2014-2015 SMA Report Back
The 2014-2015 Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) Report Back begins the transition to a new phase of college and university accountability reporting under the SMAs.
The SMAs between individual universities and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (the ministry) outline the role that each university currently performs in the postsecondary education system and how it will build on its current strengths to achieve its vision and help drive system-wide objectives articulated by the ministry's Differentiation Policy Framework.
The ministry and the university are committed to continuing to work together to ensure a postsecondary education system that achieves and supports accessibility, high-quality and student-centred learning experiences, social and economic development, financial sustainability and accountability.
As the ministry noted throughout the SMA process, robust metrics and reporting are crucial to achieving greater differentiation, and will lay the foundation for further transformation by providing the evidence base for future discussions and decisions.
In general, the metrics in the 2014-2015 SMA Report Back reflect the system-wide metrics in the ministry's Differentiation Policy Framework. Colleges and universities also have the opportunity to provide a narrative outlining each institution's strengths.
The ministry recognizes that many of these metrics are proxy measures and that more robust system-wide metrics will be developed in consultation with the sector. The ministry will continue to work with institutions to strengthen transparency and accountability by developing system-wide metrics. SMA Report Backs will be updated in the future as new system-wide metrics become available.
The annual SMA Report Back provides the government with a tool for publicly reporting on the performance of Ontario postsecondary institutions in supporting student success, while continuing to build a high-quality and sustainable postsecondary education system.
1. Jobs, Innovation & Economic Development (JIED)
This component highlights University of Guelph's collaborative work with employers, community partners and regions, or at a global level, to establish the university's role in fostering social and economic development, and serving the needs of students, the economy and labour market.
In 2015, the ministry will be consulting institutions on a proposed short list of additional system-wide JIED metrics that have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), and MaRS Data Catalyst.
Through consultations with institutions, the ministry will select new metrics from the short list. These will become part of future SMA Report Backs. The additional metrics will serve as a basis for a narrative on the economic and social contribution of institutions to local communities and to the province.
Graduate Employment Rate
|Per the KPI results reported from the graduate survey of 2012 graduates
|The employment rate for 2012 graduates, 6 months after graduation, at University of Guelph was:
|The employment rate for 2012 graduates, 2 years after graduation, at University of Guelph was:
Employment in a Related Job
|Per the graduate survey of 2012 graduates
|The respondents that indicated that, 2 years after graduation, their work was closely or somewhat related to the subject matter of the program of study that the respondent completed in 2012 at University of Guelph was:
|The respondents that indicated that, 2 years after graduation, their work was closely or somewhat related to the skills (i.e. critical thinking, analytical, communication, problem solving) that the respondent developed at University of Guelph was:
Please indicate any methods, in addition to the graduate survey results reported in 2014-2015, that University of Guelph used in 2014-2015 to measure graduate employment rate.
The University of Guelph looks to complementary data sources to create a nuanced picture of Guelph’s graduate employment rate. In addition to examining the results from the Ontario University Graduate Survey (OUGS), which is a survey administered annually to graduates of undergraduate programs, the University of Guelph also explores the institution specific questions that we add to the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey. Guelph has also been a participant in the development, for the Ontario system, of the Graduate Programs Outcomes Survey (GPOS). The goal is to administer the GPOS in 2015-16 as a pilot to graduates of graduate programs to uncover critical information related to employment rate, employment history, overall satisfaction as well as the quality of the graduate experience.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's collaborative work with employers, community partners and regions, or at a global level, to establish the university's role in fostering social and economic development, and serving the needs of students, the economy and labour market. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
Guelph ranks among Canada’s top comprehensive research institutions. The University recently placed second among comprehensive universities in two annual surveys: the ‘Research University of the Year’ ranking published by Research Infosource and the annual ‘Top 50 Research Universities’ list. Guelph was also recently acknowledged by Research Infosource for our prominent research partnerships with both private and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the University continues to rank among Canada’s most inventive universities. This is due, in part, to the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), where, presently, almost 92% of the patents, disclosures, and copyrights, captured by the survey, originate supporting rural economic and commercial development opportunities. These accolades reflect our commitment to fostering social and economic development through research excellence.
The following list provides some examples of Guelph’s recognized expertise in using teaching and research to drive creativity, innovation, knowledge, and community engagement.
(1) The University and the OAC have worked in community economic development and research in agri-food and resource economics for more than 140 years. In fact, the University recently ranked first in Canada for agricultural sciences in the National Taiwan University ranking and the 2016 U.S. News & World Report. As a result of this expertise, the OAC recently secured a total donation of $1 million to create the ‘Libro Professorship in Regional Economic Development for Southwestern Ontario’. This unique professorship will champion economic development, innovation, and regional planning in rural Ontario and, in particular, southwestern Ontario by coordinating expertise, and pursuing world-class research, outreach and education.
(2) Guelph’s Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (BDDC), in partnership with the Toronto-based Club Coffee, has created the world’s first certified 100% compostable single-serve pod for coffee, tea and other hot beverages. The BDDC is an interdisciplinary centre that uses renewable agricultural products as alternatives to petroleum-based sources to make products from car parts to storage bins. The Centre is a wonderful example of how research and innovation produces real solutions to real- life issues.
(3) The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) conducted an economic impact study that found that the impact that the OVC exerts is the result of the supply of the highly trained veterinarians it graduates, the output and dissemination of relevant new research to assist industry, and the provision of clinical expertise and education to veterinarians and the public. The OVC supports, through its research, faculty and graduates, industries that generate an estimated $20 billion annually and directly contributes more than $125 million to Ontario’s economy. As the only veterinary college in Ontario and one of only five in Canada, the OVC graduates almost one-third of all Canadian-educated veterinarians and the majority of these veterinarians stay in Ontario. Many of them establish private businesses that are estimated to produce an annual economic impact of approximately $1.3 billion in Ontario.
(4) Guelph’s Learning Enhancement Fund supported an interdisciplinary learning collaboration where students in the School of English and Theatre Studies (SETS), who are enrolled in an experiential learning course, act as simulated patients (SPs) for nearly 100 undergraduate Applied Human Nutrition (AHN) students enrolled in clinical nutrition courses. SPs are live medical actors who interact in real time with student clinicians in scenarios created by course instructors. Scenarios vary widely, offering a variety of opportunities for learning and skill development. This mutually-benefitting collaboration provides SETS and AHN students with learner-centered, active and high-impact educational experiences that connects them with the economy and labour market.
2a. Teaching and Learning - Student Satisfaction
The metrics in this component capture University of Guelph's strength in program delivery methods that expand learning options for students, and improve their learning experience and career preparedness. This may include, but is not limited to, experiential learning, online learning, entrepreneurial learning, work integrated learning, and international exchange opportunities.
|Per the 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the undergraduate student satisfaction rate (total of excellent and good responses) at University of Guelph for NSSE question "How would you evaluate your entire educational experience at this institution?" for Senior Year respondents.
|Per the 2014 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), the undergraduate student satisfaction rate (total of definitely yes and probably yes responses) at University of Guelph for NSSE question "If you could start over again, would you go to the same institution you are now attending?" for Senior Year respondents.
Please indicate the methods, in addition to the NSSE survey, that University of Guelph used in 2014-2015 to measure student satisfaction.
