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Women returning to school : a study of their background, motivations, and experiences Trimble, Erika R. 1980

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WOMEN RETURNING TO SCHOOL A STUDY OF THEIR BACKGROUND, MOTIVATIONS, AND EXPERIENCES B.S.wTTThe University of Br it ish Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Social Work) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1980 •© Erika Ruth Trimble, 1980 by ERIKA RUTH TRIMBLE MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f ^QgJM WORK The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date JJumtdl^mO i ABSTRACT: This study addresses the problems of women returning to post-secondary education after an interruption in their formal training. Increasingly, women are returning to school in the hope of participating more fu l l y in the labour marketplace and in the hope of gaining access to equal employment opportunities. Women require s k i l l s , training and other educational opportunities which are generally offered by post-secondary inst itut ions. At this time, i t is fe l t that the needs of women learners in post-secondary institutions are not adequately recognized or met and that there exist barriers which inhibit women from access to appropriate learning opportunities. A discrepancy exists between what is needed by the women and what education is offering. A paucity of Canadian studies pertaining to the educational needs of women exists. The major goal of this study was to contribute to the development of a Canadian data base on women who are returning to post-secondary education. The writer was encouraged by women students, women educators, and adult educators to carry out such a research endeavour. The need for the provision of equal learning and employment opportunities has been recognized. An increasing female population in post-secondary education has been reported and points to the importance of attention in this direction. Therefore, special research consideration to women learners was needed before program requirements could be assessed and the opportunity for change i i recognized. The focus of this study, then, became an investigation of a career training program at a local community college; the type of program chosen might represent a typical choice for a returning woman. A survey questionnaire was used to gather input from a self-selected sample of women enrolled in a social service training program. The design called for a quantitative-descriptive study employing a large number of variables and a small sample of subjects (18). A follow-up and action phase was included in the design whereby consider-ation of the findings would be given by an administrative group of the college. The prospects for further study were also given consideration in that special emphasis was put on instrument development. The goals of the study were as follows: to describe the background characterist ics, motivations and experiences of the selected sample of returning women students; to determine the associations between variables such as age, marital status and children and the goals and experiences of the women; and to p i lot test certain implicit assumptions made about women returning to school. Measuring devices such as proportions and correlations were used. It was hypothesized that the findings would support prior research findings generated from the United States as well as the perceptions of the key informants to the study. In some instances, this was found; in other instances, new questions were raised. Because the data were not always congruent with our expectations, our previous assumptions were tested and the need for further enquiry was i i i emphasized. Two salient issues to the women in the survey group were spotlighted; these were the importance of appropriate career and guidance counselling, and the concern about educational training and i ts relevance to the labour market. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix DEDICATION x CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION 1 Problem Definition 1 Rationale and Study Purpose 2 The Study 4 Footnotes 6 CHAPTER 2 - REVIEW OF PRIOR RESEARCH FINDINGS 7 The Problem: An Overview 7 Background Characteristics 12 Reasons for Furthering Education 12 Personal Stat ist ics 13 Previous Education 14 Work Experience 14 Financing 15 Brit ish Columbia Study 15 Motivations, Goals and Career Plans 16 Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences 20 Needs 20 Personal and Institutional Experiences 22 CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY 27 V Page Theoretical Framework 27 Specific Goals of This Study 28 Hypotheses 29 Assumptions Underlying the Study 31 Level of Research Design 31 Data Collection Design 32 Sampling Design 36 Design of Data Analysis 38 Frequency Data 38 Choice of Level of Significance 38 Two-Way Analysis of Variance 39 Footnotes 42 Appendix A: Calculation of Cr i t ica l Values of RHO for the 43 .02, .05, .10, .15 Levels of Significance Appendix B: Calculation Formulae for F-Ratios for Vignettes 44 CHAPTER 4 - RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 46 RESULTS 46 Problems in Implementing the Research Design 46 Descriptive Data on Sample 47 Background Characteristics 47 Motivations, Goals, and Career Plans 55 Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences 61 Findings on Study Questions and Hypotheses 65 Appendix A: Vignette I 80 Appendix B: Vignette II 86 DISCUSSION 91 Background Characteristics 91 vi Page Motivations, Goals, and Career Plans 93 Personal and Career Objectives 93 Reasons for Furthering Education 96 Influences in Decision to Return to School 97 Plans.Upon Completion 98 Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences 99 Summary 102 Recommendations for Further Research 103 Recommendations 104 Footnotes 105 CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSIONS 106 BIBLIOGRAPHY 109 APPENDIX: Questionnaire Used in the Study 116 vi i LIST OF TABLES Page Table 1. Age Distribution of Respondents 48 Table 2. Marital Status of Respondents 48 Table 3. Number of Children at Home 49 Table 4. , Age Categories of Children 49 Table 5. Reasons for Discontinuing Education After High School 50 Table 6. Highest Level of Education 51 Table 7. Fields of Study 51 Table 8. Total Number of Years of Paid Employment 53 Table 9. Sources of Financing Education 54 Table 10. Personal and Career Objectives of Respondents 55 Table 11. Reasons for Furthering Education 56 Table 12. Respondents' Satisfaction with Decision to Enroll in 58 Program Table 13. Influences to Enter Program 58 Table 14. Respondents' Plans Upon Completion 59 Table 15. Job Characteristics Desired 60 Table 16. Problems Experienced in Program 62 Table 17. Personal Problems Experienced 63 Table 18. Overall Satisfaction with Program 64 Table 19. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman' s Rho) 74 Table 20. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman' s Rho) 75 Table 21. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman' s Rho) of Career 76 Objectives, Problems Experienced, Personal Problems, Education with Age of Children vi i i Page Table 22. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman's Rho) of Career 77 Objectives, Problems Experienced, Personal Problems, Education with Age of Children Table 23. Two-Way Analysis of Variance 79 Vignette I: Marital Status and Age of Children Table 24. Two-Way Analysis of Variance 85 Vignette II: Sex of Instructor and Conformity ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am greatly indebted to my thesis advisors, Dr. John Crane and Dr. Chris McNiven for their generous time, consultation, and co-operation. It is the influence and participation of a number of women who motivated me and who made possible this study. These women include the program instructors, two feminist educators, the women students who comprised the pre-test and survey groups, and my typist.. I would especially mention Lorna Kirkham and Margaretha Hoek for the generous help they accorded to me. My thank you is also extended to Douglas College for hosting the research. Al l the suggestions and the aid received from the various sources here mentioned have been valuable. If they have been poorly acted upon in any instance, the responsibi l ity is mine alone, but, of course, my hope is that the best of which I am capable may continue to be of service to the users of this information. I wi l l not forget three other individuals who I give special mention: Karin, my most genuine fr iend; L iz , my colleague who always understood; and Ken, who encouraged me to enjoy l i f e , too. X DEDICATION I dedicate this thesis to John Crane who taught me that "we need to be something more than the discoverers of our own assumptions". 1 CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION Problem Definition An increasing number of women today are entering the labour force. Women are doing so for the following reasons: a) women work out of economic necessity to supplement one-income earnings in their families; b) the number of single parent families headed by women has increased; c) women are leaving the labour force for shorter periods of time; and d) women are looking to self-actual ization and independence in spheres outside the .home .^ Women require s k i l l s , training and other educational opportunities to enable them to participate more fu l ly in the labour force and to have access to equal employment opportunities. Post-secondary educational institutions are seen as a means to such training. However, i t is fe l t that the needs of women as learners in post-secondary institutions are not adequately recognized or met and that there are barriers which inhibit women from access to appropriate learning opportunities. A decade of l iterature has focussed on the educational needs of women in the United States who are returning to post-secondary inst i tu-tions after an interruption in their education. This population has been referred to as the "returning" woman, as the "re-entry" student or as the "mature" woman student. The post-secondary institutions studied have included universit ies, community colleges, continuing and adult education programs. 2 Rationale and Study Purpose In Canada, we have largely accepted the findings of American studies and assumed that the information theypproduced can be applied to us. It has only been recently that we have recognized a need for information more specif ic to our adult women learners. The major goal of the present study is to contribute to the development of a Canadian data base on mature women seeking to enter the social service workforce via community college training with a particular emphasis on their educational objectives and self-perceived needs and problems. Several recent reports and studies in Brit ish Columbia wi l l be cited which support the need for such a research endeavour. The need for a Canadian data base is pointed out by a Brit ish Columbia Ministry of Education report which states, "The challenges, problems, and opportunities of contemporary society are such that people must continue to develop i f they are to cope effectively with modern conditions. The pace of change is so rapid in a l l areas of l i f e that the only satisfactory response is to continue to learn and adapt throughout one's l ifespan. Basic to planning for the development of education in Brit ish Columbia must be the concept of providing satisfactory opp-ortunities for l i fe- long learning". ' An adult education system in Br.iiti.sh.:Co:lumbia should therefore have as its objectives the provision of equal opportunities for i ts citizens to continue their learning through their adult years. The report states that particular consider-ation be given to the special educational needs of women. It goes on to recommend that institutions involved in adult education employ a 3 wide range of needs-identification techniques at the local level to identify and assess program requirements. A recent study of non-traditional learning- programs for women -in Brit ish Columbia post-secondary institutions reveals the inadequacy of such learning opportunities. "In most instances these opportunities are ad hoc, peripheral, and fragmented and, therefore, demonstrate a lack of institutional delivery systems conducted by post-secondary institutions 3 with reference to the needs of women" . This report recommends the establishment of "Women's Access" programs, which would have the goals of assisting women to access post-secondary institutions and assisting the institutions to modify practices or policies inhibit ing women as adult learners. A review of the l iterature by the authors revealed a paucity of Canadian studies pertaining to the educational needs of women, especially the problems associated with learners returning to school. Included in the recommendations of the report was the con-duction of needs assessments of women in the community and in post-secondary inst itut ions. A recent study conducted in Brit ish Columbia of "Office Career" 4 students recommended further inquiry of women students in other career programs to determine whether a s imi l iar i ty exists between individuals in other short programs in tradit ional ly female occupations. The above mentioned reports resulted in this researcher's interest in giving special research consideration to women's educational needs at the community college leyel . A community college is defined by the Ministry of Education (B.C.) as "an educational inst itut ion that offers academic, technical and vocational courses at the 4 post-secondary level ; and general, adult basic education, and community education programs on a full-time and a part-time basis 5 to adults, during both daytime and evening" . A study on the employment of social service graduates^ emphasized the concern for graduates of community college programs, part icularly female graduates. The Study This study is designed to gather input from the consumer; the particular consumer group selected are women returning to post-secondary education. It is believed that the channel of research wi l l provide a vehicle for input which is seen as legitimate, non-discriminatory and comfortable for the consumer. The study purpose includes describing the women enrolled in a local community college career training program, namely, a Community Social Service Worker program. A career training program such as this might represent a typical choice for a returning woman. The areas of enquiry are as follows: the background characteristics of the women; their motivations, goals and career plans; and their needs, personal and inst itut ional experiences. The design-:called for a quantitative descriptive study employing a large number of variables and a small sample of subjects. The size of the selected group was manageable for in depthstudy and feasible because of time and financial constraints. As part of the i n i t i a l planning of the study, a follow-up phase was negotiated, in which an administrative group wi l l give consideration to the implications of 5 the results for the community college and to the prospects for a series of similar studies. This pilot study could serve: (1) to pinpoint promising areas of enquiry for a larger study; (2) to test measurement methodology, particularly the use of the survey experiment as a device for tapping attitudinal variables; and (3) to secure a research grant. A review of the literature will follow in the next chapter and will highlight the research findings which are related to the areas of enquiry of this study. 6 Footnotes L. Zimmerman and M. Trew, A Report on Non-Traditional Learning Programs  for Women in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions, (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology: Province of Br i t ish Columbia, 1979). R. Faris, Report of the Committee on Continuing and Community Education in Brit ish Columbia, (Ministry of Education: Province of Brit ish Columbia, December 1 9 7 6 ) p . 6. L. Zimmerman and M. Trew, A Report on Non-Traditional Learning Programs for Women at B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions, (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology: Province of Br it ish Columbia, January 1979), p. i i . M. Hoek, A Descriptive Study of Women Enrolled in the Office Career Programmes at Selected Community Colleges, (University of Victoria} 1979). R. Faris, Report of the Committee on Continuing and Community Education  in Brit ish Columbia, (Ministry of Education: Province of Brit ish Columbia, December 1976), p. 70. ' j . Crane, Employment of Social Service Graduates in Canada, (Ottawa: Canadian Association of Schools of Social Workv, 1974). 7 CHAPTER 2 - REVIEW OF PRIOR RESEARCH FINDINGS In reviewing the l i terature, the writer concentrates on presenting prior research findings rather than on a c r i t i c a l evaluation of the research. The l iterature which was selected focussed largely on the woman returning to post-secondary education after an interruption in her formal training. This chapter wi l l begin with a general overview of the problem as presented in the l iterature and wi l l be followed by a review of the findings in the l iterature signif icant to this study's areas'df inquiry: the background characteristics of the returning woman; her motivations, goals, and career plans; and her needs, personal and institutional experiences. The Problem: An Overview The problems of women returning to post-secondary education have been viewed in both Federal arid Provincial perspectives. Federal sources explicate the economic, educational, and social factors related to the problem. Vickers and Adam (1977) examine the range of institutional factors and policies which ref lect the assump-tion that the traditional divisions of labour between the sexes tend to l imit the participation of women in higher education. According to their study, the opportunities for challenging and creative jobs for 8 women remain limited despite the trend of growing numbers of Canadian women entering the labour force today and desiring to participate more fu l ly in act iv i t ies outside of the spheres of home and family. Although equality of opportunity in the area of higher education wi l l not by i t s e l f result in equal status for Canadian women, i t is believed that the direction of educational policy in Canada is a contributing factor and needs to be altered to expand career horizons for women. Vickers and Adam (1977) emphasize that institutions of higher education have done T i t t l e to adapt themselves to the presence of women and that this is the major barrier to fu l le r participation by Canadian women in higher education. Although women's educational level today is generally higher, s tat is t ics show the vast majority continue to be streamed into traditional jobs. A report by the National Council of Welfare (1979) shows that the proportion of female workers occupying low-paying c l e r i c a l , sales, and service jobs has remained unchanged in spite of the dramatic r ise of women in the labour force in the last ten years. Studies also suggest that i t is Targely because of married women's increased labour force participation that the relative econ-omic position of Canada's middle and low^income families has remained stable instead of getting worse in the last 25 years,(Report by the National Council of Welfare, 1979). Over 45 percent of a l l Br it ish Columbia women over the age of 15 are in the labour force, represen-ting 36.7 percent of a l l workers (Labour Canada, 1977). The provincial perspective of the problem is i l lustrated in a 9 series of reports produced by the Brit ish Columbia Ministry of Education from 1976 to 1979. These reports encourage the develop-ment of educational programs which would identify and satisfy women's educational needs. One report states that the objectives of the provincial adult education system should be, "to provide equal opportunities for a l l citizens to continue to learn throughout their adult years and to develop their potential in a l l areas of human interest and activity" (Helping to Develop a Provincial Continuing and Community Education Policy, 1976, p. 8). It recommends that a l l part-time students in academic, career, technical, and vocational programs at publicly supported educational institutions should be supported by provincial grants up to the same level as that of ful l-t ime students. It has been held that the present structure of the workplace and training situation has been designed, by and large, to serve the needs of men (report of the Commission on Vocational, Technical, and Trades Train-ing in Brit ish Columbia, 1977). In Brit ish Columbia, an attempt was made to rank-order pr ior i t ies by asking college administrators to identify the major goals of their women students. The findings on the study showed that these fe l l into two specif ic goal areas: job-related goals, and amenity or quality, o f - l i f e goals. As perceived by college administrators, job-related goals are by far the stated primary goals in the Brit ish Columbia college system (Carney, 1978). The link between training and employ-ment in the college system is emphasized. The Zimmerman-Trew study (1979) on programs for women at Brit ish 10 Columbia post-secondary institutions showed that the greater prop-ortion of continuing education offerings were in traditional program .areas while the number of nonrtraditional offerings for women were few, despite the fact that women learners are in the majority. A proposal for women's access centres followed (Ironside, 1979). The centres would function as educational brokers and assist women to plan their educational and labour force participation by providing information and consultation. Such a service would be associated with every post-secondary inst itut ion in the province. These programs are seen as necessary to overcome the effects of women's isolat ion and lack of information about educational oppor-tunit ies. The Ironside (1979) paper provides details on the participation of women in community colleges in Brit ish Columbia. Sixty-one percent of part-time students were women compared with 45 percent in ful l-t ime enrollment (average over a l l age groups). Women outnumbered men of the same age at thirty.