K-12 non-graduate success and pursuing public post-secondary studies




Munro, Brent Douglas

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Failure to graduate from high school presents a serious problem to society reaching far beyond the education sphere. However, some high school non-graduates return to post-secondary institutions and successfully complete degrees, diplomas, and other credentials. Unfortunately, little is known about such individuals. Research on K-12 non-graduates tends to focus on retention within the K-12 system examining factors such as race, socioeconomic status, and the structures and organization of schooling. Regrettably little if any consideration is given to the future educational experiences and achievements of the K-12 non-graduates that return to post-secondary studies consequently creating a gap in the literature. This study examines administrative and achievement data of individuals who have not graduated from the British Columbia (BC) K-12 educational system and later re-entered the BC public post-secondary system. Specifically, this study identifies the percentage of non-graduates who go on to post-secondary studies and examines the year over year enrollment data for trends, the commonalities in the types of K-12 courses taken and associated achievement levels, the types of post-secondary programs selected, and concludes with a brief exploration of potential predictors, such as gender, home language, and previous academic performance. Overall the research findings on the study population provided some interesting results in terms of the proportions, composition, K-12 academic achievements, and program pursuit within the post-secondary system. Most notably was the proportions of non-graduates entering into post-secondary studies remaining stable over time, the K-12 academic achievements were average and did not include many at the higher end of the achievement spectrum, all attended a college, institute, or teaching-intensive university and not a research-intensive university, and there was a fairly even distribution across the programs that the study population opted to enroll in at their respective post-secondary institutions.



high school non-graduates, academic achievement, post-secondary education