Research summary - Understanding transitions to post-secondary education

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Official title: Understanding transitions to Post-secondary education

Author of report: Kelly Campbell

Why this study

This research looked at at-risk youth between high school and post-secondary education (PSE). The goal was to understand the changing environment and social barriers they face. This research project gave qualitative insights that will:

This research project clarified:

What we did

We conducted open-ended interviews with youth to get insight into:

We gave participants:

We interviewed 22 youth:

The realities of the youth interviewed gave a study sample with characteristics of interest, including:

These youth also had varied levels of educational attainment, including youth:

What we found

The interviews gave key findings that helped us understand the barriers these youth face. We have included some highlights here.

Youth faced many barriers that added to the challenges to access PSE. We grouped these barriers as follows:

Every youth we spoke with said community and community resources are important. They said:

Along with stronger community, youth need one-on-one support for success. Finally, for programs and opportunities available to at-risk youth to be a success:

What it means

This research confirmed that supporting access to PSE is best when applied early. Helping at-risk youth starting in junior high school improves aspirations for PSE. It also reaffirmed that wraparound supports, such as mentoring and tutoring, play a critical role in helping at-risk youth:

We applied the youth perspectives from this research to a design thinking session with the ESDC Innovation Lab. The story sets that we created:

Contact us

Learning Branch, Learning Policy, Partnerships and Services Directorate, Program Policy and Innovation Division.


Page details

Date modified: