Millennium Scholarships — Research Newsletter, November 2008
Millennium Scholarships — Research Newsletter
© 2008 Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation
Most B.C. youth want a post-secondary education, but many need help to overcome barriers
November 3, 2008
A report issued today, entitled In Pursuit of PSE, shows that the majority of B.C. high school graduates who have not accessed a post-secondary education (PSE) two years after high school have a desire to do so, but encounter barriers.
One project that may help to alleviate some of these barriers is already underway in 18 British Columbia high schools with the Foundation's support. AVID (or Advancement Via Individual Determination) involves some 1,500 students in grades 9 to 12.
The AVID Early Implementation Report also released today, shows that the project aims to convert students from "passive learners" into active classroom contributors and critical thinkers. What makes the project unique in B.C. is that researchers will track participants' outcomes against those of a comparison group to determine the effectiveness of the interventions and whether or not they improve rates of high-school graduation and post-secondary enrolment.
In Pursuit of PSE
Author - Lori McElroy
Given the importance of a PSE in today's labour market, we wanted to better understand the complex factors that influence why some high school graduates do not pursue PSE. Hence, the primary focus of this research was on non-pursuers. Two groups of BC high school graduates from the 2004-05 school year were compared: one who had taken some PSE and one who had not.
BC AVID: Early Implementation Report
Social Research and Demonstration Corporation
The British Columbia Advancement Via Individual Determination (BC AVID) Pilot Project is part of a series of Millennium Pilot Projects that attempt to find out what can increase access to post-secondary education (PSE). It was established by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, working in partnership with the BC Ministry of Education, to test a post-secondary-preparatory program only recently introduced to Canada that could meet that aim.
Measuring the Perceived Costs and Benefits of PSE
In recent years researchers studying the barriers to post-secondary education have focused increasingly on factors related to information about post-secondary options, costs and benefits, and issues of motivation and career planning. A landmark Statistics Canada study in 2007 argued that seemingly non-financial barriers - academic preparation, parental education, etc. - largely account for the gap in university enrolment between young Canadians from the highest and lowest family income groups. Efforts to improve educational opportunity for Canadian children who are not post-secondary-bound from a young age are focusing more and more on enabling them to overcome all of the barriers to higher education, whether they are financial, academic, informational or motivational.