Another path to success

Leaving high school without a diploma at the age of 16 is not necessarily the same thing as dropping out of school. On the contrary, for many young people it means a transition to other forms of learning, such as adult education. Adult education, which can lead to school and social success, is perceived by many students who failed in school as a more positive experience than the Youth education system. These students persist in the hope of obtaining their high school certificate or the prerequisites they need for entry into a professional training program.

The research team Qualification et insertion socioprofessionnelle des jeunes adultes québécois (Socio-professional Qualification and Insertion of Young Adults in Quebec), directed by Nadia Rousseau from Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and wich includes researchers in management, psychology and education, met with more than 300 young people enrolled in adult education centres across Quebec. The testimonies obtained by the researchers show that a large number of these young people feel better listened to and more empowered and receive more encouragement from their adult education teachers. These students, many of whom repeated one or more grades in school, feel better prepared for exams and appreciate the constructive individual feedback that they receive on a daily basis, along with the module-based teaching approach. This method allows them to learn at their own pace, without being in constant competition with the other students. Harmony and a positive environment are important sources of motivation and contribute to school persistence.

These findings have attracted the attention of actors in the political, community and education sectors, and other researchers in Canada and Switzerland. They have been disseminated in publications, conferences and seminars, and have given rise to sustained dialogs between the various stakeholders. To ensure the application of these observations in education practices, the researchers have also published a book entitled "Enjeux et défis associés à la qualification : la quête d'un premier diplôme secondaire" (Presses de l'Université du Québec) and an article: "L'éducation des adultes chez les 16 à 18 ans – La volonté de réussir l'école… et la vie !" .


Équipe de recherche Qualification et insertion socioprofessionnelle des jeunes adultes québécois


Nadia Rousseau, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Regular members

  • Guy Arcand, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Michelle Dumont, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Julie Myre-Bisaillon, Université de Sherbrooke 
  • Ghislain Samson, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières 
  • Carine Villemagne, Université de Sherbrooke