OACC @ Work: TTC Post-secondary Student Metropass

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is now offering a $99 Post-Secondary Student Metropass – saving students $22 each month compared to the adult fare metropass. Since January of this year, the OACC has asked the TTC for information in regards to private career college students’ eligibility. The OACC consistent position has been that career college students should be eligible to access the passes.

However, OACC learned late last week from the Chair of the TTC Commission that students attending registered private career colleges in the City of Toronto would not be eligible for the new TTC Post-secondary Student Metropass. OACC believes that this policy is unfair and discriminatory, and voiced that firmly with the Toronto Star, resulting in an article on this inequity being published on August 31.

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Career-college students locked out of TTC post-secondary pass

OACC is working with the TTC Commission and with City of Toronto Councillors in an effort to change this policy. However, we need support and assistance from all registered private career colleges with campuses located in the Toronto area. We also need support from our students who are being denied access to the post-secondary student passes.

In the following pages we have included steps for students as well as owners and administrators to take to make TTC Commissioners and City Councillors aware of the seriousness and scope of this issue for current and future students.

We have also included talking points to guide members and their students when discussing this unfair and inequitable policy.

Our goal is to have the policy amended to include career college students at the TTC Commission meeting on September 30, 2010 or sooner, if possible.

 

TTC $99 Post-secondary Student Metropass

Talking Points

• Approximately 15,000 post-secondary students in the City of Toronto make the choice to attend registered private career colleges annually, and over 46,000 students in Ontario make the same choice.

• The Toronto Transit Commission’s new $99 Post-Secondary Student Metropass is not available to post-secondary students at registered private career colleges in the City of Toronto.

• The discount Metropass saves students at public colleges and universities $22 per month, with an annual savings of $264.

• This is unfair and discriminatory

• The Ontario Association of Career Colleges (OACC) firmly believes its members and their students in the City of Toronto should be eligible for this new discounted metropass. All post-secondary students live on tight budgets regardless of where they attend class.

• A student attending a university or college while working full-time taking one or two courses is eligible for the $99 Post-Secondary Student Metropass, however full-time private career college students are not. This is unfair.

• OACC represents over 250 registered private career colleges in the province, about half of which are in the Greater Toronto Area. The number of registered private career colleges is approximately 230 (112 OACC members) in the City of Toronto alone.

• The costs for including the students of registered private career colleges would be small compared to the overall costs associated with the new $99 Post-secondary Student Metropass initiative

• The OACC is willing to work with the TTC in an effort to include students in diploma programs attending registered private career colleges in the coverage areas.

Students

• Students should contact their city councillor and make them aware of the issue and ask for their support.

• Send them an email and call them

• Tell them that this issue is very important to you

• Let them know you attend a registered private career college, which is regulated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). Make them aware that your diploma program is also approved by the Ministry.

• Tell them you live in their ward and attend a registered private career college and find the TTC policy grossly unfair.

• Ask your councillor to help get the OACC and the $99 Post-secondary Student Metropass issue on the agenda for the TTC Commission’s September 30th meeting.

• Go to http://app.toronto.ca/wards/findAddressForVotingPlace.do to find your ward and the name of your Toronto City Councillor.

• If contacting the councillor via e-mail, please CC your college so we can see how many students make their voices heard.

• Join our Facebook group Ontario Association of Career Colleges (and our TTC initiative group) and follow us on Twitter for regular updates @ontarioacc.

Owners/Administrators

• Owners and administrators of private career colleges should also contact their Toronto City Councillor and make them aware of the issue affecting your students. Inform them you live in their ward and own or work for a private career college and find the TTC policy for the post-secondary metropass unfair.

• Ask them to write a letter to the TTC Commissioners asking them to include post secondary students attending private career colleges in the Metropass discount program

• Ask your councillor to help get the OACC and the post-secondary metropass issue on the agenda for the TTC Commission’s September 30th meeting.

