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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education
Michael Skolnik

Michael Skolnik
Professor Emeritus

email: mike.skolnik@utoronto.ca  

Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education

Research Overview

Iíve been doing research on higher education since 1968. During that time my research interests have shifted between different aspects of and issues in higher education. My most enduring interests have been: the design and governance of higher education systems; the role of community colleges and their relationship with universities; and quality assurance in higher education. My interest in these topics of study is provincial, national and international. One place where all three areas of interest intersect is the awarding baccalaureate degrees by community colleges, and this has been a focus of some of my research activity in recent years.

Currently I am working on three research projects. One involves a historical and comparative examination of the question of colleges becoming polytechnics. Another, co-authored with a colleague in the United States, is an essay on the idea of the community college baccalaureate. The third project is an examination of the factors that contribute to Canadaís number one international ranking in the proportion of the adult population who have attained a community college credential.

My other current research interests pertain to the community college diploma. I am interested in examining the role that diploma programs play in widening access to postsecondary education particularly for historically underserved groups, and the contribution that graduates of diploma programs make in the workforce on their own and in relation to graduates of other types of postsecondary education such as graduates of university bachelor degree programs. Inquiry into the latter subject will entail returning to a subject, skill substitution, in which I conducted research nearly fifty years ago when I published papers on substitution between engineers and technicians.

Representative Publications

Skolnik, M.L, Wheelahan, L., Moodie, G., Liu, Q., Adam, E., & Simpson, D. Exploring the potential contribution of college bachelor degree programs in Ontario to reducing social inequality, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, 2018 (online) DOI:10.1080/23322969.2018.1455532

Skolnik, M.L. Dimensions of collaboration between community colleges and universities in facilitating attainment of baccalaureate degrees in career and technical education, in R.L. Raby & E.J. Valeau (Eds.), Handbook of Comparative Studies on Community Colleges and Global Counterparts. Springer International Publishing AG, 2017.

Skolnik, M.L. How Do Quality Assurance Systems Accommodate the Differences Between Academic and Applied Higher Education? Higher Education, Vol. 71, No. 3, 2016, 361-378.  

Skolnik, M.L. Situating Ontario’s Colleges Between the American and European Models for Providing Opportunity for the Attainment of Baccalaureate Degrees in Applied Fields of Study, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 46, No. 1, 2016, 38-56.

Skolnik, M.L. What Does the Decline in the International Ranking of the United States in Educational Attainment Mean for Community Colleges? Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2016, 310-326.

Skolnik, M.L. Community Colleges and Further Education in Canada – An Update. In P. Elsner, G. Boggs, & J. Irwin (Eds.), Global Development of Community Colleges, Technical Colleges, and Further Education Programs, Revised Edition. Washington, DC: Community College Press, 2015, 55-69.

Skolnik, M.L. Reflections on the Nature and Status of the Applied Baccalaureate Degree, in N. Remington & R. Remington (Eds.), Alternative Pathways to the Baccalaureate. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC, 2013, 128-147.

Skolnik, M.L. Re-conceptualizing the Relationship between Community Colleges and Universities, Using a Conceptual Framework Drawn from the Study of Jurisdictional Conflict between Professions, Community College Review, Vol. 39, No. 4, 2011, 352-375.

Skolnik, M.L. Quality Assurance in Higher Education as a Political Process,” Higher Education Management and Policy, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2010, 1-20.

Skolnik, M.L. A Look Back at the Decision on the Transfer Function at the Founding of Ontario’s Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2010, 1-17.

Clark, I.D., Moran, G., Skolnik, M.L., and Trick, D. Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario. Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009.

Skolnik, M.L. Theorizing about the Emergence of the Community College Baccalaureate, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2009, 125-150.

Floyd, D.L., Skolnik, M.L, and Walker, K.P. (Eds.). The Community College Baccalaureate: Emerging Trends and Policy Issues. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing Company, 2005.

Jones, G.A., McCarney, P., and Skolnik, M.L. (Eds.).  Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nations: The Changing Role of Higher Education. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 2005.

Skolnik, M.L. Does Counting Publications Provide Any Useful Information About Academic Performance, Teacher Education Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2000, 15-26.

Skolnik, M.L. How Academic Program Review Can Foster Intellectual Conformity and Stifle Diversity of Thought and Method in the University, Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 60, No. 6, 1989, 619-643.