In 2015, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training initiated a dialogue with the public post-secondary sector to explore a common online application platform for students applying to public post-secondary education in British Columbia, similar to a number of other provincial and US application platforms. A Sector Advisory Committee held extensive meetings and produced a final report outlining 11 recommendations for the development of a common online solution for public post-secondary institutions in B.C.
To actualize these recommendations, an interim governance structure (led by the Steering Committee), with representation from most of the 25 public post-secondary institutions, was established to provide guidance and inform this large scale transformation project. BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) manages the operations of the existing EducationPlannerBC.ca and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training provides secretariat support for the numerous, public post-secondary led committees including Steering Committee, Policy Working Group, Governance Working Group and Operations Working Group.
EducationPlannerBC Project Purpose and Principles
The Steering Committee defined the purpose of this sector led and government supported project is to consolidate existing government-supported online resources to improve post-secondary planning and application services for students, making it easier to plan, search, and apply for admission to BC public post-secondary institutions.
There are three primary objectives of EducationPlannerBC:
- Students will explore potential career pathways and the variety of post-secondary opportunities available in B.C. to help them achieve their personal goals.
- Students will use a single online resource to easily and conveniently apply to B.C. post-secondary institutions
- Post-secondary institutions and government will access system-wide data regarding the usage of educational/career planning information and applicant behaviour within the online resource to inform policy decisions.
There are a number of factors that will lead to success:
- Full participation of all public post-secondary institutions.
- Online resource and application system must be self-sustaining, with sector ownership and governance;
- Student needs and priorities are put first;
- Value is provided for all institutions with collaborative features and services they cannot develop alone;
- Duplication between government supported resources and platforms is reduced;
- Flexibility to recognize and allow for variation in institutional admission requirements is maintained;
- Technology builds on the strengths of current system approaches, resources and services and is designed for the future.
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