Northern College Pleased with Community Feedback

September 28, 2022

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College has completed its most recent community climate survey, reporting the results to the College’s Board of Governors this September.  The feedback from the communities was a resounding ‘thumbs up’ for what Northern College is doing in the region, and within the various communities it services.

The community climate survey is designed to measure how a community college in Ontario adheres to its commitments.

The survey is based on the commitment statements Northern College has published.

This year, in an innovative approach to gathering the information, College administrators took on the role of personally interviewing various community members across the catchment area and following up on what they heard.  This resulted in obtaining feedback from almost twice as many community representatives as in its previous survey.

Among the results in the outstanding category, the College’s commitment to quality and access in education was resoundingly acknowledged with 100% of those surveyed in agreement.

Ninety five per cent of respondents strongly agreed that the College contributes to the economic prosperity of the region.  As well, the College ranked in the 80-90 percentile range for all but two of eleven key areas measured.

“The response from our communities is very important to us as a College and it impacts how we move forward to assure we are meeting the needs of the region,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO of Northern College.  “Not only did we have a much higher response rate this time around, but the positive feedback was also a great way to start off the academic year.”

The Community Climate Survey is a feature of college administration and is to be presented to the organization’s Board of Governors as a part of the college governance structure.

“This is an area of accountability which I strongly endorse, and the College has actually gone one step further in that we have made a commitment in these rapidly changing times to gather the survey information annually, rather than every two years which was the previous timeline,” Dr. Penner added.

Feedback from the survey included comments on what and how the College could improve in areas of community participation and outreach.  The organization has embarked on a process to identify community activities it can include in its yearly cycle of activities such as festivals, sector activities and other appropriate social, social justice and community events.

One area where the College scored the lowest was 74% for “pursues northern development and continuous improvement through applied research.”

“This was a bit disappointing for us as we are passionate about applied research and how it can help our various industries and communities,” stated Penner. “However, with the recent grand opening of our iHub in Timmins and plans for more innovation hubs at our various campuses, I know we will bring this front and center to communities in the future.”

This 2022 Community Climate Survey report presents the results of 110 survey interviews conducted in late June and July, directly by Northern College administrators, which is typically a challenging time of year to organize and orchestrate these discussions.

Despite this, approximately 50 hours of conversation resulted from the calls and discussions.

Scores were then calculated for each question and all participant comments were analyzed for and sorted into themes.  Among the comments were statements expressing enthusiasm by the interviewees on being invited to be part of the process.

Find the results of the Northern College’s Community climate survey here:

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