Many Ontario college students follow "non-traditional" PSE pathways

July 5, 2010

A recent analysis of PSE persistence for Ontario college students based on the Youth in Transition Survey, Cohort B dataset finds that a substantial portion of students follow what could be considered "non-traditional" pathways -- such as switching programs and taking breaks -- and that persistence rates are found to be much higher when viewed from this broader perspective. While nearly 27% of students leave their first PSE program by first year's end, the report states, over a third of these switch immediately to another PSE program, mostly again at the college level, many of these at the same college, and many of those who do leave PSE return in the few years following, with 23.5% doing so within a year of leaving. While the 5-year graduation rate is only 58.1% when measured with respect to the first program started, the rate jumps to 70.6% when those who graduated from another program are included. When those who have not yet graduated but are still in PSE are also included, persistence rates rise to nearly 77%. Read the report