• Are Secondary School Students Adequately Prepared for University?: A Comparative Research on Jamaican and Ontarian Education Systems

      McCaulsky, Peta-Ann
      University readiness is a crucial issue in 21st-century education, and it is the responsibility of the secondary school curricula to lay the foundation that thoroughly equips students with the knowledge and skills to be successful at tertiary institutions. The recent demands for countries to align their curriculum with international standards have not, unfortunately, made the pathway to university studies for secondary school students any easier. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to explore how well the secondary school curricular standards and policies relate to university success in Jamaica and Ontario, and how these policies affect student preparedness for university education. More exclusively, this study compared the curriculum documents of Jamaica and Ontario to uncover their alignment with Conley’s (2003) university preparation standards, and their similarities and differences, focusing specifically on content knowledge, core academic skills, and depth of learning. This comparative study concentrated on 11 subject areas for analysis from both jurisdictions. While the findings of this study suggest that students are adequately prepared for university education in certain subject areas, several preparation gaps and discrepancies significantly affect the skill competencies and content knowledge of the secondary school graduate. From the findings of this research, recommendations were made for educational policy-makers to critically assess both the effect of the syllabus and the ability of curriculum documents to thoroughly prepare secondary school graduates for university success. Keywords: university readiness, content knowledge, core academic skills, depth of learning