Peter Dietsche

Peter Dietsche

Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Peter Dietsche completed masters and doctoral work in psychology at McGill University and the University of Western Ontario.  This led to eight year’s of teaching, research and administration in the Quebec college system where he developed a keen interest in student retention, organizational effectiveness and institutional evaluation.

In pursuing this interest he obtained a Ph.D. in Higher Education/Measurement & Evaluation from the University of Toronto.  With a strong research bias, Dr. Peter Dietsche has examined the impact of policies and practices on student educational outcomes in Canadian and U.S. colleges for the past twenty years.  This has resulted in journal articles, conference presentations and a computer software system, used in colleges internationally, designed to improve student success, student retention and institutional effectiveness.

In 1994, Peter and colleagues in a number of Canadian universities collaborated with John Gardner and the Center for the Freshman Year Experience at the University of South Carolina on a national survey of Canadian colleges and universities.  The resulting monograph, From Best Intentions to Best Practices, summarized research and practice related to student success/persistence in Canadian postsecondary institutions.

In 1996, Peter was appointed to the Task Force on Student Success and Retention organized under the auspices of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges.  The final report, Just say yes to student success, was released in 1997 and widely used in the college community.

During his tenure with the public sector, Peter worked as a consultant both nationally and internationally.  Countries have included Canada, the U.S., Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, Indonesia, Malaysia and Kuwait.  At a local level, he has led the development of questionnaires and surveys designed to provide strategic decision support in areas such as institutional evaluation, program development and evaluation, performance measurement, enrolment management and college planning.

As a senior administrator in the Quebec CEGEP system and Ontario CAATS, Peter focused on the impact of policy and practice on student performance and persistence. This work included acting as principal investigator for the ACCC Pan-Canadian Study of College Students and the College Experience, the Pan-Canadian Survey of Exemplary Practices in College Learning and the Ontario College Student Engagement Surveys. More recently he has examined the effectiveness of Career Studies in Ontario secondary schools and the delivery of counselling services in Ontario colleges. His latest national project explored career services delivery in Canadian colleges and universities with the view to identifying institutions with “impressive models” of delivery.

Currently, Peter is retired as Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education and the William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership at OISE/UT. He is also an adjunct professor with the Community College Leadership program of Central Michigan University, contributes as a senior scholar to the Educational Policy Institute, Virginia Beach, Virginia and is President, PSE Information Systems, Toronto and Sudbury, Ontario.

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