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A comparison of distances travelled to urban night school centers McKinnon, Donald Peter


The purpose of this study is to analyse the distances travelled to three urban night school centers in order to determine whether each serves separate areas or whether each serves larger, overlapping areas. The sample population consisted of 486 adults enrolled in twenty-two courses offered as part of the 1962-1963 program. Some of these selected courses were in subjects offered at all three centers; some courses were offered at two of the centers and the remainder were offered at only one center. It was thus possible to compare the centers while controlling for the number of centers offering the same subject matter. Distributions of distances travelled to each course and to each group of courses were prepared. The chi-square test of independence was used to compare the various distributions and the significance of the difference between mean distances travelled was used to provide additional comparisons. Maps were prepared illustrating the residences of participants and a correlation was made to determine the relationship between the distances travelled and the percentage of sessions attended by the participant. The results indicated that half of the 486 participants travelled less than 2.8 miles. More lived between one and two miles from the center they attended than in any other mile interval from the center. Only five percent of the participants travelled more than nine miles and less than one percent travelled more than fourteen miles. The statistical tests indicated that there was an association between the distance travelled and the center attended. It was found that when courses were offered at one center only, there was no statistical difference between the patterns of distance travelled to the three centers. Participants seemed to travel from throughout the city of Vancouver to attend, no matter which center offered the course. Women who attend courses designed for women only travel shorter distances than men who attend courses designed for men only. For courses offered at all three centers, adults travelled further to John Oliver Night School and to Technical Night School than to Kitsilano Night School. Travel distance does not inhibit the subsequent attendance of those who enroll. The opening of new night school centers during the past fifteen years was reviewed and it was found that a new center opened within two miles of a large well established center is unlikely to attract sufficient clientele to be economically successful.

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