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An impact study of the educational experience on the financial, employment and educational development… Cheung, Hilary D. 1993

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AN IMPACT STUDY OF THE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE ON THE FINANCIAL, EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF GRADUATES OF THE DOUGLAS COLLEGE BUSINESS PROGRAMS  by HILARY D. CHEUNG B.Sc., University of British Columbia, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Administrative, Adult and Higher Education  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  August, 1993 © Hilary D. Cheung, 1993  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  .A-avyitn-isk-activc  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  -AGI1/4.0  ,  I-k it --l-rtaher faUCCAA1 0 n  ii ABSTRACT  Douglas College Business Program students have graduated for the past twenty-two years. This study was undertaken to examine three specific aspects of the 'impact' that the Douglas College educational experience has had on these business graduates. Impact, as defined by Alfred (1982), is the sum total of outcomes, changes and benefits produced by a college. Through the use of Astin's model of the components of the process of higher education, specific outcomes related to employment, finances and further educational development were investigated. A survey was conducted of graduates from selected business programs from the years 1981 and 1986. Analyses were carried out to determine outcomes of having graduated from a Douglas College business program. It was found that the Douglas College business program graduates experienced positive outcomes related to employment, finances, and pursuit of further education. Graduates perceived that the benefits related to employment were more important than other benefits related to their educational experience.  iii TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF FIGURES ^ TABLES^ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS^ CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION^  vi vii viii 1  The Research Problem^  1  Purpose of the Research ^  1  Background to the Problem^  2  Douglas College Within the Community College Context^3 Graduation in the 1980s ^  5  Purpose of the Study^  7  Questions Addressed in the Study^  8  Significance of the Study ^  11  Outline of the Thesis ^  15  CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ^  16  The Outcomes of Higher Education ^  16  The Community College Context ^  24  The Employment Outcome^  25  The Income Outcome^  29  Educational Development Outcomes ^  34  Summary^  40  iv CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY^  41  Overview^  41  Research Design^  41  Department Selection^  41  Program Selection^  42  Time Interval Selection^  43  Population Selection^  44  1981 Graduates^  45  1986 Graduates^  45  Data Gathering^ The Survey^  46 46  Program Mix of the Respondents ^  48  Program Breakdown by Gender^  49  Limitation of the Research^  51  Analysis of the Data^  52  CHAPTER IV: FINDINGS Overview^  54  General Findings^  54  Age^ 54 Gender^ 56 Attendance^ 56 Reasons for Choosing the Douglas College^57 Business Program Most Important Result of the Educational^59 Experience Certification^ 61 Comments^ 63 Employment Findings^  65  Financial Findings^  70  Educational Findings^  72  ^  CHAPTER IV FINDINGS continued Reliving the college experience^ 76 Recommendation of the program ^ 77 Value of the educational experience ^78 CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION Overview^ Question 1^ Question 2^ Question 3^  80 81 89 92  CHAPTER VI: SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS Summary^ Recommendations^  99 103  REFERENCES^  112  APPENDIX 1^  117  APPENDIX 2^  119  APPENDIX 3^  120  TABLE OF FIGURES  vi  FIG 1.1  The Three Components of the Model (Astin) ^ 21  FIG 1.2  The Three Dimensional Taxonomy ^  FIG 3.1  Age of Respondents at time of survey ^ 55  22  FIG 3.2^The proportion of males:females for all respondents combined, and 1981 and 1986 respondents separately. .56 FIG 3.3^Highest educational credential achieved by all graduates ^  61  FIG 3.4^Highest educational credential achieved, 1981 and 1986 ^  63  FIG 3.5 Relationship of employed graduates and current position and unemployed graduates with most recent position - 1981 graduates ^  66  FIG 3.6 Relationship of employed graduates and current position and unemployed graduates with most recent position - 1986 graduates ^  67  FIG 3.7^Current annual salaries as of time of survey (1991) for the 1981 graduation year ^ 70 FIG 3.8 Current annual salaries as of time of survey (1991) for the 1986 graduation year ^ 71 FIG 3.9^The nature of courses selected by those graduates who have pursued further education since graduation from the Douglas College Business Program ^ 73 FIG 3.10 The nature of courses selected by 1981 and 1986 graduates who have pursued further education since graduation from the Douglas College Business Program ^  75  FIG 4.1 Employment status within three months of graduation ^  85  FIG 4.2 Current employment status of both graduation years ^  86  FIG 4.3^Percentage of graduates who found no relationship between training and employment. Comparison from The Class of 82, (1986) and from B.C. Research The Client Survey Project, (1991) ^  88  vi i  TABLES Table 1.1^Labour Force participation estimates by educational attainment, sex and age, Canada, (Dec 1986, May 1991) ^ 26 Table 1.2^Labour Force unemployment estimates by educational attainment, sex and age, Canada, (Dec 1986, May 1991) ^ 27 Table 1.3^Selected educational groups and average employment income for Canadians (1986 Census) ^ 31 Table 2.1^Number of Surveys Returned ^  47  Table 2.2  Program Mix of the graduate respondents as compared to actual program graduates ^ 48  Table 2.3  Breakdown of graduates of the program and of survey respondents by year and gender ^ 51  Table 3.1  The single most important result of attending Douglas College by graduates of 1981, N=24 and 1986, N=63 ^ 60  Table 3.2  Average yearly salaries based on educational attainment and age, (from Census Data, 1986 - the most recent available) and Statistics Canada, June 1991 salaries based on occupation ^ 72  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  viii  I wish to thank those who have helped guide me through the process of this thesis. Especially I would like to thank the administration of Douglas College, for assisting me in accessing student information and in conquering the computer programs that helped me in this research. Special thanks to Mark Walsh for his patience in helping to locate old student records and to Bob Cowan for his invaluable help with the computer. Thanks to my graduate research committee who, in spite of interruptions along the way, waited patiently for the final thesis. Finally, I extend a warm thank-you to Dr. John Dennison, for without his gentle nudging, this thesis would not have been submitted.  CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION  THE RESEARCH PROBLEM  Douglas College has been in existence for twenty-two years. Thousands of students have graduated from the institution and have moved into jobs, undertaken further education, and pursued a wide variety of career options. Of the few program-related follow-up studies that have been undertaken, all have been performed within months of graduation. The studies have focused on employment and perceptions of graduates about their programs of study. No followup study has considered the perceptions community college graduates hold of their educational experiences in relation to specific outcomes many years after graduation. This study investigated three specific outcomes of select business program graduates from the graduation years 1981 and 1986. The outcomes of interest were: employment, salary, and educational development.  PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH  The purpose of this research study was to investigate specific outcomes that contribute to the impact that participation in and graduation from the Douglas College business program has had on a selected cohort of graduates. The definition of impact, for this study, is based on one generated by R.L. Alfred (1982, p2). Impact is the sum total of outcomes, changes and benefits produced by the college, through its programs and services, in relation to  2 specific constituencies. While Alfred emphasizes the reciprocal nature of impact, between the college and external agencies that shape its missions and goals, the emphasis of this research was on the benefits and outcomes produced in those students who attended the college. Impact is defined more narrowly and more explicitly for the purposes of this study as the effect of attending and graduating from the college business programs as perceived by graduates in terms of three outcomes - employment, salary, and educational development. That is, I sought to determine the relationship of graduation from Douglas Colleg Business Programs with each of three variables: employment, seven and twelve years following graduation; current levels of income; participation in various educational activities following graduation; and graduation from Douglas College business programs.  BACKGROUND TO THE PROBLEM  It is important to consider the labour market into which 1981 and 1986 community college graduates entered. Major changes were occurring economically and socially that would have direct impact on graduates. This necessitates a review of both the community colleges at these times and the societal and economic pressures facing graduates of the community college system.  DOUGLAS COLLEGE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONTEXT  Community Colleges in British Columbia arose in the mid 1960s  3 amid a society open to innovation and change and financially able and willing to fund new ventures. Based on the blueprint provided in the report by John B. Macdonald, Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future (1962), community college development flourished. Missions of these newly emerging B.0 colleges, similar to those in California were to be centered, as Gleaser (1960) observed: around the education of the young, the continuing education of older citizens, and the general improvement of the community through beneficial and appropriate educational and cultural services. (p.34) Each college was to develop its own goals and mission statements and to generate a philosophy appropriate to its community. While each new B.C. community college was founded on the principles contained within the Macdonald report, each was distinctively shaped by local political, social and community needs. At their inception, all B.C. community colleges offered comparable programming, including university transfer, vocational, and career programs. In many areas of the province, the college provided the highest level of educational opportunity (excluding distance learning at the senior university level via the Open Learning Institute, now renamed as the Open Learning Agency). Other communities used the college as a focus of both social and cultural community events. Macdonald's vision was that the college would play an increasingly important role in the life of both the individual and the community. Douglas College opened on September 24, 1970, and was the seventh college to be established in the province. Over the last  4 twenty-two years, the institution has grown and evolved into a large, complex community college. The college region initially included Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, Surrey, Delta, Langley and Richmond. In 1981, as the number of satellite centres and students increased, Douglas College was officially split into two separate autonomous institutions Kwantlen College and Douglas College. The new Kwantlen College was to be responsible for educational services in all regions south of the Fraser River and Douglas College was to be responsible for services in all regions north. Douglas College has one large main campus in New Westminster, a small site in Maple Ridge and development is now underway for a large new campus in Coquitlam. The college had expanded from its initial enrolment in 1970 of 1100 full-time and 450 part-time students, to enrolments in 1991 of more than 7100 full-time, 9400 part-time students and more than 20,000 community program enrolments (these being non-credit, nontransferable, short courses or workshops).  GRADUATION IN THE 1980S  Graduates of the 1980s entered difficult times in Canada (Parliament, 1990; Picot and Wannell, 1987). The economic growth and expansion of the labour force during the 1970s were slowing considerably. The effects of the baby boom generation were being felt by the economy as large numbers entered the workforce. During the 1980s several trends emerged from the labour force that would  5  have implications for graduates. The 1980s saw a steady increase in the number of women, particulary working mothers, in the work force. The age of the work force also increased during the 1980s, primarily due to the proportion of baby boomers. Over this decade the general population and the work force became more educated. The educational attainment of those completing their education shifted from secondary school completion to post-secondary completion, "...thereby raising the overall educational level of the labour force" (Zsigmond et al. p 49). As reported from the 1986 census document Schooling and Major Field of Study., "each succeeding generation of Canadians has attained a higher educational accreditation that the one preceding it" (p.viii). Each of these trends would have an effect on those graduating from community colleges. Specifically, employment became more difficult to obtain, due to both sheer numbers of individuals competing for jobs and escalating qualifications. The prospects for graduates entering the job market in the early 1980s, were limited. The recession of 1981/82 resulted in rising unemployment, and almost all employment growth could be found in the service occupations which were not as heavily hit by the recession. Graduates of the early 1980s were faced not only with a shrinking and shifting job market but also with stiff competition from the increasing number of qualified job seekers. During the early 1980s the numbers of community college graduates in Canada continued to increase with numbers highest in the business/commerce and data processing areas. The number of  6 graduates with college diplomas or trade certificates in the years 1971-1981 increased ten fold. While job opportunities were limited (and rates of employment for college graduates were higher than for those who had not graduated), once employment was secured college graduates could expect almost 18% greater salaries on average, than those with no post-secondary education. By the late 1980s, effects of the recession had diminished and  while labour force participation rates were slowly increasing, the rate of recovery was slower than that experienced through the 1970s. Provincially, B.C. experienced greater growth in the labour force than other provinces of Canada, with much of the growth occurring in the service industries. The nature of work also changed over the decade, with part time work increasing proportionately with full time work. Meanwhile, the B.C. community colleges were also experiencing the effects of the economic downturn through the 1980s. As a result of the recession, college funding allocations were either held constant or were reduced. Programs and in some instances, campuses around the province were reduced in size or eliminated. In the mid 1980s, the community colleges across Canada, experienced a full-time enrolment decline. This decline was offset to some extent by the increase in the number of part-time enrolments. Colleges recorded an increase in the average age of new students, and an increase in the proportion of women attending full time post secondary programs (Statistics Canada, 1989a). These trends were very similar to those evident in the labour force.  7 Overall, for graduates of 1981, "the combination of larger graduating classes and stagnant or falling employment indexes signalled leaner employment condition" (Picot & Wannell, 1987, p.56). For graduates of 1986, the situation, while not as rosy as for graduation in the 1970s, had improved over that facing the 1981 graduates. The changes evidenced in the community colleges in general were also experienced by students at Douglas College. Changing economic realities, the shift of the nature of work, lower employment rates, and increased competition for the existing jobs affected the graduates of Douglas College Business Programs in 1981 and 1986. Each of these changes had an impact on the graduate outcomes of employment, income and educational development.  PURPOSE OF THE STUDY  While certain outcomes of community college attendance on British Columbia graduates have been studied, emphasis has not been on the longer term impact of the college experience. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that the college experience has had on employment, salary and further educational development for the graduates of some of the Business Department programs of Douglas College. The questions which were investigated for the Douglas College business program graduates were based on the following assumptions about the program. The Douglas College business programs:  8 (a) allowed graduates to find employment related to their education. (b) was beneficial to graduates financially, and (c) was beneficial in terms of their own educational development  QUESTIONS ADDRESSED IN THE STUDY  The study was divided into three areas of investigation. The first was concerned with employment outcomes, the second with financial outcomes, and the third with educational development outcomes. The purpose of the investigation of employment characteristics of graduates was to determine whether graduates found immediate employment, full or part-time employment, and employment related to their program of study. It also considered whether students had been unemployed, and if so, whether their training or education at Douglas College had helped them to regain employment. Finally, graduates were asked about the value of their college experience in relation to their current employment and salary. The second purpose of the study was to provide information concerning salaries of graduates from specified Douglas College business programs. This allowed comparison of these salaries with average annual Canadian salaries, other college graduate salaries, and with other business program graduate salaries. The third purpose of the study was to investigate whether  9 graduates have returned, or intend to return to education. Graduates were asked about the types of courses in which they enroled and would select in the future. In addition, the highest level of education obtained by graduates and the institution from which this was awarded was determined. Graduates were asked about satisfaction with their college experience, their choice of educational institutions and how, based on that experience, they would advise others. It attempted to discover what graduates considered to be the most important outcome of their college experience. The purpose of the study included determining whether there had been a change in the value that the graduate placed on his or her educational experience since graduation. Each of the three major areas to be investigated in the study, were supplemented by specific questions. They are as follows: 1.^Is there a relationship between graduation from the Douglas College business programs, and finding employment with respect to their education? 1.a. Were the percentages of graduates who found employment immediately after graduation, and were currently employed, similar for both graduation years? 1.b. Did graduates perceive that their current employment and past education/training at Douglas College were closely related? Was this relationship consistent over the time period of study?  ^  10  1.c. When graduates faced periods of unemployment, did their education or training help them regain employment?  2.^What is the relationship between participation in the Douglas College business program and current earnings?  2.a. What were the current salaries of Douglas College graduates? 2.b. Did graduates perceive that the financial outlay required to attend Douglas College had been a worthwhile investment?  