Guelph is firmly established as a leader in teaching and learning innovation, and in student satisfaction. Institution-wide surveys routinely show that almost 90% of Guelph’s students are satisfied with their learning experience and a similar proportion would recommend Guelph to others, and would choose Guelph again. For example, referring to the International Student Barometer, 92% of Guelph’s international students report that overall they are satisfied with all aspects of their experience. Similarly, Guelph’s Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey also revealed that over 90% of our graduate students would select Guelph again if they were to start their graduate career over.
Surveys are also conducted at the academic program and student support program level to receive critical feedback directly from our students about their participation in programs and activities designed for their learning and personal development. The results of these surveys, some of which are detailed below, provide further evidence of Guelph’s leadership in supportive campus environment and student satisfaction.
(1) A survey was conducted in Winter 2015 with all First Generation Students and participants in programming offered by the Centre for New Students and Office of Intercultural Affairs. There were 243 respondents, with 132 having participated in at least one program. As a result of their experience, 83% strongly agreed or agreed that the University actively supports their success as a student and 86% indicated that they would recommend the programs to other first year students seeking similar assistance.
(2) Upon the conclusion of Orientation Week, a survey was sent to all Orientation Volunteers. 234 Orientation Volunteers responded to the survey. 88% strongly agreed or agreed that volunteering for Orientation Week was a valuable use of their time and 91% strongly agreed or agreed that their experience as an Orientation Volunteer helped them to feel like a valued part of the university community.
(3) 90.97% of students surveyed by Co-operative Education & Career Services’ Post Appointment Student Satisfaction Survey said they would recommend Co-op & Career Services to a friend.
(4) In Counselling Services’ last evaluation, 518 students responded to a survey and 90% of those students reported high level of satisfaction with the service. They found counseling beneficial in terms of enhancing academic performance and providing a greater understanding of themselves. Students reported reduced stress levels and an improvement in their ability to deal with difficult emotions.
(5) An evaluation of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) was conducted in 2014/15. 272 students responded to the survey. 75% found that they were able to meet with their advisor in a timely manner and 92% found that sufficient information in relation to their disability was delivered. Overall, 89% of the respondents were happy with the service provided. 96% felt comfortable while working with their advisor. 74% of the respondents found academic staff approachable and supportive with respect to disability related needs. 81% found that SAS support/services had a major impact on their studies at Guelph and 86% were happy with their overall experience at Guelph.
(6) Student Housing Services requests feedback from students regarding their satisfaction with programs and services offered in the residences. Residence Life Staff work to engage new students in community events to build a sense of pride in their community and select survey results reveal that: (i) 92.0% feel their community is safe and inclusive; (ii) 82.8% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt like they belong in their community; (iii) 86.0% feel that their community is supportive of their goals; (iv) 83.4% feel that they have built meaningful relationships with someone in their community; and (v) 89.4% feel that someone cares about their wellbeing.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to maintaining or improving student satisfaction. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
Guelph is pleased to have received top marks among comprehensive universities by Maclean’s in its 2016 University Rankings for Student Satisfaction. Our dedication to the highest standards of teaching and learning and our commitment to a supportive campus environment is a unique strength of the University’s and ensures the success of our students. The following list provides highlights of some activities that have contributed to Guelph’s exemplary levels of student satisfaction.
(1) GryphLife is Guelph’s campus involvement system that provides access to resources, news items, and supports that enable students to make the most of their university experience. This online platform allows students and staff to connect with each other, with programs and with resources. Currently, GryphLife has 13,247 registered users and 339 registered organizations (clubs, primary student organizations, affiliated student organizations, departments, etc.). Of the 339 registered organizations, 288 are offering official co-curricular events, applying to the 12 curricula managed on Gryphlife. The curricula include Student Life at Guelph, Leadership Certificates and a Certificate in Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship.
(2) In a research-intensive university like Guelph, the First Year Seminar Program provides students with an opportunity to take a small, engaging, learner-centred course in their first-year that breaks down the barriers between high school and university, and student and faculty. The seminars are capped at 18 students and offer faculty the chance to build a new, creative course around topics related to research interests, as well as the dynamism of a discussion-oriented classroom. They offer students the opportunity to experience research in action and application, to engage more directly with the course material, and to develop skills of analysis, communication, and time-management that prove to help them throughout their time at Guelph, and beyond. Recent topics include: ‘The strange harmony between humans and horses’ and ‘The Book: From Guttenberg to Gaga to Gone?’.
(3) The School of Computer Science recently introduced community-engaged scholarship (CES) to its Systems Analysis & Design in Applications course. Working with the Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship, and the expertise of local not-for-profits and charities, computer science (CS) students learn how to understand, design, and implement a solution to a local community issue. Working with community partners whose expertise falls outside the CS domain; students develop problem solving and design skills, while also learning valuable knowledge translation and transfer skills by actively engaging community partners both inside and outside the classroom. One CES focused project was Farm To Fork. Students worked with local emergency food providers (EFPs), and the Guelph-Wellington Food Round Table to improve the quality and quantity of healthy food donated to the emergency food system. Beyond achieving greater than 97% classroom attendance, students have based their senior undergraduate theses on Farm To Fork. Students have also published two peer-reviewed papers on Farm To Fork and have presented at numerous conferences, and have raised approximately $50,000 to support Farm To Fork development.
(4) Consistent with our SMA, Guelph’s 2014 NSSE results revealed that the University did exceed the Ontario Mean in the Quality of Interactions and Support Environment Engagement Indicators and we did so for both first-year and senior respondents. Moreover, the mean differences are statistically significant at the 99 per cent significance level. It is widely understood that students benefit and are more satisfied in supportive settings that cultivate positive relationships among students, faculty, and staff. The University’s strong NSSE results demonstrate our long-standing commitment to an exceptional learning experience that puts our students first.
2b. Teaching and Learning - Graduation Rates
|Per the KPI results reported in 2014 , the graduation rate at University of Guelph is:
*The graduation rate shown involves the selection of all First Year, New to the Institution, Undergraduate students from the Fall 2006 enrolment file who were seeking a Bachelors or First Professional degree, for whom an FTE value of 0.4 or greater is recorded, and who also have a valid Student ID number. This subset of Year one enrolments is then matched against records of students who received a Bachelors or First Professional degree from the same institution during the period 2006 - 2013 (subsequent 7 years). For students who received two or more degrees during this 7 year period, every effort was made to use the initial degree awarded (based upon the year in which the degree was awarded).
Please indicate any methods, in addition to the KPI survey results reported in 2014-2015, that University of Guelph used in 2014-2015 to measure graduation rate.
In addition to reviewing the graduation rate produced by the Ministry for its Key Performance Indicators, in 2014-15, the University of Guelph also examined, for internal purposes, its graduation rate at the institutional, departmental, and degree program level.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to maintaining or improving the graduation rate. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
The following list provides highlights of some activities that have contributed to maintaining or improving Guelph’s graduation rate.
(1) Guelph’s Dissertation Boot Camp is for master’s and PhD candidates who are at the writing stage and want some guidance and encouragement. The Boot Camp, which is run every semester, lasts five days; the first day is mostly workshops and instruction, but as the week goes by, more time is dedicated to writing and one-on-one consultations with staff. Participants are given some tools and strategies for success, including using a writing log to write down their goals each day, the length of time they spent writing, what they accomplished, and their plan for the next day. The results have been encouraging: on average, PhD students at the writing stage, who complete the program, graduate within three semesters. Master’s students tend to graduate within one or two semesters.