- This trend accelerated until age 40 when women represented 69H percent of enrollments. This same report states that in the next 15 years, there wi l l be an increase in the 25 to 44 age group attending post-secondary education and a decline in the 15-24 age group who have been the traditional concern of post-secondary inst itutions. Other demographic factors influence women's participation in community colleges in Brit ish Columbia: women are having an average of 1.8 children in 1977 as compared with 3.8 in 1961; as family size has decreased there has been a growing trend toward the two income earning family; the number of married 11 women in the female labour force is rapidly increasing (they now constitute 60 percent). In the ear l ier 1970's the l iterature expressed concern for equality of educational opportunity for women. Faure (1972) states that equal opportunity means making certain that each individual receives a suitable education through methods adapted to his par-t icular person. Cross and Valley (1974) suggest that non-traditional programming for women is more of an attitude than a system. This attitude would put the student f i r s t and the inst itution second, would concentrate:.imore on the former's need than the latter 's con-venience, and de-emphasizes time, space, and even course requirements in favour of competance. It has concern for the learner of any age and circumstance, wanting constant, periodic, or occasional study. Women are asking for the right to pursue higher education on the basis of their interest and achievement instead of their sex (Furniss and Graham, 1974). Women do not have this freedom of choice. This art ic le suggests three reasons: some women are denied this choice by social pressures that define acceptable behaviours for women; some are denied i t by their own social conditioning and attitudes regarding women's roles; and some are denied i t by institutional practices that are consciously or unconsciously discriminatory. These issues should be the concern of educators. Although common concerns have been expressed throughout the l iterature in the 1970's, i t is believed that the issues in granting equality of educational opportunity for women of a l l ages and levels of post-secondary education have not yet been adequately addressed. 12 Background Characteristics Reasons for Furthering Education The l iterature from the United States describes women who return to post-secondary education in a f a i r l y similar way. Brandenburg (U.S., 1974) describes returning women students as women who return after an interruption in their formal education and points out that they appear to be highly motivated and achieving students. Lenz and Shaevitz (USS., 1977) describe four groups of women returning to school, which are as follows: 1) a woman returns on a partQtime basis when her children are of pre-school age so that she wi l l be ready to return full-t ime when they reach school age; 2) a woman returns part-time or full-t ime after her children are in school or have left home to go to work or attend college themselves; 3) a woman working and returning to upgrade her s k i l l s or become profession-al ized; 4) a woman returns to school as a result of separation or divorce, which makes i t necessary for her to find a job. Recently divorced women, particularly those with growing children to support, are prime candidates for training that wi l l equip them within a reasonable time for gainful employment. Richards (U.S., 1977) iden-t i f i e d three categories of women returning to school: 1) single parents in their 201s and 30's who were pract ica l , confident, and purposeful; 2) married women in their 201s and 30's with children at home, seeking career and personal fulf i l lment and lacking^ in confidence; a'nd 3) married women in their 30's and 401 s with older children, wanting direction and s k i l l redevelopment. Manis and 13 Mochizuki (U.S., 1972) found women seeking re-entry programs to be uncertain of their ab i l i t i es and options, experiencing role conf l i c t , low self-worth, dependency, and goallessness. These findings appear incongruent with the Brandenburg report (U.S., 1974) where returning women students are described as highly moti-vated and achieving. The Brandenburg ar t i c le is a discussion paper of various other studies, whereas the Manis and Mochizuki paper refers to a study of a specif ic group of re-entry women. This may account for the different descriptions. A Canadian study of mature women at the University of Calgary (Ladan and Crooks, 1975) reported background characteristics similar to those in the studies cited above. Personal Stat ist ics Personal s tat is t ics of women returning to post-secondary education after a period of absence have been detailed by Hughson and Foster (Canada, 1975/76), Brandenburg (U.S., 1974), and Astin (U.S., 1976). The average ages of mature women are documented as 34.8 years (Hughson and Foster, Canada, 1975/76), 38 years, ranging from 23 to 53 (Brandenburg, U.S., 1974), and 36 years, ranging from 18 to 75 years? According to these same authors, two-thirds are married, and 15 percent to 27 percent are divorced, widowed or separated. Most married women have children. According to Hughson and Foster (Canada, 1975/76), the woman is a mother of two to three children at home, ranging in age from 3 months to 24 years, with a *(Astin, U.S., 1976) 14 mean age of 11 years. Few mature students had children under school age. /.Astin's sample contained women with pre-school age children (25%) and 50 percent with children over 18 years of age. Previous Education Typical ly, women returning to school have had some previous formal education beyond high school. In the Hughson and Foster (Canada, 1975/76) sample, 36 percent had ear l ier completed a portion of their undergraduate work or achieved their degree. High school graduates comprised the second largest group (32%), while 9 percent had attended junior college and 23 percent checked "other" (meaning attendance at technical schools or other educational inst i tut ions) . Their academic specialization was generally in occupations having a predominant female membership ( i . e . 86% enrolled in Education or Arts). Brandenburg's (U.S., 1974) group had mostly been out of school for at least 15 years. Many of them said they had discontinued their education in order to marry and raise children; a few said i t wasb because of financial need or a lack of interest in school. Work Experience All had had some type of work experience, paid or volunteer, outside the home during the period they were not attending school. The type of work they engaged in was almost exclusively in areas 15 tradit ional ly pursued by women - secretar ia l , bookkeeping, and c ler ica l jobs (Brandenburg, U.S., 1974). Financi ng Sources of financing for their education were as follows (Hughson and Foster, Canada, 1975/76): 42% from husbands, 31% self-supporting and 27% student loans. Brit ish Columbia Study The Brit ish Columbia study (Hoek, 1979) of off ice careers students provided this description: 80 percent of the students were under 36 years of age; 60 percent under 26 years of age. Seventy-seven percent of the survey group had no education beyond high school. The majority of the group stated work and^motherhood as the reasons for not continuing their schooling after high school (marriage and pregnancy 46 percent, work 36 percent). Other reasons given were:"lack of confidence in own abi l i ty" (15%), lack of motivation (16%), and lack of funds (13%). According to the l i terature, returning to school would be: she a summary description of the woman is married or was married with more 16 than one chi ld; she has some post-secondary education, generally in a traditional female f i e l d ; she discontinued her education for child-rearing and marriage; she has some work experience; and the major sources of financing for her education are her spouse, se l f -support, or student loan. Women returning to school have sometimes been categorized according to their personal characteristics and situations. Motivations, Goals and Career Plans Adults in general come for more education voluntari ly, with high motivation, a body of experience, and a desire for immediate use of the learning (Verheyden-Hilliard, U.S., 1975). Women's goals and motives-at a Canadian university (Ladan and Crocks, 1975) were found to be based on a search for se l f - fu l f i l lment and identity. The findings of Astin's study (U.S., 1976) ranked the following as the most important motivations of women returning to school: a desire to become more educated; a desire to achieve independence and a sense of identity; preparation for a better job; to get a degree or cer-t i f i c a t e ; and for counselling and information. The majority of students were attracted by the course and many were strongly encour-aged to enroll by friends. Lenz and Shaevitz (U.S., 1977) divided the motivations of women into psychological and economic. The psychological motivations account for a sizeable number who return to school in their middle and later years, because of a desire to keep up with the rapid changes 17 and growing complexity of contemporary l i f e . They want stimulus and nourishment, to be part of a community and wish to "make up for lost time". A study of mature women's achievement needs indicated that mature women who enroll for continuing education are seeking real iza-tion of personal needs and se l f - fu l f i l lment in areas outside the a f f i l i a t i v e spheres tradit ional ly thought suff ic ient concerns for women (Hughson and Foster, Canada, 1975/76). Re-training is their goal, not the simple f i l l i n g of time suggested in ear l ier writing. The majority of the mature women surveyed intended to enter the labour force. Particularly inf luential in her decision to return to school are the attitudes held by her immediate family and, secondly, by her acquaintances. Letchworth (U.S., 1970) examines motivations of women in l ight of an identity- integrity model. The motivations of women returning to school are, therefore, re l i e f from boredom; desire for an inter-esting job; escape from responsibi l i t ies; and divorce or marital d i f f i c u l t i e s . The study sample were women who had been ful l-t ime homemakers from middle to upper-middle class families. Eckard (U.S., 1977) confers with Letchworth in that she relates the concerns of mature college students in undergraduate education to developmental tasks commonly associated with adolescence. Women return to the educational system to help resolve identity and integrity needs, particularly middle class women, according to this study. Eckstrom (U.S., 1972) says working class women are motivated to seek out the opportunities and information available to meet their 18 particular needs. Glogowski and Lanning (U.S., 1976) stated that mature women attached more importance to economic work values than did younger women students. Ironical ly, lack of money is a reason frequently given by women for non-participation in adult education (Carp, Peterson, Roelfs, U.S., 1974). The great majority of mature women students chose careers and areas of study tradit ional ly considered "female" as opposed to neutral or male-dominated discipl ines (Baruck, 1972). Although Baruck's study was conducted in the ear l ier 1970's, educators today would suggest that this s t i l l holds true (Astin, Hoek, Zimmerman-Trew). Astin (U.S., 1976) indicated that women who decide to con-tinue their education can be divided into two groups: those whose ultimate goal is a career (employment), and those who take a few courses out of general interest or perhaps to complete a degree. The results of a study of the employment of social service grad-uates in Canada (Crane, 1974) indicate that work experience is seen by the majority of students as a signif icant career choice influence. The community college students' employment plans were, in order of pr ior i ty , as follows: looking for employment (65.81%); have permanent job (15.81%); further schooling (10.26%); not looking for employment (5.98%); and looking for contract work (1.71%). The non-university programs were graduating substantially more students than could be absorbed into employment in a l l regions of Canada in 1972. The sex of the respondent contributed independently of other factors to success in finding employment. Contrasting information on women's attitudes about returning to 19 school is found in the Lenz and Schaevitz (U.S., 1977) and Helen Astin !(iUSS., 1976) studies. Lenz and Schaevitz found that feeling guilty about returning to school is a "trap" that women fa l l into more often than do men. A woman wonders whether she is being se l f ish to indulge in herself, to deny her family care and attention, and to spend money which could otherwise be used on;the family. Three-quarters of Astin's group indicated that having a career in addition to being a wife and mother was important to their sel f-ful f i l lment. Self-concept did not appear to be an obstacle. Older as well as; younger women were f lexible about how old their children should be before she returned to school or work. The Lenz and Schaevitz paper discusses more generally adults returning to school with occasional reference to women. The Astin studies were conduc-ted spec i f ica l ly on women returning to school. This may account for the differences in the citations. The most relevant Canadian study (Hoek, 1979) found an over-whelming percentage (98%) of the off ice career students came to college for job training and wanted a career for their own personal fulf i l lment (83%). The majority of women favoured waiting until their childrens' school entry before in i t ia t ing their own re-entry. In summary, women's motivations for returning to school are se l f - fu l f i l lment and job training, with the goal of employment or a career outside the home sphere. 20 Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences  Needs Three needs are predominant for the re-entry of mature women into the academic mainstream: enlightened counselling and guidance in designing a l i f e plan to encompass career and family; assistance in seeking financial aid; and f lexible procedures and programming (Howard, U.S., 1975). A review of the l i terature and research demon-strates this summary statement. A large proportion of the l i terature draws attention to the counselling needs of women returning to school. Counselling and group support are seen as ways of easing the transition for women returning to college (Furniss-Cross, U.S., 1974). Verheyden-Hilliard (U.S., 1975) emphasize that the advisor or counsellor of adults cannot separate the academic from the personal. He deals with: fear; individual reactions to stress; self-analysis , search for identity, and role problems; goal, educational and vocational planning; financial aids; personal adjust-ment problems; social problems; and employment assistance. The proposed Women's Access Centres (Ironside, Canada, 1979) in Brit ish Columbia, would assist women to locate and ut i l i ze educational opportunities and would provide women with their support and counselling needs. A recent art ic le in a Canadian newspaper (The Other Press, 1979) stresses the need to al leviate the financial barriers mature women face in continuing a post-secondary education. Stat ist ics show that one in f ive women in the labour force are single, widowed, divorced, or separ-ated and that 45.3 percent of a l l female headed families are earning less 21 than $5000/year. This low average income necessitates financial aid for any woman who wants toccontinue her education and establish a better l i f e for herself and her family. The needs of women returning to school according to American studies wil l be reviewed. The Verheyden-Hi11iard (1975) art ic le examines the c r i t i c a l factors affecting re-entry women's access to jobs and their chances of obtaining and retaining work at a level appropriate to their capabi l i t ies . It emphasizes that the mature woman often requires financial assistance for two reasons: to defray the cost of training and education, and to support and care for her family while she prepares herself for advancement. Women without suff ic ient education or training lose the ab i l i ty to benefit from or even remain in the work force. T i t t l e and Denker (1977) reiterate this . De Wolfe and Lunneborg (1972) found financing to be a serious problem of the mature undergraduate students attending the University of Washington. The purpose of the Perrone, Wolleat, Lee and Davis (1977) study was to identify the counselling needs of adult students enrolled in vocational-technical schools. Women of a l l ages were s ig-ni f icant ly more concerned than the men over having enough money to pay for their education and more concerned about facing unemployment. The Glogowski and Lanning (1977) study reported the same. In the social services, female employment rates were found to be substantially lower than those of males in every region surveyed in Canada (Crane, 1974). There was a difference of as much as 32 percen-tage points in rate of employment by sex in Brit ish Columbia. Krakauer (Canada, 1976) recommends that a l l persons who have been 22 out of full-time education for two or more years and who have reached a minimum age of 18 years, should have the right to conditional admission to post-secondary education without having to meet formal requirements (p. 44). The Waters study (1971) on admission procedures for adult applicants in 58 colleges and universities in f ive United States, indicated concern for irrelevant admission requirements for the adult applicant. It recommended special admissions' personnel, procedures, information, and testing for adult applicants. Personal and Institutional Experiences The l i terature of the later 1960's concerned i t s e l f with age and sex discrimination practices as they applied to women returning to school. Ekstrom's (U.S., 1972) well-known study categorizes the barriers encountered by women as inst i tut ional , situational and dispos-i t iona l . The institutional factors serving to exclude women from par-t ic ipation in post-secondary education included admissions practices, financial aid practices, institutional regulations, types of curriculum and services adopted, and faculty and staff attitudes. Situational barriers included family responsibi l i t ies , f inancial need, and societal pressures. The dispositional barriers that prevent .women from continuing education included their fear of fa i lure , attitude toward intellectual act iv i ty , role preference, ambivalence about educational goals, level of aspiration, passivity, dependence, and feelings of in fer ior i ty . Many hypotheses allude to a conf l ict between the roles that society 23 expects females to f u l f i l l and the personal goals or aspirations of females. Letchworth (U.S., 1970) highlights these problems for women returning to school: scheduling academic and home responsi-b i l i t i e s ; management of feelings of gu i l t , shame, and isolat ion. Tomlinson-Keasey (U.S., 1974) hypothesized that i f the more general role expectations of a society influence an individual 's motivation, then one can expect fear of success or role anxiety to result . The data from this study suggested that the "fear of success" data in the l iterature be viewed with