THE CHARACTERIZATION OF ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEM (ALS) PASSERS IN DANAO CITY’S TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
This study, which employed Clandinin and Connelly’s (2000) theoretical model of narrative inquiry, describes Alternative Learning System (ALS) Accreditation and Equivalency (A & E) passers of Danao City pursuing tertiary education. It recounts their experiences, the challenges they have encountered, their coping mechanisms, and the institutions' measures to help them adjust in their studies. The participants selected through purposeful sampling were oriented on the study's nature and were made to sign an Informed Consent Form. To help them freely express their thoughts, an interview guide with open-ended questions was used in the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) to ascertain their experiences. Findings reveal that apart from the difficult circumstances concerning finances and serious family problems [among others] undergone by ALS graduates, they also had to endure, among other things, challenges in tackling academic tasks as well as juggling work and studies. Despite all these, the determination was expressed to carry on with the struggle for a college education. Although the realization of its importance came late to most of these students through the help of significant people in their lives, they pressed on by having adopted coping mechanisms such as reading to prepare for lessons and proper time management [among others]. Finally, despite the lack of programs for their smooth transition to college, the teachers’ positive attitude afforded them a nurturing school climate. These findings bring to light not only these students’ weaknesses and diverse experiences – the latter manifested as opportunities and threats to their pursuit of education and their strengths that facilitate the achievement of their educational goal.