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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A dropout prediction study with work study/work experience programme students Kinaschuk, William Dale


The purpose of this study was directed towards identifying variables that might be useful in predicting whether students who enrolled in a junior secondary Work Study/Work Experience programme in Kamloops during the 1981-82 School year would either complete the school year or dropout. If it was possible to identify the potential dropouts then strategies to prepare them for the working world and to dissuade them from dropping out could be introduced. A review of the literature showed that the topic of special needs students dropping out of Work Study/Work Experience programmes had not been addressed. Previous research at the college and high school levels did however help to identify variables and methodologies that were utilized in this study. Data were collected from the students at the beginning of the school year with the following instruments: Student Questionnaire, Standard Progressive Matrics, Canadian Tests of Basic Skills, and School Sentiment Index . A self administered questionnaire was also completed by the students' parents at the start of the school year. Data from the students' Permanent Record cards and their status as a persister or dropout were collected at the completion of the 1981-82 school year. The data were analyzed with subprogrammes from the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, SPSS , Versions 8 and 9 (Nie, Hull, Jenkins, Steinbrenner, and Bent, 1975). The categorical variables were analyzed- with the Chi square test of independance and the measured variables with the t-test, both at the .05 level of significance. The equally of variance within the two groups on the measured variables was analyzed with the F-test. Significant differences between the persisters and dropouts were found at the .05 level of significance on four variables. These variables were: intelligence, school level failed, expected educational level, and RCMP contacts. It was found that the persisters had a lower mean intelligence level than the dropouts. The majority of persisters tended to have failed during their elementary school years whereas the dropouts were split between their elementary and secondary school levels. It was revealed that the persisters realistically expected to attain a higher educational level than did the dropouts. When the students' parents were asked to indicate the educational level they realistically expected their son/daughter to attain, it was shown that the persisters' parents expected a higher level than the parents of dropouts. The analysis also revealed that the persisters had fewer contacts with the RCMP than did the dropouts.

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