caution since i t focussed on an extreme group, the single college coed. Mature students face a different set of obstacles than do their younger counterparts (Hughson and Foster, U.S., 1975/76). Younger students apparently have fewer problems as compared to the mature group who mentioned the lack of child-care f a c i l i t i e s , time stresses and time bargaining for home duties and study, and the pervasive lack of self-assurance (also reported by Manis and Mochizuki, U.S., 1972). A study of married, middle-class women re-entering school after being primarily wives and mothers for a number of years (Brooks, U.S., 1976), said there were three issues part icularly salient for these women: low self-confidence, time-management, and role conf l ic t . Lenz and Shaevitz (U.S., 1977) report the "guilt-edged complex", the guilt feelings that assail women when they begin seeking directions of their own, feelings which emanate from deep-rooted cultural patterns. For Astin's (U.S., 1976) sample of women, the three problems most frequently cited as very important during participation in the continuing education program were a l l program-related: time of day 24 classes were offered; location, distance and transportation; and cost. The personal variables cited as problems included: lack of time; job responsibi l i t ies; family obligations; lack of specif ic s k i l l s / a b i l i t i e s ; lack of direction/purpose; lack of self-confidence; gui lt about money and gui lt about neglect of children. The frequency of the problems cited varied with age, marital status and race. Canadian studies generally supported the Astin (U.S., 1976) findings and wi l l now be reviewed. A study of a random sample of mature Albertan women as compared with a group of f i r s t year university students (Ladan and Crooks, 1975), reported the following as obstacles: lack of funding; lack of child-care f a c i l i t i e s ; need for time bargain-ing between study and family needs; and lack of confidence. Krakauer (1976) studied women not being reached by existing programs of the college in Ontario. She found the most important considerations of students in taking courses;were location of course, time, child-care, finances and transportation (in order of pr ior i ty) . Over 83% wanted part-time study opportunities. Krakauer identif ies the lack of f lexible programming policies and job re-entry programs as serious barriers, as well as counselling and guidance services, especially for the 31-45 year old woman. In the study of the demand for part-time learning in Ontario (Waniewicz, 1976), the "learner" group of women experienced these obstacles: too busy with many responsibi l i tes; lack of money; d i f f i c u l t y getting out of the house; and distance and transportation. Level of previous education, age, place of residence and marital status affected the ranking of problems. Janet Wil l is (1977) conducted a cross-Canada study of institutions 25 offering educational programs for women (colleges, universit ies, YM/YWCA's, selected women's centres). She refers to the fact that despite a prol i feration of programs geared to women, there has been l i t t l e change in the provision of education services necessary for a woman to access learning in the f i r s t place. She surveyed women educators who reported the following as barriers in a woman's opportunity to learn: her own self-concept; lack of services to help with the re-entry process; course offerings at inconvenient times and places; child-care; and lack of income. Wi l l i s suggests that the largest barrier within the educational system is inadequate career counselling. The Brit ish Columbia off ice careers students (Hoek, 1979) worried about examinations, time conf l ic ts , teaching methods and assign-ments in relation to the-program-i.n which they were enrolled. One-half of the group were afraid they would not get jobs at the end of their training. One-third reported no concern over financing their education. Although the women valued a career as part of their own se l f - fu l f i l lment , their pr ior i t ies and goals appeared diffuse or in f lux. The mature women were particularly over-loaded and under-supported. The changes that might be recommended in response to the above description of the personal and institutional experiences of women returning to school have been recorded by Astin (U.S., 1976). Frequently.recommended program changes were: provide child-care; f inancial a id; low tu i t ion; reach and enroll a wider population; increase publ ic ity; evaluate courses and services and follow-up on 26 participants; move locations; allow greater variety and choice of time for courses; make counselling responsive to individual needs and differences; provide better occupational and educational infor-mation; provide or improve job placement; and increase funding and staffing of the program. One might conclude that women returning to school have counselling needs because the institutions they attend do not pro-vide them with help in re-entering; they have financial needs and time-management problems because of their situations; and they experience low self-esteem and role-conflict. The experiences and concerns of women vary with factors such as age, marital status, education, and other background characteristics. A review of prior research findings as they were presented in the literature was conducted in this chapter. The literature originated largely from the United States but also included a l l Canadian-based literature which was seen to be relevant. The l i t -erature was i n i t i a l l y used to select problems for further enquiry and later to test previous findings on this study sample. The organ-ization of the review was determined by the questions selected for this study and will be consistent with the presentation of the findings in Chapter 4. 27 CHAPTER 3 - METHODOLOGY Theoretical Framework Women who are returning to school after an interruption in their educational training have needs which may not be understood or adequately met by post-secondary inst itutions. It has been held that these institutions serve the interests of the traditional student population and not the increasing population of women who are returning to post-secondary education. Thefabarriers that exist for women are reflected in admissions practices, scheduling, support services, counselling services and financial aid. Once women's needs have been ident i f ied , program requirements can be assessed and therneeds,aas well as opportunities, for change can be recognized. The study attempts to meet the goal of c lar i fy ing needs by gathering information from the consumer - in this instance, the "returning" women students enrolled in a career training program. Research wi l l be used as the channel for input on their perceptions and opinions; the self-perceived needs of the women wi l l be spot-lighted and the implications of the findings explored with the college. The American studies and the one Canadian study conducted in Brit ish Columbia on the experiences of the students in Office Careers programs (Hoek, 1979), serve as a reference point for this study. These studies have outlined the background characterist ics, the motivations and career goals of women, and their personal and inst i tu-tional experiences. To offer a description of a group of women returning to school and to assess the needs of this group, wil l provide beginning knowledge about the educational needs of women. Because the "returning" woman student is often interested or directed to specif ic career training and s k i l l development in preparation for employment or re-employment, a career training program is important to look at as the educational inst i tut ion. This type of program is offered at the community college level in Brit ish Columbia. Women often begin their new career goals at this level with the poss ib i l i ty of transfer later to a university-based program or as an expedient means to entry into the labour force. Specific Goals of this : s t u d y The goals of the study are: 1) To describe: the background characteristics of the selected sample of returning women; their motivations, goals, and career plans; and their needs, personal, and institutional experiences. 2) To determine selected associations between variables and to explore ways of accounting for these associations. This study explores the following as the dependent variables: personal and career goals; reasons for furthering education; problems experienced during participation in the program; and personal problems exper-ienced during participation in the program. These dependent variables are examined against the following independent variables age; marital status; number of children at home or responsible 29 for caring for; ages of these children; length of time since last enrolled in an academic or vocational course; overall satisfaction with the Community Social Service Worker program? and,plans upon completion of the program. It is hypothesized that a woman!;s age, marital status, number of children and so forth wi l l affect her goals and the problems she experiences during her participation in the program, and her reasons for furthering her education. 3) To devise and p i lot test a measure of the effects of impl ic it assumptions about homemaking responsibi l i t ies of women and about sex roles on womens' judgements on: a) the decision to prepare for a career, and b) the appropriateness of assertive behaviour towards instructors on the part of women students. Hypotheses It is hypothesized that the findings wi l l support the perceptions of the key informants to this study and the findings of other studies as reviewed in the l i terature. The key informants described the typical returning woman student as having a family, with children in school; having some work experience but not ful l - t ime, long-term employment; having taken some courses or workshops previously; and having verbal but not practical support from her family. She is motivated to enter this program because she is "people-oriented" and sees i t as an extension of mothering, nurturing, and her 30 l i f e experiences. In this regard, she wi l l feel some confidence. She may have been directed, or she didn't see alternatives, to this career program. She l ike ly has a strong se l f - fu l f i l lment motive. The key informants suggested that the group would be heterogenous in terms of l i f e experience, educational background, personal s i tu-ation and motivation. Women would be motivated to return to school for one of two reasons: 1) to f u l f i l l self-esteem needs, or 2) to meet specif ic career goals. According to the key informants, a majority of the women wi l l experience f inanc ia l , child-care, and academic problems. They wi l l have needs for better career counselling and exploration and personal support. They wi l l feel need for some academic upgrading and f l e x i -b i l i t y in timetabling. They wi l l be overwhelmed by the requirements of the program. Some women would have preferred part-time study. Since the college is a commuter college, there wi l l be geographical and physical concerns. Most women wi l l be discouraged by job prospects and wi l l have employment search needs. The!.hypotheses which lead to the use and design of vignettes were: 1) that women's career decisions are affected by their marital status and the age of their children; and 2) that the sex of an instructor/or authority figure wi l l affect a woman's assertiveness in communicating her learning needs. 31 Assumptions Underlying the Study This study makes some value assumptions and assumptions of fact which are now stated. The group of women under study constitute "returning" women students. These women want work opportunities and, therefore, need training through education. These women are a "non-tradit ional" student cl ientele in the education institutions they attend because the institutions have been designed to serve the needs of a younger student population and the needs of men. There exists a discrepancy between what is needed by the women and what education can offer at this point in time. This fact places women in a dis-advantaged position, social ly and economically, and affects their participation in the labour force. Education is one variable to women's long-term work objectives and, in this sense, post-secondary institutions have a responsibi l ity in the provision of equal learning opportunities for women to ensure that their training needs are met. Level of Research Design The research design chosen for this study is the quantitative-descriptive design (Tripodi, 1969)1. A quantitative-descriptive design seeks quantitative descriptions among specified variables obtained through the use of measuring devices, such as correlations and proportions, to describe the relationships amongst the variables. The survey questionnaire was used to gather the demographic characteristics and the opinions and attitudes of the survey group. 32 It had a clear descriptive purpose and also aimed to explore and develop tentative explanations of,the influence of-various factors upon some phen-omenon. The analogue experiment design with the use of vignettes formed a por-tion of the survey to search for s imi lar i t ies and comparisons in the responses. This design is usually applied to an intact group, as in this study, and when the study is directed at specif ic local policy issues. This type of format can maximize the information yield from a small non-random sample. A stochastic or probabalistic model is set up in the vignettes where one manipulates in a random-ized fashion the format of the questions. Randomization is achieved in the questionnaire, not in the population. The key independent variables in the study are manipulated by creating variations of them inhhypothetical situations for which the respondents make decisions. The pre-conditions to this design are that there must be some measure of the concepts involved so there is a low level of inference on the part of the researcher and that the options given to the respondents present a rea l i s t i c choice to them. Data Collection Design The original sources of information in the survey design phase were the l iterature and a selected group of individuals who were seen as knowledgeable on the problem and who would, thus, serve as key informants. In order for the researcher to achieve a low 33 level of inference, the key informant interviews were conducted tolfihdeout what was salient to them and what their experience with the problem had been. Five key informant interviews were conducted. They resulted in an affirmation of the importance of the problem, recommendations on needed data and a suitable study population, and perceptions of the population. The survey group of women students enrolled in a Community Social Service Worker program was the major source of data. The survey of the women who left the program resulted in a return of four out of the nine possible responses. The data from this group were not used in the s tat i s t i ca l analysis. The questionnaire schedule was derived from the Astin (1976) and Hoek (1979) studies, and adapted to and made appropriate for the program :and college under study. The coordinator and an instruc-tor in the program provided consultation based on their specif ic needs for information. In addition, the key informants highlighted the areas to cover in such a survey. A questionnaire was designed incorporating these suggestions. Considerable time and effort were given to the development of a suitable instrument that would: a) f i t this particular study; b) allow for the exploration of a large number of variables that were seen to be signif icant; and c) allow for the instrument to be tested as a possible basis for a larger study. Developing the instrument, therefore, involved in-depth key informant interviews i n i t i a l l y and continuous consultation and revision until i t was believed ready for a pre-test. This process took approximately 34 three months. A pre-test was conducted approximately two weeks prior to the anticipated survey date. The purpose of the pre-test was to check the adequacy of the questionnaire, the ease of handling i t , the eff iciency of i ts layout and its c lar i ty . The distr ibution of the vignettes in the pre-test was identical to the method planned for the actual survey and therefore served as a pi lot run. In addition, the realism of the vignettes was being tested in the pre-test. The pre-test group consisted of four women who had graduated from the program in the previous year. They suggested minor changes to the wording and understanding of the questions. The predicted time on the administration of the instrument of 45 minutes was accurate. The usefulness of the survey was emphasized by the pre-test group. A f inal version of the survey instrument was devised. The format of the questions in most instances entailed a l i s t of items from which the respondent would choose the relevant item or items. The l i s t of items was generally assumed to be exhaustive, although an "other" category was provided. The open-ended questions in the questionnaire included: recommending program changes, specifying satisfactions with the program, and making any additional comments. The topics covered in the questionnaire were: the respondent's career interests and experiences as a student in the program; back-ground information; assessment of the program based on the respondent's experience and the respondent's recommendations; plans upon completion 35 of the program; and last ly , the vignettes. The questionnaire consisted of 105 items requiring separate repl ies , which included two vignettes with four-versions to each vignette. Each respon-dent received one version of each vignette. A covering letter was attached, explaining the purpose of the study, e l i c i t i n g the co-operation of the class, and ensuring the confidential ity of the responses. The survey with the intact group was conducted in early Apr i l . Apart from being the most feasible time to conduct the survey, i t was also believed to be suitable in terms of the nature of the input from the students. Being near the end of the f inal semester, the students would provide information based on close to the year's experience in the program. The survey date would fa l l prior to the time of pressures of examinations and assignment completions. In-class time was arranged for by the program co-ordinator. It took between 45 minutes to one hour to complete the questionnaire. The writer gave the group a brief introduction to the ques-tionnaire and its format, and again assured the respondents of their voluntary participation in the survey and of their confiden-t i a l i t y . The program co-ordinator was not present during the admin-istration of the questionnaire. The writer was present to answer questions of interpretation only and to create a condition in which there would not be interaction between the respondents so they could make independent judgements and so there would be no contamin-ation. The group of women who:left the program were required to com-plete their questionnaires independently. The writer contacted 36 each person i n i t i a l l y by telephone, describing the purpose, back-ground, the voluntary and confidential nature of the study. They were asked to complete the questionnaire and return i t anonymously by mail. Although the method of data col lection from this group was different from the intact group, i t was assumed the variables of "meeting1- with the group and the "sight" of the writer were not great since the introductionsi;to the study were the same. Sampling Design Two sampling designs were used: 1) a self-selected sample into a particular program over a period of time; and 2) a random sampling of the vignettes as described in the data analysis section. The self-selected sample was composed of a group of women who had returned to post-secondary education. This group was enrolled in a Community Social Service Worker program at a Br it ish Columbia community college. The group numbered 18. Although this group formed the entire population in this par-t icular program, we refer to them as a sample. The just i f i cat ion is that we are making inferences to a s tat is t ica l population, which is hypothetical of s tat is t ica l outcomes. The reader is referred 2 to Solomon Diamond for further reference. Because the study is exploratory in a new area of enquiry, a small sample with a large number of variables was employed. Rather than attempt to replicate the study at another college, i t was decided to invest an equivalent time and effort in negotiating an 37 "action" phase of the study at the college where i t took place. This took the form of a plan for consideration of the findings and development of an implementive plan following completion of the study. The anticipated stages are: a) report the major findings of the study to the college administration, program personnel and the survey group; b) draw up implications of the findings for the college spec i f ica l ly and, on a broader leve l , for further research and educational pol icy; and c) report these to the appropriate government department and other education inst i tut ions. A second group was surveyed, which was composed of the women who had left this program at the end of the f i r s t semester. This group numbered nine, or one-third of the original group accepted into the program. The program is a one-year cert i f icate social service career training program which prepares students for employment in a variety of community settings: soc ia l , recreational, educational and health. It is offered primarily for ful l-t ime study because i t entails three class days per week and two field-work days per week. As a para-professional or volunteer, the graduate may function as a community-development worker or provide direct services to c l ients . Enrollment in the course is limited. Acceptance into the program is dependent upon the su i tab i l i ty of the applicant to the program in areas such as: personal, experience and s k i l l . The host college of this program is a commuter college, situated in a suburban middle-class community in the Lower Mainland area ofLiBritish Columbia. 