance Indicators (KPI) the ministry measures each year. Other KPI measurements collected by the ministry include graduation rate, and employer and student satisfaction. This year’s KPI data demonstrates that 86.4 per cent of employers are satisfied with their Northern College alumni hires.
Northern College has enacted a number of measures to help enhance the Northern College experience. Last fall, the college held focus groups at all of its campuses, looking for students to share their recommendations for improving student satisfaction. A number of recommendations were implemented, including a major overhaul of the college’s Learning Resource Centres. The centres have been converted from quiet spaces for solitary work to social spaces to be used for group-work and student interaction. Extended student support services hours and changes to food services were implemented as well.
The college has also taken a number of steps to improve the student experience for distance learners, including the implementation of an online tutoring system. Northern is also one of four colleges involved in the pan-northern mental health initiative Bridging the Distance which aims to develop methods of providing student support, advising and counselling services to off-campus students.
Taking a proactive role in increasing student success rates, the college has recently implemented a Student Success Policy which promotes learner achievement through early intervention strategies and ongoing structured student support. The policy looks to help learners achieve their full potential by providing unique and individualized success plans.
Industry partnerships, a cornerstone of Northern College’s operating philosophy, will continue to play a vital role in the delivery of all college programming. These partnerships are central to the college’s high employer satisfaction and graduate employment rate KPI scores.
“KPI data are vital to how we operate because they let us know what we are doing well, and where we can do even better,” says Gibbons. “They help us establish clear objectives with deliverables, which we can measure. Last year’s KPI results led to a number of improvements college-wide and we expect the same will happen this year.”
The full KPI report is available at www.collegesontario.org.
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