3.^What benefits did Douglas College business program graduates perceive in terms of their own educational development?  3.a. Did graduates return for further education or intend to pursue further education in the future? What type of further education would be pursued? Would this be at Douglas College or another educational institution? 3.b. Were graduates satisfied with their own college experience? 3.c. Did the level of satisfaction with their college experience remain constant since graduation?  11  SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY  The community colleges of British Columbia are required by the provincial College and Institute Act (1979), to provide the Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training with a Five-Year Plan. Under Section 66, often referred to as the 'Sunset Clause', institutions " shall by March 31, 1982, and by the end of each subsequent 5 year period, report to the Minister setting out the reasons, if any, why the institution should continue to exist and, on receipt of this report, the Minister shall advise the Lieutenant Governor in Council about the measures that should be taken to remedy or improve the situation disclosed by the report" (p.19). The results of this study may contribute to an understanding of specific outcomes experienced by a cohort of Douglas College business program graduates and assist this process. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training i s very interested in follow-up studies and is anxious to expand research in the area (J.A. Watson, Ass. Dep. Min., March 9, 1989). Currently, greater accountability is being demanded from the colleges to justify the money that the institutions receive as operating funds and capital funds for expansion (Gallagher, 1990). The Ministry is also compiling information about student aspirations and expectations (Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992) for use in determining strategies and decisions for the post-secondary system. This study may provide additional information about outcomes with respect to  12 employment, income, and educational development experienced by one group of Douglas College graduates. In addition, this study was designed to provide the administration of Douglas College with additional data that could be used in the planning process. Information is essential as "the springboard to an integrated approach to college development" (Tonneson, 1977, p.22). The research may be useful in long-term planning particularly since it has examined the impact of the college experience by two separate groups of graduates. The two graduation periods span a period of time during which the colleges faced tremendous expansion, a recession and retrenchment, followed by periods of moderate and controlled growth. Each of these events increased the complexity of predicting students' choice of programs, societal workforce requirements, and graduate outcomes. The number of follow-up studies that address a wide variety of outcomes of the community college experience are increasing in both quantity and scope (B.C. Research, 1990; Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992). Until recently, the most studied aspect of follow-up of community college students has been performance of the university transfer student when these students transfer to other educational institutions, primarily universities. The performance of B.C. community college transfer students has been closely monitored and studied since 1967 (Dennison & Forrester, 1979; Dennison, Tunner, Jones & Forrester, 1975). Despite the relatively small numbers of students involved, (B.C. Research, 1991), transfer studies made up a greater  13 proportion of the follow-up studies than might have been expected. The relative "youth" of the community colleges in Canada and specifically British Columbia may account for the emphasis on this type of research. Community college students have changed over the past twenty years (Gallagher, 1990). College students as a group have become older, and are more likely to be part-time and female. By comparing two cohorts, specific information gained from this study may provide a broader understanding of the nature of past business program students and may provide a clearer assessment of what role the college played in the years that it had an influence on these students. It may provide insight into the relationship of changing clientele and changing programs. "For educational planners, one of the main challenges for the future will be to devise appropriate ways of accommodating the diversity of clientele which will become an increasingly characteristic feature of post-secondary education" (Duhamel & Shere, 1987, p.15). Colleges must continue to be flexible and responsive in their offerings, and the necessity of adaptive planning, or planning for change (Tonneson, 1977), will continue. The study may alert the college of both the nature and the importance of student records so that future research will be both easier and more accurate. It may suggest the nature of data that could be collected about graduates so that further more detailed follow-up research could be conducted. The results of the study will be shared with the Office of Institutional Research in order  14 to add to the data that it has collected. In addition, suggestions and recommendations about college data collection methods will be presented. The research may provide the Business Department with information about the relationship between their program and employment characteristics of their graduates. The results may also be useful in the development of program evaluation tools. The results may also suggest areas of development, as well as postprogram offerings for the Business Department and other departments of the college. Unlike other community colleges in British Columbia, Douglas College does not have a written mission statement. It has operated with a statement of college philosophy which in 1985 was renamed as a statement of college goals. Only in 1992, has the college attempted to put its mission statement onto paper. Information from this study, while specific to the business department, may lead to modifications of the goals and philosophy statements of the institution. More specifically, it may assist in the design of a college mission statement.  OUTLINE OF THE THESIS  The remainder of this paper will focus on impact of the Douglas College business program on its graduates in relation to employment, financial and educational development outcomes. Chapter II reviews the literature on the impact of education on  15 student outcomes. The literature will be reviewed with special consideration of the three specific outcomes to be considered in this study. Studies from two and four year institutions from both the United States and Canada are reviewed. Where possible, literature from the British Columbia community college system will be considered. Chapter III describes the research design, and in Chapter IV, the findings of the study are reported. In Chapter V, the implications and the recommendations arising from the study are presented.  CHAPTER II  REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE  The purpose of this section is to review the current literature as it pertains to the outcomes of a community college experience. The review commences by examining the large body of  literature that has addressed the outcomes of higher education, primarily that of the four-year post-secondary experience. It will then focus on the outcomes of a community college experience. The review will examine how a model of outcomes classification assists in the study of the large number of potential outcomes of higher education. Much of the literature is American, but where possible literature that is Canadian, is used. Literature relevant to three specific outcomes employment, salaries and educational development, will be reviewed. The review will conclude with literature specific to Douglas College.  THE OUTCOMES OF HIGHER EDUCATION  It is generally accepted that education produces benefits to both individuals and society. Research extending from Feldman and Newcomb's (1969) summary of the impact of education and the work of Chickering (1969) and Jencks (1979), to more current local research by B.C. Research (1990) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology (1992), clearly demonstrates that North  17 Americans relate higher education to positive outcomes and benefits to the individual. As part of his extensive work on individual and societal benefits of education, Bowen (1977) emphasizes that in order to measure the impact of education, consideration of changes in cognitive learning, affective development and practical competence as well as other factors must occur. He found that while some individual outcomes may not be significant, changes in the combination of all outcomes supports the notion that education produces overall benefits to the individual. The development of the community college system, first in the United States and more recently in Canada, opened opportunities to members of society who in the past, or in other places in the world would be denied access to post-secondary education (Brint & Karabel, 1989; Gallagher, 1990). Community colleges have been viewed by many as a vehicle by which individuals could obtain higher education and become upwardly mobile in a democratic society. Popular belief holds that community colleges offer a 'second chance' for persons who wish to further themselves (Dennison, 1986, p168). In order to fulfil their role as institutions of second chance, the community colleges have had to "perform a number of conflicting tasks" (Brint & Karabel, 1989, P-9), including the need to:  extend opportunity and to serve as an agent of educational and social selection, to promote social equality and to increase economic efficiency, to provide students with a common cultural heritage and to sort them into a specialized curriculum, to respond to the demands of subordinate groups for equal education and to answer the pressures of employers and state planners for differentiated education, and to provide  18 a general education for citizens in a democratic society and technical training for workers in an advanced industrial economy. (p.9) This complex set of demands and pressures must be reflected by the programming and curriculum in each of the community colleges. The diverse set of tasks outlined by Brint and Karabel were recognized by MacDonald (1962) in his vision for community colleges in British Columbia. Macdonald rationalized that "a whole set of educational opportunities beyond high school [were needed] to fill society's need for a complex and constantly changing range of twentieth century technologies" (p.49). He envisioned community colleges as being able to allow for university preparation, technological and semi-professional education and for the reeducation of adults. Early planners for Douglas College recognized the plurality of purposes for a community college. The first principal, Dr. George Wootten, acknowledged the responsibility of the college to: -educate employable citizens; -generate the curiosity necessary for ongoing self-improvement; -cultivate a meaningful social conscience; -stimulate personal participation in response to social needs; -develop a responsible awareness of local, national and international involvement; and to -enhance the student's awareness of the aesthetic values in art, literature, music and drama (Wootten, 1971, p.6).  19 In order to determine how well community colleges have been able to achieve these goals, studies on the overall impact of the college experience and studies on specific short-term outcomes have been undertaken (Astin, 1973, 1977; Dennison & Jones, 1970; Dougherty, 1987; Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training, 1988, 1992). These and similar studies on individuals, groups and on institutions have all added to the very complex issue of determining how the educational process contributes to specific outcomes. To consider specific outcomes of the college experience for graduates, a further refinement in the definition of outcomes is needed. Using a global approach to the beneficial outcomes of education, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education (1973), states: Benefits take many forms. Some are individual and accrue to the direct recipients of education: among other advantages are a higher income, a more satisfying job, greater effectiveness as a consumer, greater ability in allocating time as well as money, direct enjoyment of the educational process and its related activities, and lifetime enhancement of cultural and other experiences. Some benefits are social and accrue to nonrecipients as well as to direct recipients of education; among the gains are greater economic growth based on the general advancement of knowledge and elevation of skills and on the higher proportion of the population in the labour force and the enhanced mobility of members of the labour force; greater political effectiveness of a democratic society based on the more adequate knowledge and more active participation of citizens; greater social effectiveness of society through the resultant better understanding and mutual tolerance among individuals and groups to accept and adjust to rapid change: and the greater potential contribution of educated parents to the welfare of their children (p.2).  20 Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) in their extensive review of the literature concerning the effects of attending colleges, suggested that most college outcome studies can be categorized into two identifiable strands. The strands separate studies based on whether they are "college impact" or "developmental" studies of change. "College impact" models of change tend to emphasize the sources of the change, (such as student experiences), or 'causes of change', while "developmental" models tend to emphasize the type of student change (such as moral or cognitive development), or 'effects of change' (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991. p16,17). "College impact" studies focus on the variables that may influence specific components of student change. These studies are based on the assumption that there are many variables that affect the impact of the college experience and they attempt to isolate these. The majority of follow-up studies fall into this category since they attempt to relate outcomes such as employment to the specific training or education received. Developmental studies seek to relate the college experience with the growth of the individual student. Developmental models assume that development entails an individual becoming able to think, value and behave in a manner that becomes increasingly more complex, differentiated and integrated. The college's role is to provide experiences that will facilitate these changes in the individual, recognizing that an individual's maturity and life experiences will also be factors within this development.  21 Such a categorization of outcomes is useful in as much as it serves to focus the nature of the outcome to be studied, but more useful is the categorization proposed by Astin (1973a). Astin (1973a) postulated that student outcomes were a function of three inter-related variables: 1) Student Inputs - those attributes of a student (talents, skills, aspirations, etc.) that are the basis for growth and change, 2) Student Outputs - those aspects of student development that can be attributed to the college's influence, and 3) The College Environment - the aspects of institutions that affect student outputs. The relationship of these three can be demonstrated visually (see Figure 1.1). Student input variables and college environmental factors both affect student outputs, while the college environment may be affected by student inputs.  The three components of the model.  Figure 1.1 The relationship between the college environment and student inputs/outputs (Astin, 1973a. p.109.) Astin (1973a) developed a three-dimensional taxonomy to assist in the categorizing of student outputs from this model. The three  22 dimensions include, the type of outcome, the type of data, and the time span involved. The type of outcome and the type of data could be further categorized so that outcomes could be seen as either cognitive or affective and the type of data could be from either a psychological or a behavioral perspective. The third dimension, time, would overlap both of the other dimensions and could be seen as a factor affecting both (see Figure 1.2).  TYPE OF  unxwm  Figure 1.2 The three-dimensional taxonomy as developed by Astin  Astin's taxonomy of college outcomes: permits one to look at four different types of outcomes based on the intersection of the two dimensions: cognitivepsychological (for example, subject matter knowledge, critical thinking), cognitive-behavioral (level of educational attainment, occupational attainment, income and the like), affective-psychological (for example, values, attitudes, personality orientations), and affective-behavioral (leadership, choice of major, choice of career, use of leisure time, and so on). (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, p6). How each of these is affected by the passing of time allows for the third dimension of study. The area of research concerned with follow-up or impact  23 studies falls primarily into the realm of the cognitive-behavioral studies. It is also apparent that there is often overlap between the categories. For example, choice of career (affectivebehavioral) may be relevant to occupational attainment or income (cognitive-behavioral). Applying the third dimension of this model, dependent upon when studied, time would be a factor in changes in the outcomes studied. For students of a community college, numerous outcomes can be considered and measured to assist in the determination of the impact of a college experience. The focus of this study was to consider three specific outcomes: employment, income, and educational development.  THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE CONTEXT  Of all the non-university transfer programs offered at community colleges, career programs have most often been the subject of follow-up studies. These studies have usually investigated graduates who were employed directly in the field for which they trained. These studies tended to be undertaken within months of a student's graduation. Studies were usually program based, and measured employment statistics, labour market experiences, and salaries. Much of the information from these studies was used in course modifications, program assessment and educational planning (Warrack, 1982a, 1982b). Douglas College has  24 performed a number of such follow-up studies, including provincial follow-up studies, departmental or unit reviews, and more recently, the institutional self-study (Self-Study Steering Committee, 1992). Data from such studies produced immediate employment and financial data but lacked the time perspective of an impact study.' The most current student outcomes research of Douglas College was from the institutional self-study (1992). The purpose of the self-study was to gather information and analyze activities of the institution in order to allow for self-appraisal and planning for the future. The study was student focused, and attempted to elicit the perceptions of former students in relation to their objectives in attending Douglas College, the quality of their education and the campus life, in effect the outcomes of the experience of attending Douglas College. The evidence from this self-study demonstrated the very positive manner in which graduates identified outcomes and viewed their educational experience at Douglas College. The purpose of the remainder of this chapter is to focus on the literature that is relevant to the three specific outcomes that form the basis of this study, those being: employment, financial and education development outcomes.  'The 1991 provincial follow-up studies are now investigating graduates up to two years after graduation, but data from earlier graduates are not available.  