The authors are conducting a study funded by PAREA (Quebec’s education and learning research-assistance program) exploring college dropouts. Their focus is individuals who, although failing to complete their pre-university studies, eventually do enroll in university. The article follows Mathieu, a student whose education has been punctuated with problems and ends up dropping out of college. The authors weigh the odds of Mathieu graduating from university. The article first compares voluntary and involuntary dropouts, not finding a clear distinction between the two. It then examines the three phases of dropping out as well as informal education and the learning situations involved. The authors show it is possible to develop skills despite a lack of formal education. Although this type of experiential learning is increasingly gaining credibility internationally, Quebec colleges are not yet well equipped to recognize it. What will happen to Mathieu at university? To find out, just read the article!
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