38 Design of Data Analysis Three types of data analyses were employed in the study: f re-quency counts, measures of association for rank order and cate-gorical data, and two-way analysis of variance. Frequency Data With a sample of 18, frequency counts were used. The frequency data were used to demonstrate measures of consensus and variance? amongst responses. Each response option provided was treated as a separate item. Each item, then, became dichotomous (yes, no). The minimum consensus range was set at 9-14 (out of a total of 18) arid the maximum consensus range at 14-18. The direction of the responses is considered. The survey of the group of women who lef t the program wil l not be used in a s ta t i s t i ca l way because of the low response rate. Choice of Level of Significance Measures of association were calculated for pairs of independent and dependent variables. The findings are presented at .15 and .05 levels of significance. Data presented at .15 level of significance were adopted for three main reasons: a) with a sample size of 18, the s tat is t ica l power is quite small; b) the problem of Type II error at .05 level of significance would be much higher than Type. I error; since we regard them of equal importance we can reduce Type II error to the neighbourhood of Type I error by .using ..15 level of significance; and c) this seemed to be a reasonable compromise between the conventional level of .05 and the rather extreme value, 3 .30, which is sometimes recommended . Therefore, any finding whose significance level is equal to or less than .15 is considered signif icant in this study. We also distinguish those findings signif icant beyond .05 leve l , indicating simply a greater degree of significance. Cr i t ica l values were determined for a number of 17, the range in number of responses making no v is ib le difference to the values. See appendix A foro.-calculation of c r i t i ca l values of rho. Two-Way Analysis of Variance Vignettes were created and added to the main questionnaire. In creating the vignettes one sets up problems or hypothetical situations for which the respondents make decisions; one must then decide on suitable experimentalivariations of the problems which ref lect the hidden factor and/or variable controls (holding constant some variable in the vignettes). In Vignette I, we tested the effects of marital status and the age of children on a woman's decision to return to school. Four variations were decided upon: single parent, married, pre-school children and school-age children. The respondents were to give their opinions on the woman's decision to return to school (constant factor) and on the importance of these factors: concern for the opinion of the family; se l f - fu l f i l lment in a career; spen-ding less time with the family; and "other" factors the respondent might consider important. In Vignette II , we tested the effects of the sex of the in-structor on a woman'scdecision to confront the instructor about completing an assignment. Four variations were set up: female instructor, male instructor, confront the instructor, and comply with the instructors The respondents were asked to give their opinion on the woman's decision (to confront or comply) and on the importance of the following factors: f u l f i l l i n g learning inter-ests; agreeing with the instructor; communicating needs and inter-ests; and "other" factors the respondent considers important. The four variations or versions of each of the two vignettes were randomly assigned to the questionnaires. Two-way analysis of variance was calculated for the vignettes. This type of analysis enables one to measure the effect of more than one independent variable on the dependent variable and also to test whether there is an interaction effect. In this instance, a comparison of res-ponses to different versions of each vignette was made to establish the impactoofuthettest variables. The mathematical model for two-way analysis of variance states that any particular observation deviates from the grand mean, and this deviation is composed of a column variance, row variance, interaction variance, and error variance (see appendix B for calcu-lation of formulae). In summary, we tested the differences in means; that i s , are there signif icant row and column effects and are there interactions between them? We tested whether the relat ion-ship between the variables found in the sample was greater than could be expected in the population by chance alone by calculating F-ratios. A fixed-effects model was appropriate for the vignettes. Inferences made in this model can be made only about the particular treatment administered and not about any other kinds of treatments that might have been administered. Since one-quarter of the group would receive one version of each of Vignettes I and II , a small sample only would be compared. Footnotesi T. Tr ipodi , P. Fe l l in and H.J. Meyer, The Assessment of Social  Research, ( I l l i no i s : Peacock Publishers, 1969). Solomon Diamond, Information and Error: An Introduction to Stat- i s t i ca l Analysis, (New York: Basic Books, Inc. , 1959), pp. 32 *B.J. Winer, Stat ist ica l Principles in Experimental Design, (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962), pp. 12-13. 43 Appendix A - Chapter 31 Calculation of Cr i t ica l Values of RHO For the .02, .05, .10, .15 Levels of Significance r h 0 f ^ h o 2 t* =rrho 2 - rho2 ) t 2 _ rho2 15 1-rho2 _ 1 , T5~ " T^rlTo2 ~ \T ~ rho* ~ rhW "  1 1 _ 15 r i 7 ~ W 15 + t 2 rho2 rho = t 2 T5TE2" t 2 15+t2 (derived from M.G. Kendall, Rank Correlation Methods, 1948). If n = 17, the c r i t i ca l values are: p: .02 .05 .10 .15 rho: .56 .48 .40 .36 44 Appendix B - Chapter 3 Calculat ion: . . Formulae for F-Ratios for Vignettes (Source: Winer, 1962, p. 283) Let A-| = z Col. 1 i .e . E a ' s + E c ' s Let A 2 = z Col. 2 i .e . E b ' s + E d ' s Then SSa (sum of squares) A, A 9 2 ( J 4 n ^ ) A, A„ 2 Let B-j = z row 1 L B 2 = E row 2 i .e . E a ' s + E b ' s E c ' s + E d ' s Then SSa (sum of squares) B B 2 = ( 1 " — - ) K 4n 1 B B ? 2 K 16 ; Sample Layout of Data for Two-way ANOVA Vignette I Col. 1 Col. 2 Row 1 Row 2 .version a single pre-school children a c version c single school-age children b d version b married pre-school children version d married school-age children SST = (Sum of a l l 16 scores)' (sum of total) (Sum of Scores)' 16 SSA b = {:(Ea + Ed) - (Eb + -Ec)} /16 a SSE = SST - SSa - SSb - SSab (sum of error) MSE = S S E / 3 (df. = 3) (mean sum of error) F-Ratios F (column effect) = S S a /MSE, d.f . = 1,3, c r i t i c a l value 10.1 at .05 level of significance. F (row effect) = S S b /MSE, d.f . = 1,3, c r i t i c a l value 10.1 at .05 level of significance. F (interaction effect) = S S a b / M S E , d.f . = 1,3, c r i t i ca l value 10.1 at .05 level of significance. 46 CHAPTER 4 - RESULTS AND DISCUSSION RESULTS Problems in Implementing the Research Design In selecting a survey population, time and cost considerations become paramount. The writer needed to tap an easy-to-reach popu-lation and the most feasible approach, therefore, was to survey a self-selected group. There is limited general izabil ity from such a survey and the data can only represent the subjects direct ly under examination. The fact that the group is intact may be a variable in i t s e l f ; other mature women students may not be in an intact group. The particular sample group chosen expressed ambivalance at the outset about the research. They expressed skepticism, a low level of trust, and a fear of being evaluated. The frustrations they were experiencing in the program were transferred to the research endeavour. The students were attaching blame to the program about i ts value in the labour market. The researcher's need to develop a working relationship with the program personnel and the student group became a delicate task because of the climate that existed between students and instructors. In the end, every student par-ticipated in the survey. The attempt at surveying the group of 9 students who left the 47 program after the f i r s t semester resulted in a low response rate (4 out of 9). The response rate of this group was so small as to preclude any stat is t ica l inference based on comparison. Spearman's Rho was the s tat i s t i ca l test applied to a l l rank-order correlations of independent and dependent variables with the exception of marital status. Freeman's theta was used in this instance because of the presence of both ordinal and nominal data. Descriptive Data on Sample One hundred and five responses under 25 topical areas were i n i t i a l l y tabulated in raw frequencies and percentages^. Two ques-tions in the questionnaire were open-ended; the data from these wi l l be presented in conjunction with the quantitative data. Presen-tation of the data wi l l be organized under three major headings: background characteristics; motivations, goals, and career plans; and needs, personal and institutional experiences. Background Characteristics A description of the background characteristics of the survey group of students enrol led. in a Community Social Service Worker program wil l include information on: age, marital status; number of children at home and ages of these children; education; work experience; and financing of education. The age distribution of the respondents ranges from under age 20 to age 60, indicating a large age distr ibution. More than half of the class (N = 10) fa l l s in :;the 26-40 age range. Table 1. Age Distribution of Respondents-Frequency Percentage Age N = 18 Under 20 2 11.1 2 1 - 2 5 1 5.6 2 6 - 3 0 3 16.7 3 1 - 3 5 2 11.1 3 6 - 4 0 5 27.8 4 1 - 4 5 1 5.6 4 6 - 5 0 1 5.6 5 1 - 5 5 2 11.1 5 6 - 6 0 1 5.6 A large majority of the women in the survey either were married or are married (14 or 77.8%). Table 2. Marital Status of Respondents Frequency Percentage N = 18 Marital Status Single 2 11.1 Separated/Divorced 6 33.3 Married 7 38.9 Widowed 1 5.6 Other 2 11.1 Just over half (10) of the respondents have children at home or children for whom they are responsible. The remainder of the respondents (8) have no children at home. Table 3. Number of Children at Home Frequency Percentage  Children N = 18 none 8 44.4 one 1 5.6 two 6 33.3 three 3 16.7 The age categories of these children range from 4 to over 23 years. The greater concentration of children fa l l s in the 7 to 12 category (6) and the 13 to 17 category (5). Only 2 respondents have children in the pre-school age range, 4-6. Table 4. Age Categories of Children Frequency Percentage  Ages N = 18 no children 8 44.4 birth - 3 0 0 4 - 6 2 11.1 7 - 1 2 6 33.3 1 3 - 1 7 5 27.8 1 8 - 2 2 3 16.7 23 and over 1 5.6 50 Several women continued their education after high school. The respondents who did not continue their education gave the following reasons: wanted to work (6), funds not available (1), lack of inter-est (1), and marriage or pregnancy (1). Table 5. Reasons for Discontinuing Education After High School Frequency Percentage Reasons N = 17 does not apply to me 7 38.9 wanted to work 6 33.3 funds not available 1 5.6 lack of interest 1 5.6 marriage, pregnancy 1 5.6 i l lness (self or family) 0 0 parents not in favour 0 0 questioned my ab i l i ty 0 0 lack of motivation 0 0 other 1 5.6 At some point the large majority of the group had taken post-secondary education: technical or business (1), some college or university (9), and graduate and/or professional training (5). 51 Table 6. Highest Level of Education Frequency Percentage Education N = 18 Grade 10 or less 1 5.6 Grade 12 equivalent 2 11.1 Grade 12 completion 0 0 Technical or business school 1 5.6 Some college or university training 9 50.0 Bachelor's degree 0 0 Graduate and/or professional 5 27.8 training Other 0 0 The f ields of study for those women who have post-secondary education are: l iberal arts (4), commerce/business (1), nursing (3), social work (1), mathematics,(1), physiotherapy (1), accounting (1) and c i v i l engineering (1). Table 7. Fields of Study Frequency Percentage Fields N = 17 does not apply to me 4 22.2 L'iberal Arts and/or Social 4 22.2 Sciences Agriculture 0 0 Commerce, Business 1 5.6 Dentistry 0 0 Continued . . . Frequency Percentage Education 0 0 Home Economics 0 0 Law 0 0 Library Science 0 0 Medicine 0 0 Nursing 3 16.7 Pharmacy 0 0 Social Work 0 0 Other 5 27.8 The length of time since the last enrollment in anaacademic or vocational course for more than half the group (10) was less than one year ago. Five women were last enrolled between 1 and 5 years ago, and the remainder of the group (3) between 16 and 30 years ago. The number of years of paid employment of the respondents varied from less than one year to 29 years. Close to half of the respon-dents (8) worked between 2 and 5 years; six respondents worked between 6 and 13 years. 53 Table 8. Total Number of Years of Paid Employment Frequency Percentage Number of Years N = 17 less than one year 1 5.6 two 1 5.6 three 2 11.1 five 5 27.8 six 1 5?.:6 eight 1 5.6 ten 1 5.6 twelve 1 5.6 thi rteen 2 11.1 twenty 1 5.6 twenty-nine 1 5.6 The total years of volunteer work ranged from less than one year to 15 years. One person did volunteer work for less than a year, seven persons from 2 to 4 years, and six persons from 7 to 15 years. Three respondents did not reply. Immediately prior to entering the present program of study, 5 of the women were employed. The others (13) were not employed for reasons such as: lack of interest, no financial need, inadequate training or lack of job opportunities, raising children and home res-ponsib i l i t ies . Half of the class were financed by their spouses to return to school. Another major source of financing was savings and/or investments. 54 Table 9. Sources of Financing Education Frequency Percentage Sources N = 18 employer subsidy 0 0 family 0 0 spouse 9 50.0 loan 3 16.7 scholarship or bursary 1 5.6 savings/investments 8 44.4 part-time job 2 11.1 insurance, pension, alimony 1 5.6 Canada Employment allowance 0 0 income and/or social assistance 3 16.7 other 2 11.1 In summary, the background characteristics of the survey group are as follows: there is a clustering of women in the 26 to 40 age range; the majority of them have been or are presently married; half n of the respondents have children, half do not; the women with c h i l -dren generally enrolled in this program when their children were of school age. The large majority of women did not continue their formal education after high school. Most of the respondents have post-secondary training in f ields that are tradit ional ly female. The major sources of financing for their education are their spouses and savings or investments. Motivations, Goals, and Career Plans The questions in the questionnaire leading to a description of the motivations, goals and career plans of the survey sample cover the following topics: personal and career objectives; reasons for furthering education; reasons for enroll ing in the Community Social Service Worker program; satisfaction with the decision to enroll in this program; influences to enter the program; plans upon completion of the program; awareness of jobs of interest; number of job inquiries made; and desired job characteristics. The respondents were asked to select from a l i s t of items . the :three most important personal and career objectives when coming to the college. The items most frequently chosen were: to assess my own potential to develop further competencies (11); to prepare for a job (9); and to explore options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal identity (8). No one chose the objective of receiving counselling and information about career opportunities. "Other" objectives given were: to examine the social work f i e l d , and to seek a compromise to enroll ing in a degree program. Table 10. Personal and Career Objectives of Respondents Frequency Percentage Objectives N = 18 to prepare for a job 9 50.0 to qualify for better job/promotion 4 22.2 to become more educated 6 33.3 to receive diploma, cert i f icate etc. 5 27.8 Continued . . Frequency Percentage to receive counselling, career 0 0 information to make contact with people 2 11.1 to develop s k i l l s in personal/ 6 33.3 social relationships se l f - fu l f i l lment 8 44.4 to develop further competencies 11 61.1 other 2 11.1 There was high consensus on "attraction to the program" as a reason or factor for furthering their education. A second item in the minimum consensus range (9-14) was personal growth and f u l f i l l -ment. "Other" reasons for furthering their education were to explore the f ie ld of social work and to learn more about another career opportunity. Table 11. Reasons for Furthering Education Frequency Percentage Reasons N = 18 dissat isf ied with job 5 27.8 fewer home responsibi l i t ies 7 38.9 i l lness or death in family 0 0 ava i lab i l i ty of funds 2 11.1 economic need to work 5 27.8 family or marital changes 4 22.2 attracted to this program 14 77.8 Continued . . . 57 Frequency Percentage encouragement/recommendation from others 3 16.7 personal growth/fulfillment 11 61.1 moved close to college 0 0 other 3 16.7 The respondents were asked to br ief ly l i s t and describe their most important reasons for enroll ing in the Community Social Service Worker program as a choice in furthering their education. Their responses fa l l into three major areas which are personal, career-oriented, and interest in the human service f i e l d . Amongst the personal reasons given were statements about testing personal a b i l i t y ; learning to think and concentrate; learning more about interpersonal relationships; c lar i fy ing own identity; and wanting personal growth. A good number of the women fe l t that the program would aid them in a decision on which area of social work to pursue or would serve as a stepping stone in their career. This program was seen as convenient in i ts length and as an insurance policy regarding employ-ment. The program was in many instances chosen because of the respondent's specif ic interest in working with people and in the human service f i e l d , or in a very specif ic capacity in the f i e l d . When asked how satisf ied they were with their decision to enroll in this program, the large majority of the respondents were "very sat isf ied" to "sat isf ied". Only 2 women fe l t d issat is f ied. The most frequently l isted reasons for this satisfaction were: 58 increased self-confidence and personal growth, increased knowledge and c lar i f i cat ion of career interests. Table 12. Respondents' Satisfaction with Decision to Enroll in-Brogram Frequency Percentage  Satisfaction N = 18 very sat isf ied 8 44.4 sat isf ied 7 38.9 neutral 1 5.6 dissat isf ied 2 11.1 very dissat isf ied 0 0 Respondents were asked to select from a given l i s t a l l items applicable as influences in their decision to enter the program. The two items of highest consensus were: direct work or volunteer experience in the social work f ie ld and career or guidance counselling. The remainder of the items l isted were generally given low pr ior i ty . "Other" influences were: experience outside the f ie ld of social work; related courses; and the respondent's own decision. Table 13. Influences to Enter Program Frequency Percentage  Influences N = 18 husband 1 5.6 parents 1 5.6 person in f ie ld of social work 3 16.7 person outside f ie ld of social work 3 16.7 Continued . . . 