Dec. 21, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Innovative programs are encouraging more students from lower-income and lower-education families to continue their education after high school, a recent study shows.
New Brunswick is one of two provinces taking part in the Future to Discover research project by the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC). Results show that career education and an early guarantee of financial aid significantly strengthens interest among high school students, particularly those from lower-income and lower education families, in pursuing post-secondary studies.
"It is important to the future of a self-sufficient New Brunswick that all of our young people have the support and encouragement to continue their education beyond high school," said Education Minister Roland Haché. "This study is providing important information on what the public education system may do to encourage all students, especially those who would not traditionally attend post-secondary institutions, to continue their education."
The study shows that offering enhanced workshops about career education to students from lower-income, lower-education families during the last three years of high school:
In addition, the early promise of an $8,000 bursary for post-secondary education for New Brunswick students whose parents had no education beyond high school:
"With the predicted skills shortage that New Brunswick and other provinces will be facing, we need to ensure that all students, especially those who traditionally do not continue their education, have the support and encouragement that they need to do so," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault.
The study is part of the Future to Discover project, which aims to determine whether such approaches encourage more students - especially those from lower-income groups - to pursue post-secondary education. Half of students in lower-income groups typically do not pursue their studies beyond high school.
Future to Discover involves 5,400 students in 51 high schools in New Brunswick and Manitoba. The final report will be released in 2011 and will enable the SRCD to confirm whether students actually pursued post-secondary education.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background about the Future to Discover program follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3089.
Background about the Future to Discover program:
Future to Discover was launched in 2003 with funding from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, a private, independent organization encouraging Canadian students to strive for excellence and to pursue post-secondary studies.
Future to Discover is being evaluated using a rigourous experimental design, under which students are assigned either randomly to a program group trying out one or more of the new interventions or to a comparison group.
The benefit-cost analysis of the project will appear in the final report. A briefing note on the project is available on SRDC's website.
The report and executive summary about the interim results of the project is available on the websites of SRDC and the foundation.
SRDC is a non-profit research organization, created to develop, field test, and rigourously evaluate new programs.