Evolution of eINFO

Year Event
1970

Introduction of Counsellor Guidelines, a newsletter that provided a central, non-partisan compilation of Ontario university entrance requirements.

1973

Counsellor Guidelines changed its title to INFO magazine and remained a resource for Ontario high school guidance counsellors. A different university volunteered each year to produce and distribute the magazine.

1990s

The Ontario Universities' Application Centre agreed to help produce and distribute INFO at the request of COU and OURA.

1992

The OUAC implemented a new policy of providing copies of the magazine to every graduating Ontario high school student.

1992

The INFO Editorial Board (IEB) was formed to guide the development of the magazine and determine its content. The IEB contains representatives from all parties served by INFO magazine, including OSCA, OUCA, GCSSL, COU, OURA and the OUAC.

1999

The OUAC assumed full responsibility for producing INFO magazine including the coordination and editing work that was previously done by university volunteers. While the IEB decided the INFO content and format, the OUAC compiled the information from Ontario universities and provided a unified editorial voice that aimed to highlight all Ontario universities equally.

2002

OURA mandated that INFO magazine become electronic by 2008. In response, the IEB established a year-long commission to examine the migration from hard copy to an online version.

The IEB commission indicated that an online INFO would be beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • To allow students of any age and grade level to access the resource, a goal that would be impossible for the printed magazine.
  • To allow the OUAC to collect more accurate information because the universities would be able to update their information on a regular basis.
  • To integrate its information with the information in the OUAC online application system, allowing students, teachers and parents to access consistent information from the beginning to the end of the research and application process.
2002

The eINFO (short for "electronic INFO") project plan was created to guide the development of the eINFO site.

2002-2006

The IEB, through the OUAC, engaged in extensive consultation with high school students and counsellors via surveys and focus groups.

2005

eINFO first went "live" in December.

2006

A new version was launched in September with additional search tools and updates.

2007

For the fall, eINFO was completely redesigned in both appearance and function and evolved to become a powerful resource that made finding and comparing university information easier and faster. The eINFO interface included tools to make searching easier and customizable.

Users could:

  • Save searches
  • Compare programs at different universities
  • Customize and print charts of data
  • Search for financial aid using highly specific criteria
  • Find additional, helpful information about programs and universities
2013

As design and accessibility standards evolved, the IEB decided eINFO should be redesigned to address these changing needs. The IEB and the OUAC conducted surveys with guidance counsellors, students and universities, which asked about the content and usability of the website.

2014

The new website, launched in August, includes:

  • A refreshed look and feel
  • Improved usability
  • Mobile-friendly functionality
  • Adherence to accessibility legislation (WCAG 2.0 AA)

The Future of eINFO

While INFO has evolved over the last 40 years, from a counsellor's newsletter to a student's handbook, it has the potential to develop further in its online format. As university programs change, and as the needs of students, parents and counsellors change, eINFO will be able to adapt to better serve the needs of its users. The IEB will continue to engage in surveys and focus groups to improve the function and design of eINFO and to include the information that is most valuable to students, creating a seamless transition to postsecondary studies in Ontario.