Profiles of Canadian postsecondary education dropouts

Xin Ma, George Frempong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using longitudinal data of 18- to 20-year-old youths from the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS), the present analysis identified and profiled Canadian postsecondary education dropouts based on the theoretical framework of Tinto (1993). Pertaining to characteristics of pre-postsecondary education conditions, dropouts tended to be male, set low postsecondary education goals, and have a history of dropping out and drug abuse in high school. Pertaining to characteristics of postsecondary education integration, dropouts demonstrated a first-year postsecondary education GPA of 60% or lower, an avoidance of volunteering on campus, and a lack of personal connections on campus. In addition, dropouts have previously contemplated quitting, have low sense of belonging, rely on social assistance, have neither institutional scholarships nor parental loans, are married, and are pursuing postsecondary programs in trade schools or technical schools. Integration into postsecondary education is far more critical to student attrition than pre-postsecondary education conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-161
Number of pages21
JournalAlberta Journal of Educational Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada for providing financial support for the research reported in this article. Opinions or conclusions are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the supporting agency.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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