59 Frequency Percentage work in social work 9 50.0 college course or instructors 5 27.8 service received from social 0 0 worker/agency program advertising 2 11.1 media 0 0 career/guidance counselling 8 44.4 other 4 22.2 Six respondents have plans to seek employment and six to enroll in further studies upon completion of the program. At the time of the survey, only one respondent had a job to go to. A few were seeking or had part-time work and one person was unsure df her plans upon completion. Table 14; Respondents' Plans Upon Completion Frequency Percentage Plans N = 17 have job to go to 1 5.6 have no job but am seeking one 7 38.9 enroll in further studies 5 27.8 looking for short-term contract work 0 0 no intent to seek permanent job 1 5.6 other 3 16.7 60 When asked i f they were currently aware of any jobs of interest to them, most respondents stated a definite "yes" or "yes, poten-t i a l l y " (13). Two persons were not aware of any interesting jobs and two were aware of jobs which would be interesting for only a short period of time. Thirteen of the group have made some job inquiries to date; f ive had not made any. The job characteristics to which the respondents attached greatest importance were: job satisfaction (nature of work); opportunities for personal growth; and freedom to innovate and experiment. "Other" characteristics included f l e x i b i l i t y and independence and source of i ncome. Table 15. Job Characteristics Desired Frequency Percentage Characteristics N = 18 does not apply 1 5.6 job security 6 33.3 job satisfaction 14 77.8 promotional opportunities 4 22.2 opportunities for personal growth 10 55.6 freedom to innovate/experiment 8 44.4 opportunity for supervision/training 1 5.6 convenient location 7 38.9 other 3 16.7 61 In summary, the career objectives of greatest importance to the respondents when returning to college were to assess their potential to develop further competencies, to prepare for a job and to explore options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal identity. An attraction to this specif ic program was given as the most important reason for furthering their education. The respondents were generally sat-isf ied with their decision to enroll in this particular program. The plans of the respondents upon completion of the program are either to seek employment or to enroll in further studies. Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences The third and final major area of description of the survey population is related to their needs, personal and institutional experi-ences. This section covers questions on the following: problems during participation in the program; personal problems during this time; the su i tab i l i ty of qualif ications/training to career interests; satisfactions with the program; and recommended program changes. The respondents were asked to select from a given l i s t , a l l items which were very important problems during their participation in the program. The items of highest consensus were concern about work overload in the program (13), and uncertainties about the value of the program in the marketplace (12). Approximately one-third of the group chose costs, length of classes and lack of time as problems they experienced. Those respondents choosing the "other" category stated the following problems: peer conformity and pressure; lack of time to obtain specif ic s k i l l s ; lack of expertise on the part of instructors in some subject areas; and insuff ic ient atten-tion from instructors. Table 16. Problems Experienced in Program Frequency Percentage Problems N = 18 lack of preparatory education 1 5.6 costs 6 33.3 location of campus, distance, 2 11.1 transportation time of day classes offered 1 5.6 length of classes 7 38.9 negative experiences with 3 16.7 instructor(s) job responsibi l it ies 1 5.6 lack of sk i l l s/ab i l i t i es 1 5.6 lack of time 7 38.9 courses don't respond to interests 3 16.7 lack of confidence in handling 4 22.2 program value of program in marketplace 12 66.7 preferred part-time studies 2 11.1 lack of support from classmates 3 16.7 lack of support from instructors 2 11.1 concern about work overload 13 72.2 concern about work underload 1 5.6 concern about r ig id i ty of program 1 5.6 concern about f l e x i b i l i t y of 0 0 program other 6 33.3 63 From a personal standpoint, the problems experienced during participation in the'program were varied. Those items which received most attention were: family and home maintenance responsibi l i t ies (17); lack of physical energy or physical endurance (16); emotional stress (8); medical reasons, such as personal i l lness , family i l l -ness ,f pregnancy (6); and worry about getting a job (6). The two items of least pr ior ity were concern about personal care of children and child-care arrangements. No one item fel'l ihtonthe high con-sensus range (14-18). "Other")personal problems experienced were: medical and lack of group cohesiveness. Table 17. Personal Problems Experienced Frequency Percentage Problems N = 18 lack of self-confidence 5 27.8 lack of personal direction/purpose 3 16.7 insuff ic ient support from family 4 22.2 family and home responsibi l i t ies 7 38.9 lack of physical energy/endurance 6 33.3 emotional stress 8 44.4 anxiety about money 3 16.7 concern about personal care of .1 5.6 children concern about child-care arrangements 1 5.6 medical reasons 6 33.3 worry about getting a job 6 33.3 other 3 16.7 The large majority of the survey group indicated they were "somewhat satisf ied" with the Community Social Service Worker program. Table 18. Overall Satisfaction with Program Frequency Percentage  Sati sfaction N = 16 very satisf ied 2 11.1 somewhat sat isf ied 13 72.2 neutral 1 5.6 somewhat dissat isf ied 0 0 very dissat isf ied 0 0 A further indication of satisfaction with the program is the positive response to the question on su i tab i l i ty of qualif ications and training to the respondents' interests. Thirteen persons fe l t their qualif ications and training were suitable and provided the following reasons: they learned about specif ic areas of social work; the program served as a good stepping-stone for further study or training and confirmed their interest in the human service f i e l d . The remainder of the respondents (5) clearly recognized the need for more advanced training to reach their career goals. In an open-ended question, the respondents were asked to des-cribe the aspects of the program and college with which they were most sat is f ied. Satisfaction was expressed with the content and instruction of specif ic courses. The respondents fe l t they had developed s k i l l s in the areas of counselling and written and oral 65 communication. The f ie ld placement experience was positive. Some women expressed that they fe l t the college had shown f l e x i b i l i t y and helpfulness to mature students but they did not articulate how this had been done. In addition, the instructors were seen as showing understanding, genuine interest, openness and f l e x i b i l i t y . The respondents were asked to specify the changes they would recommend on the basis of their experience at the college and in the program. Close to half of the group recommended better counsel-ling services and fewer assignments as changes that needed to be made. The physical setting in which the particular program was housed was of concern to the respondents, as well as having access to other services that the college provided. A good deal of concern was expressed for the status of a graduate from this program within the social service profession, part icularly as i t relates to the labour market. The students recommendja two-year diploma credit program, which would qualify them for university transfer. Other recommendations made by a smaller portion of the group were: more ski l led instructors, block f i e ld placements, and more comprehensive screening of applicants into the program. Findings ..-on Study Questions and Hypotheses Rank-order correlations (Spearman's Rho) were applied to measure the association between certain independent and dependent variables of the study. The data are presented in the form of rank-correlation matrices. Al l computed values are shown with asterisks highlighting 66 those values signif icant at the .15 or greater level and the .05 2 or greater level . Each independent variable and i ts association with the test dependent variable wi l l be discussed separately. The dependent variables are abbreviated in the tables and, therefore, wi l l be described at this time. "Objectives" refer to personal and career objectives. The questionnaire items related to objectives are: to prepare for a job; to qualify for a better job and/or promotion; to become more educated; to receive a diploma, cer t i f i cate , c itat ion or college credit; to receive counselling and information about career opportunities; to make contact with other people; to develop s k i l l s to become more effective in personal family relationships and/or social relationships; to explore options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal identity; to assess own potential to develop further competencies; and other. Items l isted under "problems" which were important to the res-pondent during participation in the program were: lack of preparatory education for the program; costs; location of campus, distance, transportation; time of day classes are offered length of classes; negative experiences with instructor(s); 67 job responsibi l i t ies; lack of specif ic sk i l l s and a b i l i t i e s ; lack of time; courses do not quite respond to interests; lack of confidence to successfully handle the program; uncertainties about the value of the program in the marketplace; would have preferred part-time studies; lack of support from classmates; lack of support from instructors; concern about work overload in the program; concern about work underload in the program; concern about r ig id i ty of program; concern about f l e x i b i l i t y of program; and other. The question on "personal" problems important during par t i c i -pation in the program includes these items of choice: lack of self-confidence; lack of personal direction,and/or purpose; insuff ic ient support from family; family and home maintenance responsibi l i t ies; lack of physical energy or physical endurance; emotional stress; anxiety about money; concern about personal care of children; concern about child-care arrangements; medical reasons: personal i l l ness , family i l l ness , pregnancy; ( 68 worry about getting a job; and other. The following reasons or factors for furthering "education" were l i s ted: dissat isf ied with job; fewer home responsibi l i t ies; i l lness or death in the family; ava i lab i l i ty of funds; economic need to work; family or marital changes; attracted to this program; encouragement and/or recommendation from others; personal growth and ful f i l lment; moved close to college; and other. The independent variables under consideration are: length of time since last enrolled in course; respondent's age; marital status; number of children; program satisfact ion; future plans; and ages of children. These are a l l ordinal measures. "Length of time since last enrolled in accourse" was correlated with the following dependent variables: "objectives", "problems", and "personal" (see Tables 19 and 20). The length of time since a respondent was last enrolled in an academic or vocational course is not s ignif icant ly related to the personal and career objectives of the respondent. The problems experienced during participation in the program which are s ignif icant ly related to the length of time 69 the respondent was last enrolled are: lack of time, and concern about work overload. The only personal problem experienced during participation in the program which is direct ly related to length of time since enrolled in a course is anxiety about money. The respondents most"recently enrolled in a course were more inclined to use the "other",category. The age of the respondent was correlated with "objectives", "problems", "personal" and "education" (see Tables 19 and 20). There is a negative or inverse association between the age of the respondent and: a) the career objective of qualifying for a better job and/or promotion; b) problems in the program related to costs, time of day classes c," are offered, job responsibi l i t ies , lacking confidence in success-fu l ly handling the program, and concern about r ig id i ty in the program; c) personal problems experienced which are lack of personal direction and/or purpose, emotional stress, anxiety about money, and worry about getting a job; d) the reason for furthering education being dissatisfaction with job. A positive correlation exists between the age of the respondent and furthering her education due to fewer home responsibi l i t ies . Older respondents in a l l four dependent variable categories had 3 a tendency to make additional comments and choose the "other" category . The marital status of the respondent (see Tables 19 and 20). was not s ignif icant ly related to :her having particular personal 70 and career objectives. The s tat i s t i ca l tests showed a positive relationship.between marital status and experiencing the following problems: costs, and lack of confidence in handling the program. A married woman is more l ike ly to experience personal problems such as lack of self-confidence, lack of personal direction and purpose, and worry about getting a job. She would also have an economic need to work and would be furthering her education for personal growth and fulf i l lment. The number of children a woman has was correlated with "objectives", "problems", "personal", and "education" (see Tables 19 and 20). A signif icant relationship was found between "number of children" and the objective of wanting to qualify for a better job and/or promotion. Those women with no children or fewer children experienced problems such as location of campus, distance and transportation; lack of confidence in successfully handling the program; and pre-ferring part-time studies. The women with children tended to experi-ence lack of support from instructors. The women with no children or fewer children selected these items as personal problems: lack of self-confidence and lack of personal direction or purpose. A signif icant relationship exists between concern about personal care of children and child-care arrangements.and number of children. A woman with children is mosf.Tikely to be furthering her education out of an economic need to work. The respondents' overall satisfaction with the program was correlated with "objectives", "problems", "personal" and "education" (see Tables 19 and 20). The respondents most l ike ly to be 71 sat isf ied with the program had the objective of "exploring options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal identity". The respondents having the following problems were less sat isf ied with the program: nega-tive experiences with the instructors, feeling lack of support from instructors, and being concerned about work underload. No personal problems showed a s ta t i s t i ca l l y signif icant relationship with pro-gram satisfaction. The satisfaction with the program tended to be less i f the respondents were furthering their education for reasons such as: "fewer home responsibi l i t ies" or "encouragement from others" to enter the program. A person furthering her education for per-sonal growth and fulf i l lment wi l l express more satisfaction with the program. Those persons less satisf ied with the program tended to state "other" reasons for furthering their education. A woman's plans upon completion of the program were correlated with personal and career objectives but did not achieve a level of s tat i s t i ca l significance (see Table 19). The various age categories of the children of the respondents were examined against these dependent variables: "objectives", "problems", "personal", and "education", (see Tables 21 and 22). If a respondent had no children, she was less l ike ly to have "be-coming more educated" as a career objective. She would experience problems related to: location of campus, distance and transportation; lack of confidence in successfully handling the program; uncertainties about the value of the program in the marketplace; and would have preferred part-time studies. She would have expressed lack of se l f -confidence and lack of personal direction and purpose as personal 72 problems experienced during her participation in the program. Her reasons for furthering her education would be ava i lab i l i ty of funds, and personal growth and fulf i l lment. No respondents had children in the birth to age 3 category. Those respondents with children in the age 4 to 6 category had the personal objective of making contact with other people. No "problem" correlated s ignif icantly with having children in the age 4 to 6 category. Personal problems signif icant to the women with this age child at home are: family and home maintenance responsi-b i l i t i e s , and concern about personal care of children and child-care arrangements. These women are furthering their education for the reason of an economic need to work and not for personal growth and fulf i l lment. The. typical woman with a 7-12 year old child at home wants to become more educated and i s n ' t interested in assessing her potential to develop further competencies. She does not lack confidence in her ab i l i ty to handle the program. She is not l ike ly to be experiencing lack of self-confidence and insuff ic ient support from her family. She has an economic need to work and is not furthering her education for personal growth and fulf i l lment. Personal andwcareeis objectives are not s ignif icant ly related to having children aged between 13 and 17. A woman with this age of chi ld expresses lack of preparatory education in the program as a problem. Lack of self-confidence and lack of physical energy or endurance are negatively related to having children in this age category. She was encouraged by others to further her education and is not seeking personal growth and fulf i l lment. The respondents with children aged 18-22 have the personal and career objective of assessing their own potential to develop further competencies. Specific problems experienced during par-t ic ipat ion in the program were not s ignif icant ly related to having children in this age category. A woman with children these ages is furthering her education for the reason of having fewer home responsibi l i t ies . The only variable achieving a level of significance with having children in the 23 or older range is the personal problem of insuf-f ic ient support from family. 74 Table 19. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman's Rho) Last Respondents Marital No. of Program Future Enrolled Age Status children Satisfaction Plans OBJECTIVES job .02 .24 .12 -.09 .16 -.20 promotion .30 -.40* .23 -.11 -.31 -.40 education .09 .30 .35 .46* .10 .26 diploma .14 -.27 .27 -.12 -.25 .18 counselling 0. -0. - -0. -0. -0. contacts .30 .10 .21 .26 .06 -.08 ski 11s .03 -.14 .30 -.04 .12 -.13 se l f - fu l f i l lment- .13 -.09 .33 -.27 -.46* .05 potential .33 .04 .22 -.33 -.12 -.05 other .09 .40* .23 .09 .06 .12 PROBLEMS education -.21 .07 .10 -.03 .04 costs .21 -.37* .45* -.04 -.19 location -.30 .02 .20 -.36* .06 classes .10 -.38* .14 -.25 .04 length .16 -.18 .39 -.15 .12 instructor -.19 .01 .26 -.22 .43* job .10 -.38* .14 -.25 .04 ski 11s -.21 .33 .10 -.25 .04 time .36* -.12 .28 -.33 .12 courses .22 .20 .31 9 -.08 .06 confidence -.11 -.40* .41** -.55** .09 marketplace -.13 .20 .41 -.16 .19 part-time -.08 -.03 .20 -.36* .06 classmates -.19 .01 .17 -.08 .08 support .09 .21 .23 .38* .48** overload .53** .24 .30 -.20 .25 underload -.21 .07 .10 .15 .62** r ig id i ty .10 -.38* .14 -.25 .04 f l e x i b i l i t y -0. -0. - -0. -0. other -.31 .39* .43 -.04 .09 s ign i f i cant at .15 level *significant at .05 level s tat ist ica l test used was Freeman's Coefficient of Determination. Not signif icant at .05 level ; no significance test was possible to determine i f s ignif icant at .15 level because the expected frequency requirements necessary to calculate theta were not sat is f ied. .75 Table 20. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman's Rho) Last Respondents Marital^ No. of Program Enrolled Age Status children Satisfact PERSONAL self-confidence -.21 -.21 .43*^ -.64** .11 direction .27 -.60** .38* 3 -.46* .06 support .06 .24 .21 -.21 .09 responsibi l i t ies .28 -.21 .20 .14 .14 physical" .03 -.01 .23 -.23 .11 emotional .21 -.37* .29 -.27 -.19 money .38* -.42* .28 -.22 -.31 children -.21 .07 .10 .38* .04 child-care -.21 .07 .10 .38* .04 medical -.03 -.32 .23 -.23 -.25 job -.09 -.37* . 