25  THE EMPLOYMENT OUTCOME  Bowen's (1977) work on the impact of four-year colleges in the United States concluded that graduates were more likely to participate in the work force and to have more stable employment than high school graduates. He found stability of employment was affected by several factors. First, college graduates were likely to obtain employment that was in the managerial/professional category and these positions were less affected by economic fluctuations and conditions. Second, their education may have given them the skills to deal more effectively with change. And last, their educational experience may have allowed them to form networks that may have assisted them in finding employment or generally improving their employment position. Participation in the work force in 1986 (1981 statistics were not produced that related participation rates and educational attainment) and for 1991, the year in which the survey was conducted, demonstrate increased participation rates with increased levels of educational attainment. These rates are consistent both within sexes, between years, and for both Canada and British Columbia.  26  Participation Rates (%) Educational Level  1986  CANADA  1991  BRITISH COLUMBIA 1991  Male Female  Male Female  High School Graduation  77.8^54.9  83.3  66.2  Post-Sec Certificate  85.6^70.4  86.6  73.8  77.7  Univ.^Degree  88.9^77.5  88.5  80.4  80.2  Male and Female combined 70.2  Table 1.1 Labour force participation estimates by educational attainment, sex and age, Canada (Dec 1986, May 1991) and British Columbia May 1991. From Statistics Canada, The Labour Force, May, 1991 and December, 1991, Table 5. Canadian data from the early 1980s would also support the relationship between unemployment rates and levels of educational attainment. Post-secondary graduates experienced lower unemployment rates than those who had no post-secondary education (Picot, Wannell & Lynd, 1989). While university graduates were the most protected from increased unemployment, community college graduates enjoyed greater protection than those who had high school as their last level of education (Parliament, 1986). Unemployment rates by level of educational attainment for 1986 and 1991, (the year that the thesis research was conducted) follow:  27  Unemployment Rates (%)  Educational^CANADA^BRITISH COLUMBIA Level^1986^1991^1991 Male Female^Male Female^Male and Female High School^11.6 11.0^10.7^9.1^9.2 Graduation Post-Sec^6.9 5.9^9.5^6.8^7.7 Certificate Univ. Degree^3.5 4.4^4.1^4.9^5.4 Table 1.2 Labour force estimates (unemployment rates) by educational attainment, sex and age, Canada (Dec 1986, May 1991) and British Columbia May 1991. From Statistics Canada, The Labour Force, May, 1991 and December, 1991, Table 5.  In 1984 a comprehensive Canadian follow-up study of university, college and trade/vocational graduates, The Class of 82, was conducted determine outcomes of students two years after graduation. One of the purposes of the study was to investigate employment outcomes of college graduates. Of those graduates in the labour force, 80% were employed full time, (males 84%,females - 77%), with 10% unemployed and looking for work. Of the graduates in the labour force, 10% of those employed were part time, and women were twice as likely to be part time as were men. A feature of this study was to present a comparison of some of the data from graduates of 1976 and 1982, two years after graduation. After  28 adjusting for changes in data collection, it was reported that there had been a decline in the percentage of college graduates working full time, two years after graduation from 87% in 1978 to 82% in 1984. In addition the unemployment rates for college graduates increased from 7% in 1976 to 9% in 1982. The difference of six years between graduation times had an effect on the employment situation facing these college graduates. Most community college graduates have found employment that is related to their field of study. The Class of 82 study found that 15% of college graduates who were in the labour force full time, were in jobs that were not related to their field of study (males - 20%, females - 12%). When graduates in only business/commerce were considered, 16% were employed full-time in a job not related to their education (males - 22%, females - 14%). For graduates employed part-time, over one third (34%) were working in a position unrelated to their education (males - 56%, females - 27%). While this particular study involved graduates from 1982, it is worth reiterating that economic times were rapidly changing in the mid 1980s and the situation for graduates changed correspondingly, on a year to year basis. As such, the conclusions of The Class of 82 study can not be easily transferred to graduates of other years. More recent studies have considered the relationship between studies at British Columbia community colleges and levels of employment. In spite of a poor response rate (4706 respondents), provincial graduate surveys of graduates nine months after graduation showed that of those currently employed, approximately  29 12% were employed in a field not related to their studies (B.C. Research, 1991). Of those unemployed at present but who had been employed at some point since graduation, 19% had had a job that was not related to past education or training. As shifts in the economy led to changes in both the quantity and type of employment, the educational levels of the population also underwent change. The general population demonstrated a steady increase in overall level of educational attainment. Together these two changes, which occurred over a relatively short time span, contributed to very different employment situations facing community college graduates of 1981 and 1986.  THE INCOME OUTCOME  Income has traditionally been studied to determine how different levels of educational attainment affect earnings. It has been established that much like the hierarchy of educational institutions, the levels of income attainment are closely related to the number of years of formal education of an individual (Clark, Laing & Rechnitzer, 1986). Those individuals who complete high school command higher salaries that those who do not. Students who have post-secondary certification (but not a degree) fair better than those with just high school (Brint & Karabel, 1989; Jencks, 1979). Jencks et al. (1979) linked each year of college attendance with an increase of 12% in annual earnings. They further determined that there are benchmarks of education at which earnings  30 are affected and that "higher education has more impact on earnings than elementary or secondary education" (p.190). The most evident benchmarks are high-school graduation, completion of an undergraduate degree and completion of further degrees. The most significant is the completion of a bachelor's degree (Jencks et al, 1979, Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). In the United States, there appears to be a "bonus" for completion of a baccalaureate degree. This bonus is not as evident upon completion of either high school or graduate degrees. This suggests that the relationship between years of post-secondary education and earnings is not necessarily linear (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Since the community college offers its students a level of education that falls between matriculation and the baccalaureate, the income benefits of a college certificate or diploma should fall somewhere between these two. The relationship between levels of education and earnings can be misconstrued if the factors affecting income are not carefully considered. For example, previous experience, qualification earned, area of study, the location of employment, and personal factors such as age and gender, all affect income. In addition, time since graduation also affects income. Income of new graduates from community college programs can sometimes equal or surpass those from similar programs at four-year institutions but "there is reason to believe that over the course of the life cycle a substantial advantage will accrue to those who attend four-year colleges and universities as they translate their higher  31 occupational status into earnings" (Brint & Karabel, p.24). Notwithstanding these additional factors, the positive relationship between education and income benefits to the individual is supported in several reports produced by Statistics  Comparative salaries based on level of education and age Level of Education/Age Less than Grade 9^(all ages) 15-24 25-44 45-64  Average yearly income ($) Canada  B.C.^B.C.male  B.C.female  20,944 12,949 20,059 21,683  24,071 14,907 22,652 24,910  27,292 17,032 26,490 27,872  14,885 8,738 14,127 15,474  Grade 12^(all ages) certificate 15-24 25-44 45-64  23,243 15,169 23,812 28,081  24,864 16,656 25,725 28,712  29,094 18,773 29,917 33,431  19,312 14,453 20,348 20,754  Trade cert., (all ages) 15-24 25-44 45-64  26,510 15,286 26,224 30,157  30,675 18,749 29,684 32,903  33,148 20,403 32,380 34,812  19,605 15,902 19,550 20,693  Post-sec,^(all ages) Non-univ. grads 15-24 25-44 45-64  25,996 16,761 26,390 29,325  27,792 17,440 28,087 30,151  31,953 20,187 31,909 34,207  20,244 15,354 20,796 21,471  University degree 39,824 44,240 29,128 40,281 19,413 18,695 20,101 17,456 (all ages) 15-24 41,040 28,580 37,516 37,162 25-44 48,139 32,627 50,987 52,723 45-64 ^ Selected educational groups and average employment Table 1.3 income for Canadians - based on 1986 Census# *from Schooling and Major Field of Study, Census 1986, Table 8B. Based on 20% Sample Data of the 1986 Census.  32 Canada (1986, 1989b). In Table 1.3, the association between increased average yearly income and level of schooling completed is demonstrated. This data would support a relationship between the level of schooling and average income. It would suggest that the credential obtained contributes to significant differences in income. Since the data collected in this research study was obtained in 1991, income figures from 1991 are presented. According to data from Statistics Canada, for June 1991 (the time the thesis survey was conducted) using the estimates of average weekly earnings for all employees, seasonally adjusted, the yearly salaries are as follows: for all B.C. employees - $28,000 for those in Finance (including Real Estate and Insurance) $29,500; and for those in commerce, business and personal services - $24,000. Analysis by educational attainment is unavailable until the release of the 1991 Census reports which will relate salary to educational attainment. Comparing average salaries based on educational attainment is perhaps one of the most simple means to compare financial outcomes. It is not however the only method. If one considers the educational experience as an investment, it should then be possible to look at the financial outcomes as a rate of return based on investment and then to compare various outcomes. Rate of return calculations may then consider a wider range of financial outcomes, in addition to direct remuneration. Offsetting the direct earnings afforded students with postsecondary education, consideration would need to be given to  33 the costs entailed in obtaining the education: direct costs, for example tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. and also the opportunity cost of attendance, for example the loss of income during the time of studies. Taking into consideration both the costs and economic benefits, it is possible to calculate the rate of return from investing in education and then compare the returns with those of alternate forms of investment (Bowen, 1977: National Centre for Education Statistics, 1982 and Pascarelli & Terenzini, 1991, p. 503). The literature covering four-year institutions shows that the rate of return is favourable when compared to other investments but that for two-year institutions the research is less convincing (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Refinements and new approaches to traditional methods of rate of return calculations have also suggested increased value of the educational experience. Haveman and Wolfe (1984) attempted to quantify the value that each year of schooling has on what they defined as the 'non-marketed' effects of education. They considered such issues as health, number of children etc. and attempted to identify the financial implications to the individual. They speculated that the value credited to an additional year of schooling would be double if these effects were to be considered. Differing rates of return produced by various studies are due to the different parameters used in the calculation. Overall, rate of return research shows a positive outcome for the educational experience when compared to other investments, confirming the positive relationship between increased schooling and income.  34 In summary, the literature shows evidence that increased levels of educational attainment are likely to produce increases in financial compensation through salaries and other financial measures. Use of rate of return calculations do not detract but rather increase these financial benefits.  EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES  Attitudes towards education have changed since the 1960s. Education was, and is, intrinsically and extrinsically valuable to an individual. Intrinsic values were predominant thirty years ago but these have since been replaced by extrinsic values. In recent years, students starting their education have become more concerned with the financial outcomes of their educational experience than the development of self (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, p.273). In a study commissioned by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology of British Columbia (1992), "The Client Survey Project", two-thirds of all students surveyed stated that "preparing for a job or career" and "developing their potential" were "very important" expectations of the system. The analysis, based on programs and disciplines, concluded that: students in career/vocational programs, however, place relatively more importance on career expectations, reflecting the job-related nature of most of these programs. Conversely, students in transfer programs emphasize the importance of educational expectations in relation to other students. This is consistent with the aspirations of most transfer students anticipating a move to a university. (p.33)  35 Level of education is also related to the likelihood that an individual will choose further education. University graduates are more likely to engage in further education than high school graduates (Bowen, 1977) but the highest rates of participation are from adults with some post secondary education (Haggar-Guenette, 1991). The reason for this phenomenon may be closely tied to the fact that individuals are more likely to be employed and have higher incomes that might allow such pursuits. It may be due to competition in the job market and the necessity to improve and or upgrade skills. It may also be to obtain totally new skills as people change occupations and the nature of their employment. The increase in the number of part time courses and workshops available to working adults helps to accommodate these needs. The necessity, opportunity and social acceptability of continuing the learning process have all combined to encourage the concept of life-long learning. Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) found that 20% of Canadian graduates of community colleges returned to some form of education within one year of graduation; 12% returned full-time, 8% part time. They found that these graduates returned primarily for job related reasons. In addition, one-tenth of all graduates earned another certificate after their initial college graduation. Earlier studies suggested that many graduates anticipate returning to post-secondary studies but few actually do so (Clark, Zsigmond, 1981). Most recently in British Columbia, the majority of graduates anticipated further education. The 1991 Outcomes survey  36 (B.C. Research, 1991) found that over half (61%) of all community college graduates planned further education (60% for graduates of business and office programs). Unfortunately, this survey did not establish how many graduates actually followed through with their intended plans. There has been a change in the nature of those adults who choose to return to formal learning settings. Based on the Labour Force Survey, (a monthly Statistics Canada household survey in October 1980 and 1990) the changes in the types of persons, (not necessarily graduates) who return to post-secondary education can be detailed. This survey showed that increasing numbers of adults are returning to various types of institutions for schooling. The range of ages of those returning to credit courses has increased over the decade and more females are likely to participate. The survey determined that while the majority of persons who returned to formal learning were employed full-time, the number of women employed full-time returning to learning increased faster than the number of men. For most returning part time students, the reasons given for returning to educational programs were job related. While not specific to graduates of programs returning to further their education, conclusions of the study would suggest that "the trend towards lifelong learning will continue through the 1990s as the younger adult population becomes more highly educated, and as success in the labour market becomes increasingly dependent upon knowledge skills" (p29). Literature considering how graduates perceive their  37 educational experience is increasing. As colleges strive to become 'learner focused' a greater emphasis is being placed on the satisfaction of graduates with their educational experience. Follow-up surveys now attempt to determine student satisfaction with all aspects of the educational experience. How graduates reflect on their own choices, (programs, institutions etc.) and what effect their own experiences have had on how they now express this (valuing the program, re: educational options, suggesting that they would choose to repeat their own educational experience) together suggest a level of satisfaction with their own educational experience. Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) found that, overall, graduates from Canadian community colleges were satisfied with their educational experience. They found that 64% (59% of business/commerce graduates only) would choose to repeat their program of study. Of those who would not choose to repeat their program, the majority (55%) would choose to enrol in a university rather than a community college. Thirty-seven per cent would choose to remain at a college but would change the program of study. In British Columbia, student perceptions about satisfaction with their educational development via the community college experience have recently been addressed under the auspices of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training. This research involved graduate follow-up on students from selected programs nine months after graduation (Graduate Follow-Up Working Group, 1987 & B.C. Research, 1991). Several of the items on the surveys were  38 concerned with the students' satisfaction with their educational experiences. The studies found a high level of satisfaction with education and training received by students, with close to all graduates finding their experiences to have been worthwhile. A component of the most recent Douglas College self-study (1992) focused on graduates and found that they were very positive about the overall experience at Douglas College. There are a few studies relating goals of students entering a program or institution, to the outcomes as perceived by those students. Students enter community college programs for primarily job-related reasons (Clark, Laing & Rechnitzer,1986; Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992). Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) found that students tied employment prospects and the skills acquisitions necessary for employment as the most important reasons for selecting their program of study. Reasons related to improving social skills were the least selected by these graduates. When relating the outcomes of their education to the reasons they had enroled, graduates tended to consider academic satisfaction over career prospects as the most important outcome. This would support the work of Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) in terms of a shift to valuing more intrinsic outcomes as the elapsed time since program commencement increases. Provincially, almost ninety per cent (88%), of B.C. graduates choose to enrol at colleges or institutes for job related reasons, and 94% met that objective to some extent (B.C. Research, 1991). For those graduates in business and office programs specifically,  39 the results were very similar (90% and 92% respectively). Evidence from the Douglas College self-study attempted to identify why students initially came to the college and whether their objectives were achieved. It was established that those students in academic programs primarily wanted to prepare for transfer to a university and those in occupational programs primarily wanted to prepare for employment and that both groups met that goal (85% for the academic graduates and 98% of occupational graduates).  