The following blog post was written by Hana Taleb Imai, Innovation and Research Coordinator at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement.
The Understanding LINC Learners’ Experiences in College Settings research project was undertaken by the Centre in the summer of 2015. The goal of the research was to understand the experiences and perceptions of adult immigrants enrolled in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) programs at a community college.
Principal researcher Dean Wood, PhD, worked with learners at both NorQuest College (NQC) and Bow Valley College (BVC) to discover learners’ perceptions of a college learning environment, utilization of learner support services and campus activities, informal and formal engagement with the college community, and perception of their college experiences in relation to settlement and integration. A total of 441 learners who had attended the colleges for at least one term and were at CLB levels 4-7 were surveyed and 26 of these learners were interviewed over a two month period.
The data, both quantitative and qualitative, informed the following seven recommendations:
- Students’ strong satisfaction with LINC coupled with their belief that it is effective in meeting their needs, as the findings demonstrate, clearly indicate that BVC and NQC should continue their current LINC program delivery modes.
- Students’ positive experiences with learner support services and activities, as the findings demonstrate, clearly indicate that BVC and NQC should continue to provide a broad range of services and activities and enhance those services and activities where feasible.
- As public post-secondary institutions, BVC and NQC should continue to maximize the benefits of Alberta’s integrated postsecondary learning system for LINC learners.
- Although the current LINC model combined with post-secondary supports creates a strong foundation for all newcomers, additional learning opportunities would benefit immigrants who wish to return to their professions in Canada.
- BVC and NQC should continue to leverage the opportunities of a post-secondary environment to foster interaction among LINC learners and mainstream students.
- BVC and NQC should build upon their effective career pathway programming and services to enhance career exploration opportunities for LINC learners at the CLB 4 -7 levels.
- Further research should be undertaken to understand learners’ progression from LINC to post-secondary education and careers as well as additional dimensions of their settlement and integration experiences.
The full report can be found at: Understanding LINC Learners' Experiences in College Settings