49*^ -.12 .11 other -.38* .45* .29 -.22 .43* EDUCATION job -.42* .23 -.12 .09 home .51** .39 .33 -.46* • i l lness -0. - -0. -0. funds .02 .20 -.36* .06 economic -.28 .45** .41* -.21 family .30 .30 .23 -.25 program -.30 .19 -.11 -.07 encouragement -.04 .20 .03 -.39* personal -.01 .56** -.81 .46* moved -0. - -0. -0. other .45* .29 -.22 .43* Future Plans *significant at .15 level **significant at .05 level ^statistical test used was Freeman's Coefficient of Determination 2not signif icant at .05 level ; no significance test was possible to determine i f s ignif icant at .15 level because the expected frequency requirements necessary to calculate theta were not sat is f ied. 3 i b i d . 4ibid. 76 Table 21. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman's Rho) of Career Objectives, Problems Experienced, Personal Problems, Education with Age of Children No. children Birth -3 4 -6 7-12 13-17 18-22 23 & over OBJECTIVES job 0. -0. 0. 0. -.12 -.15 .24 promotion .06 -0. .24 -.09 -.03 .12 -.13 education -.40* -0. .13 .50** -.18 0. .34 diploma .19 -0. - .22 .09 -.11 -.28 -.15 counselling -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. contacts -.32 -0. .44* .13 .18 -.16 -.09 s k i l l s .08 -0. .13 0. ,09 0. -.17 se l f - fu l f i l lment .33 -0. - .32 -.16 .19 -.10 -.22 potential .25 -0. - .08 -.64** -.01 . . 36* .19 other .04 -0. - .13 -.25 .18 .32 -.09 PROBLEMS education -.22 -0. - .09 -.17 .39* -.11 -.06 costs -.16 -0. .13 0. .35 0. -.17 location .40* -0. - .13 -.25 -.22 -.16 -.09 classes .27 -0. - .09 -.17 -.15 -.11 -.06 length .20 -0. • -.28 -.32 .01 .25 -.19 instructor .20 -0. -.16 0. -.28 -.20 -.11 job .27 -0. - .09 -.17 -.15 -.11 -.06 s k i l l s .27 -0. - .09 -.17 -.15 -.11 -.06 time -.25 -0. - .28 .16 .01 .25 .30 courses .20 -0. - .16 -.32 .06 .20 -.11 confidence .60** -0. - .19 -.38* -.33 -.24 -.13 marketplace .40* -0. - .13 -.25 -.35 0. .17 part-time .40* -0. - .13 -.25 -.22 -.16 -.09 classmates .20 -0. .32 0. -.28 -.20 -.11 support -.32 -0. - .13 .13 .18 .32 -.09 overload .06 -0. - .18 -.35 -.17 .28 .15 underload -.22 -0. - .09 .34 -.15 -.11 -.06 r ig id i ty .27 -0. - .09 -.19 -.15 -.11 -0. f l e x i b i l i t y -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -.17 other .08 -0. - .25 -.25 .09 .32 * signif icant at .15 level **significant at .05 level 77 Table 22. Rank-Correlation Matrix (Spearman's Rho) of Career Objectives, Problems Experienced, Personal Problems, Education with Age of Children No. children Birth -3 4-6 7-12 13-17 18-22 23 & over PERSONAL self-confidence .69** -0. -.22 _ _ 44** -.38* -.28 -.15 direction .50** -o: -.16 -.32 -.28 -.20 -.11 support .06 -0. -.19 -.38* -.03 .12 .45* responsibi l i t ies -.03 -0. .44* .16 -.24 -.05 -.19 physical .32 -0. .13 0. -.44* -.32 -.17 emotional .33 -0. .04 -.16 -.31 -.10 -.22 money .20 -0. -.16 -.32 .06 .20 -.11 children -.22 -0. .69** .34 -.15 -.11 -.06 child-care T.22 -0. .69** .34 -.15 -.11 -.06 medical .32 -0. -.25 0. -.18 -.32 -.17 job .08 -0. .13 0. .09 -.32 -.17 other .20 -0. -.16 0. -.28 -.20 -.11 EDUCATION job -.06 -0. .18 .09 -.11 -.28 -.15 home -.25 -0. -.28 -.08 .27 .56** .30 i l lness -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. funds .40* -0. -.13 -.25 -.22 -.16 -.09 economic -.31 -0. .57** .61** .17 -.28 -.15 family -.21 -0. .24 .19 .27 .12 -.13 program .21 -0. •19 -.19 -.27 -.12 .13 encouragement -.10 -0. -.16 0. .39* .20 -.11 personal .71** -0. -.44* -.64** -.52** -.25 .19 moved -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. -0. other .20 -0. -.16 0. -.28 -.20 -.11 * signif icant at .15 level **significant at .05 level 78 Vignettes The results from the vignettes were subjected to two-way analysis of variance. In Vignette I, the effects of marital status and age of children (independent variables) on the following dependent var i -ables were measured: a woman's decision to return to school; her concern for the opinion of her family in making this decision; the importance of se l f - fu l f i l lment in a career; spending less time with her family; and any "other" factors the respondent might consider important (see Appendix A and Table 23). In Vignette II , the effects of the sex of an authority figure and the conformity of the student on the following dependent variables were measured: the decision of the woman to confront or comply with the authority figure; the importance of f u l f i l l i n g her learning interests; of agreeing with the authority figure and of communicating her needs and interests; and "other" factors the respondent might consider important (see Appendix B and Table 24). F-r.atios were calculated for each of the dependent and indep-endent variables and their interaction. The relationships between these variables was not suff ic ient ly strong to reach a level of significance in any instance in the two vignettes. 79 Table 23. Two-Way Analysis of Variance Vignette I: Marital Status and Age of Children ITEM F-RATIOS SIGNIFICANCE 1. Opinion on Jeanette's decision marital status: .0006 n.s. to return to school age of children: .0052 n.s. interactions: .0006 n.s. 2. Concern for opinion of family marital status: .0666 n.s. age of children: .0005 n.s. interactions: .0016 n.s. 3. Sel f- ful f i l lment in a career marital status: .0019 n.s. age of children: .0001 n.s. interactions: 0 4. Spending less time with family marital status: .0021 n . s > age of children: -0021 n s > interactions: .0049 n S -5. Other factors for considera-tion marital status: .0025 age of children: .0650 interactions: .0025 n.s. n.s. n.s. 80 Appendix A to Chapter 4 Vignette I VIGNETTE I (a) 81 Jeanette is a single parent with two children. Both are of pre-school age. Jeanette has recently become interested in a career in nursing and has enrolled in a two-year program at a community college. She wants to gain more se l f - fu l f i l lment from a career. This decision to return to school has brought about changes for the whole family. Although Jeanette has had some mixed feelings about spending less time with her family, she believes she made',the right decision in terms of her own future. 1. In your opinion, is Jeanette's decision to go to school [Check (vO one]: commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Jeanette's decision? [Check ( V ) one for each factor]: i) Concern^for the opinion of her family: very important important neutral re lat ively! important total ly unimportant i i ) Sel f- ful f i l lment in a career very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i i ) Spending less time with her family: very important •. important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant iv) Other (specify) very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant VIGNETTE I (b) 82 Jeanette is a married woman with two children. Both are of pre-school age. Jeanette has recently become interested in a career in nursing and has enrolled in a two-year program at a community college. She wants to gain more se l f - fu l f i l lment from a career. This decision to return to school has brought about changes for the whole family. Although Jeanette has had some mixed feelings about spending less time with her family, she believes she made the right decision in terms of her own future. 1. In your opinion, is Jeanette's decision to go to school [Check (vO one]: commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Jeanette's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor]: i) Concern for the opinion of her family: very important important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant i i ) Sel f- ful f i l lment in a career very important important neutral relat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i i ) Spending less time with her family: very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant iv) Other (specify) very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant VIGNETTE I (c) 83 Jeanette is a single parent with two children. Both are at schooT. Jeanette has recently become interested in a career in nursing and has enrolled in a two-year program at a community college. She wants to gain more se l f - fu l f i l lment from a career. This decision to return to school has brought about changes for the whole family. Although Jeanette has had some mixed feelings about spending less time with her family, she believes she made the right decision in terms of her own future. 1. In your opinion, is Jeanette's decision to go to school [Check ({/') one]: commendable acceptable _____ neutral unacceptable tota l ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Jeanette's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor]: i).Concern for the opinion of her family: very important .... . important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant i i ) Self- ful f i l lment in a career very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i i ) Spending less time with her family: very important important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant iv) Other (specify) very important important neutral relat ively important tota l ly unimportant VIGNETTE I (d) 84 Jeanette is a married woman with two children. Both are at school. Jeanette has recently become interested in a career in nursing and has enroled in a two-year program at a community college. She wants to gain more se l f - fu l f i l lment from a career. This decision to return to school has brought about changes for the whole family. Although Jeanette has had some mixed feelings about spending less time with her family, she believes she made the right decision in terms of her own future. 1. In your opinion, is Jeanette's decision to go to school [Check (y/) one]: ~ •-- commendable • • i acceptable neutral _____ unacceptable tota l ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Jeanette's decision? [Check (\/) one for each factor]: i) Concern for the opinion of her family: very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant . i i ) Sel f- ful f i l lment in a career " : . . very important __. important neutral . . . re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i i ) Spending less time with her family: very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant iv) Other (specify) very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant 85 Table 24. Two-Way Analysis of Variance Vignette II: Sex of Instructor and Conformity ITEM F-RATIOS SIGNIFICANCE 1. Opinion on Nadine's decision sex of instructor: .0011 n.s. conformity: .0220 n.s. interactions: .0005 n.s. 2. F u l f i l l i n g her learning sex of instructor: .0012 n.s. interests conformity: .0011 n.s. interactions: .0025 n.s. 3. Agreeing with instructor sex of instructor: .0013 n.s. conformity: .0013 n.s. interactions: 0 n.s. 4. Communicating needs and sex of instructor: .0115 n.s. interests conformity: .0005 n.s. interactions: .0005 n.s. 5. Other factors for sex of instructor: .0090 n.s. consideration conformity: .0090 n.s. interactions: .0290 n.s. Appendix B to Chapter Vignette II VIGNETTE II (a) 87 Nadine is a woman attending a one year career training program at a local community college. During her course of studies at the college, the instructor, Joan Brown, presented the class with an assignment which held l i t t l e interest for Nadine. The situation presented a dilemna for Nadine because she liked the instructor and was eager to maintain her good marks; at the same time, the assignment held l i t t l e interest for her. Nadine's decision was to confront the instructor and try to negotiate an alternative. 1. In your opinion, is Nadine's decision [Check (i/) one] commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Nadine's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor] i) f u l f i l l i n g her learning interests very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i ) agreeing with instructor to maintain good marks and relationship with instructor very important important neutral relat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i i ) communicating her needs and interests very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant iv) other (specify) very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant VIGNETTE 11(b) 88 Nadine is a woman attending a one year career training program at a local community college. During her course of studies at the college, the instructor, John Brown, presented the class with an assignment which held l i t t l e interest for Nadine. The situation presented a dilemna for Nadine because she liked the instructor and was eager to maintain her good marks; at the same time, the assignment held l i t t l e interest for her. Nadine's decision was to confront the instructor and try to negotiate an alternative. 1. In your.vopinioh, is Nadine's decision [Check (v/) one] commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Nadine's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor] i ) f u l f i l l i n g her learning interests very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i ) agreeing with instructor to maintain good marks and relationship with instructor very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i i ) communicating her needs and interests very important important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant iv) other (specify) very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant VIGNETTE II (c) 89 Nadine is a woman attending a one year career training program at a local community college. During her course of studies at the college, the instructor, Joan Brown, presented the class with an assignment which held l i t t l e interest for Nadine. The situation presented a dilemna for Nadine because she liked the instructor and was eager to maintain her good marks; at the same time, the assignment held l i t t l e interest for her. Nadine fe l t compelled to yield to the instructor and, therefore, completed the assignment as presented. 1. In your opinion, is Nadine's decision [Check (\/) one] commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Nadine's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor] i) f u l f i l l i n g her.learning interests very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i ) agreeing with instructor to maintain good marks and relationship with instructor very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant i i i ) communicating her needs and interests very important important neutral re lat ively important tota l ly unimportant iv) other (specify) very important important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant VIGNETTE II (d) 90 Nadine is a woman attending a one year career training program at a local community college. During her course of studies at the college, the instructor, John Brown, presented the class with an assignment which held l i t t l e interest for Nadine. The situation presented a dilemna for Nadine because she liked the instructor and was eager to maintain her good marks; at the same time, the assignment held l i t t l e interest for her. Nadine fe l t compelled to yield to the instructor and, therefore, completed the assignment as presented. 1. In your opinion, is Nadine's decision [Check one] _____ commendable acceptable neutral unacceptable total ly unacceptable 2. In your opinion, how important do you feel the following factors should have been in Nadine's decision? [Check (vO one for each factor] i) f u l f i l l i n g her learning interests very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i ) agreeing with instructor to maintain good marks and relationship with instructor ______ very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant i i i ) communicating her needs and interests very important important neutral re lat ively important total ly unimportant iv) other (specify) very important important neutral relat ively important total ly unimportant 91 DISCUSSION The discussion of the findings wi l l be organized according to the three major areas of description of the study, namely, the back-ground characterist ics, motivations, and experiences of the study group of women returning to school. It wi l l highlight the s i g n i f i -cant findings and the hypotheses which were sustained and those which were not. In addition, comparisons wi l l be made with the information drawn from the l iterature and the key informant interviews and the study findings. Background Characteristics The descriptive data on age and marital status are congruent with what was anticipated. Some interaction between these two var i -ables was detected when they were correlated with the dependent variables of the study. A two-way cross-tabulation of marital status and age was made to determine the predictabi l i ty of marital status 4 from knowledge of a person's age . There is approximately a f i f t y - f i v e percent gain over chance in predicting marital status from age. This indicates a moderate positive association. No exact test of s i g n i f i -cance is available but the relationship looks suff ic ient ly strong to mean the results on the relationship of marital status to other var i -ables are to some degree a reflection of the age of the respondents. The reader is cautioned that this is a poss ib i l i ty only since this poss ib i l i ty cannot be tested with so l i t t l e data. Further research could test these hypotheses by using a three-way analysis holding age constant for marital status and the dependent variables. 92 r in the results of the .study, the younger respondents and the married women identif ied similar problems, personally and academically. These are two possible examples of the predictabi l i ty factor. In general, the data on age and marital status tend to ref lect practical rather than ideological differences. This wi l l be demon-strated at various points in the discussion. The writer would hypo-thesize the poss ib i l i ty of movement away from some traditional assump-tions that have been held about the age and marital status factors in the experiences of a woman returning to school. Further discussion wi l l take place in the sections which cover the affects of these variables on the dependent variables of the study. It was anticipated that the majority of the women in the pro-gram would have children. The data were somewhat surprising in that just over half the survey group had children. The appropriateness of our assumptions about women with no children and women with children is tested in some of the later data on their motivations and experiences. Most of the women have returned to school when their children are of school age. This finding is consistent with our predictions. The survey group exceeds the anticipated number of years of work, volunteer experience and post-secondary education. Both the findings in the l iterature and the profi les drawn by the key infor-mants suggested less experience in a l l three areas. The respondents in this survey may well be a refined group of women returning to school. The major influencing factor in their choice of this program was work and volunteer experience. The type of program is also a factor in the mind of the researcher; this wi l l be elaborated on 93 in the relevant sections that follow. Motivations, Goals, and Career Plans  Personal and Career Objectives The personal and career objectives selected by the respondents were to assess their potential , to prepare for a job, and to explore options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal growth. The women value both career-oriented and self-esteem goals. The ear l ier l iterature suggested that women returned to school to have their self-esteem needs met but the latter trends and reports indicate that both appear important to mature applicants to colleges and universit ies. The key informants suggested that the objectives of the women in this group might be career-oriented or se l f - fu l f i l lment oriented; the group would be divided and might tend toward the self-fulfi1Iment side. The findings in this study do not support that hypothesis. The data indicated that the self-esteem needs of the women are more adequately met in the program than are their career and employment goals. The respondents described their satisfactions with the program in relation to personal growth; in addition, those respondents with the objective of exploring options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal growth tended to be more sat isf ied with the program. The nature of the group and the type of program are both factors which bear some discussion. The group of women in this survey are in some senses a refined or protected group of women returning to school. 