SUMMARY  Society anticipates certain beneficial outcomes of education. At the start of a community college experience, the students expectations encompass a wide range of anticipated outcomes or benefits. Financial and employment benefits and educational development should all be considered as potential outcomes for students of Douglas College. Graduates of a community college should anticipate that they will participate in the labour force at a rate above those with lesser education, that they will experience unemployment rates that are between those for graduates of high schools and universities, and that average annual salaries will reflect their level of educational attainment. Graduates can also anticipate that they will return for some form of education after their graduation, likely for job-related reasons. In the remainder of this paper, an analysis and a discussion of a study of graduates  40 of Douglas College business programs will be presented.  CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY  OVERVIEW  The purpose of this chapter is to present the research design used in this study. An explanation for the selection of the Business Department and the specific programs to be studies will be presented. A rationale for the selection of the years of study is included as well as a description of the problems of locating graduates. Limitations of the study and their significance are included in this chapter. Initially, I hoped to investigate three graduation years. However, it was almost impossible to locate 1974 graduates from college records. Therefore, the study concentrated on the two graduation dates, 1981 and 1986. It was also the intent to consider the congruence and divergence between program groups within the Business Department; howeverm due to the limited number of responses, such an analysis was deemed to be inappropriate.  RESEARCH DESIGN  Department Selection  Several factors influenced the selection of the program which formed the basis for this study. First, it was necessary to select a college department that would provide a population sufficiently  42 large enough to study. Second, the program needed to have been stable over time. The Business Department was one of only a few departments to meet these criteria. Two other program areas were initially considered for this study, the nursing program and the general studies program. The nursing program was not used since the programming had changed substantially since its start. In addition, the program size changed considerably as programs were reallocated from other jurisdictions (from hospital programs and from the B.C. Institute of Technology). The general studies program presented problems for the research design. While the numbers of students enroled were large, many students could not be considered as enroled in a discrete program. This was due to the use of the general studies student designation as a "catch -all" for any student as yet uncommitted to a program of study, or for students who were electing to enrol in only courses rather than a program of study. For these reasons, the Business Department provided the best programs for study.  Program Selection  Consideration of both population size and stability led to the following areas, all within the Business Department, being selected for the study: University Transfer General Business-includes Commerce and Business Administration Personnel Management  43 Accounting Management Marketing Management Computer Information Systems Office Administration-includes Legal Secretarial Program, General Secretarial Construction Management Other programs within the department were not included since either the program did not exist in both time periods or the content of the program had changed substantially. All graduates of the selected programs in 1981 and 1986 were surveyed.  Time Interval Selection  The years of study were also selected carefully. In 1981, Douglas College was restructured to create two separate colleges. The graduates from 1981 were the last graduates of the 'large' Douglas College. For the next two years students had the option of graduating from either Douglas or Kwantlen College. Accessing student records from the two institutions, in those two years became difficult. Thus, 1981 was selected because the business program graduates could be more easily identified. The year 1981 represented ten years of existence for Douglas College during which it established itself as a credible educational institution. Graduates experienced a labour market familiar with the institution and thus negative effects on employment could not be attributed to unfamiliarity with the institution.  44 The year 1986 was selected for study, since the five year period between 1981 and 1986 presented very different economic and employment conditions for graduates.  Population Selection  Responses were sought from only graduates of the designated business programs. Graduates were defined as students who received either a certificate, a diploma, or two full years of university credits for transfer. Using this definition for university transfer students meant that the population contacted for the study was smaller than if all transfer students were included, i.e., many students transfer to a university with fewer than two full years of college credit. For this study, graduates had to have graduated within the calendar year of study while attending full or parttime. Length of time in the program was not considered since the focus of this study was on graduates, irrespective of the time it may have taken to graduate. Lists of graduates were extremely difficult to obtain since the registrar's office keeps graduation lists for only those who apply to graduate. Many students do not apply for graduation even though they complete their program successfully and receive full credit for graduation; they, therefore are not recorded as graduates by the registrar's office. This necessitated manual searches of old records kept by the business department, the registrar's office and the college archives. Students were  45 identified by examining individual records to determine if the student had graduated. The Douglas College Alumni Society was also used as a source for locating graduates, but did not provide many additional names.  1981 Graduates  These graduates were the most difficult to locate. Student records kept by the registrar's office were often inaccurate and also underestimated the number of graduates. A computer search of each individual student became necessary. This was performed using old class lists and locating students individually to determine if and when they graduated. Using this method 96 out of a total of 109 graduate names and addresses were located. Since college application forms request that students provide permanent addresses, this information was used to develop the mailing list. The remaining 13 students could not be located since they either provided no contact address or phone number or were recorded as deceased since graduation.  1986 Graduates  Computer records were more reliable for this graduation year and gave a fairly accurate listing of graduates. However, manual searches were also necessary since like those records for the 1981 graduates, computer generated and manually-produced graduation  46 lists were not identical. A list of 253 out of a possible 254 graduates was compiled. One students was noted as deceased. In total, 349 graduates were contacted in this study.  DATA GATHERING  The survey  A survey instrument was designed to provide the necessary information for this research project and to assist the Business Department of the College (Appendix 1). To ensure an optimum response rate, the survey was also designed to be answered easily by graduates in less than 10 minutes. The questionnaire was pilot tested by a total of fifteen graduates: eight from 1987 and seven from 1982. The pilot test consisted of a mailing of the survey, in the same manner that the actual survey was to be administered. The survey was also revised with suggestions from Douglas College faculty. The survey was mailed to both groups of graduates in March 1991. A letter of transmittal and a postage-paid, return envelope accompanied the survey (Appendix 2). Two weeks after the requested date of return, a follow-up letter and a second survey was again mailed to the subjects who failed to respond to the initial request (Appendix 3). Two weeks later a reminder card was sent to the subjects who had not responded and were recorded as located. For those subjects who were not located, (the survey was returned and  ^  47 the graduate identified as not being at the current address), further attempts were made. To try and locate those graduates whose surveys were determined to be non-deliverable, the provincial voter's list, phone books and cross reference books (which list occupation as well as name) were used. Tracking of responses was performed only in order to determine those who had been located. The final number of respondents can be viewed in Table 2.1.  Numbers of Surveys Returned 1981^1986^Non-Identifiable Total Possible N.96^N.253 Initial Mail out^12^44^7 Reminders and Second^9^14^2 Address Attempts Final Attempts^ 3^6 24 (25%) 64 (25.2%) 9 (2.6% of total) Table 2.1^The number of surveys returned based on graduation year.  In total, 24 out of 96 surveys from the 1981 year were returned (25%); 64 out of 253 surveys were returned from the 1986 year (25.2%). In all, 97 surveys from the original sample of 349 (27.8%) were returned; 80 questionnaires were returned as nondeliverable. Excluding the non-deliverable questionnaires, a total of 269 responses could have been anticipated if there had been 100%  48 response. The return rate of questionnaires delivered and returned was 36%. Nine surveys were returned in envelopes other than those provided and thus could not be identified by graduation year or program. These nine surveys were not used in the study. The final number of surveys used in the research was 88. In spite of efforts to improve the response rate, it remains very low.  PROGRAM MIX OF THE RESPONDENTS  The program mix of each group of respondents can be viewed in Table 2.2.  Sample Respond Non-resp Sample Respond Non-resp (%)^(%)^(%)^(%)^(%)^(%)  UNIV TRANS^2.8^4.2^2.4^13.8^14.1^13.7 GEN BUSINESS^11.0 20.9^8.2^38.4^17.2^* PERS MNGT^7.3^4.2^8.2^2.0^6.3^0.5 ACCOUNT MNGT^9.2 12.5^8.2^2.4^23.4^* MARKET MNGT^12.8^0^16.5^3.2^4.7^2.6 COM INFO SYS^2.8^4.2^2.4^7.5^9.4^6.8 OFF ADMIN^21.5 45.9^40.0^28.9^18.8^32.0 CONSTR MNGT^12.8^8.4^14.0^4.3^6.3^3.7 N=109 N=24 N=85^N=254^N=64^N=190 Table 2.2^The program mix of graduate respondents as compared to actual program graduates in percent.  The program mix of respondents and the actual composition of graduates for 1981 is quite similar. For 1986 there are some discrepancies. The percentages of actual and respondent graduates  49 for accounting management and general business are quite different. Further analysis showed that several respondents who identified themselves as accounting students, were in fact recorded by the college as general business graduates. These students had taken sufficient accounting courses within their time at Douglas college (not necessarily in their general business program) to accumulate credits that also qualified them as accounting graduates and preferred to identify themselves as accounting program graduates. This is possibly due to how graduates view themselves in terms of their employment in the accounting field. There is also a difference in the program mix between 1981 and 1986. In 1981 almost 46% of the actual business graduates were in the office administration, general and legal secretarial fields. By 1986, this group made up less than 29% of the graduates. Changes in the emphasis by the department in this area were a direct reflection of provincial government funding changes. Decisions by Employment and Immigration Canada (formerly known as Manpower) not to purchase seats in the programs meant that the programs had to become a strictly fee-paying. This resulted in the office administrations programs becoming smaller.  Program Breakdown by Gender  Due to the changes in the proportion of office administration students (who are traditionally all women), a breakdown of the graduates from the programs and the survey are presented in Table  ^  50 2.3. That women make up almost all of the office administration graduates skews the proportion of women in the business programs. If office administration programs were excluded from the ratios, the ratios would be as follows: 1981 Actual Program-Male:Female ^Survey-Male:Female 82.3%:17.7%^76.9%:23.1% 1986 Actual Program-Male:Female ^Survey-Male:Female 69.4%:30.6%^67.3%:32.7% These ratios would suggest that for the programs considered in this study, if office administration is excluded, the proportion of women graduates was increasing in relation to the proportion of men.  GENDER BREAKDOWN BY GRADUATION YEAR AND PROGRAM 1981 NUMBERS OF PROGRAM GRADUATES  ACTUAL PROG (%)  SURVEY (%)  MALE FEMALE  MALE FEMALE  UNIV TRANS (3) GEN BUSINESS (12) PERS MNGT (8) ACCOUNT MNGT (10) MARKET MNGT (14) COM INFO SYS (3) OFF ADMIN (49) CONSTR MNGT (10)  67 75 75 60 93 100 4 100  100 60 100 67  40  100 100  100  N = 109  N=51 N=58 male/female ratio 46.8%/53.2%  33 25 25 40 7 96 -  33  N=10 N=14 male/female ratio 41.7%/58.3%  51 1986 NUMBERS OF PROGRAM GRADUATES  ACTUAL PROG (%)  SURVEY (%)  MALE FEMALE  MALE FEMALE  UNIV TRANS (35) GEN BUSINESS^(97) PERS MNGT (5) ACCOUNT MNGT (6) MARKET MNGT (8) COM INFO SYS (19) OFF ADMIN (73) CONSTR MNGT (11)  80^20 66^34 60^40 17^83 50^50 79^21 -^100 100^-  67^33 64^36 50^50 60^40 100^67^33 100 100^-  N = 253  N=125 N=128 male/female ratio 49.4%/51.6%  N=35 N=29 male/female ratio 54.7%/45.3%  Table 2.3 Breakdown of^graduates^of the program and of respondents by year and gender.  survey  LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH  The most important limiting factor for this research was the number of students who responded. Unfortunately there was a large number of respondents from each time period who did not respond. However, the response rate from each year is very similar; approximately one-quarter responded from each of the graduation years. A second limiting factor to be considered is the program mix of those who responded. Whereas the majority of respondents from the 1981 group had graduated from the office administration program area, respondents from the 1986 graduation year were more varied in terms of programs from which they graduated. Thus, responses from  52 the 1986 graduation year may be more representative of business program graduates than those who graduated in 1981. This study addressed the impact on students who graduated from Douglas College business programs. Those who withdrew or failed at the institution were not included in this study. Hence the sample was not designed to represent the entire Business Department nor the general Douglas College population.  ANALYSIS OF THE DATA  The study collected and analyzed information from a survey given to a selected sample of Douglas College business program graduates. The study investigated two graduation groups: 1981 and 1986. Results were placed on the "Survey It" (1991) computer program to assist in analysis. Data is presented in both tabular and graphical formats. The analysis is adapted from Astin's model of college outcomes and analyzed primarily by descriptive techniques. Using Astin's taxonomy of outcomes, two approaches were used to analyze the data. First data were analyzed to determine the relationship between graduation from the Douglas College business programs and three specific outcomes. Second the effects of time upon these outcomes was considered. Therefore, employment, financial and educational development information from all respondents was examined and analyzed. Second, separate analyses were conducted for each of the two different graduation years.  53 Answers to specific questions were derived from analysis of the data, and finally recommendations were made. Part of Astin's model of outcomes (1973a), as reviewed in chapter II, served as an analytical framework for the analysis. The three dimensional view of outcomes demonstrates the various way in which outcomes can be studied. This study selected three aspects of cognitive-behavioral change to study: employment, finances, and education, and then further, considered the effect of time. The effect of time was considered by studying graduates from two graduation years, five years apart.  CHAPTER IV - FINDINGS  OVERVIEW  In this chapter, the results of the research will be presented in the following manner: general findings (general information from respondents), followed by presentation of employment, financial and educational development findings. In each of the three specific areas of study, the data will be presented for all respondents and from responses based on the graduation years of 1981 and 1986.  GENERAL FINDINGS  General information about respondents was collected in order to assist in the analysis of the three specific outcomes. The data included information about age, gender, attendance patterns while enroled in the business programs, reasons for choosing to attend the program, respondent's perceptions about the most important personal result of having attended Douglas College, highest levels of certification attained, and an opportunity for respondents to provide comments about their educational experiences.  Age Over 75% of all graduates who responded to the survey were currently between 20 and 35 years of age, and over 40% fell into  55 the 26 - 30 age group (See Figure 3.1).  31-^36-^41- 4635^40^45 50  Current Age in Years  Figure 3.1 Age of respondents at time of survey N.88 Allowing for the different times since graduating, the mean age at graduation for all respondents was 26.7 years. In 1981, the average age at graduation for respondents was 31.1 years. Approximately half of the graduates were 25 years or under at graduation. Over one third (37.5%) of the respondents were over 40 years or older at graduation. The average age at graduation for respondents of 1986 was 25.1 years. Just over three-quarters (76.6%) were 25 years or under at graduation. Only three per cent were over 40 at graduation.  56 Gender  Overall, the ratio of male:female respondents was quite similar (51.1% : 48.9%). When the two graduation years are compared, however, the differences are more apparent (See Figure 3.2).  Gender Proportions Overall/1981/1986  Figure 3.2 The ratio of males:females for all respondents combined, and 1981 and 1986 respondents separately. Attendance  Attendance patterns for graduates as a whole show that students attended the business programs primarily as full time only students. Almost two-thirds, (62%) attended only on a full time basis. One quarter combined full and part time status while 13%  57 attended on a part time only basis. The only program in the study that officially changed its attendance requirements was Construction Management. In 1981 students were required to attend full time, while part time attendance was allowed by 1986. In 1981, over two-thirds (67%) of students attended the Douglas College business programs full time. Just over 8% chose to combine full and part time studies, while nearly 21% chose to attend only part time. By 1986, less than two-thirds, (60%) of the students attended full time, with about one third (31%) choosing to combine full and part time studies and a little over 9% attending only part time.  Reasons for choosing the Douglas College business program  Respondents were asked to rank order three reasons for choosing the Douglas College business program. As a first choice, 50% chose: "lead to employment"; "opportunity to transfer to another institution" was selected by 18%; 14% chose "increase skills and knowledge". For those who selected "the ability to transfer", as a first choice, second and third choices were equally divided between "improve financial potential" and "lead to employment". The 1981 graduates opted overwhelmingly (71%) for "a program that would most likely lead to employment". An equal percent, 8.3%, each selected "to change employment to increase my personal satisfaction" and "to be able to transfer to another institution".  