HEQCO releases exploratory analysis of private career colleges

July 25, 2014

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released what it describes as an “exploratory analysis” of Ontario’s private career college sector. The report notes that there are more than 53,000 full-time equivalent students enrolled at Ontario’s 420 registered private career colleges (PCCs), but that this sector is often overlooked by PSE researchers. As private enterprises, PCCs are driven by market forces, but are nevertheless regulated and seen by the government as instruments of public policy. Researchers found that PCC students are typically older and more likely to be responsible for young children than students in other PSE sectors; they are also more likely to be immigrants and less likely to have moved directly from K-12 to PSE. The employment rate of PCC grads is slightly lower than that of colleges and universities in the province, and Ontario student loan default rates were higher than the average rate from public institutions. The report argues for further exploration of the effectiveness of PCCs in producing job-ready graduates, and careful evaluation of public investment in the sector. HEQCO Summary | Full Report