Making an impact on the Ontario college system

Mary Pierce’s interest in actionable, current topics helped shape the research she completed as part of her Master of Arts in Education with a Community College concentration (MAE-CC) program from Central Michigan University. Now it’s being used to shape the Ontario college system.

Pierce is the Dean of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

Through qualitative interviews Pierce’s research examined the student recall, experience and personal impact of the academic integrity intervention implemented at the Kinlin School of Business at Fanshawe College. The mandatory intervention consists of an online educational module and required quiz for all students to complete during each year of their education.

Her capstone project, “Student Perceptions of, and Attitudes Towards, Academic Integrity Intervention A Qualitative Case Study,” will be presented at the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA) Leaders and Innovators Conference in June.

As a result of the academic integrity intervention program, Pierce and her colleagues noticed a definite awareness and understanding of academic integrity. Students have a greater and deeper comprehension of the college’s academic standards. She also noted that implementing intervention puts a greater onus on the entire college community with regard to academic integrity.

“It has instilled a broader sense of responsibility on the college to be transparent and upfront about academic integrity,” says Pierce.

Pierce’s research has impacted other departments at Fanshawe. They are working to implement a college wide improved intervention that builds on the research.

One interesting and surprising response received from students surveyed was their connection between academic integrity and workplace integrity. Several noted that the intervention gave them a moral standard for academics they could see themselves continuing to use as they moved into a career. A correlation was drawn between cheating in college and the type of employee they might be perceived to be when applying for a job.

Mary Pierce’s research has been shared across Canada, and she’s been able to make recommendations to other community colleges.

CMU’s MAE-CC program fostered and nurtured Pierce’s continued education. “I think the difference is that you receive very helpful guidance and coaching from CMU,” she said. “My research wouldn’t have been as effective without it.”  

The program includes a variety of classes, ranging administration to college teaching as well as contemporary issues in higher education- all tailored to the Ontario college system.

Pierce notes the program is perfect for any member of the Ontario college system interested in advancing their understanding and the development of the system.

She found the cohort model of learning to be collegiate and collaborative.

“I liked that it included some online work and some work on the weekends,” she said. “I enjoyed working with a class the whole way through.”

Pierce is an active member of OCASA and will serve on the CMU provincial program advisory committee as the university expands its Canadian partnerships.

CMU has been a proud partner of the Ontario college system for more than 40 years, and its graduates, like Mary Pierce, have made and are continuing to make an impact on the Ontario college system and beyond. 

To learn more about the Master of Arts in Education with a Community College concentration program at Central Michigan University, please click here.

Sponsored content allows us to partner with key businesses and organizations that offer valuable products or services to our readers.

Other articles you may be interested in