UBC Theses and Dissertations
Educational brokering and the University of British Columbia Women’s Resources Centre : a client reaction study Ettel Fournier, Rose Marie
The focus of this investigation was on clients' reactions to the Drop-In Educational Brokering services of the University of British Columbia Women's Resources Centre. In order to assess the effectiveness of the Centre in meeting clients' needs, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodology was employed. A questionnaire was developed and tested, and mailed to 215 people who had received brokering services between January and June of 1980. Sixty-six questionnaires were returned, for a response rate of 30%. In addition, 27 of the respondents were personally interviewed two to five months after completing the questionnaire. The study went beyond inquiring about satisfactions with service to examine results of clients' associations with the Centre, including actions taken, affective outcomes, and lifestyle changes. The first stage of the statistical analysis resulted in frequency tables. Comments on the open-ended questions were analyzed for content as were the 27 interview protocols. These findings as well as the interviewer's perceptions and judgements supplement the statistical analysis. Detailed findings about clients' characteristics, reasons for seeking out the service, ratings of satisfaction and helpfulness, needs, problems and outcomes are reported and discussed. Relationships among client characteristics, perceptions of service and outcomes are reported and a formulation about client empowerment and achievement of access to learning/educational, career/vocational opportunities is presented. The educational brokering approach, as practiced by the University of British Columbia was judged to be an effective, worthwhile and appropriate way to meet the Centre's goals at this time in it's continuing development. Refinements in the definitions of the phenomenon of readiness for learning, client empowerment and the educational brokering process resulted from insights gained by analyzing the qualitative and quantitative findings. The hypothesis which emerged from this investigation is: Educational Brokering services, offered in a supportive atmosphere and within the context of life planning can facilitate access for individuals to the career/vocational and educational/learning networks in the community. This is dependent upon two factors: (1) The individual characteristics which the client brings to the experience; and, (2) Strategies of the service which enhance the client's contribution. Furthermore, a third factor, the external aspects of the client's situation and the influence of society as a whole, play a mediating role. A model of access depicting the interactions of these three factors within the context of the social milieu is presented. The study confirms the observations of other investigations that adults learning needs have more instrumental and contingent rather than intrinsic value and, that the counselling component is a crucial aspect of the brokering service. Implications of the findings of this study for adult education and the educational brokering approach are presented. Final recommendations for further investigation are included. The study demonstrates a methodology for investigating a service-oriented approach to adult education in a field setting. It also provides information and insights about adult learning and its relationship to career and lifestyle needs.
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