Benefits of providing supports for non-traditional students to access and complete post-secondary education

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Lukinski, Stella
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This study explored the benefits of providing supports to non-traditional students in accessing and completing post-secondary education. It focused on one access program, the Winnipeg Education Centre - Social Work Program (WEC-SWP). The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the following questions: (1) What supports at the WEC-SWP assisted non-traditional students in accessing and completing post-secondary education? (2) What benefits did these students acquire by completing a post-secondary degree? Identify personal, professional, economic, community, and society benefits. In addition, the research explored the barriers non-traditional students faced in accessing and participating in post-secondary education. The findings of the study indicated that the research participants faced barriers which prevented them from advancing their education. They required the three supports offered by WEC-SWP: financial, academic, and personal counselling to access and graduate with a degree in Social Work. Aftergraduation, the participants benefited personally by developing self-confidence, self-esteem, respect, pride, and a healthy, holistic lifestyle. Professionally, they have access to careers rather than jobs which allows freedom, independence, creativity, and satisfaction. A degree provided a full time position and an adequate income to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. These participants are positive role models and change agents within their communities. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)