Educational outcomes - As GOAL is about guidance towards education, the number of clients that subscribed into a course following the GOAL guidance is an important indicator for measuring outcomes. From the group of 145 clients for whom reasons to end the guidance were registered, a quarter (24%) stated to have ended the guidance because they started a course. This rather small percentage may underrate the effect of GOAL, as at de Stap clients can continue the guidance after the moment they started a training or course. Furthermore, many clients haven’t started a course yet when they have their exit-session. Additionally, a part of the clients ended the guidance unannounced (a result to the voluntary character of the sessions) without exit data being registered. The monitoring system also registered whether or not the guidance achieved the objectives. Those objectives are (at least partially) achieved for 84% of the 159 clients. 62% of those clients achieving their objectives (fully or partially) did so by entering into education or training. 88% of those with partially achieved objects, expressed to have achieved their goals by gaining information about training or education opportunities. The follow-up survey showed that 78% of the clients are enrolled in a course and most of them is working towards a qualification.
Additional data analysis, based on data from 183 clients who approved to be tracked in the DAVINCI database of the Ministry of Education, shows that 49% (89 clients) had enrolled in an educational programme at a Centre for Adult Education (Formal Adult Education financed by the Ministry of Education) and 74% of them (66 clients) obtained at least one modular certificate.
Furthermore, de Stap follow up on the enrolment of their clients through another registration field which is filled-in through direct feedback from clients and/or by contacting educational institutions to follow up on clients. This direct ‘chase’ of data on educational participations provides the following educational participation rate for clients who started their guidance between October 2015 and April 2017: for de Stap, 84 clients out of 114 clients who were in a guidance programme (more than 1 session) (74%) have enrolled in a course. Enrolment information was not collected for clients who had only 1 session, as clients in a single guidance session (information mediation) are not followed up after that session.
It should be noted that the data of the Ministry of Education contain only enrolment in Formal Adult Education, while the data of de Stap include all enrolments including in Central Examination Commission, Secondary Education (normal secondary schools), Non-formal vocational training, Higher Education and Dual System (Part-time Learning and working). This explains the difference in enrolment percentage of clients of de Stap in the Ministry of Education database (44%) and their own enrolment percentage (74%). The wide range of institutions in which clients are enrolled, based on the data of de Stap, is a good demonstration of the wide range of possibilities for that target group to achieve a qualification of secondary education. It shows the complexity of the educational landscape.
The client satisfaction survey indicated that the majority of clients (92%) were motivated to take steps based on the information they received from their counsellor. Staff members mentioned the importance of motivating clients and keeping them motivated. The client satisfaction survey confirmed that most of the clients felt motivated thanks to the guidance.
Attitudinal outcomes – The monitoring data instrument made it possible to compare clients’ attitudes towards learning.. Most clients have shown a positive learning attitude at entry, most probably because they had already a clearly identified learning need or even a concrete learning demand on which basis they have been referred to the service. Therefore there was no significant improvement in learning attitude.
After GOAL guidance, the number of clients interested in achieving a specific qualification or improving skills in a certain area has increased significantly. More clients have a more specific interest.
Non-cognitive outcomes – For a majority of 65%, guidance did not lead towards an evolution in self-efficacy (neither in a positive or a negative way). For 22%, however, we can speak of an increase of one or two points on the self-efficacy scale.
88% of the clients that participated in the follow-up survey said to have developed more confidence in achieving educational goals thanks to the guidance they got. Those with fully achieved objectives have a more pronounced improved confidence than those for which objectives were partially achieved (56% vs 20%).
Is notable that the increased self-confidence that has been reported in the follow-up survey isn’t reflected in the quantitative data based on the self-efficacy scale. Combining this finding with the reported experience from the counsellors on the difficulties of measuring the self-efficacy scale based on the 3 statements, it could arguably be concluded that the self-efficacy scale was too complex for the target group.
Strengths and achievements
Counsellors of the service seem to clearly understand the needs of the clients. Their work is characterized by a strong emphasis on providing clients with the right information, motivation and strengthening their self-efficacy, confidence and their personal network.
The majority of clients stated to know what their next steps and plans are. This is reflected in the evolution of learning objectives. Increases in wanting to achieve a specific qualification, wanting to improve skills in a specific area and having a specific job in mind confirmed this. This is also reflected in high client-satisfaction rates. Most of the clients also have experienced a growth in confidence thanks to the guidance.
GOAL counsellors do not overwhelm their clients with information and responsibilities. During the successive sessions with their clients, the counsellors share the information relevant to their clients and help them to make their education plans practically and step by step.
Although self-efficacy rates were quite low when entering the guidance (64% with a score of 1), the GOAL project has succeeded relatively well in increasing the self-efficacy score for some of the clients. However for the majority of the clients, the self-efficacy rate hasn’t changed throughout the experimentation.
Challenges and barriers
Despite the overall positive service user outcomes, there is still a part of the target group that didn’t feel to have achieved their goals. 25 clients stated not to have achieved their goals, while 50 clients claimed to have partially achieved their goals. Together, this remains a large group with mixed outcomes who run the risk that certain barriers prevent a substantial improvement in their situation. The most common barriers are related to health problems (mental and physical) and a lack of motivation. An additional group warranting additional attention are clients who could not meet the entrance requirements for a course (in most cases language requirements) or didn’t find a suitable course (or it was offered at an inconvenient time and place). These clients are at risk of not achieving their goals.