(2) The School of Engineering (SOE) developed a non-credit course, Fundamentals of Mathematics, to address numeracy deficiencies in 1st year students. The course is presented in informal lectures, with examples of basic mathematical concepts and applications to real-world examples. Strong student participation has prompted the development of a follow-up course for 2nd and 3rd year students to ensure strong mathematical skills as they proceed to graduation. The Engineering Peer Helper Program also provides structured study sessions and individual assistance to fellow students. Finally, to help students progress and finish on time, the SOE has double offered the four 1st and 2nd year core courses that form the main pre-requisites for Guelph’s seven engineering majors. The increased frequency of 1st and 2nd year core courses ensures that a student who fails one of these courses will stay on track to graduate on time. As a result, the SOE’s 1st and 2nd year retention rate improved by 7% and our engineering students progressed more efficiently through to graduation.
(3) Guelph’s Supported Learning Groups (SLG) Program supports students who are taking high-risk courses on campus. Using a proven peer-to-peer academic support model known as Supplemental Instruction, undergraduate students are trained to facilitate weekly review sessions for courses in which mastery of the course content is integrated with the development of metacognitive awareness and learning strategies. Students can currently attend sessions for 18 courses in disciplines including, but not limited to, Economics, Psychology, Chemistry, and Philosophy. In 2014-2015, 4,619 unique students took advantage of this service, with over 29,000 contact hours of academic support accumulated. In addition to helping normalize help seeking behaviour, the SLG Program also promotes and fosters student engagement and the development of effective academic-level learning skills. Further to this, Guelph is home to the Canadian National Centre for Supplemental Instruction.
(4) The COA and the CSAHS are creating ‘major maps’ for the entire BA. This initiative - based on similar projects at Georgia State University, Queen’s University and Memorial University - is developed in collaboration with Student Life, Open Learning, Career Services, Admission Services, and the AVPA's office. ‘Major maps’ are tools that provide major-specific advice on curricular and co-curricular paths, allowing students to benefit more fully from their university experience while preparing them for the world beyond graduation. At each level, the BA ‘major maps’ will suggest specific curricular and co-curricular information, career preparation advice, and activities associated with community and global engagement. Each ‘major map’ will also feature a recent graduate from the major, suggest popular minor or certificate combinations, and propose specific post-graduation degrees or career paths. The maps will also contain more general information on the BA counselling office and campus resources.
2c. Teaching and Learning - Student Retention
Using data from University of Guelph's Institutional Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) submissions, please provide University of Guelph's achieved results:
|1st to 2nd Year
|1st to 3rd Year
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to maintaining or improving the retention rate. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
According to the Maclean’s 2016 University Rankings, among the universities across Canada, Guelph’s retention rate was in the top ten. The following list provides highlights of some activities that have contributed to our leading performance in student retention.
(1) START Aboriginal is a two-day, early arrival transition program for Aboriginal learners and their families. The program aims to help Aboriginal learners establish a foundation for a successful year by providing opportunities to get to know other new students; to get settled into residence before the rush; to find out about campus resources, and what to do if they run into difficulties; as well as to discover how campus life and involvement opportunities fit with academic learning. In September 2014, Aboriginal incoming students and their family members participated in START Aboriginal and in the words of one participant the program was, “Super useful. Loved all the info!”. The evaluation indicated that 80% of the participants felt that they better understood “the University of Guelph's expectations of the students”, 90% gained a greater understanding of “my new community” and 100% “would recommend this program to someone with a similar experience.” Of family respondents, 89% felt that their “family member/student is better prepared and able to succeed as a result of this program.” Comments from families included: “Excellent start for a new student beginning university”, “Greatly enjoyed and appreciated this opportunity” and “Very comprehensive, valuable program. Thank you!!”
(2) STARTonTrack is an online, pre-arrival transition program designed for students entering their first year of studies. This program includes a website with weekly blogs on a wide variety of transition issues for new students; examples include setting expectations on academic transition, and highlights of University resources (Wellness Centre, Intramurals, Writing Services, Program Counselors, etc.). Facebook is used to communicate with new students. A team of approximately 45 volunteers is recruited, trained, and assigned a group of new students who are in the same college. These groups create Facebook pages and ask questions, build relationships and are directed to www.STARTonline.ca as a resource. In the summer of 2014, a total of 1,634 users logged into STARTonline.ca and gave consent for assessment and reporting. Of these, 144 were OUAC identified First Generation student (84% of the incoming first generation student population).
(3) Athletics and recreation programs provide an important opportunity for students to be engaged and connected to the campus and community. Research has shown that students who are connected and involved in campus life do better academically, socially, and emotionally. Further, their engagement contributes to student retention, as well as to alumni support. In 2014-15, Guelph’s students engaged in high levels of participation in athletics and recreation, examples include: (i) over 15,000 intramural participants on 1,055 teams, (ii) over 8,000 Fitness Centre and Fitness Classes members, (iii) 1,520 club members in over 15 different clubs, and (iv) 650 varsity athletes on 31 nationally recognized varsity teams. Additionally, more than 11,000 student spectators cheered on our Guelph Gryphons at basketball, volleyball, hockey, and football.
(4) Consistent with our SMA, in 2014-15, the University experienced a 16% increase in student participation in community engaged learning programs, and a 7% increase in the number of students participating in highly effective learning practices. Participation in community engaged and experiential learning opportunities enriches the social, intellectual, and economic life of learners, and enhances both the learning experience as well as the connections to the campus and surrounding community furthering student success.
2d. Teaching and Learning - Work-Integrated Learning*
As part of the Ontario government's postsecondary education transformation agenda, the government is interested in expanding work-integrated learning (including co-operative education) to make future Ontario students more career and job ready. Co-ops, internships, work placements and other types of work- integrated, experiential or entrepreneurial learning are already available in colleges and universities, often in partnership with industry.
Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is the process where students learn from experiences in educational and practice settings and integrate those experiences for effective professional practice and employment (adapted from HEQCO, 2012).
A Co-operative Education Program is defined as one that formally integrates a student's academic studies with work experience. Usually, the student alternates periods of study with experience in career-related fields according to the following criteria (adapted from Canadian Association for Co-Operative Education, http://www.cafce.ca/coop- defined.html, 2012):
- Each work situation is approved by the co-operative education institution as a suitable learning situation; The co-operative education student is engaged in productive work rather than merely observing;
- The co-operative education student receives remuneration for the work performed;
- The co-operative education student's progress on the job is monitored by the cooperative education institution;
- The co-operative education student's performance on the job is supervised and evaluated by the student's employer;
- The time spent in periods of work experience must be at least 30 per cent of the time spent in academic study
Based on the definitions provided above, please provide WIL data for the University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
|Co-operative Education Program Type
|Number of programs at University of Guelph with a Co-op Stream
|Number of students at University of Guelph enroled in a Co-op program
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to providing WIL opportunities for students. Along with co-op, other examples may include internships, mandatory professional practice, field experience, service learning, applied research projects, innovation incubators and other WIL opportunities. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
WIL opportunities provide learning experiences within the wider community that stimulate regional economic and social development while also providing students with a high quality learning environment that prepares them to enter the workplace upon graduation. The following list provides examples of some of the WIL opportunities that Guelph’s students are engaged in.
