3.5 Comparison of those in and those not in the program at the Midpoint
The following section considers . factors that differentiate between those in the program at the Midpoint (Continuers) and those no longer in the program (Leavers). As we do not know whether they decided initially to enroll in a longer program or chose to continue, no causal reasoning should be attempted. In other words. we cannot say that a factor (e.g. time since last attending school) was a reason for them choosing a "longer" program.
Age, gender and marital status
Leavers were significantly younger (p=0.0001) (mean age = 24.9 ± 0.322 years) than Continuers (mean age,= 28.4 ± 0.34 years).
Female students were as likely as male students to continue. There was no evidence to suggest that single students were more likely to leave. However, those that were married or in common-law relationships were more likely to continue; six in ten (60. 1%) did. Similarly, those that were widowed or separated were more likely to continue; nearly seven in ten (68.6%) did.
Nearly two-thirds (64.8%) of those with dependents continued, while those without dependents were equally split between the Continuers and Leavers. The likelihood of continuing increased with the number of dependents.
3.5.2 Previous activities (Pre ABE/College Prep)
The chance of continuing increased steadily (p=0.00001) with the time since last attending school; with a person 21 or more years away from school being twice as likely to continue (81.5% did) as opposed to a person at school within the last year (46. 1% did).
Those who were last enrolled in more basic programs were more likely to continue. with over eight in ten (84.0%) with Elementary education continuing, in comparison to about half (54.1%) with College education. Those with "Other" education were in the middle at 60.4%.
There was some evidence (p=0.003) that those who did not enjoy their last experience at school were more likely to opt for the longer programs, with over six in ten (61.3%) choosing to do so as opposed to only one half (53.6%), who enjoyed their last experience.
Previous enrolment in ABE/College Prep programs had no bearing on whether they chose to continue or leave.
What activities in the twelve months prior to enrolment were associated with students continuing? The highest "continuation rates" were among parttime students (72.0% continued), persons unemployed but looking for work (72.0% continued) and those with full-time household responsibilities (72.4% continued). Those citing "other" as an activity were also more likely to continue (60.0% did), while those that were doing fulltime study and had part-time employment were less likely to continue (41.4% did). All other prior activities appeared to have no association with continuing/leaving.
3.5.3 Program Information
Program level and intensity
There was an obvious (p=0.00001) trend to continue if the programs chosen were of a more basic nature. For instance, nearly three-quarters (73.8%) of those enrolled in Fundamental programs continuedwhereas less than half (45.3%) of those enrolled in Provincial level education continued.
Students were more likely to continue in proportion to hours per week. For instance, less than one half (46.4%) of those attending one to four hours per week continued, while approximately two-thirds (68.9%) of those attending 20 hours or more continued.
2 The associated error is the standard error of the mean, as opposed to the standard deviation.
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