`at risk` groups

Report
Students’ early experiences and
University interventions to
support the transition of first year
undergraduates
Julie Prior
Student Writing in Transition Symposium
2011 (NTU)
Session outline
 University of Glamorgan
 How it all began, a programme specific initiative
 The ‘Timeline’: findings from a programme and
faculty pilot
 Faculty Advice Shops
 Online learner support tools - cross faculty
 Final thoughts
 Current research
University context
• Total students – 23,900 (17,000 on campus)
–
–
–
–
84% undergraduates
60% full time
19% EU and overseas
32% under 21, 39% aged 22-29, 29% aged 30+
• 4 Academic Faculties
–
–
–
–
Advanced Technology
Business and Society
Creative & Cultural Industries
Health, Sport and Science
Buddy
Scheme
Late
Starter
Support
Drop-in
Room
Initiatives to target
‘at risk’ groups
on Year 1 of the
BA Business Study Scheme
(2001-3)
Resit
Revision
Week
Initiatives
to target
‘at risk’
groups
Progress
Meetings
PASS
Year 1 – retention & performance
Main Initiatives
Outcomes





Accurate data

Identification of
- at risk groups
- key risk times

Set up of early warning
systems

‘Risk’ specific
initiatives for 2002/3
Attendance monitoring
Absence follow ups
Monitor coursework submission
and grades – results follow ups

Exit interviews / ‘drop out’ follow
ups



Central contact point for first years


Award Board analysis
Drop-in visitor analysis
Student profiles - problems,
experiences, etc
Follow up non-progression
Reasons for
WD/TFR/SS
Key findings 2001/2
High risk groups
High risk times
 Late enrolees
 Induction and enrolment
 Repeating students
 Early weeks of first term
 Existing HE transfers in
 Summer / re-enrolment
 Unprepared/transition
issues
 In HE for wrong reasons
– withdrawal v nonprogression
Buddy
Scheme
Late Starter
Support
‘at risk’
groups
Drop-In
Room
Resit
Revision
Week
PASS
Progress
Meetings
Buddy
Scheme
Late
Starter
Support
‘at risk’
groups
Resit
Revision
Week
PAS S
Drop-in
Room
Progress
Meetings
‘Unprepared’ – highest cited reason for WD & SS
Early disengagement – highest withdrawals during
induction and first few weeks of term
The Buddy Scheme – informal email contact with a
designated second year student
Aims
 Support early transition to HE environment
 Provide additional ‘informal’ support networks
 Offer personal and individual contact link
Buddy
Scheme
Late
Starter
Support
‘at risk’
groups
Drop-in
Room
Resit
Revision
Week
PASS
Progress
Meetings
2001/2 - 10 late starters - only 4 progressed to year 2
2002/3 – 17 late starters - only 5 progressed to year 2
 Mini-induction events for late enrolees / transfers in
 Late starter packs
 Ongoing email contact and/or progress meetings
 Linked with another first year student
Aims
 Facilitate integration into the Award
 Combat feelings of isolation - being ‘out of the loop’
Buddy
Scheme
Late
Starter
Support
Resit
Revision
Week
‘at risk’
groups
PAS S
Drop-in
Room
Progress
Meetings
Reasons for ‘drop-out’ can be complex and inter-related,
but often solvable with right intervention and support
Established a base room, where students can
informally call in for information, advice and guidance
Aims
 Provide an accessible and non-judgmental central
contact point for students
 Act as an intermediary/sign post for other services
 Early identification of problems – pre-empt
cumulative effect which can lead to withdrawal
Buddy
Scheme
Resit
Revision
Week
Late
Starter
Support
‘at risk’
groups
Drop-in
Room
PAS S
Progress
Meetings
Academic problems: 2nd highest reason for withdrawal
Additional support for potentially at risk students
Progress meetings with:
 Repeating students
 Students with low attendance records
 Students with non-submissions, failure or low
grades in early assessments
Aims
 Maintain regular contact with ‘at risk’ students
 Action planning – successful strategies for continuing
 Encourage students to be proactive in addressing
difficulties and or ineffective behaviour
Buddy
Scheme
Resit
Revision
Week
Late
Starter
Support
‘at risk’
groups
Drop-in
Room
PAS S
Progress
Meetings
Support transition and integration to HE
Raise performance – improve progression rates
 Peer Assisted Student Support - a mentoring
programme run by level 2 student volunteers
 Study skills workshops to target specific problem
areas, eg: time management, academic writing,
research and referencing, etc
Aims
 Support academic transition to HE standards and
expectations
 Offer students additional scheme specific academic
support
 Encourage the formation of study groups
Buddy
Scheme
Late
Starter
Support
Resit
Revision
Week
‘at risk’
groups
Drop-in
Room
PAS S
Progress
Meetings
2000/1 - 33 students (15%) failed to progress to 2nd year
2001/2 – only 13 students (8%) failed to progress
Free, week long revision event during the summer
 subject specific exam, assignment and open sessions
 daily advice surgery
 study skills workshops
Aims
 Raise performance and attendance at resits
 Encourage ‘clean progression’ to year 2
 Opportunity to offer academic advice and guidance to
failing students
20 students @ £4,500 per annum = £90,000
Estimated ‘saves’ over 2 years
2001/2 17 @ £4,500 per annum = £76,500
2002/3 20 @ £4,500 per annum = £90,000
Potential projected revenue £499.5k
2003
 Cross school role
 Support extended to all first year UG students in
Business School
Student Expectations and University
Interventions - a timeline to aid
undergraduate student retention
Julie Prior
& Dr Karen Fitzgibbon
The project (2001-3)
 Student Achievement Co-ordinator
Year 1 BA Business Studies Scheme
(approximately 200 students)
 Advice Shop Manager
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
(approximately 5,000 students)
Timeline to aid student retention
• integration/isolation
• adaptation to new
environment
• understanding HE
expectations
University Actions
• preparedness
identify non returners
induction programme (good staff)
the Big Welcome
late enrolees - outside system
support late returners
repeaters - progress meetings
at risk 'screening'
first register checks
week
1
2
3
enrol/queue
Student Expectations
Zone 1 issues
module/award choices
timetable
induction programme
finance issues: loans/grant/fees
job
home/digs
socialisation
LRC
Password/IT issues
finding way around/getting lost
Flags
Students expecting contact
Uni
Stud
WD Transition and integration
Expecting contact
Examples of student dialogue
• “At school my teachers told me what to do and when
to do it. Here, [university] I’m just left to get on with
it.”
• “My friends spoke of ‘your University friends’ (who they
never met) as if these people were an odd bunch of
misfits who wore scarves and smoked dope all day.”
• “I found it so hard living at home, still looking after my little
sister, being expected to pick her up from school even