(1) Co-operative Education & Career Services (CECS) uses innovative communication strategies to connect with students. For example, the Twitter campaign ‘#Jobs4GryphGrads’ initiates an online conversation between students and employers. Employers use the hashtag to advertise their current job opportunities, while students utilize the twitter feed to access information about job postings and career events. CECS also launched the “U of G Career Fair Plus App”, which students can download to view employers attending fairs, find employers’ location on the interactive floor plan, and research what positions employers are recruiting for. The app enables students to be informed and prepared when they meet with employers coming to campus. Guelph was the first school in Canada to launch an app for students to help prepare them for job and career fairs.
(2) The Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship (CBaSE) links entrepreneurship and innovation at the University with the wider community and encourages applied, experiential learning. For example, the Applied Community Projects course provides senior undergraduate interdisciplinary teams with an opportunity to earn course credits while gaining hands-on experience in the community through business consulting. Another example is the Hub Incubator Program which offers students and alumni the space and support they need to start up or expand their enterprises. Those accepted into the program are provided with seed funding, dedicated office space, business support services, and access to experienced entrepreneurs. CBaSE also provides graduate consulting, entrepreneurial education, workshops, speaker series, and support for students attending competitions and conferences. CBaSE enables collaboration with the local community and offers programs which transforms student understanding of their disciplines, worldviews and abilities. From these experiences students are also given the opportunity to master disciplinary knowledge, develop essential skills and attitudes for life and career success.
(3) The inaugural Feeding Nine Billion Challenge, held in 2014, laid a pathway for students who want to take their food security innovations into the real world. The Challenge brought together approximately 25 Guelph students from all disciplines to identify food waste solutions for the University. Teams were given 24 hours to develop a concept, create the actual code, and design a presentation and written document supporting their project. Following the Challenge students were encouraged to sign up for Ideas Congress (ICON), a directed studies course. They were also pointed to external competitions, and mentored toward a third step on the pathway: getting a seat in a startups accelerator or incubator. The 2015 Challenge saw student teams from four Canadian universities, including Guelph, designing ideas to tackle food security problems.
(4) The University of Guelph-Humber offers seven programs that culminate in both a university honours degree and a college diploma in four years of full-time study. Each of the programs - Business, Early Childhood Studies, Family and Community Social Services, Justice Studies, Kinesiology, Media Studies, and Psychology - include mandatory workplace experience ranging from 100 to more than 850 hours acquired through placements or internships. Five of the seven programs include multiple placements, thereby expanding field experience and enabling students to develop key industry connections prior to graduation. In 2014-15, approximately 4,250 students were enrolled at Guelph- Humber.
2e. Teaching and Learning - E-Learning
As part of the Ontario government's postsecondary education transformation agenda, the government is interested in expanding online learning and technology enabled learning opportunities for students in Ontario. University of Guelph is asked to provide information on e-learning courses, programs and registrations in 2014-2015.
Fully Online Learning* and Synchronous Conferencing*
A Fully Online Learning (asynchronous) course is a form of distance learning delivered to individuals with access to the Internet, either at home, work or through an access centre. Although courses may have a set start date and set due dates for assignments, students can otherwise access and participate in courses at times and places of their own choosing. The online component is typically over 80% of the total delivery. For example, a fully online course may include occasional face-to-face meetings, a proctored exam, etc. with the remainder of the content delivered online.
A Synchronous Conferencing course is delivered through audio and video conferencing to provide synchronous communications (i.e., at the same time) between an instructor at one site and students at other sites. Conferencing can make use of the public telephone system (ISDN), dedicated wideband networks or the Internet. A course is considered to be offered via synchronous conferencing if 80% or more of the content is delivered this way. For example, a synchronous conferencing course may have occasional face-to-face meetings, a proctored exam, etc. with the remainder of the content delivered through audio and video conferencing.
A Fully Online Learning (asynchronous) program describes a program that offers 80% or more of its courses fully online. For example, if a program consists of 10 courses (8 delivered fully online and 2 delivered via traditional face-to-face) the program is defined as a fully online program.
A Synchronous Conferencing program describes a program that offers 80% or more of its courses via synchronous conferencing. For example, if a program consists of 10 courses (8 via synchronous conferencing and 2 via traditional face-to-face) the program is defined as a synchronous conferencing program.
e-Learning Course, Program and Registration Data
Based on the definitions provided above, provide the University of Guelph's eLearning data for 2014-2015:
|Number of ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered through fully online learning
|Number of ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered through synchronous conferencing
Total Number of ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered in e-Learning format
|Number of ministry-funded, for-credit programs offered through fully online learning
|Number of ministry-funded, for-credit programs offered through synchronous conferencing
|Total Number of ministry-funded, for-credit programs offered in e-Learning format
|Registrations in ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered through fully online learning
|Registrations in ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered through synchronous conferencing
|Total Number of Registrations in ministry-funded, for-credit courses offered in e-Learning format
Describe methodology, survey tools, caveats and other information regarding the numbers reported above re: e-Learning Course, Program and Registration Data (up to 600 words approx.)
The University of Guelph has over 50 years of experience in extending the teaching and research expertise of the institution to local, national and international audiences. In 2014/15, the University of Guelph was successful in meeting the needs of almost 50,000 enrolments in degree credit online courses and in non-degree courses offered in a variety of formats. The University offers over 40 certificate and diploma programs that allow individuals to pursue university credentials that meet their specific academic and career goals.
The University of Guelph is a leader in online education with decades of experience in designing, developing and offering courses that incorporate current research, reflect the highest levels of scholarship and incorporate Best Practices in Distance Education. To this end, the University adopted a fully supported faculty/student teaching and learning model that centralizes expertise, provides greater efficiency and productivity, ensures consistent quality standards across the entire institution and provides quality support to faculty and students throughout the entire process. The innovative model was the focus of a study by the Commonwealth of Learning in 2006 and it was regarded as a ‘successful system of quality assurance’ and exemplary in the field.
The University’s leadership in the field of online learning is also supported by the vision and early adoption of a robust learning management system (LMS) that incorporates the institution’s pedagogical approach, provides flexibility and scalability, fosters an active and interactive learning environment and allows for the ‘voice’ of the faculty to permeate throughout the course. In 1999, Guelph was the first client of Desire2Learn, partnering with this Canadian company in the development of a learning management system that incorporates these values. The enormous success of Desire2Learn as an innovative learning management system solution provider is a direct result of this partnership and the University’s insight into effective online pedagogical design.
Online learning continues to be a popular choice for students at the University of Guelph. Students select an online course option to continue their studies through the summer semester, to provide flexibility in their schedule during the fall and winter semesters or because they prefer this mode of course delivery. The University has realized continued growth in online course enrolments and offerings, with approximately 60% of students taking at least one online course in a calendar year. Retention in online courses remains consistent at 92%. Academic participation has increased to 94% indicating broad commitment and adoption.
Student mobility and access to quality online learning opportunities is facilitated through the University of Guelph’s Open Learning program. Students from other institutions can register in a Guelph degree credit online course without having to enrol at the institution as a visiting student. Students can select a course of interest and register directly in the course through our Open Learning and Educational Support department. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive a degree credit that can then be transferred back to their home institution, providing more flexibility for the student and assisting in improving time to completion.
