Ryerson University has a number of programs designed to provide access to higher education to students who might not normally find their way to university – and to improve the engagement, retention and success of underrepresented populations. However, the effectiveness and impact of these programs have not yet been fully explored.

This research project was designed to conduct an analysis of the impact of three of these programs. Our hope is that the research outlined in the following pages will lead to a better understanding of program participants and program impacts, as well as helping to identify best practices that could serve other postsecondary institutions in their efforts to create a similar impact through programs and services for students.

The research included in-depth interviews with students in two programs: Bridges to Ryerson and the Tri-Mentoring Program. It also included interviews with three students participating in a third program, Road to Ryerson.

Rona Abramovitch, Jian Guan, Sabrina Malik & Heather Lane Vetere, Access, Engagement, Retention and Success of Under-represented Populations at Ryerson University: Bridges to Ryerson, the Tri-Mentoring Program and Road to Ryerson (Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, 2011).