Ongoing Project:

LINC Students’ Career Goals Pathways Analysis

Researchers: Lisa Rochman1, Maria Montenegro1, Erika Goble1, and Anna M. Janik2
Affiliation: NorQuest College1 and Red River College2
Research Partner: NorQuest College
Keywords: Newcomers, settlement, employment, economic integration, LINC program, career goals, knowledge mobilization


Objective: This study seeks to gain a better understanding of how newcomers’ career goals change through the settlement process, and, more specifically, through their progress in NorQuest’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Additionally, this study aims to create a prototype board game and interactive presentation to share the findings and create greater understanding and avenues for support.

Justification: Newcomers’ economic integration is impacted not only by their opportunities and barriers, but also by their career goals and how these change throughout the settlement process. Past research at NorQuest College has shown that students’ career goals change from when they register for the LINC program to when they exit the program, but there is limited research into the common trajectories of career goal changes and what factors influence the change process among newcomers.

Practical goal: This study will increase collaboration and interest in collaborative research among LINC providers in order to improve system support of newcomers’ success, contribute to the existing literature on immigrants career pathways and economic integration, and identify areas (programs, services) that help newcomers set career goals.

Primary audience: LINC providers and instructors, settlement support providers, policy makers, and academics


This study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods. Researchers will examine data from LINC records, which track students’ goal careers at the moment of registration and throughout the program. An in-depth understanding of the different pathways career goals take will be gained by detailed interviews with current and past LINC students. Interviews will be conducted in the first language of the student. Interview data will be analyzed using the A. Frank Narrative Inquiry approach to help identify both the typologies of newcomers’ goal pathway changes and the meaning behind goal changes or consistencies.

We ask the following questions:

  1. What are the different types of pathways of newcomers’ career goals?

  2. How to these pathways differ across newcomers in different stages of the settlement process?
  3. How does the LINC program and other factors influence the pathways of students’ goals?

  4. What areas (services, programming, etc.) help students through the process of setting/ changing goals?

  5. Does the rate of language acquisition have an influence on student goal changing?

Knowledge Mobilization Component

Following the completion of this study, the researchers will work with artist Shea Manweiler to create a board game based on the traditional Indian game of snakes and ladders to represent their findings. Game pieces will represent LINC students, each governed by different rules determined by the career path typology identified in the study, snakes represent setbacks and obstacles, and ladders permit fast-tracked advancements. The board game prototype will be presented to LINC providers alongside the narrative typologies developed in the first part of the study. The game is intended as a teaching resource for LINC providers and instructors to better support newcomers in the settlement process.

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