CHARACTERIZATION OF ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM (ALS) PASSERS
This study describes the ALS passers pursuing tertiary education. It narrates their experiences, challenges they met while studying, their coping mechanism and the measures undertaken by the institutions to help them adjust in their studies.
The study used narrative inquiry design. Narrative inquiry is set in people telling stories of their experiences. It employed the Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) theoretical model. Their model of narrative inquiry involves three dimensions: interaction, temporality or continuity and situation. The interaction is between personal and social dynamics that includes the feelings, hope and aspirations. Continuity involves past, present, and future, while the situation refers to the context in which the story was experienced (Watson, 2014).
Purposeful sampling was utilized to provide the opportunity to choose participants who satisfy a given criterion, that is, longer time in college. The participants were selected based on a shared characteristic to serve a specific purpose (Bond, 2015). The participants were oriented on the nature of the study and were made to sign an Informed Consent Form.
An interview guide was used to ascertain their experiences. The questions were open-ended to help them express freely their thoughts.
It was found out that Alternative Learning System (ALS) passers had met difficult circumstances leading to their enrolment in ALS and in their pursuit of college education. But in spite of the difficulties, there is a determination to continue in their struggle to be educated. The realization about the importance of education came late to the majority of these students. This came about with the help of significant people in their lives. Aside from financial constraints, they consider unpreparedeness for academic tasks as a challenge. However, they had adopted coping mechanisms to overcome these challenges. Even without programs for their smooth transition to college life, the students consider the school climate nurturing because of the positive attitude of their teachers.
The students had diverse experiences in high school and college that provided opportunities and proved as threats to their pursuit of education. While they manifested weaknesses, they also had strengths that helped them continue in their schooling.