Together, we can develop a strong evidence base.
CCDF believes that who you directly involve in the research has a lot to do with how well the findings are implemented into practice. CCDF’s research projects are conducted in partnership with front-line practitioners working with real clients and/or directly with people who are the subject of the research. Our research protocols have been consistently guided by the following principles:
- New interventions/programs/service delivery models must reflect front-line realities and practices or they will never be adopted into longer-term practice, regardless of results;
- Full engagement and buy in of research partners is essential. This includes front-line practitioners, their clients, their supervisors and management in career service settings. In education settings, this includes students and those that have left school prior to graduation, teachers, guidance counsellors, principals, government officials, employers, and community members. We are mindful in any research project to actively seek out and include under-represented voices;
- Involvement in a research project is a professional and organizational development opportunity that benefits clients, professionals, educators and management and supervisors.
Working with those on the front-lines results in outcomes that are grounded in reality and informs practice moving forward.
This project set out to:
- Create the necessary systems to support evidence-based career/employment services and engender a culture of evaluation and accountability in which both policy and practice are actively informed and strengthened by data; and
- Build the confidence and capacity of the sector to be innovative in its development of services, strategic in its delivery and impactful with respect to priority client outcomes.
Phase 1 (June – November 2018)
Data mining and analysis of 10 years of reporting data (2008-2018) prior to the introduction of a new approach (PRIME); the collection of baseline practitioner data; the delivery of PRIME training and refinement of PRIME (new data collection and reporting tool)
Phase 2 (December 2018 – February 2020)
Integration of PRIME into service delivery; PRIME data collection and analysis; practitioner quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, including a comparative analysis with baseline data
Phase 3 (March 2020 – March 2021)
Reflection and learning from the data; targeted training and professional development; legacy resources, including the final report
Transitioning from Public School to Post-Secondary Education in the Atlantic Region: Issues, Challenges and Approaches to Support Success
This report extends Future in Focus by examining current strengths and gaps in the systems supporting public to post-secondary transitions. Based on existing Atlantic assets and opportunities and national/international best practice, clear and concrete recommendations to strengthen post-secondary uptake, retention and successful student transition beyond post-secondary to the labour market were articulated.
Addressing the Catch 22: RBC Career Launch Applicants Recommendations for Improving School-to-Work Transitions
CCDF was commissioned by RBC to conduct an analysis of applications to its Career Launch Program for the first three years of its operation. The research within the report is based on a random sample of approximately 5,800 applications submitted during the three years that the RBC Career Launch Program has been accepting new graduates into paid internship positions. The applications received from recent post-secondary graduates (24 years old or younger) provided data on applicants’ education, work and volunteer history and, in the essay portion of the application, their perspectives on what can be done to improve school-to-work transitions in Canada.
The Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF) undertook this scoping review to examine how to support better school-to-work transitions for youth – those who had left school prior to graduation, who went directly to the labour market after high school graduation and those who had graduated from a PSE program. The main objectives of this project were to identify what is needed to improve school-to-work transitions of Canadian youth and identify research/programming/policy gaps for future project considerations.
Through this project, CCDF’s undertook four main methods of inquiry to build this scoping review:
The formation of a 12-member cross-sectoral Advisory Committee (AC) of key stakeholder representatives who advised both on the development of the project and provided input on the research, potential hypotheses, literature sources, and key informant contacts;
A literature scan of Canadian and international research related to school-to-work transitions (Literature Scan);
A survey of stakeholders (n=141) to identify the main factors contributing to poor school-to-work transitions of Canadian youth, promising practice and the identification of champions working to create bridges for better transitions for a range of youth (Survey Report); and
Interviews of 11 key informants that served as a final check on the findings from the other methods of inquiry listed above (Key Informant Interview Report).
This study was conducted in two phases:
- The first study (Phase I: 2011-2013) tested a new online data gathering tool titled PRIME (Performance Recording Instrument for Meaningful Evaluation) and demonstrated an ability to track common indicators across divergent settings and these “made sense” to all participating practitioners. It also began to uncover apparent predictors of positive employment outcomes including positive changes in learning and skill acquisition, changes in personal attributes and individual traits such as taking personal responsibility for progress. The first study provided a positive start toward addressing the core question: What kinds of interventions (programs/services) with what profiles of client characteristics and in what contexts are associated with what kinds of outcomes?
- The second study (Phase II: 2013-15) refined measures; made PRIME more efficient and easy to use; extended the client service period; examined many of the same relationships as Phase I; and added new areas of exploration, such as the types of interventions practitioners use with clients and testing of a self-help index.