The University of Guelph is actively participating in the Ministry’s initiative to increase the number of quality online learning opportunities available to students within the Province of Ontario and to advance the profile of the Province as a leader in online education. The University received funding for 6 online course developments/ redevelopments in the 2013/14 Shared Online Course Fund and 3 online course developments/redevelopments and one module in 2014/15. The University of Guelph was also co-lead in the Ministry’s Begin Registration project that is now part of the eCampus Ontario portal.
A Hybrid Learning course is a course where face-to-face teaching time is reduced, but not eliminated, to allow students more time for online study. This model comes in a number of formats, however the online component is typically 50-80% of the total course delivery. In this case, a hybrid learning course may have components delivered via traditional face-to-face; however, over 50% of the course delivery should be online.
A Hybrid Learning program is one in which 80% or more of its courses are hybrid learning courses.
Please highlight one example of University of Guelph's use of Hybrid Learning courses and/or programs.
While the courses and programs offered at the University of Guelph may not fit the Ministry definition of a hybrid, the University has many examples of intentionally integrating face-to-face teaching time with technology supported instruction at a course and program level. An example of each are provided below.
(1) Student demand for a writing skills course prompted the design of a large enrolment, first year, blended English course (Effective Writing) on communication skills intended to foster student success in their academic studies and in their future roles in the workplace. The course purposefully integrates 2 hours of in-class lecture and a third hour of learning online. Prior to in-class sessions, students engage in online activities, such as group discussions, and quizzes that improve their understanding of content and polish their writing skills. Classroom activities enrich, clarify, and illustrate crucial issues from the online materials and facilitate student command of the writing skills through interactive discussions and small-group work. The blended approach affords students extensive opportunities to receive ongoing feedback from the instructor and their peers.
(2) The part-time Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies is a degree-completion program that can be completed in just over 2 years. This hybrid program consists of 16- 6- week online courses that start and end with intensive in-class weekends of study. Students work through online materials and participate in interactive online activities and discussions at their own pace and benefit from in-class interactions with their instructor and group work with their peers. Students participate in a small cohort of peers throughout the program, encouraging the building of strong connections and networks. Courses are designed using evidenced-based curriculum and have a strong focus on practice.
(3) Another example of blending at the graduate level is the Graduate Professional Skills Modules (https://www.mygradskills.ca) that were developed with funding from the Productivity and Innovation fund. The Graduate Professional Skills Modules includes 18 online modules focused on the development of professional skills for graduate students and post-docs and they are accessible to any graduate student registered at an Ontario University. These modules were developed to provide graduate students with additional resources related to teaching, research, communications, career development and entrepreneurship. In particular, Guelph led the development of the following three modules: Academic and Research Integrity, Mental Health and Well-Being, and Research Management. To date, University of Guelph students have completed 380 modules.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that capture the strength in program delivery methods that expand e-learning options for students, and improve the student's e-learning experience and career preparedness. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
The following list provides some examples of Guelph's leadership and expertise in program delivery methods that expand e-learning options for all students, and improve the student’s e-learning experience and career preparedness.
(1) Increased enrolment in the in-class version of Epidemiology POPM*3240 and the continuous growth of Biomedical Sciences majors in the undergraduate program prompted the development of an online version of POPM*3240, which was funded by the 2014-15 Shared Online Course Fund. A modular structure allows students to advance at their own pace through the course and caters to individual learning preferences through multiples means of engagement, such as online discussions, short individual projects, and multi-group projects. Learning activities draw on real-life examples and case study applications and help students to refine their ability to translate health information. Students are connected to the “real world” of epidemiology through a series of videos capturing current epidemiologists and practicing researchers at Guelph. Explicit discussion of the practice of public health and epidemiology and employment broadens students' horizons in terms of professional career paths or future studies. The creation of the course has improved access and sustainability of program delivery. A broader array of students from across programs, geographies and even institutions can take this course, diversifying not only the online classroom but also the students exposed to epidemiology concepts, content, and skills development.
(2) Guelph's Graduate Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Assurance is comprised of five fully online graduate level courses and provides an opportunity for graduate-level study of theory and research to students who are not interested in pursuing a full graduate degree. Courses are designed to provide a balance of scientific and management principles underlying food safety and quality assurance. Students engage in authentic and relevant learning experiences that prepare them for employment in the food industry and associated service and government sectors that require advanced knowledge of food safety and quality management. Students assess, develop and recommend plans for food plant sanitation, quality and organizational improvements, and national and international food safety performance. Courses encourage interactivity through case studies, group work, discussions, role-play activities, and interviews.
(3) The online Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is designed so that full time working Executives can enhance their management potential without having to interrupt their careers. The program delivery combines short-intensive 1-week residential learning experiences with 8-week fully online courses and can be completed in two years. Students from three streams – Food and Agribusiness Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management and Sustainable Commerce, share nine core courses and then complete three stream specific offerings. Students choose the pass by course option or conduct a major research project. The program prepares students for employment in business, agribusiness, government, and hospitality fields. Many of the courses in the program utilize a case-based approach, which encourages students to take on a variety of roles to solve industry problems. For example, the capstone course is a unique, intensive, 1-week course that examines the study of business in a global context through a “live case study”. In teams, students spend the week with a business, analyze the strategic issues and then deliver recommendations for the business on the final day. Students leave the program with the practice knowledge, skills and experience needed to solve complex business problems.
3. Student Population
This component highlights University of Guelph's contributions to improve access and success for underrepresented groups (Aboriginal, first generation, students with disabilities and French-language students.
|# of Students
|The total Full-Time Headcount Enrolment* at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
*Headcount is the actual enrolment for Fall 2014 as of November 1, 2014 including full-time undergraduate and graduate students eligible for funding as reported to the ministry for the 2014-2015 fiscal year (enrolment reported in 2014-2015 remains subject to audit and/or correction).
3a. Under-Represented Students: Students with Disabilities*, First Generation*, Aboriginal and French-Language* Students
*Please do not include International Students in the calculations below.
Students with Disabilities *DEFINITION: Students with disabilities is the total number of students with disabilities (excluding apprentices) registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities and reported in Table 1 of the University of Guelph's annual report to the ministry for the Accessibility Fund for Students with Disabilities (AFSD).
|Students With Disabilities
|# of Students
|The total number of Full-Time Students with Disabilities at University of Guelph who registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities and received support services in 2014-2015:
|The total indicated above as a comparative % of the University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Full-Time Enrolment Headcount:
First Generation Students
*DEFINITION: First Generation is a student whose parent(s)/guardian(s) has/have not attended a postsecondary institution. If a sibling of the student has attended a postsecondary institution, but the parent(s)/guardian(s) have not, the student is still considered a First Generation student.
- Parents/guardians: one or more adults, over the age of 21, who are legally responsible for the care and management of the affairs of the student.
