Site Publications

Paths on Life's Way

Further details regarding this project are available at: blogs.ubc.ca/paths/

Paths on Life’s Way is a longitudinal study of the post-secondary education, work and other life activities of the BC high school graduating class of 1988. Dr. Lesley Andres, Department of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, is the principal investigator for the study which is the only one of its kind in British Columbia. This data set provides the rare opportunity to examine, over the course of 22 years, the life trajectories of individuals in order to inform current educational, labour market, and social policies and practices. Various analyses of this data set undertaken approximately every five years have been of interest to BCCAT, which has funded a series of reports and newsletters based on this research.

Several key – and consistent – findings have emerged from analyses of the data:

  • Only 20% of respondents did not commence post-secondary studies within the first year following high school graduation.

  • By 2010 (22 years later), only 3% had remained post-secondary never attendees. Analyses over time reveal the diverse ways in which individuals attended post-secondary education.

  • Post-secondary attendance patterns are extremely complex and the flexibility of the BC system enhances participation.

  • Gender, post-secondary completion status, parental education, and geographic region influence each trajectory, suggesting that it is necessary to continue to monitor participation rates and patterns beyond simple aggregates.

  • As the most recent analyses reveal, other adult life activities, such as employment, unemployment, and childbearing and family, play an important role in shaping patterns of post-secondary participation.

A review of the various reports indicates the richness of the data set and evolution of the analyses over time (most recent first).

22 Years Out

A Look Back: A Retrospective Analysis of the Sequence of Life Course Events Over 22 Years
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Dept. of Educational Studies, University of British Columbia

This report entails a reflective look back from the current states of Paths respondents, as of March 2010 back through to September 1988. The technique of sequence analysis captures the complex types and nature of various trajectories of individuals over a 22 year period. The findings suggest that over the space of 22 years, women in this study, willingly or unwillingly were more adaptable, flexible, and fluid, as evidenced by vastly more time spent in part-time employment and/or in an "other" state, rather than full-time employment.

A 4-page summary of the above report is available here. 

Customized Lives? Multiple Life Course Activities of the Class of ’88 Over 22 Years
Produced: by Lesley Andres, University of British Columbia & Judith Offerhaus, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, May 2013

In this report, the authors use the technique of sequence analysis to capture the complex types and nature of various life trajectories of individuals over a 22 year period. The results show that there are distinctive patterns indicating that gender, post-secondary completion status, parental education, and geographic region all help to shape the trajectories of participants.

A 3-page summary of the above report is available here

No Credential? Post-Secondary Participation and Life Activity Patterns of the Class of '88
Produced: by Lesley Andres, University of British Columbia, Dept. of Educational Studies, UBC.

This report pays particular attention to those respondents in the Paths on Life’s Wayproject who commenced post-secondary studies at some time between 1988 and 2010 but did not earn any credential. Their paths are compared to those who did complete a credential. The author notes that the long time frame of the current study allows us to see that many respondents eventually complete a credential - a finding obscured in studies with a more limited time frame. Policy implications of the findings are also discussed.

A 4-page summary of the above report is available here.


The Mosaic of Post-Secondary Institutional Attendance: A Twenty-Two Year Perspective (Research Results)
Produced: by Lesley Andres, University of British Columbia & Judith Offerhaus, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, May 2012

This newsletter portrays the complex set of post-secondary institutional participation patterns of a subset of the BC high school graduating class of 1988 followed over a 22 year period. The study is part of the Paths on Life’s Way project and uses the analytical technique of sequence analysis to represent individuals’ pathways.


15 Years Out

A Fifteen Year Portrayal of BC Young Adults (Research Results)
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Dec 2009 Document Information: PDF, 8 Pages   

This newsletter reports on the Paths on Life’s Way project, a longitudinal study which has followed BC high school graduates from the Class of 1988 to ascertain their transitions through the post-secondary system in BC and beyond and into the workforce. Findings from the 15 year follow-up study are highlighted.

10 Years Out

Educational and Occupational Participation and Completion Patterns of the Class of '88Produced: by Lesley Andres, Dept. of Educational Studies, UBC, Jun 2002 

Part of an extensive longitudinal study, this research report describes the post-secondary educational participation (within British Columbia and beyond its borders) and occupational patterns of the BC Grade 12 graduating class of 1988 ten years later. It details: post-secondary institutions attended; credentials earned; aspirations and expectations; relationship between high school credentials and post-secondary completions status; post-secondary financing; and employment and earnings, providing a gender breakdown for each topic.

Ten Years Out: Educational and Occupational Patterns of the Class of '88 (Research Results)
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Dept. of Educational Studies, UBC, Jul 2002 

This Research Results is a summary of the Educational and Occupational Patterns of the Class of '88 Report.

 5 Years Out

The Educational Paths of the Class of '88
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Assistant Professor, Higher Education, UBC, Apr 1996

This longitudinal study of BC youth provides an overview of participation and transfer patterns, graduation rates, aspirations and expectations of, and beliefs about, post-secondary participation and debt load. Despite record participation rates and optimistic educational aspirations and expectations, non-transfer, withdrawal and non-graduation rates remained high. University graduates who began studies at non-university institutions incurred higher debt loads than those who began their studies at university.

Class of 1988 Grade 12 Follow-Up Five Years Later
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, UBC, Feb 1995

This study was a follow-up of the 1989 survey of BC Grade 12 graduates by the BC Research Corporation and the BC Institute of Technology under contract with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training. The purpose of the follow-up was to collect longitudinal data about i) those students still in the post-secondary system, ii) those who attended a post-secondary institution but have since graduated or left the system, iii) those who were not, at the time of the first survey, in the system but have since enrolled in a post-secondary program, and iv) those who have never participated in formal post-secondary education. Analyses focus on post-secondary experiences, educational aspirations and expectations, demographic characteristics and labour market activity.

Summary
Produced: by Lesley Andres, Department of Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, UBC, Feb 1995

This document is a summary of the ”Class of 1988 Grade 12 Follow-Up Five Years Later” report.