Gabriel Dumont Institue


Challenges Faced by Adult Students Returning to School

Apr 14, 2016

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By James Oloo

Many students, at all levels, experience challenges when going to school. Such challenges have an impact on educational outcomes. Across Canada, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have the highest high school graduate rate of 87%, according to Statistics Canada. Among the provinces, Alberta has the lowest high school graduation rate of 69%. In Saskatchewan, the graduation rate is 82%.

There are various personal, systemic, and other reasons why students leave school before graduating. However, in today’s labour market, high school diploma has commonly become a minimum qualification for employment. Dumont Technical Institute foresaw this decades ago, and has over the years, become a respected provider of Adult Basic Education to those who left school before earning their high school diploma.

However, adult students returning to school after a break in their studies often cope with issues and challenges unique to their various circumstances. This article highlights some of the challenges and opportunities faces by adult learners. Balancing school and other responsibilities is one of the common dilemmas adult students have to deal with often. Other than challenges faced by all students, such as time commitments and deadlines, adults who are returning to school often face time demands on their time, such as family, and work responsibilities.

Fears and Confidence: Many others experience personal fears, self-doubt, and social pressure. After time away from the classroom, the curriculum, teaching-learning process, and the learning environment, such as technology, may be al new to the adult student.

Accessibility: Attendance can be a challenge to many adult students given several time commitments including jobs, childcare, and family. Dumont Technical Institute instructors and staff understand these challenges, and work with the students to enhance their success. The Institute has adopted an empathetic and learner-centered approach to its programs, thereby giving adult students opportunities to excel in their studies. This has included confidence-building, cultural awareness, providing tutors as needed, as well as focusing on individual learner’s needs. Dumont Technical Institute has also implemented a flexible approach to its program delivery, and works with the students to identify and access community resource information, and provincial training allowance as needed.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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