Quality


Quality Programs

All Niagara College programs conform to the Credentials Framework. The Strategic Enrolment Management Committee (SEM) and the Academic Operations Committee (AOC) oversee all new program development and program changes.


New Program Development Process

Program quality starts with the development of new programs. The new program development process involves getting input from a variety of sources both internal and external to the College resulting in a concept paper. After further research and analysis of the concept, a business plan or a program proposal is developed.

The Strategic Enrolment Management Committee considers a new program for recommendation to Executive Team and the Board of Governors based on information provided in both the concept paper and the business plan about organizational alignment and strategic value, student and employer demand for the program, economic need, resource requirements, financial feasibility, and transferability issues. Curriculum designed to ensure accomplishment of defined program outcomes, in accordance with the Framework for Programs of Instruction in the Minister’s Binding Policy Directive (Credentials Framework).

Following new program approval from the Board of Governors, approval documentation is submitted to the appropriate approving bodies. Once consent is received from the MTCU, a program can be advertised and a program manual developed, and the program can be opened for registration. Once a program is launched, follow up including monitoring and evaluation take place.

Questions regarding the New Program Development Process can be directed to Jeff Post, Manager, Academic Quality at jepost@niagaracollege.ca or at extension 4255.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Program standards apply to all similar programs of instruction offered by colleges across the province. Each program standard for a postsecondary program of instruction includes the following elements:

  • Vocational standard (the vocationally specific learning outcomes which apply to the program in question),
  • Essential employability skills (the essential employability skills learning outcomes which apply to all programs of instruction), and
  • General education requirement (the requirement for general education in postsecondary programs of instruction).

The vocational and essential employability skills components of program standards are expressed in terms of learning outcomes.

Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement. In addition, learning outcomes are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation of one another. As such, they should be viewed as a comprehensive whole. They describe performances that demonstrate that significant integrated learning by graduates of the program has been achieved and verified.

For More Information

Electronic versions of published standards are available online: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities - Program Standards

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Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU)

In the area of postsecondary education, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is responsible for:

  • developing policy directions for universities and colleges of applied arts and technology
  • planning and administering policies related to basic and applied research in this sector
  • authorizing universities to grant degrees
  • distributing funds allocated by the provincial legislature to colleges and universities
  • providing financial-assistance programs for postsecondary school students
  • registering private career colleges

For more information, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

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Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS)

The Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS) is established to provide effective and efficient mechanisms that ensure specific program quality and consistency standards are met by the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) in Ontario. The OCQAS operates within the structure of Colleges Ontario, and is responsible to a separate Management Board. The Management Board operates independently of government and of any individual college or the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. It develops policy and oversees the implementation of related processes within its specific mandate.

For more information, Ontario College Quality Assurance Service

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Credentials Validation Service

Since 2005, the Ontario College Credentials Validation Service:

  • provides reasonable assurance that all post secondary programs of instruction leading to one of the Ontario College Credentials (Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, or Graduate Certificate), regardless of funding source, conform to the Credentials Framework and are consistent with accepted college system nomenclature / program titling principles; and,
  • maintains the integrity of the credentials offered by the college system and protects the interests of students and employers who require a reasonable guarantee of consistency and quality in post secondary programs of instruction offered by colleges of applied arts and technology in Ontario.

The CVS is operated as a subsidiary of Colleges Ontario (CO). An arms-length, policy-driven Management Board, appointed on recommendation by the Vice-Presidents, Academic and the Committee of Presidents, provides oversight to the CVS to ensure consistency and quality of programming in the college system. The Management Board is made up of Senior Academic Officers, and Curriculum and Instructional Design experts from the Colleges.

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Minister's Binding Policy

The Framework for Programs of Instruction Minister's Binding Policy Directive defines the ministry's expectations for the the roles and responsibilities of colleges regarding awarding of credentials:

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Program and Curriculum Change Process

Timely implementation of curriculum change supports Niagara College’s commitment of continuous improvement, quality delivery and response to assessment.   Modifications to curriculum are submitted through Academic Logistics and the type of modification will determine the approval process required.

Questions regarding the New Program Development or Program Change process can be directed to Jeff Post at jepost@niagaracollege.ca or extension 4255.

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