Seneca employees win academic pathway awards
Honours include leadership and research excellence
Feb. 28, 2019
The inaugural 2019 Transfer Awards of Excellence from the government-funded Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) were handed out earlier this week.
Seneca’s Henry Decock received the Leadership Award while the Centre for Research in Student Mobility (CRSM) received the Research Excellence Award.
“We were pleasantly surprised,” said Decock, Associate Vice-President, Academic Partnerships. “Seneca became a pathway college before it was popular.”
The Transfer Awards of Excellence recognize individuals and groups that help build academic pathways and reduce barriers for students.
In the Leadership Award category, Decock was honoured for the significant contributions he has made throughout his career towards building a culture of mobility and transfer in Ontario’s postsecondary system.
In his more than 30 years at Seneca, Decock was instrumental in creating the watershed agreement with York University in 1997, enabling graduates from Seneca’s two-year Liberal Arts University Transfer diploma program to complete a degree within three calendar years, a model that has been extended to other institutions.
He also led the establishment of CRSM in 2014 and is currently working with four colleges to enable student access to additional programs that would minimize the time required to study at Seneca.
The CRSM team, on the other hand, was recognized for playing a leading role in generating and analyzing data on student mobility and transfer in Ontario. Under Decock’s leadership, the team consists of Ursula McCloy, Director; Kate Williams, Research Analyst; and Matthew Duncan, Office Assistant.
The CRSM’s research work involves understanding the role of student characteristics, motivation, incoming language, skills proficiency as well as postsecondary support systems on student pathways, including further education and the labour market.
Over the years, the team has produced research that casts light on student mobility patterns and experiences in Ontario. Their work, which has highlighted the complexity of the pathways pursued by Ontario students, has been instrumental to informing transfer policy development and analysis across institutions.
“Being in contact with students and helping them succeed, it’s the most joy you can get,” Decock said. “We try to understand who the students are when it comes to mobility and transfer. Our work is catching up to the students who are already doing it.”
Read the press release from ONCAT