SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide - Program Evaluation
Specialist High Skills Majors

SHSM Policy and Implementation Guide - Program Evaluation

B4.1 Measuring Program Success

SHSM programs are designed to provide students with sector-recognized knowledge and skills that will contribute to their success in the workplace or in the postsecondary education or training program of their choice. To ensure that SHSM programs meet this mandate, they need to be evaluated and refined regularly.

INSIGHT

It is important to recognize that a student who decides not to continue in a particular SHSM and a student who decides to remain in an SHSM may both represent positive outcomes, because both decisions reflect informed choices.

Insight icon

The evaluation process requires the collection and analysis of various types of information. For example, analysis of data related to student attitudes, experiences, and insights provides information on whether the SHSM program engages students. Information obtained by such means as a student survey at the end of each semester, along with ministry data collected from reports and external evaluations, can assist schools in assessing their programs and targeting resources for future success and program growth. Tracking student credit accumulation and enrolment and retention data indicates how much the SHSM is contributing to students’ successful completion of secondary school.

Indicators useful in measuring and tracking the success of the SHSM may include:

  • student engagement, as measured by student absences and lateness, and teacher observations
  • credit accumulation, including credits attempted and credits achieved
  • responses to student, parent, teacher, and employer surveys
  • enrolment, including both numbers and demographics, such as students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), English language learners, and Aboriginal students
  • the rate of retention of students in the SHSM
  • the school’s SHSM completion rate compared to the completion rate of other SHSM programs in the board or the province
  • recognition of the value of the SHSM, as expressed by stakeholders, students, and parents
  • involvement of partners within the community and the economic sector
  • testimonials from stakeholders, parents, and students
  • survey of graduates several months after graduation
  • the percentage of students who earn the SHSM seal on their secondary school diploma
  • the number and diversity of available experiential learning, career exploration, and reach ahead activities
  • the number of available cooperative education placements

Ongoing evaluation of the program design will help the school team identify ways to improve the SHSM and respond to economic changes in the SHSM sector. Employment trends and labour market data will need to be assessed to ensure that programs continue to be vital to the community in which they are offered. Stakeholders involved with the SHSM program should also be consulted in this evaluation process.