94 They are selected spec i f ica l ly for their su i tab i l i ty to the program and the profession. They may be seen as a protected group in that a humanistic concern for them as individuals would be shown by the instructors. The women indicated that they received support and understanding from the instructors. The type of program they are in fac i l i tates clear personal and career goals, which we see in this group. The nature of the program or training could also be viewed as an extension of mothering andpnurturing. These factors point to the hypothesis that this survey group may in some ways be special and that the data on motivations and goals of this group may not apply to other groups or other individual women returning to school. The level of satisfaction fe l t in relation to career and employ-ment goals does not equal the satisfaction fe l t in relation to per-sonal growth goals. The career objectives of the respondents are not completely met through the program. Two issues are raised. One issue relates to the profession and the other to the inst i tut ion. In the professional sense, the question is raised whether the women in this program are going about their career education appropriately by entering this type of program. The data imply that the women desire employment circumstances which may not be available to them or for which they may not beoseen as qual i f ied. The women also express frustration with the lack of university transfer credits from this program. One could speculate that when the women entered the program, their career expectations were lower than at the time the survey was conducted near the end of the semester and that accounts 95 for the dissatisfaction expressed in this area. It is also pos-sible that the personal goals are greater at the beginning, these needs are met and then career goals take on greater importance. Several implications for the inst itut ion result from these data. The f i r s t relates to the career and guidance counselling services and the direction that might be given to the applicants. One questions i f the women were directed inappropriately into trad-it ional female careers or inappropriately in l ight of their career interests. Whether sex-role biases characterized the counselling or whether options were explored with the women are questions which should be addressed. A second issue for the inst itut ion resulting from the data is employment related. One of the goals of community colleges in Brit ish Columbia is job preparation. The responsibi l ity of the program/college may not be job finding, but i t must certainly be in the employability of i ts graduates. It appears that graduates from human service programs in the province have d i f f i cu l ty finding employment. The colleges need to concern themselves with l imiting admissions into these programs or with reviewing the c red ib i l i ty of these programs in the social service profession. It was hypothesized that the following independent variables would be positively associated with personal and career objectives: the age of the respondent; the number of children the respondent had; the ages of these children; and the respondent's satisfaction with the program. These hypotheses were upheld. A relationship between personal and career objectives and the following variables was not suf f ic ient ly strong to sustain the hypotheses: 96 length of time since the woman was last enrolled in a course; maritalr.status; and plans upon completion of the program. Those respondents who were never married may be different in their objectives than those who are married, but because of the small sample s ize, we are unable to test for these di f-ferences. It is possible that there is not an association between "objectives" and "plans upon completion of the program" because of the se l f - fu l f i l lment motives of the respondents. In Vignette I, where we tested the effects of marital status and the age of children on what our respondents perceived as appropriate behaviour in a woman's decision to seek se l f - fu l f i l lment in a career, we found no sig-nificant relationship. Most of the women in the study were or are presently married; half of the women have children at home who are mostly of school age. One can speculate that although the demographic characteristics of the respondent group are t rad i t iona l , their ideological orientations are less traditional as seen in the outcomes in the vignette. The respondents may also have resolved potential confl icts arising from marital status and having children when pursuing a career. The fact that their program of study was near completion at the time of the survey would support the notion of such a resolution. In Vignette II , we tested the effects of the sex of the instructor or an authority figure on what our respondents perceived as appropriate behaviour in a'woman's assertiveness in communicating her learning interests. We found no signif icant relationship. It would appear that the respondents feel con-fident in expressing their needs and that the sex of the instructor is not a factor to them. This finding confirms the importance of and c lar i ty in the career objectives of the respondents. Reasons for Furthering Education The most important reason for the women in the survey group to further 97 their education was an attraction to this specif ic program. The writer wonders whether the respondents were motivated i n i t i a l l y by some other factor to further their education such as, wanting se l f - fu l f i l lment in a sphere outside the home, and then became attracted to this program because i t offered an extension of their l i f e ' s experiences or because they were influenced through counselling to enter the program. The in-terest of the women in personal growth may also have increased their attraction to this program in particular. The hypothesized relationship between age, marital status, children, and satisfaction in,program with "reasons for furthering education" was sustained in the findings. The respondents were satisf ied with their decision to enroll in this particular program for the following reasons: increased self-confidence, personal growth, c la r i f i cat ion of career inter-ests, and increased knowledge. In l ight of these expressed satisfactions, their attraction to this type of program is appropriate. These satisfac-tions are being expressed retrospectively of the decision and, therefore, could refer to the outcome of the decision. We do not know how the respondents fe l t about their decision ear l ier in the program year. Influences in Decision to Return to School The two important influences in returning to school for the women in the survey group were: direct work or volunteer experience in the f ie ld of social work and career and guidance counselling. As discussed ear l ie r , the issue of the counselling services is indi-cated as an important one. The quality of counselling is important and the nature of the counselling is c r i t i c a l . A dist inct ion can be made between counselling aimed speci f ica l ly at the returning woman student and counselling merely servicing her. The respondent's past 98 experience and its influence On her decision support the research findings of the social services employment study. Other l iterature emphasizes the influence of friends and family on a woman's decision to return to school. This is not borne out by the findings of this study. A woman's spouse or parents had l i t t l e influence on her decision. The spouses provided the major sources of financing for her education and did not appear to deter her in her decision. Vignette I supports this suggestion. Another item of influence receiving low pr ior i ty from the res-pondents was "program advertising". This finding has implications for women interested in returning to post-secondary education and wanting information, and for the colleges in their outreach into the community. Plans Upon Completion The plans of the respondents upon completion of the program are either to seek employment or to enroll in : 'further studies. Most of the women were aware of jobs that would interest them and had begun making job enquiries. The job characteristics of importance to the respondents are job satisfact ion; personal growth; and freedom to innovate and experi-ment. The rea l i t ies of the chosen job characteristics for the women are questionable. The training they are given prepares them for particular types of job roles in the social service profession, roles which at times resemble a "technician" function. These potential jobs are not necessarily geared to providing the desired job 99 characteristics. One questions the preparation that the program and counselling services give the women to the rea l i t ies of work at this career training level . The expectations of the students in the program are fa i r l y high in both the academic and employment areas. The program possibly screens the applicants rigorously and, consequently, accepts women who should have been directed to a univer-s i ty program. The data on the group of women who left is insuff ic ient to surmise anything but one might speculate that they recognized the discrepancy between their expectations and the rea l i t ies of their training and, therefore, le f t the program early. The screening of applicants, therefore, becomes a factor for careful consideration for the inst i tut ion. Needs, Personal and Institutional Experiences The most frequent problems experienced by the women in the survey group were "work overload" and "uncertainties about the value of the program in the marketplace". The college's responsibi l it ies l i e in both areas of concern. The writer wonders whether the con-cern about work overload may also be linked to their lack of pre-paratory education, lack of time, lack of s k i l l s , lack of support, and other items l isted in the question on problems. These problems have been given considerable attention in the l iterature and by the key informants but did not stand out in this study. Perhaps the respondents chose "concern about work overload" because i t was being experienced as an immediate concern. 100 The hypotheses that "time since last enrolled in a course", "age", "number of children" and "marital status" were associated with the problems that a woman might experience as a result of her participation in the program were upheld. In the findings of this survey, the younger students expressed concern about costs, the time of day classes are offered and lack of confidence in handling the program. These data are not congruent with the l i terature; i t has been assumed that these would be the concerns of the older students. The women with children experienced lack of support from instructors. One wonders whether the lack of support also stems from other sources, such as family and friends; the women may not expect support from them (a possible traditional expectation) and, therefore, hold higher expectations of the program instructors. Th'esejsame respondents were least sat isf ied with the program. Although the students' reactions to the program were generally posit ive, the students who had negative experiences with instructors or fe l t lack of support from instructors expressed less satisfact ion. Input that the writer received from both the students and instructors during the research process, highlighted some tension between students and instructors; i t appeared to be manifested i\n mistrust and worry about getting jobs. This could be seen as consistent with the f ind-ings in other areas of the study. The data on the association between the ages of children and problems experienced in the program are somewhat unclear; there wasn't a clear dist inction in problems experienced by the women with children in the various age categories. Those respondents with 101 no children produced unanticipated results; their concerns were with: location of campus, distance, transportation; lack of con-fidence in handling the program; and a preference for part-time studies. Data on the predictabi l i ty of age, marital status, and children would be useful in understanding these discrepancies. As mentioned ear l ier , a larger sample would be needed to produce such data. It is also possible that the assumptions made in this area about women are not appropriate. The personal problems identif ied by the survey group were diverse. The three receiving most attention were: emotional stress; family and home responsibi l i t ies; and worry about getting a job. Based on the findings, we do not know speci f ica l ly what contri-buted to a woman's emotional stress. The writer would speculate that the lack of support from instructors, family, and friends played a signif icant role. In addition, the data on concern about work' overload and employment identify other areas contributing to emo-tional stress. Personal problems experienced by the respondents were associ-ated with the following independent variables: age, marital status, number of children, and ages of children. There was not an associ-ation between personal problems and program satisfact ion. Possibly the women separated their personal problems from their career interests. The needs articulated by the respondents were linked to their concerns about work overload and employment. The women also clearly expressed the need for better career and guidance counselling services. 102 Summary In summary, the reader should bear in mind that two variables probably had an effect on the findings of this study: a) the time of the year the study was conducted - a time when students may be more confident and when certain frustrations are lower; concerns about employment wi l l naturally be high; b) the survey group was an intact group; many women returning to school are not enrolled in this type of program, and, therefore, may look different from the descriptions provided in this study. The l iterature served mainly as a source of ideas to be explored but the populations in ear l ier studies are not direct ly comparable with this one. The l iterature dates back a number of years and the population of returning students has in a l l l ikelihood changed. In addition, the l iterature refers to a variety of post^secondary programs; this study refers to a community college career training program. The discussion represents the perspectives of the writer and her analysis of the data. Further discussion wi l l take place with the students, instructors, and the college administration. The data may well assume new meaning at that time. Some recommendations have been drafted to serve as a beginning point for discussion and plan of implementation. 103 Recommendations for Further Research a) The fu l l spectrum of local problems and needs should be assessed, giving particular attention to the returning student and the adult learner. Social indicators predict a marked increase in the age 25 to 44 student returning to post-secondary education over the next years. Research is needed on re-entry education as i t relates to subsequent employment status and work patterns. b) A provincial survey of a l l Community Social Service Worker programs and their students would serve to test the findings of this sur-vey, to highlight s imi lar i t ies and d iss imi lar i t ies , and to provide direction for this particular career training program. Program evaluation research would assist colleges in meeting the needs of their enrol lees. c) A follow-up study of the women who lef t the program early and of the graduates of the survey group should be conducted to identify their employment status and evaluate their college preparation. d) A study of the counselling services and counselling personnel of the college would aid in understanding present act iv i t ies and functions and ways of better meeting the needs of the returning woman student. e) To better understand the concerns of women as they/re^enter post-secondary training, the time of research endeavours needs special consideration. The areas of this survey which appear unclear seem to be related to time perspective, i^e. present versus past experiences and perceptions. 104 Recommendations a) Career information and counselling services specif ic to the returning student and adult learner need to be provided or expanded. This need has been recognized and articulated by some college administrators and was re-affirmed by the res-pondents in this survey. Special re-entry programs should be considered. b) The status of community college-based social work education programs needs attention. This study's findings suggest that some students view their participation in such programs as a stepping-stone to further education, not as an end in i t s e l f . The graduates then appear to receive academic qualif ications for which they are given no credit i f they were to continue their social work education. This one-year program is fa i r l y inrdepth and the students report an increase in their knowledge and s k i l l s as a result of i t . A review of the program's position in the profession and in the labour market is necessary. 105 Footnotes Since the sample number is small (18), a shift in one case is equal to 5.5 percentage points. Therefore, the reader should bear in mind that the percentages are not stable. The reader can refer back to Chapter 3 for the reasons for choosing these levels of significance. 'The reader can refer back to the specif ic sections ear l ier in this chapter. The c r i t i ca l values of the measures predicting a person's age from marital status resulting from the two-way cross-tabulation are .2961 (age) and .5617 (marital status) (Goodman-Kruskai Tau). 106 CHAPTER 5 - CONCLUSIONS A description of a group of women who returned to post-secondary education has been offered by this study. The findings not only con-tribute to Canadian-based information on the educational needs of women but also add to the data-base of the college they were attending. It is the writer's hope that the findings wi l l lead to a clearer under-standing of this group of women and others who:;might enroll in the same program, and that this understanding wi l l benefit women students at the college..' Although some of the findings were consistent with our perceptions of women returning to school, other findings were not. For instance, the findings emphasize that the needs and problems of "returning" women, as opposed to "older" and "younger" women, need to be looked at. The effects of age on variables such as personal and career objectives are not completely clear from this study. Some of our hypotheses about the influence of a woman's age and marital status were not upheld. Furthermore, this group of women demonstrated clear personal and career objectives for themselves, when other groups of women have been described as unclear about their goals. The self-perceived needs and problems of this group as documented in the study, have c l a r i f i e d , in some instances, and altered in others, the predictions we have made. The results should encourage us to be less inclined to make assumptions before researching the problem. In the same l ight , the writer cautions the reader against generalizing these findings to other groups of women. The group under 107 study may not characterize the women in the same career training program in other parts of the province or women in other post-secondary programs. The findings highlight two areas of concern for the women studied; these are employment-related and counselling-related concerns. The educational opportunities that are made available to women should be such that they enable women to participate more sat isfactor i ly and fu l ly in the labour force. Whether this goal has been met by this program is in question. Further research would need to be conducted, although there are indications that the status of the graduates from this program within the social work profession is low. The women also expressed a need for better counselling services. It has beenndocumented in the l iterature that one of the greatest barriers inhibiting women from access to appropriate learning opportunities may be inadequate and inappropriate career counselling for women. The women surveyed in this study appear to have pinpointed twockey issues for consideration by post-secondary educational institutions and two key issues which play an integral role in the social and economic position of women in Canada. A pi lot study such as this has i ts l imitations and, therefore, encourages one to look forward to and recommend the next steps that need to be taken. One anticipated plan involves the women students, the program instructors and the college administration in looking at the implications of the findings and recognizing the potential for change. The writer, secondly, recommends and hopes for additional research to be conducted on women learners in Brit ish Columbia and 108 Canada. We can be encouraged by recent events such as a conference in Vancouver last month ent i t led, "Learning Opportunities for Women: Ski l l s Training in the 80's". This conference was init iated by the Brit ish Columbia/Yukon branch of the Canadian Committee on Learning Opportunities for Women. The recommendations that resulted from the conference point to increased opportunities for Brit ish Columbian women to participate more fu l l y in education and in the labour force. The opening of a new women's off ice with the Ministry of Labour was announced; one of i ts goals would be to identify and take action to remove barriers to women's participation in s k i l l s training. A recommendation of this study was reiterated in that improved counselling services for women are needed which are non-sexist and which would provide information on non-traditional careers to women. SL 109 BIBLIOGRAPHY; Astin, H.S. Some Action of Her Own. Massachusetts: Lexington Books, 1976. Baruck, G.K. "Maternal Influences Upon College Women's Attitudes Toward Women and Work". Developmental Psychology, 1972, 6, 32-37. Brandenburg, J.B. "The Needs of Women Returning to School". Personnel and Guidance Journal, 1974, 53, 11-18. Brooks, L. "Supermoms Shift Gears: Re-Entry Women". The Counselling Psychologist, 1976, 6(2), 33-37. Carney, P. The Report of the Distance Education Planning Group on a Delivery System of Distance Education in Br it ish Columbia. Ministry of Education, Province of Brit ish Columbia, March, 1978. Carp, A. , Peterson, R., and Roelfs, P. "Adult Learning Interests and Experience". Planning Non-Traditional Programs. Edited by K.P. Cross and J.R. Valley. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974. Cook, G.C.A., ed. Opportunity for Choice: A Goal for Women in Canada. Ottawa: Stat ist ics Canada, 1976. Crane, J.A. Employment of Social Service Graduates in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, March, 1974. Cross, K.P. "The Woman Student". Women in Higher Education. Edited by W.T. Furniss and P.A. Graham. Washington: American Council on Education, 1974. Cross, K.P., Valley, J .R. , and Associates. Planning Non-Traditional no Programs: An Analysis of the Issues for Post-Secondary Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1974. deWolfe, V. , and Lunneborg, P.W. Descriptive Information on Over-35 Undergraduate Students. (Bureau of Testing Project, No. 139). University of Washington, December, 1972. Diamond, Solomon. Information and Error: An Introduction to Stat ist ica l Analysis. New York: Basic Books, Inc. , 1959. Eckard, P.J. Developmental Tasks of Older Female Students in Under- graduate Education. Paper read at American Educational Research Association, New York, A p r i l , 1977. Educational Data Services. B.C. Post-Secondary Stat i s t i cs : 1977-1978. Ministry of Education, Province of Brit ish Columbia, March, 1978. Ekstrom, R. Barriers to Women's Participation in?Post-Secondary 0 Education: A Review of the Literature. New Jersey: National Council for Educational S tat i s t i cs , October, 1972. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service, No. ED 072 368). E l l i o t , J.M.,?,and Mantz, CM. "The Mature Woman and the Community College". Community College Frontiers, 1976, 4(2), 35-41. Erickson, M.B. Counseling Needs of Adult Students. Paper read at American Personnel and Guidance Association, New Orleans, March, 1970. (ERIC Research in Education Abstract, ED 039 569). Faris , R. Report of the Committee on Continuing and Community Education in Brit ish Columbia. Ministry of Education, Province of Brit ish Columbia, December, 1976. Faure, Edgar, et a l . Learning to Be: The World of Education Today and Tomorrow. Harrap, London: Unesco Paris, 1972. I l l Freeman, L.C. Elementary Applied Stat is t ics : For Students in Behavioral Science. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1965. Frederickson, M. Mature Women Students: A Survey. Unpublished Master's Thesis, University of Br it ish Columbia, 1975. Furniss, W., and Graham, P.A. ,<-eds. Women in Higher Education. Washington, D . C : American Council on Education, 1974. Glogowski, D., and Lanning, W. "The Relationships Among Age Category, Curriculum Selected, and Work Values for Women in a Community; College". Vocational Guidance Quarterly, 1976, 25(4), 119-125. Harmon, L. "Career Counseling for Women". Psychotherapy for Women: Treatment Toward Equality. Edited by D. Carter and E. Rawlings. I l l i n o i s : Charles C. Thomas and Sons, 1975. Helping to Develop a Provincial Continuing and Community Education Policy. Department of Education, Province of Brit ish Columbia, December, 1976. Hoek, M. A Descriptive Study of Women Enrolled in the Office Career  Programmes at Selected Community Colleges. University of V ictor ia , 1979. Howard, T.A. Re-Entry Programs in Meeting Women's New Educational Needs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975. Hughson, J . , and Foster, J . "Locus of Control and Consistency of Measured Vocational Interests". Canadian Counsellor, 1975/76, 10, 37-43. Ironside, Anne. Women's Access Centres: A Proposal. Centre for Continu-ing Education, University of Brit ish Columbia, February, 1979. Kendall, M.G. Rank Correlation Methods. London: G r i f f i n , 1948. 112 Kelman, E., and Staley, B. The Returning Woman Student: Needs of an  Important Minority Group on College Campuses. (Student Develop-ment Staff Paper, Vol. XII(2)). Colorado State University, 1974-1975. Krakauer, Renate. A Study on Access to Continuing Education and Employment for Women. The Centre for Women, Centre for Continu-ous Learning. Rexdale, Ontario: Humber College, May, 1976. Labour Canada. Women in the Labour Force: Facts and Figures 1976. Ottawa, 1977. Ladan, C.J. and Crooks, M.M. "Some Factors Influencing the Decision of Mature Women to Enroll in Continuing Education. Canadian Counsellor, 1975, 10(1), 29-36. Lenz, E. and Shaevitz, M.H. So You Want to Go Back to School: Facing the Realities of Re-Entry. New York: McGraw Hi l l Book Company, 1977. Leonard, M.M., Tanney, M.F., H i l l , C .E. , and Clancy, L.B. "Me, for a Change". Personnel and Guidance Journal, 1978, 57, 507-509. Letchworth, G.E. "Women Who Return to College: An Identity-Integrity Approach". Journal of College Student Personnel, 1970, 11, 103-106. Mam's, L. and Mochizuki, J . "Search for Fulfil lment: A Program for Adult Women". Personnel and Guidance Journal, 1972, 50, 594-599. Perrone, P., Wolleat, P., Lee, J . , and Davis, S. "Counselling Needs of Adult Students". Vocational Guidance Journal, 1977, 26(1), 27-36. Picot, G. "Full-Time Enrollment in Canadian Colleges and Universities: The Recent Past and Near Future". Association of Institutional 113 Research Newsletter, Spring, 1978. Pietrofesa, J .O . , and Schlossberg, N.K. Counselor Bias and the Female  Occupational Role. Michigan: Wayne State University College of Education, 1970. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 044 749). Powell, J . , and Rogers, A. "Orientation to College: Meeting the Needs of Mature Women". Journal of College Student Personnel, 1975, 16, 432. Report by the National Council of Welfare. Women and Poverty. Ottawa: National Council of Welfare, October, 1979. Report of the Commission on Vocational, Technical, and Trades Training in Brit ish Columbia. The Gourd Commission, January, 1977. Richards, L. "Women's Perceptions of Their Psychological and Practical Needs Upon Re-Entry to a Community College: Implications for Restructuring the Learning Environment". Community College Fron^  t ie rs , 1977, 5(3), 62-64. Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada Report. Ottawa: Information Canada, 1970. Royce, M. Continuing Education for Women in Canada: Trends and Oppor- tunit ies. (Monographs in Adult Education, No. 4). Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 1970. The Other Press. Women Face Financial Barriers. Halifax, November 22, 1979. T i t t l e , C.K., and Denker, E.R. "Re-Entry Women: A Selective Review of the Educational Process, Career Choice and Interest Measurement". Review of Educational Research, 1977, 47(4), 570-575. 114 Tomlinson-Keasey, C. "Role Variables, Their Influence on Female Motivational Constructs". Journal of Counselling Psychology, 1974, 21(3), 232-237. Tripodi, T . , F e l l i n , P., and Meyer, H.J. The Assessment of Social Research. I l l i n o i s : Peacock Publishers, 1969. Van Dusen, R.A., and Sheldon, E.B. "The Changing Status of American Women: A Life Cycle Perspective". American Psychologist, 1976, 31, 106-116. Verheyden-Hilliard, M.E. "Expanding Opportunities for the Re-Entry Woman: The Use of Interest Inventories with the Mature Woman".. Issues of Sex Bias and Sex Fairness in Career Interest Measurement. Edited by E.E. Diamond. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975. Vickers, J .M. , and Adam, J . But Can You Type? Canadian Universities  and the Status of Women. (CAUT Monograph Series). Ottawa: Clarke, Irwin and Company in Association with the Canadian Association of University Teachers, 1977. Waters, E. "The Other Generation Gap: Admissions Procedures for Adult Students". Journal of College Student Personnel, 1971, 12(6), 464-466. Waniewicz, I. Demand for Part-Time Learning in Ontario. Toronto: 0ISE for the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, 1976. Wi l l i s , J . Learning Opportunities for Women: An Impressionistic Overview. Toronto: Canadian Committee on Learning Opportunities for Women, August, 1977a. Wi l l i s , J . Learning Opportunities for Women,in Canada: Perceptions on 115 Educators. Toronto: Canadian Committee on Learning Opportunities for Women, 1977b. Winer, B.J. Stat ist ical Principles in Experimental Design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962. Wolfson, K. "Career Development Patterns of College Women". Journal  of Counseling Psychology, 1976, 23, 119-126. Zimmerman, L., and Trew, M. A Report on Non-Traditional Learning Pro- grams for Women at B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Province of Brit ish Columbia, January, 1979. APPENPIX QUESTIONNAIRE 117 QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY OF WOMEN RETURNING TO SCHOOL Attached is a questionnaire which is being used in a study ent i t led, "Women Returning to School: A Study of the Needs, Interests, and Char-acter ist ics of the Women in the Community Social Service Worker Program". The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of women who are returning to school, spec i f ica l ly those enrolled in a community college career training program. Our objective is to obtain information about your needs, goals and background so that recommendations for change can be made. It has been recognized in Canada recently that particular consideration should be given to women's educational needs and opportunities for learning. It has been held that the present structure of the training situation and in most settings the work place reflects and serves the interests of men more than of women. Once women's needs have been ident i f ied, program requirements can be assessed and the opportunity for change can be recognized. We, therefore, invite your participation in this survey. The questionnaire has been designed so the questions are readily answered; and we expect the average time to complete the questionnaire to be 45 minutes. Douglas College has shown interest in this study and has given approval to administer the questionnaire to the students enrolled in the Community Social Service Worker Program. Your participation is entirely voluntary; you may withdraw from the study at any time that you may wish to discontinue your participa-tion or you may decline to answer any of the questions. These actions wil l in no way prejudice you or influence your class standing. 118 No name is requested or required. Therefore, the information you provide is confidential . The data as you provide i t wil l be used by the researcher and research advisor only. It wil l then be analyzed and presented so that no individual respondent can be identi f ied. The returns from you wil l be destroyed at the end of the research project time (July, 1980). To ensure that the resulting information is used and of benefit to you and other women, the major findings wil l be presented to the college and other groups concerned with the educational needs of women. I wil l also try to arrange for you, the students, to get feedback. If you complete the questionnaire, i t is assumed that you are agreeable to the use of the resulting data in the ways just described. Thank you for your co-operation. 119 I. This section covers questions about your interests and experiences while a student in the-Community Social Service Worker Program at Douglas College. 1. When you f i r s t made contact with the college about taking this program, how long had i t been since you last enrolled in an academic or vocational course? [Check ( i / ) one] Less than 1 year 6-10 years ' 21-30 years 1-3 years 11-15 years More than 30 4-5 years 16-20 years y e a r s 2. When you f i r s t came to the college, what personal and career objectives did you have? [Check ( t / ) the three most important objectives below] to prepare for a job to qualify for a better job and/or promotion to become more educated to receive a diploma, cer t i f i cate , c i tat ion , or college credit to receive counselling and information about career opportunities to make contact with other people to develop s k i l l s to become more effective in personal family relationships and/or social relationships to explore options for se l f - fu l f i l lment and personal identity to assess my own potential to develop further competancies other (specify) 3. What were some of the reasons or factors for furthering your education? [Check (i/0 the three most important ones] d issat isf ied with my job fewer home responsibilt ies i l lness or death in the family ava i lab i l i ty of funds economic need to work family or marital changes attracted to this program encouragement and/or recommendation from others personal growth and fulf i l lment continued . . . 120 moved close to college other (specify) 4 . ( i) In choosing to further your education, what were your most important reasons for enrolling in the Community Social Service Worker Program? (Please br ief ly l i s t and describe) a) b) c) ( i i ) How sat isf ied are you with this decision? [Check (t/) one] very sat isf ied satisf ied neutral d issat isf ied very dissat isf ied Please specify why you feel this way 5. In your decision to enter the present career program, which of the following influenced you to enter the program? [Check a l l that apply ] husband parent re lat ive, friend or acquaintance who works in the f i e ld of social work relat ive, friend or acquaintance not in the f i e ld of social work direct work or volunteer experience in the social work f i e l d college course or instructors service received from a social worker or social work agency continued . . . 121 program advertising (pamphlets, brochures, tape, meetings) media (TV, radio, newspaper) career or guidance counselling other (specify) 6. Which of the following problems has been very important during your participation in the program? [Check (\7j<all that apply] lack of preparatory education for the program costs location of campus, distance, transportation time of day classes are offered length of classes negative experiences with instructor(s) job responsibi l i t ies lack of specif ic s k i l l s and a b i l i t i e s lack of time courses do not quite respond to interests lack of confidence that I could successfully handle the program uncertainties about the value of the program in the marketplace would have preferred part-time studies lack of support from classmates lack of support from instructors concern about work overload in the program concern about work underload in the program concern about r ig id i ty of program concern about f l e x i b i l i t y of program other (specify) 7. From a personal standpoint, which of the following problems have been very important during your participation in the program? [Check Tl/T al 1 that apply ] lack of self-confidence lack of personal direction and/or purpose insuff ic ient support from family family and home maintenance responsibi l i t ies continued . . . 122 lack of physical energy or physical endurance emotional stress anxiety about money concern about personal care of children concern about child care arrangements ( i . e . daycare) medical reasons: personal i l lness , family i l lness , pregnancy worry about getting a job other (specify) II. This section covers questions about your background 8. What is your age? 20 or under 36-40 56-60 21-25 41-45 61-65 26-30 46-50 66 or over 31-35 51-55 9. What is your marital status? single (never married) married separated or divorced widowed other 10. How many children do you have at home or are you responsible for caring for? none three five one four six or more two 11. Indicate whether these children are in any of the following age categories no children 7-12 years _____ 18-22 years birth-3 years 13-17 years 23 years and over 4-6 years 12. Indicate the major sources of financing for your education. employer subsidy family (parents, relatives) continued . . . 123 spouse insurance, pension, alimony loan Canada Employment allowance scholarship or bursary income and/or social savings and/or investments assistance hold part-time job o t h e r ( s P e c i f y ) 13. Before you entered this program, what was your highest level of education? — Grade 10 or less Grade 12 equivalent Grade 12 completion technical or business school some college or university training Bachelor's degree graduate and/or professional training other (specify) 14. If you attended and/or completed college/university, what was your f i e l d of study? does not apply to me Liberal Arts and/or Social Sciences (e.g. English, History, Languages, Economics, Psychology, Fine Arts, Music, e tc . ) . one of the professional f ie lds : Agriculture Commerce, Business Dentistry Education Home Economics Law Library Science Medicine Nursing Pharmacy Social Work Other (specify) other (specify) 124 15. If you did not continue your schooling after high school, indicate the primary reason. [Check (vO one] does not apply to me parents not in favour wanted to work ' questioned my ab i l i t y funds not available " lack of motivation lack of interest other (specify) marriage, pregnancy i l lness (self or family) 16. Estimate the total combined number of years of paid employment you have had. [Check (\/) one] none less than one year one or more years, specify 17. Estimate the total combined number of years of volunteer experience you have had. [Check (\/) one] none less than one year one or more years, specify 18. If you were not engaged in paid employment at the time you enrolled in the present program, please check (i/) the primary reason. does not apply to me no desire to hold paid employment home responsibi l i t ies was raising children inadequate training husband's preference no financial need to work no accessible job opportunities in my f ie ld was sat isf ied with volunteer work other (specify) III. Below are questions speci f ica l ly designed to assess the career program, your experience at the college, and to provide an opportunity for recommendations. 125 19. Indicate your degree of overall satisfaction with the Community Social Service Worker Program. very sat isf ied somewhat sat isf ied neutral somewhat d issat isf ied very dissat isf ied 20. On the basis of your experience in this program and at the college, what changes would you recommend? (Please be as specif ic as possible). 21. What aspects of the program and college are you most sat isf ied with? (Please be as specif ic as possible). continued 126 IV. 22. Upon completion of the program, what are your plans? [Check (vO one] have a permanent job to go to when studies are completed have no job but am seeking one plan to enrol in further studies am looking for short-term contract work do not intend to look for or accept a permanent job in the near future for the following reasons: (write in reasons) other (specify) 23. i ) Are you currently aware of any jobs that interest you? [Check i v ) one] Does not apply to me no, none yes, potentially yes, know of one satisfactory opportunity yes, know of more than one satisfactory opportunity yes, know of a job(s) but know i t wouldn't satisfy me for very long i i ) Do you feel your qualif ications/training are suitable to your interests? yes n o please comment 127 24. To date, how many job inquiries have you made? [Check (vO one] none three five one four . six or more two 25. If you are aiming to obtain a job when the program is completed, please select from the following l i s t the three job characteristics to which you attach the most importance. does not apply to me job security job satisfaction (nature of work) promotional opportunities opportunities for personal growth freedom to innovate and experiment opportunity to receive close supervision and/or on the job training convenience (proximity of job to home) other (specify) Write below any additions or comments you wish to make to your repl ies. Thank you for your participation. V. This section covers a variety of questions about your beliefs and attitudes. Please read the vignette and then answer the questions. 

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