- Postsecondary Attendance: have attended (but have not necessarily obtained a credential from) any institution of higher education in Ontario or elsewhere including outside Canada after high school (includes programs that lead to a postsecondary credential. e.g., degree, diploma, certificate).
|First Generation Students
|# of Students
|The total number of Full-Time First Generation Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
|The total indicated above as a comparative % of the University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Full-Time Enrolment Headcount:
|The total number of Part-Time First Generation Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
* DEFINITION: Aboriginal is a collective name for the original people of North America and their descendants. The Canadian Constitution, Constitution Act 1982, recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples - Indians (First Nation), Métis and Inuit. These are three separate peoples with unique heritages, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
|# of Students
|The total number of Full-Time Aboriginal Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
|The total indicated above as a comparative % of the University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Enrolment Headcount:
|The total number of Part-Time Aboriginal Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
* DEFINITION: A student is considered a French-language student if he or she meets at least one of the following criteria
1) His/her mother tongue is, or includes French (the student is a francophone);
2) His/her language of correspondence with the institution is French;
3) He/she was previously enrolled in a French-language education institution; or
4) He/she was enrolled in a postsecondary program delivered at least partially in French.
|# of Students
|The total number of Full-Time French-Language Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
|The total indicated above as a comparative % of the University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Enrolment Headcount:
|The total number of Part-Time French-Language Students enrolled at University of Guelph in 2014-2015:
Describe the methodology, survey tools, caveats and other information regarding the numbers reported above. (up to 600 words approx.)
In 2010/11, the University implemented a Voluntary Aboriginal Self-Declaration and a Voluntary First Generation Self-Declaration that will ‘pop-up’ when our undergraduate and graduate students log into our student information system. The Self-Declaration is voluntary. While this is a census of our undergraduate and graduate students, we anticipate that we will not have a 100% response rate since students do have the right to decline their participation.
The number of Full-Time and Part-Time French-Language Students enrolled at the University of Guelph was determined using the Mother Tongue variable included in our Fall 2014 (November 1) MTCU USER file.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that capture contributions to improve access, and success for underrepresented groups - Aboriginal, first generation, students with disabilities and French-language students (up to 600 words approx.).
Reflecting Guelph’s unique institutional mission, the following list provides some highlights of programs that are designed to improve access, retention and success for underrepresented groups.
(1) Consistent with our SMA, Student Accessibility Services and the Department of Psychology offer a first year credit course focused on mental health issues for students with documented mental health issues. The course integrates theory, application and research related to various aspects of mental health; topics include the role of community support, nutrition and exercise, stress management, and coping strategies. Designed to facilitate academic and social transition to university life, the course attracted 20 students in each of the 2014/15 fall and winter semesters. Students reported improvements in resilience, perception of self-worth, development of effective coping strategies and increased confidence in academic abilities. Evaluations indicated that the course helped students to better understand their mental health issues and adjust to university life.
(2) The Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) in the Office of Intercultural Affairs is honoured to be the recipient of support from the Mental Health Innovation Fund for the Mental Health and Wellness Outcomes for Aboriginal Learners project with Six Nations Polytechnic and Mohawk College. Based in research and assessment, this collaborative initiative proposes a fundamentally different approach to wellness promotion and mental health support for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners by including regional institutions as partners to develop training, services, and supports that can be adapted for use by Aboriginal institutes, colleges, and universities. By bringing together a diverse array of expertise in mental health services and Indigenous cultures, worldviews, and values, this initiative will employ a comprehensive strategy to address systemic barriers that persist in postsecondary environments for Aboriginal learners.
The first year of the three-year funding has allowed for the expansion of mental wellness supports at ARC through the secondment of a Senior Counsellor/Therapist from Counselling Services, increased Elder visits, the development of a Men’s Circle, and an increased number of Wellness Teaching Circles available to Aboriginal learners. The Counsellor’s role within the Centre has also been expanded to provide greater opportunities for one-on-one student interaction as well as social supports. We look forward to further enhancement of the supports for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners, and sharing our outcomes across the postsecondary sector.
(3) The program START for First Timers brings together First Generation students, their families and campus service providers for a day of discussion surrounding the expectations and opportunities of first year. There was an increase in the number of participants this year over previous years, and we are looking to increase participation further next year. Participants were very engaged and actively asked questions of presenters, including well known faculty, the Director of Student Housing Services, and student service representatives from groups like the Aboriginal Resource Centre, Office of Intercultural Affairs, Learning Services and the Centre for International Programs.
(4) Committed to improving access to postsecondary education for students from rural areas, the Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) continues to work with the Province's Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). Under the SHSM program, Grade 11 and 12 students focus on an economic sector to prepare for post-secondary education, apprenticeship training or work. Focusing on the SHSM programs in agriculture, food, environment, business, and horticulture, the OAC supports pathways, through liaison efforts and scholarships, from Ontario's secondary schools into our unique diploma and undergraduate programs.
3b. Student Population - International Students
*DEFINITION: International Enrolment is the headcount of full-time university (undergraduate and graduate) students who are not Canadian citizens (includes Inuit, North American Indian and Metis) or permanent residents (i.e., student visa, other visa, non-Canadian status unknown, or non-Canadian no visa status) on November 1, 2014, who are taking part in university courses or programs normally leading to a post-secondary qualification (does not include ESL, continuing education, general interest or non-credit courses).
|# of Students
|University of Guelph reported to the ministry Full-time International Enrolment* in 2014-2015:
|The total indicated above as a comparative % of the University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Full-Time Enrolment Headcount:
|University of Guelph's 2014-2015 Part-time International Enrolment is:
Describe the methodology, survey tools, caveats and other information regarding the numbers reported above (up to 600 words approx.).
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to maintaining or improving the international student experience at University of Guelph. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
Over the last five years, the number of international students studying at the University of Guelph has increased by approximately 80%. The Office of Intercultural Affairs (OIA) in Student Life supports the transition, persistence, learning, and development needs of international students through a variety of programs and services tailored to meet the unique needs of this increasing population.
The OIA utilizes the survey results from the International Student Barometer (ISB), which compares the decision making, expectations, perceptions, and intentions of international students from around the world, as well as program evaluations to continually improve and enhance support for international students. Based on the results of the 2014 ISB, Guelph ranked 1st out of 16 Canadian universities in Overall Satisfaction and ranked 25th globally out of 196 universities. Guelph also ranked 1st out of 16 Canadian universities in a number of overall categories, including Arrival Experience, Learning Experience, Living Experience and Support Services.
For Overall Arrival Experience, 91% of the respondents were satisfied with their arrival experience. The OIA coordinates airport pickups for international students as well as START International, which was attended by 214 students in August 2014. START is a three-day pre-orientation program for new undergraduate international, exchange, and Out of Country Canadian students geared toward introducing them to the City of Guelph, the campus environment, and the transition to life and study in a Canadian context.
The ISB results showed that 89% of the respondents were satisfied with the formal welcome, 92% were satisfied with meeting staff, 86% were satisfied with their orientation experience, and 90% were satisfied with the support they received in setting up a bank account.
When evaluating Overall Support Services, 94% of the ISB respondents reported that they were satisfied with support services offered at the University. In 2014-15, the International Student Advisor in OIA had 649 visits with undergraduate and graduate international students, Out of Country Canadians, Science Without Borders students, exchange students, students from the English Language Program, and international post-docs or visiting scholars. The ISB results showed that 98% of the respondents were satisfied with the support provided by the International Student Advisor.
Support for international students is complex and the success of these supports and services is dependent on the broad cultivation of a welcoming, inclusive, and responsive campus environment. The OIA engages a number of campus and community partners to collaborate on programs and services that adapt to meet the needs of the increasing international student population at Guelph. The University of Guelph’s commitment to the support of international students is apparent in the positive rankings on the International Student Barometer.
