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Vision 2000 says college system needs new mandate.

Vision 2000 says college system needs new mandate

The Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) has completed an in-depth study of the college system in Intario. Initiated in October 1988, a Vision 200 steering committee made up of 33 individuals and five study tems conducted research and public consultation focussin on various aspects of the college system.

The final report, Vision 2000: Quality and Opportunity, lists a total of 40 recommendations which the steering committee believes are necessary to update the college system.

Ontario's system of colleges of applied arts and technology was created 25 years ago. In 1965 the then Education Minister William Davis inaugurated a new level and type of education in this province to serve secondary school graduates not destined for university, adults and out-of-school youth.

Vision 2000 perceives some of the major challenges facing the college system to be:

- working as a system to assure program quality

- enhancing access for all members of society

- providing greater access for adult and part-time students

- evaluating life experience and prior education of entrants to college

- addressing concerns of employers

- forging a wider range of partnerships

- addressing the quality of, and access to education with regard to funding


Vision 2000 believes a renewed mandate is crucial to the future development of the college system and calls for the new mandate to include the essence of what was contained in the original mission, as well as for the provision of a learner-driven system which accomodates diversity and the forging of partnerships in and with communities, including employers, labor, community groups and governments.

The report recommends a system-wide standard and program review and says the current absence of program standards that apply to college leads to confusion about the meaning and value of college credentials.

Employers told Vision 2000 they see a fluctuating range of skills and knowledge among graduates of different colleges and from different programs. A system-wide standard is necessary as a basis for monitoring and improving educational quality in college programs, according to Vision 2000.

To achieve this goal, Vision 2000 calls for the establishment of a College Standars and Accreditation Council.


Another recommendation calls for the increased access to colleges for those who have different levels of educational achievement, who are from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, who are from different age groups and who have had different experiences in the labor force.

The report says, "If, as a society, Ontario chooses to concentrate mainly on educating the highlyskilled worker and ignores the needs of those who have been traditionally disadvantaged, educationally and economically, there is a risk of widening the gulf between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. Ontario's colleges risk becoming contributors to a more polarized society if they do not make concerted efforts to serve those who need them the most."

Vision 2000 also believes colleges should become more community-oriented, and says MCU should require every college board of governors to include in the college's annual report a section outlining college activities in the areas of educational equity, race relations, employment equity and community outreach activities.

The report notes that the illiteracy problem is too vast for the colleges to tackle alone, and that the Ontario government should co-ordinate adult basic education in the province.

A further recommendation calls for colleges to establish long-term relationships with local fee-for-service clients such as employers and labor organizations.

Colleges should also establish an advisory committee on part-time learning, and province a variety of flexible learning opportunities to address the needs of adult and parttime students.

Along with more than 24 other recommendations, Vision 2000 calls for MCU to establish a Vision 2000 Implementation Committee to coordinate evaluation and development of the detailed plans included in the Vision 2000: Quality and Opportunity report.

Vision 2000 says, "the most important factor in realizing a new vision for the system, however, will be the degree of commitment to the renewal of the college system on the part of the ontario government; the colleges themselves, including local boards of governors, college administrators, faculty and staff; and the other major stakeholders of the system. The collaboration which characterized the Vision 2000 process must continue."
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Title Annotation:Education Report; study of Ontario's college system by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Sep 1, 1990
Previous Article:Premier's Council calls for education, training reforms.
Next Article:Increased demand for educated workers addressed by workplace literacy programs.

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