58 As a first choice, no respondents selected, "to develop a broader understanding and outlook of the world", "to improve myself as a consumer, parent or citizen", "to develop myself socially and emotionally" or "no particular reason". Respondents (4%), who selected 'other' as a response and then elaborated on their choice, gave pragmatic reasons for attending the college, e.g. location, and cost of attending relative to that of a university. Like the first choice of 1981 graduates, selection of a "program that would most likely lead to employment" was the dominant response (42%) of 1986 graduates followed by "to be able to transfer to another institution" (22%). The third most selected response was different from that of the 1981 graduation year. "To increase my knowledge and skills", was selected by 17% of graduates. Selection of the remaining responses and the accompanying rationale was very similar to that of the 1981 graduates.  Most important result of the educational experience:  Respondents were asked what was personally the single most important result of attending Douglas College. For graduates, the most important result was employment related. Either obtaining employment, obtaining well-paid employment, or obtaining employment that was personally satisfying, were the responses most selected, making up almost one-half (48%) of the responses. Acquisition of skills and knowledge to make themselves more effective as persons  59 was selected by one-fifth (21.8%) of the responders. The ability to transfer to a university was selected by 13.7% of the respondents. Responses were predominantly employment related for the 1981 graduation group. Responses directly related to employment were selected by the greatest number of respondents (59%). The financial component of employment was identified as being important by the 1981 graduates, since one-third of all responses involved selection of those choices that combined financial reward and employment, rather than employment by itself. The other most selected response, by 17% of graduates, was that they felt they had acquired skills and knowledge to make themselves more effective as persons. The ability to transfer was selected as the most important result by almost 13% of the respondents, while none of the graduates selected the response, Hto become a better consumer, parent or citizen il (See Table 3.1). The responses were also predominantly employment related (44%) for the 1986 graduates. The ability to transfer was selected as the most important result by 14% of the respondents, while 24% of graduates felt they had acquired skills and knowledge to make themselves more effective persons. None of the graduates selected the response that the most important result was to have become a better consumer, parent or citizen or to have been able to develop socially and emotionally.  60  1981 1986 GENERAL CATEGORY  Employment  SPECIFIC CATEGORY  employment/ financial  SURVEY WORDING^(%)^(%)  -obtained employment^12.5^23.8 -obtained employment^16.6^6.3 that is personally satisfying -obtained well paid^29.1^14.2 employment -obtained an education^4.1^6.3 that will secure my financial future  Personal Development  -acquired skills and^16.6^23.8 knowledge that made me a more effective person -able to develop socially ^4.1^0 and emotionally -developed a broader^0^3.1 understanding and outlook of my world -developed friendships^0 3.1 and contacts with other students -became a better consumer, ^0^0 parent or citizen  Transfer  -able to transfer to a^12.5 14.2 university upon leaving Douglas  Other  -other^  0^4.7  Table 3.1 The single most important result of attending Douglas College by graduates of 1981, N.24 and 1986, N=63.  61 Certification  Figure 3.3 Highest educational credential achieved by all graduates  While two-thirds of all respondents indicated that they had participated in education programs after Douglas College graduation, the majority of graduates listed college certification as the highest level of credential received. Over one-third (35.2%) claimed a college certificate and over one-half (53.4%) claimed a college diploma as the highest level of educational attainment. Only two graduates representing 2.2% of survey respondents received a college credential from another college both were from Kwantlen College. Very few had achieved further  62 academic credentials. Slightly more than 11% of respondents had obtained a university degree (bachelors or masters). Only one graduate claimed a masters degree and no graduate had received a doctorate. For those pursuing a university education, Simon Fraser and the University of British Columbia were the institutions of choice. The majority of students (87%) from 1981 listed college certification as the highest level of credential received (See Figure 3.4). Almost double the number of respondents had college certificates as compared to college diplomas (58% : 29%). Very few had continued on to further academic credentials. Only three graduates from 1981, representing (13%) of the respondents, claimed further academic certification. No graduate claimed to have received a masters degree or a doctorate. All 1981 Douglas College graduates who attended university, continued at the University of British Columbia. College certification was also predominant as the highest level of credential received by 1986 graduates (89%), however the proportion of diplomas to certificates was opposite to that noted for 1981 graduates, (62.5% to 26.5%). Twice as many graduates received diplomas as received certificates. Seven graduates had obtained further academic credentials, representing 11% of the respondents from 1986. Only one student claimed a masters degree and no graduate from 1986 claimed to have received a doctorate. The degrees were obtained from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.  63  Figure 3.4 Highest educational credential achieved, 1981 and 1986. Comments  The final segment of the questionnaire allowed students an opportunity to comment on any aspect of their college experience. Many, thirty-six, responded with numerous comments concerning their time at Douglas College. Only four 1981 graduates chose to comment. Two of these comments were positive, while the remaining two were not directed at the educational experience of the respondent. A total of thirty-two graduates from 1986 wrote comments which ranged  64 from very specific, detailed concerns and praise to general statements about the college. Specific comments tended to be more negative than those comments which were more general. Examples of specific comments included: Comment 1 "Douglas College needs a better enrolment procedure, too many courses get booked up, leaving newer students without their courses. Douglas College also needs more night time courses available so that students can complete programs while working,' Comment 2 "Some areas were excellent, however, my computer training was poor to useless in terms of giving me an appreciation of software such as Database, spreadsheets etc. which is what would have been of far greater use, Comment 3 "I really enjoyed attending Douglas College but some courses in the Legal Secretarial program were not relevant such as marketing and others were below standard such as the legal studies portion".  The more general types of comments were more positive and appreciative in their nature.^Examples of the more general type of comments by graduates were: Comment 4  "My two years at Douglas College were very busy but enjoyable. ^All the teachers were super nice and very helpful which made for a great learning environment,"  Comment 5  'I would recommend Douglas College to other people,'  Comment 6  "Douglas College was an excellent facility for education. that I recognized its full value while I was attending. gives you a little more wisdom," and  Comment 7  'it was a wonderful experience'.  I truly wish However, age  Most of the comments could be categorized as being very positive or very negative, with few that were neutral. Three of the comments dealt directly with the impact of strikes upon students, a situation which had not faced the survey respondents during the course of their studies at Douglas College.  65 EMPLOYMENT FINDINGS  Eighty-six percent of all responding graduates were employed at the time of the survey. This percentage included both full and part time employment. Non-voluntary unemployment was noted by very few respondents (4.5%). Respondents were asked to state how closely their most recent or present employment position was or is related to the training or studies undertaken at the college. Forty-two percent indicated an exact match, 70% of graduates were working in a field that is exactly or closely related while 3% were employed in totally unrelated fields. For graduates of 1981, 87% were currently employed, with most (90%) of those working full time. None of the respondents were combining full time employment with school or training. When questioned about the relationship between their most recent or present employment position to the training or studies undertaken at Douglas College, the predominant answer was that the two were "exactly related" (54%). A combined total of 79% were working in a field that was "exactly" or "closely related" to their studies at college, and no graduates were employed in fields "totally unrelated" (See Figure 3.5). Much like the 1981 graduates, 86% of 1986 graduates were currently employed with almost 90% of those employed working full time. Unlike the earlier graduates, however, 22% of these graduates were combining full time employment with school or training. Responding to questions about the relationship between  66 their most recent or present employment position and the training or studies undertaken at the college, 39% reported that the two were "exactly related". A total of 66% were working in a field that was "exactly" or "closely related" to their studies at college, while a few (5%) graduates were employed in fields "totally unrelated" (See Figure 3.6.)  Relationship of Employment and Studies  1981 Graduates Percent  50  40  30  20  10  Exactly Related^Closely Related^Somewhat Related^Unrelated  Figure 3.5 Relationship of employed graduates, end current position and unemployed graduates with most recent position - 1981 graduates.  67 Relationship of Employment and Studies  1986 Graduates 50  Percent  40  30  20  10  Exactly Related^Closely Related^Somewhat Related^Unrelated  Figure 3.6 Relationship of employed graduates and current position and unemployed graduates with most recent position - 1986 graduates. When all graduates were asked whether the program prepared them for immediate employment, 75% responded in the affirmative. Over 70% of respondents found employment within three months of graduation, while approximately 30% did not. Of those who did not find employment, 40% had continued with their education and hence could not be considered unemployed. An additional one-third (33%) had not actively looked for employment for reasons that involved travel, marriage, armed services etc. Several respondents continued with the same employer that they had while attending college and thus had not looked for employment after graduation. Taking all of these factors into consideration, only nine per cent  68 of all graduates not employed within three months could be classifies as legitimately unemployed. When 1981 graduates were asked whether the program had prepared them for immediate employment, 83% agreed. These responses matched the number of responses of graduates employed within 3 months of graduation (83%). Of the 17% of graduates who were not employed within three months, half were unable to find employment related to their education and half were unable to find employment of any type. Seventy-two percent of 1986 graduates said that the program prepared them for immediate employment. Again, there was a close relationship to the response concerning whether or not graduates were employed within three months of graduation (65%). That is, almost all of those who felt the program had prepared them for immediate employment were able to find employment within three Only 6% of 1986 graduates were unable to find employment  months.  (related to their studies or not). The remaining one third (29%) who did  not become employed immediately following graduation  provided  various reasons demonstrating that unemployment was  voluntary. When all respondents were asked how they would rate their Douglas College program of study as preparation for employment, a combined total of 92% of respondents rated the preparation as "definitely worthwhile" (50%) or "worthwhile to some extent" (42%). The question elicited a similar combined response from both the 1981 and the 1986 graduation group. Over ninety percent (92%) of  69 all 1981 respondents rated the preparation as "definitely worthwhile" (67%) or "worthwhile to some extent" (25%), while for the 1986 graduation group, the proportions were 44% and 48% respectively. Only one individual (from the 1981 graduation year), selected "not worthwhile at all". Approximately one third (29%) of all respondents have experienced periods of non-voluntary unemployment, with the majority having encountered one or two such experiences. The factors enabling them to regain employment were not those provided as options in the questionnaire, but rather were offered by individual respondents. Most of the explanations offered fell into one of three categories. The first was through existing personal and business contacts and the second through assistance of personnel/employment agencies. The third was education related and identified on the job training, further training elsewhere, or assistance through an educational institution (such as specific career and job preparation courses).^The comments from both graduation years were similar in content. One-quarter of the 1981 respondents had experienced periods of non-voluntary unemployment. Of those who had experienced such periods, the majority had been involuntarily unemployed once or twice. Approximately one-third (30%) of 1986 respondents have experienced these periods of unemployment with most having been unemployed once or twice.  70 FINANCIAL FINDINGS  All data were adjusted to reflect annualized full-time salaries. About one-fifth of respondents from both years did not respond to this question. The current average adjusted annualized full-time salary for 1981 graduates was slightly over $30,000 and for 1986 - slightly below $27,000. Figures 3.7 and 3.8 show the ranges of salaries of from both of the graduation groups.  Current Annual Salaries of Graduates 1981 Percentage of Graduates  25 20 15 10 5  05000  •  5001- 10001- 15001- 20001- 25001- 30001- 40001- 50001- 60001+ 10000 5000 20000 25000 30000 40000 50000 60000  Salary Categories  Figure 3.7^Current annual salaries as of time of survey (1991) for the 1981 graduation year.  71  Current Annual Salaries of Graduates 1986 25  Percentage of Graduates  20 15 10  0  •^•  05000  500110000  10001- 15001- 20001- 25001- 30001- 40001- 50001- 60001+ 15000 20000 25000 30000 40000 50000 60000  Salary Categories 1M 1986  Figure 3.8^Current annual salaries as of time of survey (1991) for the 1986 graduation year. The average salaries of the two graduation years can also be contrasted with the salaries reported in other studies. The 1986 Census reports income calculations based on educational attainment and age. The majority of Douglas College graduates were in the 20 - 35 age category which overlaps two categories in the Census report. B.C. figures as reported by Statistics Canada are not based on educational attainment or age but do consider specific occupations within the business field. While not allowing direct comparison, these figures provide an opportunity to place findings of this study in the range of those from other studies.  72 When asked if the financial return from their education made the investment worthwhile, more 1981 and 1986 students answered "definitely yes" (48% each) as compared to "generally yes" (38% and 43% respectively). Less than ten percent (8.2%) responded negatively from 1981 while less than two percent (1.5%) from 1986 did so.  Source^  Yearly income calculation ($)  1986 Census-Educational ^ Age^$ attainment- average income Post-sec, Non univ. grads-Canada all ^25,996 15-24^16,761 ..^.,^..^25-44^26,390 ..^..^u^45-64^29,325 Post-sec, Non univ. grads-B.C. ^all^27,792 15-24^17,440 25-44^28,087 45-64^30,151 Statistics Canada, June 1991 seasonally adjusted. All B.C. employees^ 28,000 Finance(inc Real Estate/Insurance) ^29,500 Commerce/Bus . /Personal Services^24,000 Survey Findings from selected business progs. 1981 graduates-current salaries ^30,000 1986 graduates-current salaries^27,000  Table 3.2 Average yearly salaries based on educational attainment and age, (from Census Data, 1986 -the most recent available) and Statistics Canada, June 1991 salaries based on occupation.  EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FINDINGS Many of the graduates of Douglas College business programs have sought further education. Two-thirds (66%) have returned to  73  either Douglas College or another educational institution. The nature of courses most often taken in order of frequency, were job related, academic, personal growth, and leisure related (See Figure 3.9).  Types of Courses Selected All Graduates  Figure 3.9 The nature of courses selected by those graduates who have pursued further education since graduation from the Douglas College Business Program Eighty-five percent of respondents anticipated pursuing further education in the next five years, with more than half interested in a combination of credit and non-credit courses. Of those who anticipate further education, almost three-fifths (57.5%) would consider returning to Douglas College for these courses. Those who responded negatively, most often cited that the courses desired or needed were not offered by Douglas College. This was particulary true for students seeking Certified General Accounting (CGA) certification. The fact that courses were not offered, or that students had now relocated, accounted for almost all written explanations.  74 Two-thirds of 1981 graduates pursued further education. More than one-quarter (26%) have returned to Douglas College only for further education. A similar percentage (26%) have returned to institutions other than Douglas College and 17% have returned to both Douglas College and other educational institutions. For these graduates, the nature of the further education was predominantly job related, followed by academic and personal growth. The least selected type of further education was leisure courses (See Figure 3.10). Sixty-three percent of graduates from the 1981 graduation group responded positively when asked if they planned to pursue courses in the next five years. Of those students, 53% anticipate enroling in both credit and non-credit courses. Twenty percent would choose credit only and 27% would chose non-credit only. Of those who planned to pursue further education, (67%) stated that they would consider returning to Douglas College for these courses. Negative responses were supplemented by comments to the effect that they would consider Douglas, but that the courses they needed were not offered. While just less than two-thirds of the 1986 graduates pursued further education, considerably more 1986 graduates have returned to institutions other than Douglas College. Slightly less than 10% have returned to Douglas College, but almost 44% have attended other educational institutions. Only 11% of respondents have returned to both Douglas College and other institutions for further education. The courses chosen most often were job related,  75 followed by academic courses, with leisure courses selected least (See figure 3.10).  