Appendix B: Multi-Year Action Plan for Universities

Appendix B: Multi-Year Action Plan for Universities

The Ministry recognizes and appreciates that each institution has its own unique mission and objectives in the post-secondary education system.

The purpose of this Multi-Year Action Plan (Action Plan) is to provide an outline of how each institution will use their total operating budget, including multi-year funding allocations from the government and increased tuition revenues, to develop and strengthen its unique missions and objectives while contributing to the achievement of the Reaching Higher goals and results for access, quality and accountability identified in Appendix A of the Multi-Year Agreement (MYA).
This Action Plan will set out your institution specific commitments for multi-year strategies, performance indicators and results designed to achieve the system-wide goals and results for access, quality and accountability, developed in consultation with faculty, staff and students.
 
The release of the full amount of your 2006-07 allocations is conditional on the Ministry approving your completed Multi-Year Action Plan.  Thereafter, the Ministry will review your Action Plan annually to discuss progress being made on the commitments outlined in your Action Plan.
 
The release of the full amount of your 2007-08 and 2008-09 allocations will be conditional on your institution confirming that it is on track for meeting its commitments, or the approval of an improvement plan by the Ministry.
This annual review will also allow for revisions needed to accommodate the input and advice of institutions and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) with respect to best way to measure performance and ensure the accountability of colleges and universities.
 
University Specific Mission and Objectives
The Ministry recognizes that each university has its own unique mission which will impact on the variety of approaches which will be used across the sector to meet the Ministry’s priorities.  
Please identify your university’s mission or objectives.  This may relate to your programming priorities, institutional culture, or student profile: 
Brock University’s Missions Statement, adopted in 2004, reads as follows:
Brock University flourishes through the scholarly, creative, and professional achievements of its students, faculty and staff. Offering a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, Brock fosters teaching and research of the highest quality. As a diverse and inclusive community, we contribute positively to Canada and beyond through our imagination, innovation and commitment.
In addition, the 1999 Final Report of the President’s Task Force on Planning and Priorities enunciated five “directional statements,” which were intended to guide the future development of the University. These were:
  • Brock University must continue to evolve as a competitive comprehensive university which offers a range of graduate programs to the Ph.D. level, cultivates research strength on the part of its faculty, and offers rigorous programs of study at every level.
  • Brock University must reiterate its commitment to students, by continuing to focus on the delivery of excellent programs of study to all students, and by continuing to provide the attentiveness to students for which Brock is known — realizing that both the numbers and the quality of the students we attract in the future, nationally and internationally, will depend upon the University's reputation for exceptional work with those who choose to study here.
  • Brock University must increase the number of career-related or experiential learning opportunities available to its students, including co-op programs, internships, apprenticeships, practica and other kinds of placements, activities and/or skills training components which will prepare Brock graduates for the workplace of the future.
  • Brock University must continue and strengthen its long-term commitment to the Niagara Region through programming which will enhance the region's economic expansion, provide an educated workforce, and serve as a catalyst for regional development.
  • Brock University must update and augment its current image, devising promotional strategies which emphasize not only Brock's traditional focus on commitment to students, but also (and forcefully) its innovative, cutting-edge programming, its rigorous standards and research depth, and its commitment to developing students in terms of both the mastery of their chosen disciplines and the development of related workplace skills.
These were re-affirmed in the 2002-2003 Report of the Long-Range Planning Committee and continue to guide the University’s development.
More recently, in 2006, an academic Vision Statement (Brock: Building a Civil Society) articulated the following:
Brock University holds the following commitments foundational to its institutional purpose; they also serve as affirmative principles of academic design:
  1. Creating a learning community
  2. Fostering student engagement
  3. Prizing diversity and inclusiveness
  4. Developing research intensity with social application
  5. Engaging the world
A. ACCESS
Increased Enrolment As outlined in Section 2.1 of the MYA, your institution will report on the following pursuant to the established reporting protocols, or as requested by the Ministry:
  1. Enrolment growth at the undergraduate level
  2. Achievements of the growth targets agreed to for graduate expansion (if applicable)
  3. Targets agreed to for medical enrolments increases (if applicable)
The Ministry will use these reports to ensure that the system is on track to meet its commitment to increase university and college full-time enrolment, increase graduate enrolment by 12,000 in 2007-08 and 14,000 by 2009-10, and increase medical enrolments by a further 23 per cent by 2009-10.
 
