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

Dan PattersonI’m pleased to share the results of the 2015-2016 Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Survey, which were released today.

The results are good news for Niagara College and continue to place us among Ontario’s top tier of colleges in student satisfaction. Additionally, we are ahead of the system average in all of the main categories measured by the provincially-mandated survey, including student satisfaction, graduate employment rate, graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction.

Our overall student satisfaction score of 81.1 percent represents a slight increase over last year’s score of 80.8 percent. This places us among the top five colleges in the province, and is well ahead of the system average of 76.8 percent. As you may know, the student satisfaction score is the average of four capstone questions that measure students’ satisfaction with program quality, learning experiences, quality of services, and quality of facilities and resources. Our students’ satisfaction levels in these important areas are ahead of the system average on all counts, and we saw a slight increase in the scores for the quality of services and facilities/resources.

While these results are positive, there is always room for improvement in terms of student satisfaction. One of the hallmarks of Niagara College has always been our shared focus on student satisfaction and success, and our collective desire to be Ontario’s top college in this category.

Once again the survey results show that Niagara College graduates are getting jobs and employers are very impressed with the level of skills and knowledge that our grads bring to the workplace. In 2015-2016, 84.4 percent of our graduates were employed within six months of graduation and 94.3 percent of employers said they are satisfied with the NC graduate they’ve hired.

We know that students’ expectations are always changing, and we’re taking important steps to ensure that we can provide them with an unparalleled experience. Our campus redevelopment project is well underway with the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre near completion along with the expansion of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Over the next few months, shovels will hit the ground on major projects at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses that will create new and enhanced learning environments and student spaces, support growth, incorporate new technologies, and expand our role as a leader in research and innovation.

Through our Achieving Dreams Campaign we have generated significant contributions for our campus redevelopment, new learning equipment, scholarships and bursaries, and leadership opportunities. We’ve seen significant support from individuals and organizations as well as the recent $2.6-million bequest from Eva Lewis – the largest personal donation in our college’s history. This remarkable support is a testament to important role we play in our community, and a belief in our ability to produce highly skilled and knowledgeable graduates who support key industries and sectors in Niagara and beyond.

At our upcoming Day of Reflection we will begin a college-wide discussion around a new strategic plan and learn about emerging trends in postsecondary education. I know much of this important dialogue will address ways we can enhance our students’ experience and build on our role as a leader in applied education.

Our consistently strong KPI results – and the increased scores that we saw in some areas this year – speak to the incredible team of faculty and staff that we have at NC. I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication to our students’ success.

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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