Types of Courses Selected 1981 and 1986 graduates  50 40 30 20 10 Job Related  Personal Growth^Leisure Related  Academic  Type of Course IM 1981 EL] 1986 *Students could make multiple selections N.62  Figure 3.10 The nature of courses selected by 1981 and 1986 graduates who have pursued further education since graduation from the Douglas College Business Program When asked if they planned to pursue courses in the next five years, 94% of graduates from the 1986 graduation group anticipated pursuing further education. Of these graduates, 56% anticipated enroling in both credit and non-credit courses. Thirty-four percent indicated that they would choose credit only and 10% would chose non-credit only. Fifty-five percent stated that they would  76 consider returning to Douglas College for these courses. A large number of comlents were focused on the lack of General Accounting (CGA) certification courses being offered through Douglas College. The absence of any desired course offerings was the reason most often cited for not pursuing further education at Douglas College.  Reliving the college experience  When asked if they could relive their college experience again, would they chose Douglas College, three-quarters (74%) of all respondents responded positively. Of the quarter (26%) who responded negatively, the institution of first choice would be a university (61%) followed by an institute of technology (22%). When explaining their choice, many respondents reiterated their perception that the university offered greater opportunities. Comments such as: Comment 1^"more chances of being respected when applying for positions,' Comment 2^'Douglas College gave me less than what I would have obtained at university, Comment 3^' a university degree is more preferable from an employer's standpoint,' Comment 4^'a degree carries more weight in life,' Comment 5^'although college was a great asset, a university degree would be more helpful in getting promotions once in a job,' Comment 6^'more opportunities - I would transfer after two years at Douglas College' and Comment 7^'now that I'm older I appreciate a university degree more than a degree from a community college. If I was young again and did not have this hindsight I would attend Douglas College again.'  Seventy-one percent of 1981 respondents responded positively  77  to the opportunity to relive their college experience at Douglas College. The graduates who would not choose Douglas College selected equally the university or institute of technology (43% each) or vocational school (14%). None of the 1981 graduation group indicated that they would select a private college as the institution of choice, nor did they want to enter the job market directly. When explaining their choice, respondents stated their perception that the university would offer greater opportunity. The 1986 respondents also agreed (75%) that they would chose Douglas College. Of those who responded negatively, the most preferred institution would be the university (69%), and second, an institute of technology or another community college (both selected by 13% of respondents).^Again, neither private colleges nor entering the job market were selected by this graduation group. The explanations offered were almost identical to those of the 1981 group.  Recommendation of the program  Eighty-seven percent of all respondents agreed that they would recommend the Douglas College business programs to friends or family. Many saw the programs as offering a good preparation for the future, which was attribute to good courses and instruction at a reasonable cost. Of those who would not recommend the business program to friends or family, the majority commented upon deficiencies in the program and that programs at other institutions  78 were better. Three respondents recommended going immediately to a university. Most respondents (83%) from 1981 agreed that they would recommend the Douglas College business programs to friends or family, and when asked to expand upon their answer, two-thirds of the 1981 group gave written comments. The comments tended to be general in either their praises or criticisms. Graduates used many such phrases as "good place to start", "good teachers", "good place", "good courses". Few phrases that used other rating words such as great, excellent, poor, bad were used by respondents. The general tone of the responses was one of satisfaction. Most (89%) of the respondents from the 1986 group agreed that they would recommend the Douglas College business programs to friends or family. Given an opportunity, four-fifths of the 1986 group gave written comments. Responses from this group often contained very specific content that related the writer's opinion to a component of their experience. Similar to the responses of the 1981 group, the general tone of the responses was one of satisfaction.  Value of the educational experience  Approximately half (51%) of all respondents felt that the value they placed on their educational experience at Douglas College since graduation had either "increased somewhat" or "increased greatly", while about (40.6%) said that it had not  79 changed. Less than (10%) responded that the value they placed on their experience had decreased somewhat or decreased greatly. Slightly more than half (54%) of the 1981 graduates felt that the value since graduation, had either "increased somewhat" or "increased greatly". Fewer (38%) said that it had "not changed". Only 8% of graduates responded that the value they placed on their experience had "decreased somewhat" or "decreased greatly". A similar set of responses was provided by the 1986 group. Fifty percent felt that the value placed on the educational experience at Douglas College since graduation had either "increased somewhat" or "increased greatly". Slightly fewer (42%) said that it had "not changed". Only (8%) responded that the value they placed on their experience had "decreased somewhat" or "decreased greatly".  So CHAPTER V - DISCUSSION  OVERVIEW This chapter will discuss responses concerned with the employment, financial and educational development outcomes information from all respondents. It will provide answers to the specific questions asked in the study.  Impact was defined for this research as the sum total of outcomes, changes and benefits produced by the college through its programs and services. Specific outcomes were analyzed through both the quantitative responses and the qualitative comments that respondents offered. Based on the survey questions, respondents offered information as to what they perceived as the outcomes of having attended the Douglas College business program.  Use of Astin's 2x2 taxonomy of outcomes allows classification of the various components of the research. The "cognitivebehavioral outcomes" are those concerned with levels of educational certification, choice of occupation, employment information, income levels and so forth. These topics dominate both this and other follow-up studies. Recognizing that outcomes cannot always be isolated into one category and that overlap into other categories often occurs, all three other categories were touched upon in this research. "Cognitive-psychological" outcomes were considered briefly by questioning graduates about their perceptions of  81 preparedness for employment. "Affective-psychological" outcomes were ascertained by determining graduate perceptions of value changes. The "affective-behavioral" realm was considered with questions about program selection and the choices of further education. It is the combination of all of these outcomes that make up the ultimate impact that the graduates perceive to be the result of having attended the Douglas College business programs. The third dimension added to this taxonomy of outcomes, time, permits consideration of differences in outcomes for the two graduating years. Just as the economic and social climate facing these graduates has changed, the outcomes of their college experience should reflect these differences. While the two graduation years of study cannot be compared directly, differences can be noted.  Question 1 Is there a relationship between participation in and graduation from the Douglas College business programs, and finding employment with respect to their education?  The respondents of this survey identified a solid relationship between choice of an educational program and employment. The graduates were clearly linking the reason for enroling in the Douglas College business programs with the most important result for them, of attending ie. employment. For the majority of students, the potential for employment outcome was the most important factor in selecting the program. Since graduation, the  82 graduates were firm in their perceptions that employment was the most important result of their educational experience. These findings are consistent with those of Pascarelli and Terenzini (1991), Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) and more locally, of B.C. Research (1991) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology (1992) . While the majority of graduates connected choice of program and employment, two other categories of responses were determined. These two categories related choice of program to the ability to transfer to another institution and to the acquisition of skills and knowledge. The more intrinsic, personal or social reasons were not chosen by many respondents as being one of the first three reasons for enroling in the program. While the college continued in its goal and philosophy statements to give social objectives and employment objectives equal importance in the educational experience, respondents to this survey said that employment and improving financial potential were the main reasons that they came to the college and the most important result of having attended. This study did not ask students to state whether they regarded themselves as better citizens, consumers or parents, as a result of their college experience, but to identify if these were the reasons for enroling in the business programs, or were the most important outcomes. Further study of this type of ranking could determine the relative importance of such outcomes to a graduate. Students saw the improvement of their financial potential as a component of employment, and increasing their skills and  83 knowledge was closely related to their marketability upon graduation. The only group of students who diverged from this response were those who wished to transfer to the university. The survey demonstrated that students entered Douglas College business programs with a clear reason for attending. Students then responded that what they perceived as the most important outcome was indeed closely or exactly related to this. Of those students who selected employment and or financial reasons as the main purpose for enroling in Douglas College business programs, all responded that the most important result of having attended was an employment or financial outcome. For those students who enroled to meet employment/financial goals, the Douglas College business programs fulfilled their expectations. For those students who enroled with the intent to transfer to another institution, the majority perceived transferability as the most important outcome; however there were also a few who, while enroling with the intent to transfer, saw employment as the most important result. This result does not necessarily mean that they did not transfer, but rather that the importance of the transfer was not seen as the most important outcome. Students for whom the prime reason for enroling in Douglas College business program was to acquire skills and knowledge concluded that the acquisition of these competencies were the most important outcomes of their experience. Graduates from the 1981 and 1986 years were similar in their responses. However, a greater proportion of students from 1986  84 chose the Douglas College business programs because it facilitated transfer to a university. This difference may be partially explained by the predominance of Office Administration students in the 1981 sample. Since the earlier sample was made up of fewer students in programs able to transfer, the rates would be expected to be different. A second explanation may relate to changes in the economy and the nature of work. As presented earlier, changing technology is leading to a rise in the educational attainment level of the population as a whole. Thus, it would be expected that greater numbers of college graduates would choose the university transfer route as a means to continue to upgrade their educational skills. The most notable divergence from employment related goals and outcomes came from the university transfer group. This is to be expected since the college is perceived as an institution that facilitates completion of the first component of a post-secondary educational program and not as a terminal institution.  a) Were the percentages of graduates who found employment immediately after graduation, and were currently employed, similar for both graduation years?  For most graduates, employment within three months of graduation was the norm (See figure 4.1). Those not obtaining employment by that time, often were occupied with non-job related pursuits. More students from the 1986 graduation year suggested  85 that they were not prepared for immediate employment after their experience at Douglas College. Further investigation revealed that this was due to their transferring to a university and thus college program completion was not viewed as a precursor for employment. It would appear that the Douglas College business programs provided immediate employment if that was the choice of the graduate. Employment Within 3 Months of Graduation  1981 and 1986 graduates  EMEMmomm Unemployed  Type of Employment  Figure 4.1^Employment status within three months of graduation.  Current employment rates (at the time of the survey), are quite similar for the two years studied (See figure 4.2). It would appear that, although rates of employment within three months of graduation were quite different (1986 being considerably lower), when graduates of 1986 decided to seek employment, they were successful in doing so.  Current Employment (June 1991)  86  1981 and 1986 graduates 100  Percent  80 60 40 20 0  Full time  ^  Part time^Unemployed  ^  Vol. Unem  Type of Employment 1981 aft 1986 *unerrployment was voluntary  Figure 4.2^Current employment status of both graduation years  When all graduates were asked about their current employment status, very few, (4.5%) were unemployed and looking for work. This rate is quite favourable compared to those from the labour force estimates presented in "The Employment Outcome" section of this paper. Those results showed 1991 Canadian unemployment rates for those with post-secondary certificates as: males 9.5%, females 6.8% and for British Columbia, 1991 unemployment rates for both men and women at 7.7%.^Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) also presented unemployment rates of 10% for graduates who were actively looking for work. Based on these statistics, graduates of the Douglas College business programs have low unemployment rates. However, the low response rate of this study may represent a bias for these figures.  87 b) Did graduates perceive that their current employment and past education/training at Douglas College were closely related? Was this relationship consistent over the time period of the study?  In terms of receiving training or education that led to employment that was related to that training, respondents stated overwhelmingly that their first employment was related in some manner to their college experience. Most respondents stated that they were employed in a position that was "exactly" what they had trained for at college. Equal numbers stated that their position was "closely" or "somewhat related". A negligible number said that they were employed in a totally unrelated field. Even the university transfer students who may have received a broader education than those students in college business programs, indicated that their current employment position and studies at college were related. The graduation year made little difference in the response, except that in 1986, slightly fewer stated that their position was exactly what they had trained for. It would appear that over the course of this study, the Douglas College business programs have consistently produced graduates who have obtained employment related to their studies. The number of graduates who were ^a position unrelated to their studies is considerably lower than those rates presented in other studies (See figure 4.3). When the percentages of those graduates who were in a position unrelated to their studies are compared, there are far fewer  88 Douglas College graduates than others in such positions.  Relationship of training and employment  College^Business/  Grads*^commerce** *from Class of 82, all college graduates **Class of 82, bus/commerce grads only ***from B.C.Research, employed grads ****from BC.Research, unemploy(last Job)  BC(91)^BC(91)^1981 grad 1986 grad grads***^unem grad—^Douglas^Douglas  Figure 4.3 Percentage of graduates who found no relationship between training and employment. Comparison from The Class of 82, (1986) and from B.C. Research, 1990 College Student Outcomes Report, (1991). The results from The Class of 82 (1984) and the 1990 College Student Outcomes Report (1991), both show higher rates of graduAtes whose training and employment are not related. That the rate of respondents of this study who felt that their education or training and employment employment rates from this study are lower may in part be accounted for since this study concentrated on selected  89 programs from the Business Department, while the other studies include a greater variety of graduates. It may also be that the nature of the programs considered in this study were programs for which job opportunities enabled graduates to be more appropriately employed.  c)^When graduates faced periods of unemployment, did their education or training help them regain employment?  Fewer than a third of graduates experienced unemployment, and of those, most faced only one or two such periods. However, only one-third who had encountered non-voluntary unemployment said that the education or credentials from Douglas College helped them to become employed again. This in spite of recognizing that the educational/training received had prepared them for employment. Once unemployed, friends and business contacts or personnel/employment agencies were more important for securing further employment. Canada Manpower or job counselling assistance was not used to find employment.  Question 2 What is the relationship between participation in the Douglas College business program and current earnings?  a)^What were the current salaries of Douglas College graduates?  The current average annual salary of a Douglas College  90 Business Program graduate is approximately $30,000 for 1981 graduates and approximately $27,000 for a 1986 graduate. Statistics Canada (1991) information on salaries puts these figures in context. Using estimates of average weekly earnings, seasonally unadjusted, the average annual salary for all employed British Columbians was $28,000. For those who were employed in the finance sector (including real estate and insurance) the average salary was $29,500. For those in the commerce, business and personal service sectors, the average annual salary was $24,000. Statistics Canada figures are based on all of those working within the business sector and thus would cover a greater range of employees with a far greater age continuum than the research study, i.e. the Statistics Canada data includes data from persons employed longer than ten years and likely earning higher salaries. In addition, their figures would include individuals with a greater variety of educational backgrounds. It would appear that the average annual salary of Douglas College business program graduates places them in the range of anticipated salaries for persons employed in the business sector. Further analysis of the relationship of earnings and educational attainment would be possible once the results of the 1991 Census data become available. For both 1981 and 1986 graduates, the predominate salary range was $20,000 - $30,000, with close to 42% of each graduation year falling into this category. The 1981 graduates produced a greater percentage of wage earners in the higher categories. This would be expected since the graduates have had additional years in which to  91 establish themselves within their chosen field. The large number of those still within the lower salary ranks may be due in part to the predominance of office administration graduates in the survey response group. Traditionally, the salaries for these types of occupations fall below those from other business positions. In addition, a number of these positions are part time which may also account for lower pay.  b) Did graduates perceive that the financial outlay required to attend Douglas College had been a worthwhile investment.  