Increased Participation of Under-Represented Students
The Ministry is committed to working with institutions and HEQCO to develop a system measure that will track the participation of under-represented students in a manner that is sensitive to privacy concerns.  This Multi-Year Action Plan will be revised to incorporate this measure and the accountability mechanisms which will be used to ensure that the system is increasing the participation of under-represented students and is affordable and accessible across Ontario including northern and remote, rural and urban areas.
 
To inform this process, please provide any measurement methodologies your institution currently uses to track the participation of these students, and in particular, any measures to find and track those who are the first in their family to attend postsecondary education (including “at risk” and low income students):
There are a number of opportunities provided for these under-represented groups to self-identify as either part of the general university admissions process and/or during a variety of Brock’s orientation/transition programs. For example, both Aboriginal Students and Students with Disabilities can choose to self-identify as part of the admission process to Brock. As well, the First Generation Bursary program generates a lengthy list of students who self-identify as First Generation - to whom, with their permission, we provide information about  special programs and services. In addition, during Brock’s Smart Start transition/orientation program, special programs are announced for all three under-represented groups (i.e. Aboriginal, First Generation and Students with Disabilities) and students self-identify at this time and begin to register for these support services. During Orientation Week itself, we continue to promote these various support services and students continue to self-identify and register throughout the week. Beyond Orientation Week, we have also offered special incentives for students who self-identified. (e.g. grocery coupons for Aboriginal students who registered with Aboriginal Student Services).
Please provide a description of your institution’s strategies and programs that will support the increased participation of aboriginal, first generation and students with disabilities, as appropriate to your institution’s unique focus:
Aboriginal
The Aboriginal Education Council has established a Recruitment and Retention subcommittee which is developing a plan (in the fall of 2006) to recruit, support and retain Aboriginal students. Aspects of this plan are currently being implemented and it should be fully in place by January, 2007.   Aboriginal Student Services has developed and is currently implementing two new programs to support students – a visiting Cultural Advisor program and a Peer Mentoring program.
First Generation
The Student Development Center has initiated a new outreach and support program for First generation students. A Peer Mentor Coordinator has been employed who will establish contact with  First generation students and their parents. In the Niagara Region, “send-off” celebrations were hosted with parents and students prior to the beginning of the academic year. As well, a mentorship program and academic support workshops will be delivered.
Students with Disabilities
Services for Students with disabilities (SSWD) is actively involved in meeting prospective students and their parents, arranging individual consultations, and promoting and providing support services for students with disabilities. A new program developed this year called “Strategies” is a transition and peer mentor program specifically for students with a learning disability. As well, SSWD has an outreach program with local school boards and community agencies.
In the table below, identify the institution specific performance indicators you have developed to confirm that these strategies and programs will achieve their intended objectives.  This may include the indicator(s) you have identified above.  Please provide at least one indicator per strategy / program:   
Performance Indicators
Strategy / Program
Indicator
Aboriginal
-As we begin to collect baseline data, we will see an increase in the number of Aboriginal contacts made each year through outreach and promotional strategies. -Aboriginal enrolment will increase. Data will show a correlation between enrolment increase and those students who were contacted through outreach and promotion. -As we begin to collect baseline data for comparison purposes, Aboriginal retention statistics will improve, in particular for those students who accessed support services. -Students will use, and indicate that they are benefiting from, the Visiting Elder/Cultural Advisor service, the Peer Mentor Program, and other support/retention initiatives.
First Generation
-Students will self-identify as First Generation -Students and parents/family members will attend the “send-off” celebrations. -Students will begin to access the support services and report that they are helpful. -As we begin to collect baseline data for comparison, there will be an increase in First Generation student enrolment (related to outreach activities) and retention (related to use of support services).
Students with Disabilities
-We will increase the number of contacts made with students with disabilities through outreach activities. -Student enrolment will increase (related to outreach). -More students will access services (related to outreach) and report that they are helpful. -As we being to collect baseline data, student retention will improved, in particular for those students who accessed support services.
Pursuant to these indicators, please outline your institution specific quantitative outcomes and outputs which will be generated by your strategies and programs in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.  Provide at least one result for each indicator identified in the table above:
 
