Message from Dan Patterson: 2017 KPI results contain good news for NC

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Earlier today, the results of the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Student Satisfaction Survey were released province-wide. The results contain good news for Niagara College, and identify areas where we can focus our efforts for continuous improvement moving forward.

We remain among Ontario’s top tier of colleges for student satisfaction; in fact we have returned to the top four in this important category. While our overall score of 80.7% is down slightly from last year’s score of 81.1%, this 0.4% decrease is in line with a 0.3% decrease system-wide and falls within the normal fluctuations that we see year-to-year. We also remain well ahead of the provincial average of 76.5% in student satisfaction.

Our graduates continue to get jobs, and employers remain highly satisfied with the skills and knowledge that Niagara College graduates bring to the workplace. Last year, 82.3% of graduates were employed within six months of graduation – a small decrease over the previous year’s result of 84.4%, and within a percentage point of the provincial average of 83%. Among surveyed employers, 88.9% said they are satisfied with Niagara College graduates in their employ. While this score returns to the ranges that we saw in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 after a one-year jump to 94.3% in 2016, it remains a very strong result.

As we learned through our recent strategic planning process, our postsecondary world is changing – and some of these changes are reflected in our KPI survey results. The needs and expectations of students and employers alike are evolving. As demographics shift, the profile of the learners we serve is changing, and the postsecondary sector has become much more competitive. Our 2017-2021 Strategic Plan responds to these changes, and addresses many of the challenges and opportunities that we see within the 2017 KPI results.

Our ongoing $65 million campus redevelopment project is also among the important steps that we are taking to improve and enhance our students’ satisfaction and success. New and improved facilities at the Welland and Niagara-and-the-Lake campuses will ensure that all students have access to modernized learning environments, integrated services, amenities and outstanding facilities that will improve the overall college experience that we offer.

The positive KPI survey results that we see each year – including our consistent placement among Ontario’s top colleges for student satisfaction – is a testament to the commitment and dedication of all faculty and staff,  and our shared focus on our students’ satisfaction and success. Please accept my sincere thanks for all of your hard work in support of our students.

I encourage you to review this year’s KPI results, which are available online. If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact Katerina Gonzalez, director, Planning and Institutional Research at kgonzalez@niagaracollege.ca.

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