Almost all graduates were convinced that the financial return from their education made the investment worthwhile. In addition to the actual response to this question, graduates provided many written responses of support for this view throughout the survey. In a number of the comments, graduates singled out the cost factor as one of concern, and that the choice of a college education was made on the basis of its cost. Business program graduates indicated that they felt that they received good value for their educational dollar. The majority of graduates were also clear that they would recommend the program to others, which would suggest that they felt the experience to be worthwhile. In addition, the majority of graduates who intended to pursue further education will consider Douglas College. These graduates would be willing to commit the time and the accompanying financial outlay that would be required  92 to continue at Douglas. This again suggests satisfaction with past outcomes of their college experience. The numbers of students that would recommend the business programs and the rates at which they would return to the college for further education would support the notion that graduates were satisfied with their educational experience.  Question 3  What benefits did Douglas College business program graduates perceive in terms of their own educational development?  a) Did graduates return for further education or intend to pursue further education in the future? What type of further education would be pursued? Would this be at Douglas College or another educational institution?  The majority of graduates have returned for further education. Overall, two-thirds have continued their education at either Douglas College or another institution. While Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) reported that 20% of Canadian community college graduates return to some form of education within one year of graduation, the numbers of Douglas College graduates returning within five or ten years is quite remarkable. Considerably more graduates have returned to other institutions for further study rather than Douglas College. This study did not question why other institutions were selected, but  93 further research should attempt to answer this question. Written responses indicate that a partial answer may lie in the course options available to graduates offered by other insitutions. There was a noticeable difference between graduation years, in the proportion of graduates currently involved with education or training in combination with employment. Over one-fifth of the respondents from the 1986 graduation year were both working and continuing with their education or training. However, no graduate from the 1981 year was currently both working and involved with education or training. This difference may be explicable if graduates were more likely to be involved with further education closer to their graduation date. Graduates from 1981 may have been involved in further education or training five years after their graduation. These findings are in concert with those of HaggarGuenette (1991) who found that participation rates in further education decline with age. Graduates enrol in courses or workshops that are mostly job related; secondly, academic; and thirdly, personal. Very few students have taken courses that were leisure focused in content. Almost two-thirds of the respondents of each graduation year had returned to courses that were job related. This would support the findings of Clark, Laing and Rechnitzer (1986) who  also  determined that Canadian community college graduates return for primarily job-related further education. The second most selected type of course for both graduation years was academic, with almost 30% of those responding having  94 enroled in academic courses. Almost 50% of the 1986 graduation group had returned to academic courses, possibly due to this group being comprised of a large percentage of students enroled in courses of an academic nature. Since a greater number of respondents from the 1986 year were from programs that had a more academic content, then additional academic courses could have a financial or employment related benefit. If the population is made up of a large number of secretarial or clerical respondents, it is perhaps not likely that courses perceived as academic, but rather vocationally oriented, would be taken for enhancement of skills. Therefore, enroling in the type of course or workshop that is a continuation of educational pursuits might be predictable. This premise was supported by the respondents when questioned about the nature of courses they would likely pursue in the next five years. Those from the 1986 graduation year were less likely than those in 1981 to anticipate enroling in non-credit courses. More recent graduates have not been selecting leisure related courses as often as earlier graduates. This can be partly explained by noting that 1981 graduates have had more time available to them to take a greater variety of courses. If they have already taken courses that they felt were necessary, this would then give them an opportunity to take courses for 'More personal reasons. Those who were still in the process of establishing their employment position may be more concerned about courses that would have a more direct employment or financially related benefit.  95 The majority of graduates saw themselves taking courses in the next five years. Less than 15% of all graduates did not anticipate pursuing courses or workshops in that time period. Recent graduates were more likely to see themselves doing so. This may be due to the fact that as time passes since graduation, courses have already been taken or other commitments may take precedence over further education. When asked to speculate about participation in educational activities in the next five years, graduates mostly choose a combination of credit and non-credit courses. Of those who expressed a specific choice of course, more 1986 graduates were likely to enrol in credit only rather than in non-credit only courses, while 1981 graduates would select credit and non-credit courses equally. Very few 1986 graduates saw themselves enroling in non-credit courses. Again, this could be due to graduates of 1986 still taking coursework that was more job related than for personal growth or for general interest. More research is needed to explain the changing focus of courses, their nature and their credit standing.  b) Were graduates satisfied with their college experience?  Satisfaction with the college experience was determined by combining responses in several areas of the survey. If and how student enrolment objectives were met, whether the experience was worth repeating or recommending to others, and whether it was worth  96 the financial outlay, were all combined to give an impression of whether a graduate was satisfied with his/her educational experience. A large number of students attended Douglas College business programs with the expectation that it would lead to employment, and indeed have said that employment was the most important result of having attended the college. Satisfaction with their college experience could consider how graduates perceived their program of study as preparation for employment; almost all graduates stated that their program was worthwhile. Graduates felt that the financial return, generated as a result of their education, made their initial educational investment worthwhile. In assessing their experience in the business programs, graduates were satisfied to the extent that they would recommend Douglas College attendance. Graduates were also willing to return to the institution for further education provided it offered the courses desired. Graduates were satisfied with their own experiences to the extent that if they had the opportunity to relive it, a majority would choose to do so again. Asking graduates whether they would choose to relive their college experience at Douglas College allowed students to consider all of the components of their educational experience; its cost, the quality, whether the program met expectations, whether the experience was worthwhile both financially and personally. In general, this required a consideration of all components of the experience. Overall, graduates indicated that their Douglas  97 College experience had been positive. Most graduates would both recommend the Douglas College business program to others and, given the choice, would choose to go to Douglas College again. Satisfaction with the educational experience was found to be high for students of British Columbia colleges (Graduate Follow-Up Working Group, 1987, B.C. Research, 1991 & Douglas College SelfStudy, 1992) and this study supports those findings.  c) Did the level of satisfaction with their college experience remain constant since graduation?  Time was a factor that affected the way graduates value their education. Over half of all graduates stated that the value they place on their education had either somewhat or greatly increased since graduation. Very few saw a decrease in the value of their education. The graduates of both years offered similar responses. The question asked of students did not seek to ascertain what value they placed on the educational experience at the time of graduation, but only whether there was a change since that time. Almost half of the graduates indicated no change. The most important aspect of the responses was that very few, less than 10% of the students, noted a decrease in the value they placed on-the educational experience. Further investigation revealed that these students, in spite of a perceived decrease in the value they placed on their experience, generally felt that the financial return from their education made the investment worthwhile, and rated the  98  program worthwhile as preparation for employment.  99 CHAPTER VI - SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS  SUMMARY  Douglas College business programs have had an impact on the lives of its graduates. This impact, defined as the sum total of outcomes, changes and benefits, has been important for the respondents of this study. Three specific outcomes were considered, all of which elicited positive responses from graduates. Graduates linked their goals and outcomes and stated some of the benefits received as a result of their college experience. According to Astin's model of student inputs/outputs and the college environment, students enter an institution with a set of aspirations. In this study, students entered the Douglas College business programs with the expectation that the programs would lead to employment. An output, an aspect of student development attributed to the college, would then be employment. The college environment would provide the components of the educational experience that would enable this objective to be met. The programming, curriculum, etc would make up the components of the college environment. •Thus, those aspirations of students, combined with the contribution of the college, should effect the eventual outcome or student output. In considering employment, ^finances and educational development outcomes, this study has found a positive relationship  100  existed between the three components of the model. As noted previously, in attempting to classify the types of  student outputs or outcomes as a result of the educational experience, the outcomes often overlap into several of the categories defined by Astin. In this study, one of the four categories - cognitive-psychological outcomes -was not considered. These outcomes include such topics as subject matter knowledge and critical thinking. Cognitive-behavioral outcomes (those concerned with level of educational attainment, occupational attainment, income and the like), affective-psychological outcomes (those concerned with values, attitudes, and personality orientations), and affective-behavioral outcomes (those of leadership, choice of major, choice of career, use of leisure time, and so on) were all considered in this study. For each of the three specific outcomes considered, time since graduation will affect results. The time effect will be a combination of changes due simply to the passage of time, and changes due to the different social and economic situations that have come about over time. Both of these time effects can affect outcomes. The most effective way to study the changes in outcomes related only to the passage of time would be to follow a cohort of graduates in a longitudinal study and consider changes in specific, outcomes. However studying two graduatdon groups at different periods in time, shows effects of the college experience in differing social and economic climates. In conclusion, the graduates of the Douglas College business programs chose to enrol in the programs with the expectation that  101 the programs would lead to employment, would facilitate transfer to a university, and would improve financial potential or would increase skills and knowledge. Most graduates were employed full time, with only a very small number of graduates non-voluntarily unemployed. Almost all graduates were currently employed in positions that were related to their studies at college. Three-quarters of graduates felt the programs prepared them for immediate employment, which occurred for most within three months of graduation. Almost three-quarters of the graduates have not encountered periods of unemployment of one month or longer and of those who have, the majority have encountered only one or two such incidents. Those able to regain employment did not see their college experience as the reason for becoming re-employed. Graduates identified that the primary reason for enroling at Douglas was employment related. The time then spent within the program was rated as being worthwhile as preparation for employment by almost all of the students. Further, students felt that the financial return from employment made the costs involved with education worthwhile. Graduates are satisfied with their own educational experiences and are willing to recommend the business programs to friends-and family. Graduates have also continued with lifelong learning. Twice as many have returned to take further education compared to those who have not. Not surprisingly, those students who initially came to the college with a goal of employment after graduation have  102 returned to courses or workshops that are job related. Graduates intend to continue enroling in courses that are both credit and non-credit. While Douglas College business programs rated high for student satisfaction with the program that students took, fewer students are willing to return to Douglas for further education. The reason most frequently offered was that the type of further learning sought was not presently offered at Douglas College. Three-quarters of the graduates in this survey would relive their college experience at Douglas College. Of those who would not, most would chose a university since they believe it offers greater opportunities after graduation. Students indicated that they valued their educational experience at Douglas. Close to half of the graduates stated that the value they place on the experience has increased since graduation. Most students identified employment-based results as the most important outcome of having attended the college. They also identified that they had become more effective as a result of the skills and knowledge acquired from their educational experiences.  103 RECOMMENDATIONS  1. The Student Records Department of the Registrar's office should keep more accurate records of student graduation.  Rationale  At present the college is changing its computerized student records system. This new system should have the capability of accurately and quickly producing graduation records. This will become more important in the future as the college is increasingly being asked, to produce data to justify past expenditures. Currently, the focus is on enrolment/registration data collection. An increased focus should be placed on actual outcomes (graduations).  2.  The Registrar's office should keep graduation lists that  reflect actual program graduation, rather than graduation lists that are composed of only those students who apply to graduate.  Rationale  Within the college community it is understood a graduate is one who has successfully completed the necessary components of a program. The records of the insitution should reflect this  104 premise. The fact that today such records may need to be searched on a student by student basis to determine those who have met graduation requirements is time consuming and inefficient. It also increases the number of students who may not be found as a result of the search.  3. The College Philosophy Statement should take into consideration and reflect student perceptions of the purposes and goals of the community college experience.  Rationale  The philosophical statement produced by the college should consider not only the college frame of reference but also that of the students who have enrolled. The statements should reflect the importance that students attach to each of the outcomes of their college experience. Greater input from those directly affected by the college should be sought. Students and alumni of the institution should have an opportunity to participate in the formation and changes to these statements. Further research should be undertaken to determine student perceptions of all outcomes of their college experience and their relative importance.  4.  The Douglas College Community Programs and Services Department  should expand its business programming. The department should consider a needs assessment of the local business community, and  105 college graduates, to determine the areas of business that have either not been addressed by the college or that need greater emphasis. Based on this assessment, the department should increase the number of courses offered.  Rationale  Most graduates of college certificate and diploma programs have not increased their formal level of certification since graduation. Therefore, the college should expand its community programming to target the population that wants to further its learning with short, part-time upgrading, job related courses and workshops. These courses and workshops must be accessible to persons who work full time. Douglas College may wish to establish better exit counselling for students about to graduate from a program. The Alumni Association should prepare a plan that would keep the graduate in contact with the programs of the college. This would give graduates an opportunity to have input into future programming for the Community Programs and Services Department.  5. The Douglas College Community Programs and Services Department should implement accreditation of continuing education courses.  106 Rationale  Graduates want to return to Douglas College but they also want to be able to return to job-related, primarily credit courses. The Community Programs and Services Department should work with the Business Department to determine what are appropriate additional offerings.  6.  The Business Department should expand its credit course  offerings so that courses are offered when employed graduates can access the courses.  Rationale  For the next five years, graduates of business programs have said they favour enroling in credit courses over non-credit courses. It will be necessary to schedule these courses at times appropriate for fully employed students. Non-traditional scheduling, such as those available at the present Weekend College, should be expanded.  7. The Community Programs and Services Department should work. with the Alumni Association to develop lists of recent graduates and keep them informed of appropriate courses and workshops.  107 Rationale  Graduates are most likely to return to further education closer to the time of their graduation. Therefore, when notifying alumni of college offerings, emphasis should be on the more recent graduates.  8.  