Moving Through, Moving On: Persistence in Postsecondary Education in Atlantic Canada, Evidence from the PSIS - ARCHIVED

Articles and reports: 81-595-M2009072


This report provides new and unique empirical evidence on postsecondary education pathways in Atlantic Canada based on the data from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS). This study covers postsecondary students in public institutions at all levels of study - college, bachelor's, master's, Ph.D. and first professional degrees - with the emphasis on college and bachelor's students. The focus is on students who start new programs over the period of study, years 2001 through to 2004, and then observing who, in each year of their studies, graduates, continues in the same program, switches programs or leaves postsecondary education without graduating. The number of students who leave and then return to postsecondary studies and the number of students who graduate from a program and then continue in their studies are also identified. Students in this study can be tracked longitudinally as they move both within and across all institutions in the Atlantic.

The research file used for this study was created by Statistics Canada using PSIS data from the Atlantic region. One of the key objectives of the PSIS is to provide information that will enable researchers to perform studies of student mobility, pathways and their relationship to education and labour market outcomes. PSIS is designed to hold a complete inventory of all Canadian postsecondary institutions and the programs and courses they offer, as well as demographic, program and course information for each student registered at these institutions. Atlantic Canada has participated in PSIS since the inception of PSIS and therefore was well positioned to take advantage of a longitudinal study using PSIS.

The research file includes one longitudinal record for each postsecondary student who studied in Atlantic Canada at some point during the years 2001 through to 2004. The term "longitudinal" means that, as the student progresses through the postsecondary system, the PSIS record will provide a cumulative history of their postsecondary activity. It is the longitudinal nature of the database that allows for statistical studies of student mobility, pathways and their relationship to education and labour market outcomes. The research file contains 337,000 student records.

Issue Number: 2009072
Author(s): Finnie, Ross; Qiu, Theresa
FormatRelease dateMore information
HTMLFebruary 12, 2009
PDFFebruary 12, 2009