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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of certain types of registration procedures as barriers to lower socio-economic group participation Brackhaus, Marilyn Bonnie


The study examined the registration procedures for non-credit courses used by three agencies in order to investigate the proposition that some types of registration procedures function as barriers to participation for lower socio-economic group adults. The identification of these types of registration procedures is important because it gives administrators the opportunity to modify the procedures so that they no longer act as obstacles. In accordance with Cross's "chain-of-response" model (1981), the removal of such external barriers would encourage those lower socio-economic adults who are weakly motivated to participate in adult education classes. The research strategy involved two instruments, a questionnaire and an interview schedule, and two types of data, quantitative and qualitative. Mainly quantitative data was obtained from the 431 course registrants who responded to the questionnaire. Interviews with the 15 administrators responsible for registering these participants yielded qualitative data. The primary purpose of the study was to examine whether certain types of registration procedures function as significant barriers to participation for lower socio-economic group adults, and hence focussed on the quantitative data from the questionnaire. However, participants' responses to the open-ended questions on this instrument were useful in interpreting the findings. Using analysis of variance, it was found that although satisfaction regarding registration procedures differed significantly among the various types of registration, there were no significant effects either for participants' socio-economic class or for the interaction between socio-economic class and procedures. Furthermore, no significant relationship was found between the participants' socio-economic class and their preferred registration procedures. When other mitigating factors were tested, the findings were similar: Socio-economic class and education were two of the least significant variables affecting respondents' attitudes to the various types of registration procedures. It was concluded that none of the types of registration procedures studied functioned as a significant barrier to participation for lower socio-economic group adults. The interviews formed a secondary part of the study. The reasons for examining administrators' perceptions about registration were to determine whether there were administrative reasons which necessitated the use of particular types of registration procedures, and to obtain suggestions and ideas which would be helpful in interpreting the findings concerning participants. It was found that the administrators did encounter problems which restricted their options. Within these confines, recommendations were made to improve the registration procedures for participants. The qualitative data indicated that although none of the types of registration procedures studied was acting as an external barrier to lower socio- economic adults, it was essential that registration be handled well.

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