Additionally, Guelph’s English Language Programs work with academically qualified students to build language, communication and intercultural skills, and to address the broad range of challenges that international students face in their transition to student life in Canada. The English Language Certificate is a recognized measure of English proficiency for admission to undergraduate and graduate programs, at the University of Guelph, Guelph-Humber and undergraduate programs at Wilfred Laurier University. English Language Programs have three broad program-level learning outcomes: language learning, application of scholarship, and cultural, community and personal awareness. This approach provides students with an effective English language pathway to degree program admission that focuses not only on building language and academic skills, but also on actively promoting engagement with the Guelph community. Further to this, almost 20% of students in our Continuing Education and Open Learning Programs are international.
3c. Student Population - Proportion of an institution's enrolment that receives OSAP*
*Definition: Receives OSAP is the number of OSAP awards, including any student at University of Guelph who has applied for full-time OSAP assistance and qualified for assistance from any federal or Ontario OSAP loan or grant program, and any student who applied using the stand-alone 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant application and was issued a 30% Off Ontario Tuition grant.
Proportion of an institution's enrolment that receives OSAP
# of Students
University of Guelph's 2014-2015 proportion of an institution's enrolment that receives OSAP is
Describe the methodology, survey tools, caveats and other information regarding the numbers reported above (up to 600 words approx.).
In 2014-15, 13,946 students received OSAP at the University of Guelph. The number of students at the University of Guelph that received OSAP in 2014-15 includes students registered at the University of Guelph (main campus) and the University of Guelph-Humber as well as Campus D’Alfred, Kemptville Campus, and Ridgetown Campus.
4. Program Offerings
This component articulates the breadth of programming based on enrolment, along with program areas of institutional strength/specialization.as outlined in University of Guelph's SMA.
a. Concentration of full-time enrolment* at universities by program Specialty or Major (SPEMAJ)
b. Institution's share of system full-time enrolment by program specialty or major (SPEMAJ).
DEFINITION: Headcount is the actual enrolment for Fall 2014 as of November 1, 2014 including full-time undergraduate and graduate students as reported to the ministry for the 2014-2015 fiscal year (enrolment reported in 2014-2015 remains subject to audit and/or correction).
|Undergraduate / Graduate Students
|Percentage of System Enrolment
|# of undergraduate students in a program as a % of total # of undergraduate students across all programs at University of Guelph
|# of graduate students in a program as a % of total # of graduate students across all programs at University of Guelph
|University of Guelph's share of system-wide undergraduate enrolment in each PROGRAM
|University of Guelph's share of system-wide graduate enrolment in each PROGRAM
|1. Agricultural & Bio. Sciences
|2. Architecture & Landscape Arch.
|3. Business & Commerce
|4. Computer Science
|8. Fine & Applied Arts
|9. Food Science & Nutrition
|11. Health Professions
|20. Other Arts & Science
|21. Other Education
|23. Physical Sciences
|24. Social Sciences
|26. Therapy & Rehabilitation
|27. Veterinary Medicine
Notes:Other Arts & Science includes students enrolled in General Arts and Science majors not specified by other categories or unspecified.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that contributed to maintaining or improving programming. This could include a strategy, initiative or program viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, success story and/or key accomplishment (up to 600 words approx.).
The following list provides some examples of Guelph’s unwavering commitment to exceptional teaching and learning.
(1) The University of Guelph has continued to expand on its strategy to assess and track programmatic learning outcomes (PLOs) using our learning management system, Brightspace by D2L. The aim of the initiative, which received funding from the provincial government’s Productivity and Innovation Fund, is to enhance the capabilities of a systemic approach to measuring PLOs as well as to develop a reliable and sustainable online learning outcomes assessment strategy that could be used not only across our campus but ultimately across all postsecondary institutions that are currently using Brightspace (D2L). At Guelph, this project has expanded to include all of the courses in Engineering’s seven majors and one of several important project outcomes includes the adoption of ePortfolios, which enhances student learning and eases entry into the labour market by providing students with a way to track and reflect on their learning experiences while also supporting curriculum improvement.
(2) The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing program offered at the Guelph-Humber campus has an extraordinary track record of publication and of awards won among its graduates. This past year, graduates have earned a significant number of awards, examples include a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for English- poetry, a $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for a short story collection, The Puritan’s Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for poetry, and the Prism International Fiction prize. Five novels by graduates were published this year, as well as six poetry collections. Two more novels and four poetry collections are scheduled in the next six months. Playwrights are also having success with three plays scheduled for production. The success of the program can be credited to a number of factors, including the quality of the students enrolled. It’s an intensely competitive program with about 130 applicants every year for just 12 spaces. Other factors include, the top-level faculty, who share what they’ve learned from their own writing experiences, and the program’s mentorship semester in which an international array of professional writers work one-on-one with students during the summer of their first year in the program. Students also have many opportunities to connect with agents and editors during the program so that when they graduate, they already have a foot in the door and connections in the literary community.
(3) Guelph’s Restaurant Operations Management course combines students in the Bachelor of Commerce, primarily Hospitality and Food Administration, with Nutrition students from the Bachelor of Applied Science program. As part of the course, third-year students use the working restaurant laboratory, PJ’s Restaurant in the Atrium, to apply their multidisciplinary study of management. Guelph’s students have been getting this kind of hands-on experience since 1980, when the original HAFA Restaurant opened. The restaurant is managed by student teams of four, who oversee everything from the theme and design of the menu to decorating the dining room, making purchase orders, marketing their restaurant and assigning front- and back-of-house jobs to the remaining classmates, who must create each dish from scratch. The teaching restaurant not only serves as a living laboratory for research in nutrition education and menu-item development in food service but it is also a site for student learning on reducing carbon footprints, sourcing local food, composting, reducing food waste and packaging. The course and the teaching restaurant provide students with the opportunity to tie all of these important theoretical concepts back to the practical classroom and prepare them to enter the food service and hospitality industry as leading managers.
5. Student Mobility
As part of the development of metrics under the SMAs, the ministry will be developing long-term indicators for credit transfer in consultation with the sector. The ministry anticipates that as data collection systems in institutions evolve, data sets will become more complete.
In future years, the ministry will be expecting more complete data that will profile partnerships between institutions that ensure students have access to a continuum of learning opportunities in a coordinated system. This may include, but is not limited to, metrics related to credit transfer pathways and collaborative or joint programs between or within sectors.
Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) is leading the development of Student Mobility indicators for use in future SMA Report Backs.
Transfer applicants and registrants
Using Ontario Universities Application Centre's (OUAC) reports, please provide data for 2013.
|Transfer Applications *
OUAC collects information on the number of transfer student applications and registrations. The ministry recognizes that:
the transfer data set only includes students who have applied to university through OUAC and have self-identified on applications to OUAC;
a significant number of transfer students apply directly to the university and, as such, are not captured in OUAC data;
Information only includes full-time students applying and registering in the fall to the first year of a university program.
The ministry encourages University of Guelph to augment the OUAC data with its own institutional data, particularly pertaining to college graduates entering university. Reporting this data is optional. In the space provided below, University of Guelph should report institutional data that includes data from OUAC and other sources.
|University of Guelph's Total Applications
|University of Guelph's Total Registrations
|University of Guelph's Transfer Applications *
|University of Guelph's Transfer Registrations
Describe the methodology, survey tools, caveats and other information regarding the numbers reported above (up to 600 words approx.).
