Relevance of Programs and Educational Offerings

Goal # 4 – Ensure that programs and educational offerings are relevant to the needs of society

Context

Over the years, Dawson College has worked hard to offer programs and a variety of educational offerings that prepare students to succeed at university or in their careers. The College offers five pre-university programs and 21 technical programs (for some of the latter Dawson is the only college to offer the program in English). In its Continuing Education division, the College offers two DEC programs, eight AEC programs and a variety of credit and non-credit courses to a diverse clientele. Under the last Strategic Plan the College also started a process to recognize acquired competencies (RAC) particularly in the field of Accounting. Ensuring that all these offerings meet the needs of universities, employers and society is a constant challenge. In continuing collaboration with Indigenous community partners, Dawson College is engaged in promoting Indigenous Reconciliation by making First Peoples’ culture and knowledge a visible and integral part of college life for the benefit of all students and the wider community.

Data provided by Relance between 2011 and 2015 shows that the overall employment rate of 92.5% for Dawson graduates was somewhat lower than the network rate of 95.6%. The rate of Dawson’s technical students’ employment in the field of study, however, was considerably lower than the network average overall. Dawson’s rate of employment in the field of study was 71.6% compared to 86.0% for the network. With respect to each of Dawson’s technical programs, six programs had rates above the network average, three had comparable rates and nine had rates far below the network average. Given that most technical program students intend to find employment in their field, the College is committed to improving the employment rate in the field for its technical program graduates. In order to increase employment in the field for graduates of the creative arts sector the College has developed an AEC program in the pre-start-up and start-up phases of new business ventures.

There was a decrease in the percentage of Dawson pre-university graduates who went on to university from 87.5% in 2011 to 84.6% in 2015. Five pre-university profiles had university attendance rates below the Dawson average. With respect to AEC programs, the College does not have any current data on their relevance.

Strategies

  • Examine why the employment rate in the field of study is lower for Dawson graduates than for the network in certain programs, and take measures to improve these rates.
  • Examine why there has been a decrease in the percentage of pre-university students going on to university, and take measures to improve these rates.
  • Examine the relevance of AEC programs.
  • Create links between Dawson programs and start-ups in college and university business incubators.
  • Foster a greater understanding of Indigenous knowledges, cultures and pedagogies among students, faculty and staff.
  • Examine the potential for increasing the number of RAC programs and increase the number of RAC programs as appropriate.

Success Indicators

We will know we have achieved Goal 4 if, by 2021:

  • There is an increase in the employment rate in the field of study for select technical programs.
  • There is an increase in the percentage of students going on to university in select pre-university profiles.
  • All AEC programs have been evaluated with respect to relevance.
  • Links have been created between Dawson programs and start-ups in college and university business incubators.
  • There is an increase in the number of relevant RAC programs.
  • There is an increase in the number of courses that have Indigenous content.
  • Sensitization workshops and other training on the history and experiences of Indigenous people have been given to faculty and staff.


Last Modified: March 21, 2017