• Visit http://app.toronto.ca/wards/findAddressForVotingPlace.do to find your ward and the name of your Toronto City Councillor.

• Please let the OACC know about the contact you or your staff and students have with councillors so we may keep track of the effort.

• Join our Facebook group by searching “Ontario Association of Career Colleges” (and our TTC initiative group) and follow us on Twitter for regular updates @ontarioacc.

Links to share

Facebook Group: Include Private Career College Students in TTC Post-Secondary Metropass

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=150753031615197

Go to this link to determine the ward and the name of your City Councillor

http://app.toronto.ca/wards/findAddressForVotingPlace.do

This is the list of City Councillors

http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp

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Content for the NACC Magazine

Content for the NACC Magazine

NACC Magazine

The next NACC Magazine is being prepared for Spring 2010. The magazine is distributed to every high school guidance department across Canada, NACC members and key stakeholders such as Members of Parliament. It is also published on the NACC website.

There is space for “good news” stories from every provincial association. These should not be student testimonials but items that would be of interest to prospective students about special events, special recognitions such as awards at the Skills Canada Competition, community service, new programs or any other items that are newsworthy.

If you have an good news story from your college, please e-mail it to kristas@oacc.on.ca by noon on February 8, 2010!

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The World of Web 2.0

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Delicious, Tumblr, LinkedIn, blogs and wikis – the list goes on, but you get the idea. There have never been more ways to connect with others. The online explosion of user-generated content begs the question – how do you, as a business, harness its power?

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It’s a concept that many organizations have been toying with. The Ontario Association of Career Colleges waded into the world of web 2.0 a month ago, with a new blog and accounts on Twitter and Facebook. So far, the experience has been positive. Our small base of followers is slowly growing.

Many organizations have jumped to include social media in their communications strategy. A recent survey done by Sage North America found that 88 percent of U.S. and Canadian nonprofits are using some form of social media, although less than half of this number have been using the channel for more than a year.

According to a 2008 survey done by agency Com.motion and Pollara, two-thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) who use social media say social media tools are important for learning about products, services, organizations and brands, up from 59 per cent in 2007. Nearly four in five Canadians (79 per cent) say they have used social media tools. That’s up from 71 per cent in 2007.

social-media

This all spells potential for savvy marketers. For private career colleges, the most obvious benefits could be in student recruitment – it could be a direct channel to people considering going to school.

So tell us – what has your experience been with social media, professionally or personally? Does your business have a blog? A Twitter account? A Facebook page? What are the challenges with using social media? How can private career colleges use it effectively?

Social media has emerged as a topic of interest to OACC members. Several respondents requested a speaker or workshop dealing with online marketing and social networking for OACC’s conference in April. What would you like to learn? Could you suggest a speaker?

Let’s start a discussion…

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OACC Conference 2010

The Blue Mountain Resort, Photo by Qinn

The Blue Mountain Resort, Photo by Qinn

The event will be held at the beautiful Village Blue Mountain Conference Centre in Collingwood on April 21, 22 and 23.

The details of this year’s conference are still under construction – and that’s where YOU come in. What would bring you to this year’s OACC Conference?

Administrative Assistant April Chato prepared a variety of questions to assist you in giving feedback. Please consider and respond – by sending an e-mail (aprilchato@oacc.on.ca) or providing a comment below.

1. What kind of workshop topics would you like to see at the conference?

2. Is there a specific topic that you would like the key note speaker to focus on?

3. Do you have the contact information of a key note speaker you would like to recommend?

4. What government or ministry issues would you like addressed at the conference?

5. Please provide the names (with contact information) of two suppliers that you would like to see as exhibitors and/or sponsors at the conference.

And, now for the fun part…

6. Given the opportunity to participate in a group activity Friday after the formal conference conclusion, what would interest you? (Golf, Scandinavian spa, historical tours, scenic caving, the possibilities are endless and we’re open to suggestions…)

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