Multi-Year Results
Year
Indicator
Result
2006-07
Aboriginal
-increase in # of Aboriginal contacts
-increase in Aboriginal
enrolment
-improved retention
-use of new Aboriginal
support services
First Generation
-self-identification of 1st Generation students
-attendance at “send-off” celebrations
-access support services
-increased enrolment and retention
-academic success
Students with Disabilities
-increased contacts
through outreach
-increased enrolment
-more students will
register/access services
-improved retention
-establish baseline in terms of # of prospective students contacted/recruited/admitted
- increase enrolment by 5% (over 2005-06)
-establish baseline in terms of # retained
-track to establish baseline in terms of # who use services
-about 250 have self-identified
-about 75 attended
-expect baseline of about 75
-expect comparisons to show a higher average for students who attend program.
-increase enrolment by 5% (over 2005-06)
-increase of 5% in # using services
-establish baseline in terms of # retained
2007-08
Aboriginal
-# of contacts -enrolment -retention -service use
First Generation
-self-identification
-attendance at
celebrations
-access support
-increased enrolment/retention
-academic success
Students with Disabilities
-enrolment
-students accessing
service
-retention
-increase of 10% (over 2006-07) -increase of 5% (over 2006-07) -improve rate by 5% (vs. 2006-07) -increase #s using services by 5% (over 2006-07)
-increase # who self identify by 10% (over 2006-07)
-increase attendance by 10% (over 2006-07)
-increase access #s by 10% (over 2006-07)
-both to increase by 10% (over 2006-07)
-higher averages/rates of progression
-increase by 10% (over 2006-07) -increase by 10% (over 2006-07) -improve by 10% (over 2006-07)
2008-09
Aboriginal
-# of contacts -enrolment -retention -service use
First Generation
-self-identification
-attendance at
celebrations
-access support
-increased enrolment/retention
-academic success
Students with Disabilities
-enrolment
-students accessing
service
-retention
-increase of 10% (over 2007-08) -increase of 5% (over 2007-08) -improve rate by 5% (vs. 2007-08) -increase #s using services by 5% (over 2007-08)
-increase # who self identify by 10% (over 2007-08)
-increase attendance by 10% (over 2007-08)
-increase access #s by 10% (over 2007-08)
-both to increase by 10% (over 2007-08)
-higher averages/rates of progression
-increase by 10% (over 2007-08) -increase by 10% (over 2007-08) -improve by 10% (over 2007-08)
Official Languages Education Program
French-language and bilingual institutions will report on their strategies for supporting the access to programs for francophone students, and their expected outcomes, as part of the reporting requirements established for the 2005-09 Canada-Ontario Agreement on Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction and the Canada-Ontario Agreement Relative to the Complementary Funds for Minority-Language Education at the Postsecondary Level (2005-06 to 2006-07) under the Official Languages in Education program (OLE).
 
Student Access Guarantee Pursuant to Section 2.1 of the Multi-Year Agreements, your institution will participate in the Student Access Guarantee, including a new web-site to allow Ontario students to identify costs and sources of financial aid. 
 
Please indicate below strategies and programs that your institution will use in 2006-07 to support access for qualified Ontario students who face financial barriers, in accordance with the principles expressed through the Student Access Guarantee.
Brock University supports student access to education through various financial bursaries, work-study programs, mobility travel awards, peer financial counseling, and budgeting workshops.    All students are eligible for need-based financial assistance which is calculated based on all anticipated costs including books, tuition, compulsory fees and supplies.
Brock will use the 06-07 Student Access Guarantee Guidelines in assessing the financial resources needed.  The university is committed to ensuring adequate financial support for qualified students.
For 2007-08, the Ministry will consult with institutions on how to improve the co-ordination and communication of financial aid from government and institutional sources and, based on these consultations, revisions to this section of your Action Plans may be required in future years.
As noted in Section 1.1 of the MYA, the Ministry is committed to working with institutions and HEQCO to develop an approach for tracking results of the Student Access Guarantee, also to be reflected in 2007-08 revisions.
 
B.  QUALITY Quality of the Learning Environment
In general terms, Brock has a myriad of policies and programs which are intended to continually improve the quality of the learning experience for Brock students. These range from rigorous program reviews to the increased emphasis on research intensity to continually investing resources in the improvement of the instructional environment (including classroom modernization, upgrades to the Information Technology infrastructure, the provision of additional university-wide IT resources, significant increases in the acquisitions budget of the Library and additional staff positions in the Library). In our IAA for the past year, we noted that “The single most significant investment in [teaching and learning] has been the addition of 18 faculty positions to the complement for 2005-06.” This year, we have added at least 43 faculty (see table below).
 