The total number of credit transfer applications and registrations gathered from OUAC and reported in Guelph’s 2014-15 SMA Annual Report does not provide a complete picture of the important role that the University of Guelph plays in offering post-secondary students access to a continuum of learning opportunities. In 2014-15, the total number of students that transferred to and were registered at the University of Guelph from one of Ontario’s universities or colleges was 1,969. This number was gathered from Guelph’s upgraded credit transfer data collection processes in our student information system. The variance in the total number of credit transfer registrations gathered from OUAC and the one gathered from Guelph’s student information system is attributable to differences in definitions. The total number of credit transfer registrations gathered from Guelph’s student information system includes all of the full-time and part-time credit transfer students that were registered in 2014-15 at the University of Guelph in all years of study, regardless of whether or not they applied for admittance directly through the University or through OUAC, which differs from OUAC’s definition. We believe that our definition provides a more complete picture of credit transfer activity and the vital role that Guelph’s plays in ensuring that students have access to a wide range of educational opportunities.
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that demonstrate University of Guelph's efforts to ensure students have access to a continuum of learning opportunities in a coordinated system. This may include, but is not limited to expansion of credit transfer pathways and collaborative or joint programs between or within sectors, changes to student supports viewed by University of Guelph to be an innovative practice, or improved timeliness of credit/credential recognition (up to 600 words approx.).
The University of Guelph is committed to undertaking credit transfer activities to enhance Ontario’s publicly assisted postsecondary education system. The following list provides some examples of Guelph’s continued commitment to enhanced student mobility.
1) In addition to pathways with over 20 colleges and successful partnerships with Humber, Conestoga, Fanshawe and Seneca, the University is also a charter member, along with six other universities, of the University Credit Transfer Consortium (UCTC). The UCTC is a course-by-course equivalency initiative that focuses on high demand, high enrolment courses at the first and second year level in broad-sweeping disciplines (i.e. psychology, chemistry, biology, math, sociology, anthropology, etc.). This initiative eliminates credit duplication while also providing a high degree of consistency in the review of transfer credits.
2) Consistent with our SMA, the University has implemented a comprehensive course equivalency database. With support from the Government of Ontario through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant, in 2014-15, the University of Guelph designed, developed, and implemented customized screens in the University's student information system that support our comprehensive course equivalency database (CED). This is a course-to-course equivalency initiative and the database outlines all of the 1000 and 2000 level course equivalencies at Ontario’s universities. As part of this project, the University also developed a user manual for staff, created a maintenance plan for the CED, and developed a routinized process to transfer Guelph's equivalencies to ONCAT. The outcome of the course equivalency initiative is a high degree of consistency, as well as efficiency, in the review of transfer credits.
3) Effective for Winter 2016 entry, for applicants transferring from an Ontario college to the University of Guelph the maximum number of credits which may be granted to a student transferring from a 2-year diploma will increase from 3.00 credits to 5.00 credits and the maximum number of credits which may be granted to a student transferring from a 3-year diploma will increase from 7.50 credits to 10.00 credits. This modification to Guelph’s admission policy on advanced standing applications from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions will maximize access and mobility by ensuring that our admission policies recognize student learning and effort.
4) The support, resources and programming offered to transfer students by the Centre for New Students (CNS) in the 2014-15 academic year saw significant change compared to the previous academic year. Not only were transfer students called by upper-year students to check-in periodically throughout the year, but regular events were run that combined meeting the social needs of transfer students with raising their awareness about key campus resources. Transfer students also received at least one email a month from CNS promoting key resources on campus such as the Wellness Centre, Bounce Back, Counselling Services, and the Learning Commons. The successful implementation of an on-going communication strategy, orientation week events, and winter orientation events accompanied by ongoing small scale event invites led to very high ratings in key areas of student development. In fact, at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, a survey was conducted with all identified transfer students. 95 transfer students participated in the survey, and the percent that reported that they agreed or strongly agreed with the following key statements were: (i) 98% reported that they were confident in their ability to be successful at the Guelph, (ii) 97% reported that they had increased their understanding of what was expected of them academically as a Guelph student, (iii) 87% reported that they know where to find information about on campus support services, and (iv) 90% reported that they feel welcomed by the University.
6. Financial Sustainability
Please provide highlights of University of Guelph's activity in 2014-2015 that demonstrate University of Guelph's efforts to support ongoing financial sustainability of University of Guelph.
Over the past several years, the University of Guelph has developed a number of key financial health indicators that track major components of the University’s financial operations. The source for these indicators is the University’s annual audited financial statements. Currently, five key indicators are calculated and reviewed within the context of both their trends over time as well as their targets. All indicators will change in any year, some more so than others, reflecting, for example, the volatility of investment markets and extraordinary operational events. Annual “targets” established for each indicator are not absolute annual policy requirements but benchmarks which are used in analyzing trends (direction and values) in assessing major financial risks that may arise.
1. PRIMARY RESERVE RATIO: This ratio summarizes financial health and flexibility by indicating how long the University could function only using its expendable reserves without relying on additional net assets generated by operations. It compares expendable net assets to expenses. Expendable net assets consist of internally restricted endowments, internally restricted net assets, and unrestricted surplus (deficit) adjusted to exclude amounts related to employee future benefits. The current long term target ratio is 0.4 which is the ability to cover approximately 4.8 months of expenses. The 2014/2015 fiscal year end value was 0.45.
2. RETURN ON NET ASSETS: This ratio measures whether the University is growing its total resources over time. It compares the change in net assets over opening net assets. Given the volatility of the ratio due to changing market value of invested assets such as endowment, it is best used when compared over a longer time period. Further review of the components of net assets and their effective change could be assessed on a separate basis. On a combined basis, a growth rate of 5% is expected over time. The 2014/2015 fiscal year end value was 22.5%.
3. NET OPERATING REVENUES RATIO: This ratio helps answers the question “Are we living within our means?” It compares operating net income over operating revenues. Since it only looks at operations, it excludes most restricted funds that are for a specific purpose, e.g. research and endowment funding. Again a long term review of this ratio should be considered, as it can be volatile year over year. A 4% long term benchmark is the expected target. The 2014/2015 fiscal year end value was 10.7%.
4. VIABILITY RATIO: This ratio gauges the extent to which the University has available resources to cover its debt - essentially a “wind-up” ratio for external obligations. It calculates expendable net assets over external debt. The ratio assists in assessing current debt capacity and the ability to issue new debt. A ratio of 0.65 has been set as a target. The 2014/2015 fiscal year end value was 1.38%.
5. DEBT SERVICING BURDEN: This key ratio measures the extent to which total debt servicing is a portion of the University’s total operating expenses; where total operating expenses exclude capital asset amortization and research and trust fund expenses and include principal repayments and sinking fund payments. The greater the portion of operations the greater the risk. The target objective is 5.5%. The 2014/2015 fiscal year end value was 4.1%.
By submitting this report to the ministry: Checkbox
University of Guelph confirms that all information being submitted to the ministry as part of the 2014-2015 SMA Report Back is accurate and has received approval from University of Guelph's Executive Head.