Assessing employer perceptions and expectations of college degree programs
SubjectCommunity college degrees; Employer expectations of college degrees; Employer perceptions of college degrees; Skill sets in college degree graduates
Just over 10 years ago, the Ontario government passed legislation that resulted in baccalaureate degree-granting status for provincial community colleges. Since this fundamental shift in college credential delivery, the numbers of programs, students and graduates have continued to grow, and are expected to continue to do so. While employers were not an obvious driver behind this shift, understanding their expectations and perceptions as they pertain to these degree programs and graduates is critical for Ontario colleges and students. This research involved interviews with Greater Toronto Area employers who have hired college degree graduates. The interviews demonstrated that, while there is still a general lack of knowledge about college degrees, employers find value in the programs and essentially envision themselves as partners who can play a greater role in future program development and ongoing review. This includes having an impact on curriculum, graduate expectations, work experience opportunities and identifying skill gaps.
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