Factors contributing to student success at Cowichan Adult Learning Centre
This action research study was designed to discover what students at an adult learning centre believed were the factors that both promoted and prevented their educational success. The centre was located in a medium sized town in British Columbia, Canada. Using a two stage selection process, five participants were randomly chosen from the student population to be part of a one time, focus-group interview. The participants were asked five questions and their answers were tape recorded and transcribed into text which formed the data for the study. Qualitative analysis of the text identified some common themes under the three headings of situational, institutional, and dispositional. Situational refers to factors outside of the control of the centre such as family and work-related issues. Institutional refers to those factors within the control of the centre such as staff attitudes and timetabling. Dispositional factors focus on students‘ attitudes to education in general. The most prominent factors that students believed contributed to their success were staff support, system flexibility, and a positive environment. The most prominent barriers mentioned were the hours of operation and poor communication. Almost all of the factors mentioned by the participants were institutional in nature which led the researcher to make some concrete recommendations to the centre. Implementing these recommendations could lead to a more successful learning environment for the students at this adult learning centre. This study and these recommendations may be of interest to other adult learning centres.