The Community Programs and Services Department, the Office of  Institutional Research, and the Alumni Association should work together to gather more information about courses that graduates would consider attending (content, credit versus non-credit). Whether the nature of courses changes as time since graduation increases should also be studied.  Rationale  This study would suggest that time since graduation plays a role in the determining of type of further education selected. In order to fulfill its mandate of providing lifelong learning opportunities to all members of its community, the colleges continuing education department should take these changes into consideration when programming.  9.  The Business Department should work with the appropriate  professional associations to consider offering professional certification past the college diploma level. Such liaison should  108 start with the Certified General Accounting body.  Rationale  The majority of graduates who commented on the reasons that they would not return to Douglas College for further learning noted that the courses that they would like to pursue were not offered. The college should continue to work with professional organizations and consider joint programming. This study identified that the most requested courses were those affiliated with the Certified General Accounting designation. Therefore it would be appropriate to commence discussions with this body.  10^Further research should be undertaken to investigate the differences in ages of students in the various business programs.  Rationale  This study noted differences in the average age at graduation of students in the Douglas College business programs. The different ages are a result of different program mixes which suggests ages may vary within different programs. Data from this study suggest that ages may have decreased within the business programs. This finding does not accord with current college data that is demonstrating an increase in the age of graduates. Further investigation should occur to see whether this trend is continuing  109 in the business department and if it is program specific. This would serve to make the department more aware of the nature of its students and how they may be different from those in other programs and departments. It may also suggest the nature of advertising and recruitment that should be adopted and may suggest changes in admissions policy.  11.  Further research should be undertaken to investigate the  differences of gender of students in the various business programs.  Rationale  There appears to be a change in the proportion of female/male students in the Business Department. Shifts in the nature and number of courses offered affects this ratio (as evidenced by programs such as Construction Management and Office Administration). Changes in the gender relationship within programs may necessitate changes both within the department and the college i.e daycare. Whether there are different services required by different gender make-ups within programs should be considered.  12. Further research should be undertaken to investigate why large numbers of graduates have returned to further learning at institutions other than Douglas College.  110  Rationale  In spite of their satisfaction with their experience, many graduates have attended other institutions for further learning. Further research should investigate why students choose other institutions for this further learning and whether there are courses or programs that the college could be offering. Timing, location and cost factors should be considered since these were all factors that led students to attend Douglas College initially.  13.  Further research of graduates on a longitudinal basis should  be considered.  Rationale  Such studies would allow a better understanding of the long term effects of the college educational experience. Such studies would improve understanding of the relationship of education and training and employment. With the recognition that individuals will face a working life made up of a number of positions, being able to determine the effectiveness of employment preparation would be useful.  14.  Job seeking skills, specifically networking, should be  considered as skills to be investigated and formally added to the current Business Department curriculum.  111  Rationale  Graduates who faced non-voluntary unemployment primarily depended upon their ability to network with friends and employers to regain employment. Since almost one third of graduates have experienced unemployment, the skills necessary to re-enter the work force are important. The business department should consider ways in which such skills could be integrated into the curriculum for all students.  112 REFERENCES Adult Basic Education Follow-up Project.^(1988). Unpublished study. Kwantlen College. Richmond, British Columbia. Alfred, R. L. (Ed.) 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Feldman, D.A. & Newcomb, T. M. (1969). The impact of college on students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Gallagher, P. 1990 Community colleges in Canada: ^a profile. Vancouver: Vancouver Community College Press. Gleazer, E. J.^(1968). This is the community college Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Haggar-Guenette, C. (1991) Lifelong learning: Who goes back to school: Perspectives on labour and income. Ottawa: Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology. Statistics Canada. 3(4).  114 Haveman, R.H. & Wolfe, B.L. (1984) Schooling and economic wellbeing: the role of non market effects. Journal of Human Resources. 69(3). Headcount enrollment count (1991) Time Series Summary. Douglas Facts. Office of Institutional Research. Hendry, A.M. (1983). Measuring adult student satisfaction: A model Canadian Vocational Journal 19(1). Hunter, J.0. (1977). Values and the Future. California: Banner Books International. Jencks, C., Bartlett, S., Corcoran, M., Crouse, J., Eaglesfield, D., Jackson, G., McClelland, K., Mueser, P., Olneck, M., Schwartz, J., Ward, S., & Williams, J. (1979). Who gets ahead? The determinants of economic success in America. New York: Basic Books. Leiter, R.D. Ed (1975). Costs and benefits of education. Annual Volume of the Department of Economics, City College of the City University of New York, Vol 1. Twayne Publishers. Macdonald, J. B. (1962). Higher Education in British Columbia and a plan for the future. Vancouver: The University of British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. (1992). Client Survey Project. Victoria, B.C. National Center for Education Statistics. (1982). Does college pay? Wage rates before and after leaving school (NCES Bulletin No. 82-238b). Washington, DC: Author. In Pascarella E. & Terenzini, P. (1991) How college affects students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1987 Career/technical and vocational graduates outcomes report. (1988). Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training and the Ministry Responsible for Science and Technology. Graduate Follow-Up Working Group. British Columbia. 1990 College students outcomes report. (1991) B.C. Research Corporation. Province of B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. British Columbia. 1990 College students outcomes report. (1991) B.C. Research Corporation. Province of B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology. British Columbia. Unpublished data specific to Douglas College. Palinchuk, R. S. (1973). The Evolution of the community college. Metuchen, N. J.: The Scarecrow Press Inc.  115  Parliament, J. (1986)^Community colleges:^an alternative to universities. Canadian social trends. ^Statistics Canada. Ottawa: Government Publications. Winter. Parliament, J. (1990) Labour force trends: two decades in review. Canadian social trends. Statistics Canada. Ottawa: Government Publications. Autumn. Pascarella E. & Terenzini, P. (1991) How college affects students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Picot, W.G.; Wannell, T. & Lynd, D. (1989) The changing labour market for postsecondary graduates. Statistics Canada. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. 89-518. Report of the Task Force on the Community College in British Columbia. (1974). Towards the learning community. Victoria: Research and Development Division, Department of Education, August. Roeche, J. E.; Baker III, G. A. & Brownell, R. L. (1972). Accountability and the community college: Directions for the 70's. American Association of Community and Junior Colleges. Nov. Statistics Canada. (1986). Educational attainment of Canadians Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. 98-134. Statistics Canada. (1989a). ^Community colleges and related institutions: Postsecondary enrolment and graduates 1986. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. 93-114. Statistics Canada. (1989b). Total Income: Individual. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. 93-114. Statistics Canada.^(1991).^Employment, earning, and hours. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. Cat 72-002, Vol 70, No. 7. Statistics Canada. (1986). The labour force. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. Dec., 1986. Cat 71-001. Statistics Canada. (1991). The labour force. Ottawa: Government Publication Centre. May, 1991. Cat 71-001. Student needs involvement and outcomes. (1992). Douglas College 1991/92 Institutional Self Study Steering Committee. Douglas College. Survey It. (1991).^Computer software from Conway Information Systems Inc. Victoria, British Columbia.  116 Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from higher education: A theoretical synthesis of recent research. Review of Educational Research, 45, 89-125. In E.Pascarella & P. Terenzini (1991). How college affects students San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. University Articulation Study. (1987). ^Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training, Colleges and Institutes Division. British Columbia. Vancouver Community College Alumni Survey. (1974).^Vancouver Community College. Vancouver, British Columbia. Warrack, B. J. (1982a). Student outcomes surveys and their use as a career counselling tool. Canadian Vocational Journal 17, pp. 10-12. Warrack, B. J. (1982b) A comparative analysis of the outcomes of Manitoba community college graduates and non-graduates. Canadian Vocational Journal 18(1) pp.24-26. Wooten, G. (1971). Discover at Douglas. The Principal's Message. November. Zsigmond, Z.E.; Wenaas, C.J. ^(1970). Enrolment in educational institutions by province 1951-52 to 1980-81. report prepared for the Economic Council of Canada. Staff Study No. 25 Jan. Zwerling, L. S. (1976). Second Best. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co.  -^  19. If you could relive your college experience, would you choose to go to Douglas again? Yes^No 20. If you answered no to question #19, which of the following would you choose: (please check one response) university institute of technology vocational school private college another community college enter the Job market other (Please explain in your own words) What is your reason for this choice?  21. How has the value you place on your educational experience at Douglas College changed since graduation? (please check 1 response) it has increased greatly ___ It has Increased somewhat It has not changed It has decreased somewhat it has decreased greatly 22. For you personally, what was the single most Important result of attending Douglas College? (please check only 1) _ I obtained employment I obtained well paid employment _ I obtained employment that Is personalty satisfying I was able to transfer to a university upon leaving Douglas _ I acquired skills and knowledge that made me a more effective person _ I developed a broader understanding and outlook of my world _ I developed friendships and contacts with other students I was able to develop socially and emotionally _ I became a better consumer, parent or citizen I obtained an education that will secure my financial future _ other (please explain) Please add any comments you care to make about your Douglas College experience, any thoughts would be most welcome. Please feel free to add an additional page of comments If needed  THANK YOU. FOR YOUR T7ME  QUESTIONNAIRE GENERAL INFORMATION 1. What is your cuffent age? ^ 2. When you attended the Douglas College Business Program were you a full-time^part-time^or full and part time student? (please check one) Which program specifically, were you emoted In? 3. What were the reasons that you chose to enrol In the Douglas College Business program? (please list three choices in order of Importance, with number 1 being the most Important and number 3 being least important) I wanted a program that would most likely lead to employment I wanted to change employment to increase my personal satisfaction I wanted to increase my skills and knowledge I wanted to improve my financial potential for the future I wanted to be able to transfer to another institution —I wanted to develop a broader understanding and outlook of the world I wanted to develop myself socially and emotionally l wanted to Improve myself as a consumer, parent or citizen _I had no particular reason other (please explain in your own words)  EMPLOYMENT PIFORM411ON 4. What is your present employment status? (please check one) _ employed full time _ employed part time _ employed full time and involved In training or education _ employed part time and involved in training or education unemployed and not looking for work _ _ unemployed and looking for work _ unemployed still involved in training or education — unemployed due to home and/or family responsibilities _ Involved in full time training or education _ home and/or family responsibilities _ other (please explain)^  5. For question 15 only, If you are employed, please answer based on your current position. If you we unemployed, please answer based on your most recent position. What is/was your job title? ^ IsAvas your position: (please check only one) exactly what you trained for at college. in a field closely related to your studies at college. in a field somewhat related to your studies at college. in a field totally unrelated to your studies at college.  (please check one) Yes^No Were you employed within three months of graduation from Douglas College?  Yes No If you did not to start work Immediately, which response best describes why? (please check only one)  I was unable to obtain employment related to my education I wanted to continue with further education before looking for employment _I was unable to obtain employment _other (please explain In your own words)  Z (a) Have you encountered periods of non-voluntary unemployment of longer than one month since graduation from Douglas College? Yes^No (b) If yes, how many times have you experienced non-voluntary unemployment? 1-2 3-4 5-8— more than 8  8. If you were able to regain employment, which of these helped you to become employed again? (please check as many as apply) The education and credentials from Douglas College Job Counselling Manpower assistance other (please explain)^ 9. How would you tate your Douglas College program of study as preparation for employment? (please check one) definitely worthwhile, worthwhile to some extent It made no difference not very worthwhile not worthwhile at all FINANCIAL INFORMATION 10. If you are currently employed how much time do you work? 25% or less more than 25% but less than 50%^ more than 50% but less than 75%_^• more than 75% but less than full time^. full time^(please check one) Please Identify your current annual salary (optional) less than $5000^$25001430000 $5001-$10000^'^$30001440000 $10001415000^$40001-$50000 $15001-$20000^$50001460000 $20001425000^$60001+ 11. As a student you Incurred costs for your education. In your opinion,do you feel the financial return from your employment has made the Investment worthwhile? Definitely yes Generally yes no opinion • Generally no Definitely no  PERSONAL INFORMATION 12. WX you recommend the Douglas College Business Program to friends or family?^Yes No What are your masons for answering this way?^  13. All other circumstances being equal, In what order would you recommend the following educational institutions to friends or family if they were considering postsecondary studies? (please rank from 1 to 5 with 1 being the most preferred) university . technical institution community college vocational school private college What are the reasons for this tanking?^  14. Have you returned to Douglas College or any other educational Institution for any further courses or workshops? (please check one) No, not to either Yes, to Douglas College Yes, to other educational Institutions Yes, to both Douglas College and other institutions 15. If you have returned to an educational Institution for courses or workshops, were these courses: (please check as many as apply) Job related personal growth leisure related academic courses for future credentials 16. (a) Do you Intend to pursue courses In the next five years? (please check one)^Yes^No (b) If you answered yes to question #16(a), do you anticipate enroling In credit courses only non-credit courses only both credit and non-credit courses? 17. (a) Would you consider returning to Douglas College for these courses? Yes - No (b) If you answered no, why not?^  18. What Is the highest educational credential that you have achieved? Doctoral degree (Ph.D) Ed.D degree^'^_ Masters degree^_ Bachelors degree^_ College Diploma^_ College Certificate From what institution was this credential obtained?^  119 Appendix 2 Letter of Transmittal  fr  douglas college  700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, B.C.^ Mailing Adcress: P.O. Box 2503, New Westminster, B.C. Canada-V3L 582 ^ FAX: (604) 527-5025 Telephone: (604) 527-5400  Dear Graduate, As a student in the Masters of Arts, Higher Education program at the University of British Columbia, I am involved in completing the final component of the program, which is the research project. I am investing the financial, employment and personal impact of your- Douglas College Business Program education. I will be studying graduates from 1974175, 1981/81 and 1985/86 to see what are the effects of the college experience and if and how they change with time. I hope that information from this study will improve future planning and programming of the Douglas College Business Programs. All graduates will be contacted by mail and asked to fill out a questionnaire that should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is voluntary, but I -would be most appreciative if you would choose to complete the questionnaire. If you choose not to complete the questionnaire, please return it in the self addressed, stamped envelope and I will not bother you any further. If you do choose to help me in my research, please be assured that once the responses have been returned, all information will be kept confidentiaL In fact, once received, all identifying marks will be removed from the responses. Your response to the questionnaire will be your approval for use of the information contained within. The combined responses will be the data from which my thesis will be written. Thanks for taking the time to read this and hopefully to complete the enclosed questionnaire. Yours truly,  Hilary Cheung P.S. If you are interested in receiving a summary of the findings of this research, please complete the following and include it with your returned questionnaire. I will mail you a response when the study is complete. Name:^ Address:^  120  Appendix 3 Reminder letter  dou9las college 700 Royal Avenue, New Westminster, B.C. Telephone: (604) 527-5400  Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2503, New Westminster B C Canada V3L 5B2 FAX: (604) 527-5095  Dear Graduate, Over the past month you should have received a letter asking you to complete a survey about your educational experience at Douglas College. If you have already completed and returned the survey I would like ìó think you. If however, you just have not had time to get around to it, I ask if you could just take a few moments to do so. Every returned survey that I receive will make my research more reliable and the analysis will lead to more useable recommendations. I have enclosed another copy of the survey for your use. Thanks again, and if you would like a summary of the results mailed to you at the conclusion of the survey, please complete the bottom of the form. Once again be reassured that all individual responses will be kept anonymous and confidentiaL  Yours truly, Hilary Cheung  Name:^ Address:^  

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