Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
University of Toronto at Mississauga

University of Toronto at Mississauga

August 18, 2005 10:00 ET

CMSF: Researchers Study Ways to Ensure Student Success

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 18, 2005) - The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation and the University of Toronto today announced a pilot project exploring ways to improve student retention and academic success. The project, the first of its kind in Canada, will be delivered initially at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) to measure the effectiveness of different kinds of interventions on student achievement and retention rates.

"Our Foundation's mandate is to improve access to post-secondary education," says Norman Riddell, the Foundation's executive director and CEO. "Getting students in the door, however, is not enough. We must learn more about ways in which we can ensure that students continue their studies to completion."

The Student Achievement and Retention (STAR) project, led by U of T economist Philip Oreopoulos, will examine how academic support - including peer mentoring and counselling - as well as financial assistance affects student retention. It will also examine whether such support programs affect later outcomes such as subsequent grades, program of study and attitudes towards learning. About 6,000 first-year undergraduates over two years will be randomly selected to participate in the study. The five-year project will receive funding of $4.5 million from the Foundation and $1 million from U of T.

"This level of research support in our academic and student services is extremely timely," says Professor Ian Orchard, vice-president and principal of the University of Toronto at Mississauga. "The University of Toronto's long-term planning process calls for an enhanced focus on the quality of the student experience and this project will forward that goal at UTM. This project draws on the expertise of our Academic Skills Centre and Student Affairs, fitting perfectly the Foundation's desire to promote diversity and academic success in the student population."

"We are thrilled with this opportunity to combine meaningful research with very practical interventions to enhance university students' learning opportunities," says Oreopoulos. "There may be societal and institutional advantages, and life-long personal benefits whenever we can encourage additional students to follow through and successfully complete their university degrees. The Foundation's generous support of our research will increase our understanding of the roles of student-led peer support and financial support in achieving these outcomes."

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation is a private, independent organization created by an act of parliament in 1998. It encourages Canadian students to strive for excellence and pursue their post-secondary studies. The foundation distributes $325 million in bursaries and scholarships each year throughout Canada. Since its inception, it has awarded more than $1.7 billion in the form of over 550,000 bursaries and scholarships to Canadian post-secondary students. During that time, it awarded more than 21,000 awards worth nearly $65 million to University of Toronto students.

Contact Information

  • Office of Advancement, University of Toronto at Mississauga
    Tracy Moniz
    Manager, Communications and Marketing
    (905) 569-4757
    Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
    Joseph Berger
    Communications Department
    (514) 284-7246