College's Prepares For New Provincial Funding Formula


Last year, St. Clair achieved most of its goals under the provincial government’s newly proposed funding formula, but it is still tweaking some of its targets as it awaits the actual implementation of the new system.

For the past several years, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) had been intending to change its operational funding method from simple per-student grant funding to a formula tied to individual Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMAs) negotiated with each of Ontario’s two dozen colleges.

With a college striving to meet the negotiated goals that it has set for itself (in consultation with the ministry), the funding formula will become one based upon performance rather than simply enrolment.

The new SMA/performance-based system has not, however, been implemented yet. Its launch was postponed due to the disruption of the educational system caused by the pandemic.

It will be gradually phased, beginning during this academic/fiscal year of 2023-24.

In 2022-23 – the third year that St. Clair had created an SMA model to evaluate the impact of the newly proposed formula – the college met or exceeded seven of its ten proposed funding metrics.

The accompanying chart (below) – from a report presented by the administration to the college’s Board of Governors during its June 27th meeting – shows that St. Clair missed its targets for “Community and Local Impact”, “Graduate Employment Earnings” and “Apprenticeship Related (Programming)”:


If the new formula had been in place, the effect of underperforming in those categories would have caused a two percent reduction in provincial funding, according to the report presented to the Board (a cut of about $525,000 from $24.7 million in MCU funding).

Schools can re-set their goals from year to year, and St. Clair plans to do precisely that, to adjust some of its targets in 2023-24. This chart shows its new SMA goals:


Again, in the coming year – and probably for a couple of years after that – the performance-based funding formula will be very gradually phased in by the ministry, as many schools continue to recover from the financial and enrolment impact of the pandemic.


• Under-enrolled programs suspended, and a few new ones launched:

• Parking plans:

• The college will soon have a whistleblower policy:

• Items of interest from the President’s Monthly Report: