This study evaluated a Life Skills Coach Training (LSCT) program that was designed in the Saskatchewan NewStart model of Life Skills (NLS) and was delivered by the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT). The study asked: In the light of NLS theory, how effective was the LSCT program delivered by SIIT? What was the match between NLS theory and the SIIT LSCT program design? How effective were aspects of the training program at contributing to the desired outcome of the program? How well do the trainers and program graduates think that the graduates were prepared for work as Life Skills coaches and/or in related fields? In the light of NLS theory, the program was very effective. It stayed close to NLS theory and extended and developed theory in useful ways, e.g., regarding learning styles and the integration of NLS with Aboriginal cultural/spiritual content. Most aspects of the program effectively contributed to the outcomes required by its design. The trainers are confident that their graduates can perform to the requirements of the levels at which they graduated, and the graduates said that they had received what they expected to receive and were happy with it. The study recommends that the Community Lesson be made more rigorous, that more emphasis be put on ethics, that the program be lengthened, and that a longitudinal evaluative process be implemented. It also recommends that the experience of one of the training groups be examined to explain why it showed lower satisfaction in all categories than did the other three groups in the sampling frame. The SIIT LSCT program made notable innovations based on NLS theory in the areas of learning styles, with the inclusion of Watching with the NLS-identified Feeling Thinking and Acting; the use of NLS accreditation competencies as training/evaluation points for program trainees; and extending the format of the lesson plan with a new first step called Warm-ups. Carrying out this evaluation necessitated the creation of two useful tools for NLS: the NLS Literature Review, and the Evaluation Survey that sought the opinions of program graduates about their training.
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Thesis advisor: Laitsch, Daniel
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