This article describes a phenomenological study that explored the experiences of early leavers who chose to return to high school in order to pursue their diploma. Eighteen students, including males and females, participated in individual tape recorded interviews, during which they described their experiences, yielding written protocols that were thematically analyzed. Results from this study revealed seven prominent themes that included the following (a) facing reality, (b) launching process, (c) determination, (d) overcoming barriers, (e) supportive influences, (f) proving self, and (g) learning context. Findings and implications for educators and future research are included.


Alternative, Education, Diploma, Qualitative, Research, Phenomenology

Author Bio(s)

Patrick J. Morrissette, Ph.D., is a Full Professor of Health Studies at Brandon University. Correspondence can be addressed directly to: 27018th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9 Canada or morrissette@brandonu.ca.


I wish to acknowledge Mr. Jim Ferguson, Susan Gilleshammer and Dr. Donna Michaels, former CEO and Superintendent of Schools, Brandon School Division for their interest and support of this research. I am especially grateful to the participants for their invaluable contribution.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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