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Knowing your Numbers

January 17, 2013

Welcome to the first post of the Research and Planning department’s blog – Know your Numbers.  To kick things off here’s a few numbers to help you learn about us and the College.

Lucky #7

The Research and Planning department is a crew of seven, led by dark chocolate aficionado Ashley Blackman (Director of R&P). His supporting cast includes Senior R&P Analyst and hockey fanatic Mike Krywy, number cruncher Pam Grimshaw, research assistant and avid walker Nancy Ball, the incomparable administrative assistant Sheila Allarie, SQL junkie Zaheer Ahmad + casual helper and expert pickle-maker Pat Bates.


In the 2011/12 academic year, the College had 9,135 students enrolled in full-time programs, 16,530 part-time registrations, and 3,408 apprenticeship students. Figures like these are used to support reporting to the Manitoba Council on Post-Secondary Education (COPSE) and for preparation of the College’s Academic Annual Report.


In the past 12 months, Research and Planning has interviewed 3,871 staff, students, alumni, and industry representatives using their online survey system. These folks participated in at least one of the 25 different surveys administered during this time period, on topics ranging from the experience of first year students, to the opinions of staff, and the perceptions of Alumni.


Of the 2,644 student interviews this past year, most (1,548) were gathered via the Paths to Success survey, which is delivered to students as they begin full-time study. The Paths survey is used to help students self-assess their level of preparedness, to connect them with student supports, and to help facilitate their connection with program faculty. The Paths to Success initiative is now in its eighth year, and has involved 7,842 students over this period. Wow.


In the last 12 months, 615 staff have provided their feedback via the monthly staff survey which in turn is used to support the People Plan initiative and other College departments in their decisions making. The staff survey gathers feedback on job satisfaction, workplace engagement, and identifies issues and concerns that staff have. Staff are also asked topical questions (rotated on a monthly basis) related to Communication, Wellness, Learning and Development, Safety, Diversity, and Strategic Initiatives. You can see survey results on the People Plan page. The staff survey is now in its fifth year, with over 2,515 surveys completed to date.


According to the most recent Graduate Satisfaction and Employment survey, 92% of all the full-time day program graduates were either working or pursuing additional training. Almost all of the respondents who told us about their employer said they were working in Manitoba (98%), contributing to the province’s prosperity and to its social and cultural vitality.

Research and Planning also manages the Student Evaluation of Program research and reporting – also found online.  The most recent study found that  90% of students were satisfied with their education, 92% would recommend their program to others, and 91% were satisfied with instruction.

A perfect 10

Research and Planning leads the Research Ethics Board which is tasked with reviewing all research protocols requiring the participation of human subjects to ensure that proper ethical procedures are in place. The  REB receives approximately 10 applications a year. Full details about the REB process can be found online, including application forms for those doing research that falls under this jurisdiction.


Finally, Research and Planning also dabbles in web analytics, helping different areas of the College address and understand specific web-related research questions.  For example, using Google Analytics, R&P knows that the RRC Wellness Blog has had just over 2,000 unique visitors and about 10,000 page views. The most regularly read article to date is a heart-healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe – garnering 174 page views. Who would have thought?

Stats to reshape your world-view

As a little Know Your Numbers send off, here’s an interesting TedTalks presentation by Hans Rosling – “Stats that reshape your world-view“. Rosling is professor of international health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, and founder of Gapminder, a nonprofit that brings vital global data to life.