Ontario college pilot project, first of its kind in Canada, shows increased support services result in 6.4 per cent increase in student retention

    Foundations for Success interim impacts report to be released today at
    the Queen's Park Media Gallery at 9:30 a.m.

    TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Research from the Foundations for Success (FFS)
project, underway at Seneca, Confederation and Mohawk Colleges in Ontario, has
found that directed advisement to student support services, in combination
with financial incentives, has led to a 6.4 per cent increase in student
    The Seneca-led FFS project began in September 2007 and is the first ever
Canadian experimental research, random assignment project to investigate the
effect of case-managed support services on college student retention, a
significant issue for post-secondary education in terms of cost to the
student, the institution and society.

    Key findings of the interim research show:

    -  As of fall 2008, one year after the program began, 67.2 per cent of
       students who received directed advisement to the full range of
       supports (including academic support, mentoring and career
       clarification) and a financial incentive were still enrolled in their
    -  At the same time, almost 65.8 per cent of students who received
       directed advisement to the supports but no financial incentives were
       still enrolled.
    -  Only 62.6 per cent of students in the control group (which did not
       receive direction to supports and did not receive financial
       incentives) were still enrolled.
    -  Adjusting for students that did not participate in any FFS activities,
       the increase in retention was 6.4 per cent.

    "The interim results of the Foundations for Success project underline the
importance of supporting students who may be at risk of dropping out of
college," said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy.
"Our government is proud to be a partner in this innovative program to help
students complete their studies and achieve success in postsecondary
    In addition, the project's interim results suggest students for whom
English is a second language, those who come from a family with an income of
less than $25,000 and those who have high school grades of 65 per cent or
lower have significantly higher retention rates when provided with direction
to college support services.
    "These findings show us that institutions are able to influence the
ability of college students to remain enrolled in their programs from one year
to the next," said Norman Riddell, Executive Director and Chief Executive
Officer of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which co-funded the
project. "It is clear that spending on student support services can be better
targeted to ensure greater results with limited additional costs."
    "Foundations for Success is about providing students with proven support
strategies so they can change their lives," said Seneca College President Dr.
Rick Miner. "This research illustrates that directed access to the right
combination of supporting services matters and it's an important first for
colleges undertaking the kind of research that can translate across all of
post-secondary education to bring about far reaching positive results."
    The project is funded by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and
the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The Millennium Foundation
has contributed $6.2 million for the study and the Ministry of Training,
Colleges and Universities has funded $500,000, along with approximately $2
million of in-kind support from the participating colleges.

    The Foundations for Success: Short-Term Impacts Report is available at

For further information:

For further information: Seneca College Media Relations, (416) 491-5050
ext. 7018

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Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology

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