Since the Ministry has asked specifically for information on “strategies and programs designed to improve student/faculty engagement and learning quality”, we are please to provide three examples of recent initiatives in this area:        
Graduate Student Development Strategies
 
Coordinated through the office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, our current initiatives include 1) a Graduate Student Teaching Practicum Program offered in conjunction with the University's Centre for Teaching and Learning, 2) a Writing Skills course for Science students, 3) a university wide Interdisciplinary Symposium Series for all graduate students, 4) an annual Graduate Student and Faculty Research Conference, and 5) increased stringency around ensuring adequate library resources for new and continuing graduate programs developed and monitored by the Senate Graduate Studies Committee.
 
Writing and Learning Skills
Brock’s Writing and Learning Skills programs are student-centred learning models. These programs are developed primarily as a result of identified need based on academic program requirements. The format is workshop style with a maximum of 20 students which allows for a two-way dialogue and individual student attention. Workshop facilitators encourage participation as a function of workshop design, and programs are tailored and responsive to student needs, taking into account a variety of learning styles and potential learning disabilities. Many of these workshops are facilitated by peers who are academically successful students and who have participated in a substantive preparatory training program.
 
Leadership Development Program
As with the Learning skills programs, Leadership programs are also student-centred, peer-led, workshop-style programs with a maximum enrolment of 20 students. The students who facilitate these workshops  have successfully completed the appropriate levels of the Leadership Development series, participated in an additional training program, and have usually held other leadership positions, typically within the University.The purpose of the Leadership Practicum Series is to enhance students' communication and leadership skills. For these students (and other students in their classes) the quality of the learning environment will be enhanced because these students are more likely to express themselves more clearly, ask better questions and more effectively listen, manage conflict, make decisions, work in groups etc. These students will also be better equipped to become engaged in leadership roles at the University such as Seminar Leaders, Peer Mentors, student Program Coordinators etc. ...positions which also have the potential to enhance the learning environment for those students with whom they work.
Pursuant to the consultation process on the Multi-Year Agreements, there is stakeholder consensus that a quality postsecondary education system is one that achieves high standards in the quality of the learning environment.
Please provide a description of your strategies that will support the quality of your undergraduate and graduate learning environment as appropriate to your institution’s unique focus.  In particular, the Ministry is seeking information on strategies and programs designed to improve student/faculty engagement and learning quality. Examples include but are not limited to: academic and student advising, student centred-learning models, first-year seminars, enhanced computers and technology access, learning commons, and library expansions and enhancements:
In the table below, identify the performance indicators developed by your institution to confirm that these strategies and programs will achieve their intended objectives.  Please provide at least one indicator per strategy / program:
 
Performance Indicators
Strategy / Program
Indicator
Writing/Learning Skills
We will see an increase in the number of students using these services. Program evaluations will indicate that students find these programs helpful. There will be a noticeable improvement in the academic grades of upper-year students and fewer students will be placed on academic probation.
Leadership
We will see an increase in the number of students using these services. Program evaluation will indicate that students find these programs helpful. At the end of each level, program assessments will demonstrate that participants are able to employ the knowledge and skills taught.
Graduate Student Development Strategies
We expect to see an increase in the number of graduate students accessing the programs and to see graduate programs and the library more effectively monitor graduate library resources.
Pursuant to these indicators, please outline the quantitative outcomes and outputs which will be generated by your strategies and programs in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09.  Provide at least one result for each indicator identified in the table above:
 
Multi-Year Results
Year
Indicator
Result
2006-07
Writing/Learning Skills - increase in program enrolment
- self-report of helpfulness
- improvement in grades
Leadership
- increase in program enrolment
- self-report of helpfulness
- program assessments
Graduate Student Development
- increase by 5% (over 2005-06)
- 75% of students will report that they found the program “useful” or “very useful” - at the end of the academic cycle, quantitative data will indicate improved grades for upper year students and decreased rates of academic probation
- increase by 5% (over 2005-06)
- 75% of students will report that they found the program “useful” or “very useful”
- 80% of participants will indicate that they are able to employ the skills and knowledge taught at each level.
- Increase participation by 5% (over 2005-06)
2007-08
Writing/Learning Skills and Leadership
Graduate Student Development
We would expect the results for all indicators, except enrolment, to remain at about the same levels. With regard to program enrolments, we would expect to see annual increases of 5% (over 2006-07).
- Increase participation by 10% over 2006-07
2008-09
Writing/Learning Skills and Leadership
Graduate Student Development
We would expect the results for all indicators, except enrolment, to remain at about the same levels. With regard to program enrolments, we would expect to see annual increases of 5% (OVER 2007-08).
- Maintain participation rates
In addition to the indicators and results you have outlined above, the Ministry is also seeking information on annual net new hires pursuant to the definitions for full time tenured, full time limited term and part time outlined in your 2005-06 Interim Accountability Agreement (IAA).   Please outline your planned net new hires for 2006-07 in the table below:
 
