Patterns of course-taking and transition for Applied to Academic subjects in Ontario Schools

Across the province, students are channeled into academic and applied programs at the start of high school. Students in applied courses are less likely to enjoy school or pass the provincial standards for achievement in both elementary and secondary school (EQAO, 2012). We know little about “who” takes applied courses in Ontario and what opportunities exist for them to transfer into academic streams. This matters because streaming or tracking practices in secondary school can limit future access to postsecondary education opportunities and create new lines of stratification between ethnic and social groups. The proposed mixed methods research seeks to combine new data from the People from Education annual survey of schools to investigate patterns of enrollment in applied courses and the number of schools across the province that offer transfer courses. The study will ask principals about the proportion of students that transfer from applied to academic courses in their school and examine whether transfer rates are significantly correlated with socioeconomic variables.

Faculty Supervisor:

Joseph Flessa


Kerrie Proulx


People for Education






University of Toronto



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