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Many Immigrant Students Lack English skills, but Achieve Comparable GPAs

Source: Seneca College via Academica

What role does an immigrant’s region of origin and English language proficiency have on their academic and employment outcomes? This is the question that researchers at Seneca College’s Centre for Research in Student Mobility explore in a new report. The study followed the pathways of 18,466 students (non-international) who entered Seneca College between 2010 and 2014 within five years of leaving an Ontario high school. The study found that Seneca students who were born outside of Canada were more likely than their Canadian-born peers to have highly educated parents, live in lower-income neighbourhoods, and to aspire to university. Despite having attended an ON high school, many immigrants come to Seneca with weak English-language skills requiring support in language proficiency, with 59% being placed below college level English, compared to 36% of Canadian born students. Despite this, however, these students achieve similar overall GPAs and graduation rates.