Net New Hires
2006-07
Faculty / Academic
Student Services Staff*
Admin Staff**
 
Full Time Tenured
Full Time Limited Term****
Part Time (FTE)*****
Full Time
Part Time (FTE)
Full Time
Hires
56
52
n/a
67
n/a
11
Retires/ Departures
13
54
n/a
26
n/a
6
Net New Hires
43
-2
29
41
4.5
5
** For student services staff definition, please refer to the student services functional area definition developed by the Council of Finance Officers - Universities of Ontario (COFO-UO) of the Council of Ontario Universities to report on expenses in their annual financial report. Student Services Staff do not include ancillary staff but included are Academic Support and Library staff. ***For admin staff definition, please refer to the administration & general functional area definition developed by the Council of Finance Officers - Universities of Ontario (COFO-UO) of the Council of Ontario Universities to report on expenses in their annual financial report. **** Limited –term appointments includes re-appointments as hires. All limited term appointments that terminated (including re-appointments) are included in the departures. ***** Due to the high turnover ratio for these positions, it is not possible to identify true “hires” and “departures” in the timeframe available.    
The Ministry will be asking institutions to update this table as part of the annual review of the Action Plan.
 
Student Engagement and Satisfaction
Pursuant to Section 2.2 of the MYA, your institution will participate in the National Student Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and if applicable, the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS), and submit results from these surveys in accordance with the MTCU-COU protocol. 
As experience with NSSE and the CGPSS grows, and subject to advice from HEQCO, this Action Plan may be revised in future years to incorporate institutional and/or sector-wide targets designed to improve student engagement and satisfaction scores.  In the meantime, institutions may wish to use their NSSE and CGPSS results as their indicators of quality in the section above.
 
Student Success
Retention Pursuant to Section 2.2 of the MYA, your institution will participate in the Consortium on Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) and submit results from the exchange in accordance with the MTCU-COU protocol.  
As experience with the CSRDE grows, and subject to advice from HEQCO, this Action Plan may be revised in future years to incorporate institutional and/or sector-wide targets designed to improve student retention.
Pending the development of targets using the CSRDE, please establish multi-year targets for student retention rates that are appropriate to your institution’s unique focus. 
Please use the institution specific definitions and methodologies for measuring retention outlined in your 2005-06 IAA.  If you have used a different definition or methodology to establish these rates, please provide the Ministry with your new definition and methodology, and an explanation of why your institution has changed it: 
Student Retention Rates
 
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
1st to 2nd Year
88%
90%
92%
2nd to 3rd Year*
90%
92%
92%
3rd to 4th Year*
82%
85%
85%
*The Ministry would prefer to receive information on student retention rates from 2nd to 3rd year and the rate from the 3rd to the 4th year, but will accept the student retention rate after the 2nd year.
Graduation Rates Pursuant to Section 2.1 of the MYA, your university will continue to participate in the Key Performance Indicator initiative, including the provision of the data needed to determine graduation rates.
The Ministry will use the graduation data to determine whether the graduation rate of 74 per cent for the university system is being maintained or improved, pursuant to the “Reaching Higher” Measurement and Results Schematic located in Appendix A of the MYA.
 
1.ACCOUNTABILITY
Multi-Year Action Plan Please provide details on how the institution consulted with faculty, staff and students on the content of this Action Plan:
Most of the plans and initiatives outlined in this document are the result of ongoing governance processes which regularly involve faculty, staff and students. Graduate plans and initiatives are the result of ongoing consultations between the Dean of Graduate Studies, Graduate Programs and the Senate Graduate Studies Committee.
Plans and initiatives contained in this document have been previously reviewed by both the Senate and the Board of Trustees of Brock University.
As previously noted, the Ministry will review your Action Plan annually to discuss progress being made on the commitments outlined in your plan.
Based on this review, you may be required to submit an improvement plan to the Ministry, developed in consultation with faculty, staff and students.
The release of the full amount of your 2007-08 and 2008-09 allocations will be conditional on the successful completion of the annual review of the Multi-Year Action Plan.