June 2017

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Date: June 6, 2017

Memorandum to: Directors of Education

From: Cathy Montreuil
Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Student Achievement Officer
Student Achievement Division

Denys Giguère
Assistant Deputy Minister
French Language Teaching, Learning and Achievement Division

Subject: Invitation to Submit Proposals to Support Ensuring Equitable Access to Postsecondary Education

On May 8, 2017, the Ontario government announced that the five-year graduation rate reached a historical high of 86.5%. While this marks a huge accomplishment, there is still work to be done in terms of supporting students with transitions and helping them see the value and possibilities of postsecondary education (PSE), including apprenticeship, college and university, as a pathway.

The government has supported these efforts through recent changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to help eliminate financial barriers for low-income families. While the OSAP transformation will help ensure affordability of PSE, it does not address non-financial barriers to PSE.

Non-financial barriers continue to inhibit PSE access, such as being made to feel excluded from PSE, not having family/peer support, not being taught the value of PSE and not receiving sufficient academic preparation.

Ontario’s Vision is that “Ontarians of all ages will receive the supports they need to pursue postsecondary education (apprenticeship, college and university), have a fair chance to fulfill their dreams, achieve their potential and thrive in the global knowledge economy.”

To achieve this vision, the Ministries of Advanced Education and Skills Development, Education and Children and Youth Services would like to build on existing practices to support students in having equitable access to postsecondary education by:

  • Ensuring that, to the extent possible, all students understand the value of and are on a pathway to PSE; and
  • Making the necessary systemic changes to remove barriers throughout the entire education system.

Attached, please find a Call for Proposals (CFP) inviting district school boards and schools to propose enhancements to current initiatives and transition efforts underway, targeted at Grade 10-12 students, to:

  • help students, who without supports, might not otherwise go on to PSE;
  • understand the value of pursuing a postsecondary education; and
  • gain awareness of the broad range of pathways, possibilities and supports available to them.

The details are outlined in the CFP, including information on how to submit a proposal and parameters regarding how the additional funding may be used.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to build on the existing collective efforts to better support students in transitioning to postsecondary education.

Original signed by

Cathy Montreuil
Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Student Achievement Officer
Student Achievement Division

Denys Giguère
Assistant Deputy Minister
French Language Teaching, Learning and Achievement Division