when that meant missing a lecture. My parents just didn’t
understand how different I needed to be as a university
student compared to when I was doing my A levels.”
Key elements for reducing attrition in
Zone 1
• Comprehensive induction, staffed by ‘the
good guys’
• A central point of contact for student
queries
• ‘Catch up’ provision for late enrolees
• made the right choice
- award?
- university as a
whole?
Students maintaining contact
University Actions
first tutors = good guys
time management - real time!
promoting autonomous learning
late enrolees - special event
late returners - special event
late repeaters - special event
first absence follow ups
week
4
5
6
establishing friendships
Student Expectations
• time-management
Flags
Zone 2 issues
finding way around/getting lost
keeping up with changing info
dealing with homesickness
possible first approach to tutor
making decisions about balance
time management
Uni
Stud
WD - Made the right choice?
Maintaining Contact
Examples of student dialogue
• “Wow Uni is great - partying, new friends, coming and
going whenever I want, sleeping in, only 12 hours of
classes. Then BOOM assignments!
• Suddenly I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Up late
reading, then partying, sometimes not going to bed at all.
First assignment 27% - from then on I started to manage
myself a lot differently.”
• “I want to leave. Everything is so different and I can’t
cope. I miss my family, I’m not enjoying the subjects and
my first assignment…well I haven’t got a clue where to
start”.
Key elements for reducing attrition in
Zone 2
• Establish early warning systems to identify
students ‘at risk’
- register checks, non submissions, etc
• Ensure necessary support measures in
place
• non-submission
• poor attendance
Students seeking contact
University Actions
• drifting off
week
7
Student Expectations
• disengaging
Flags
Zone 3 issues
intervention after non-sub ass 1
register checks ongoing
Uni
Stud
study health check
progression report from tutor
academic counselling
first feedback on assessment
student profiles
8
9
10
11
12
assessment ongoing
attendance ongoing
learning independently (or not)
ongoing tutor contact
am I on the right course?
am I part of this community?
issues of my own making
feedback on progress
WD - Disengaging / drifting away
Seeking or Wanting Contact
Examples of student dialogue
• “My lecturer keeps telling me that university is a whole
new ball-game...my work has to be a critical appraisal,
with evidence and references to back up my argument
– but what exactly does this mean?”
• “In the beginning I thought this is easier than my A’
levels, but that was because I didn’t really understand
what I was supposed to be doing. I mean I went to all
my lessons and everything, but other than that I pretty
much just hung out with my new friends. It took me a
while to catch on to the all the ‘extra’ time I should be
putting in.”
• academic failure
• resits
• failure to progress
versus withdrawal
Students needing contact
University Actions
week
Student Expectations
• drift away
Flags
Zone 4 issues
Uni
Stud
exam information
revision & exam workshops
award board information
advice about putting things right
strategies for continuing
wd/ss/transfer advice
Revision
13
Exams
14
15
revising
time management
exam technique
what do I tell my ….
head in/out of bucket
drift off
drop out
no contact or discussion
WD - Performance issues
Needing Contact
Examples of student dialogue
• “I haven’t sat an exam for nearly 20 years. I just
don’t think I’m going to be able to cope.”
• “I know I should have prepared better, but the
exams seemed ages away and I planned to catch
up over the holidays. I feel I’m slipping further and
further behind and I’m really frightened I’m going to
fail.”
• “Does a D grade mean I’ve failed?”
• “I’ve failed some modules. Am I allowed to
continue - will I be kicked off the course?”
Key elements for reducing attrition in
Zone 4
• Contact underachievers - provide clear
and constructive feedback on their results
• Ensure staff are available to offer practical
guidance and advice on strategies for
continuing
• Vigilant monitoring at the start of the new
term – who has not returned?
Timeline conclusions
• Multi-faceted issue
• Pigeon-holing responsibility/staff
development
• Engaging students with the service
• Simplistic interventions work
2005
An Advice Shop
in every faculty
Advice Shops’ baseline provision
‘one stop shops’
STUDENT FACING - Drop-in service/appointment system to provide:
•
Academic advice
•
Pastoral care
•
Withdrawal, suspend studies, transfer advice
•
Mitigating circumstances advice
•
Referral to other faculties and support departments
FACULTY FACING
•
Establishing appropriate Mitigating Circumstances process
•
Involvement in open days, induction, etc
•
Designing and implementing intervention processes
•
Communicating between Faculty staff, students and other Uni support depts
•
Use data captured to produce a research programme for Advice Shops
Student pressures – before
family
classes
assignments
homesickness
expectations
paid working hours
health
debt
…..after
knowing who
to go to
coping
strategies
learning to
learn
support when needed
The Glamorgan
Online Learner Support Tools
Early Days
Study Health Check
Being successful in your
repeat year of study
Glamorgan Online Learner
Support Tools
Study Health
Check
Successful
Repeat Year
Release: Term 1
Term 2
End of year and
post resit result
periods
Audience:
First year
undergraduate
and direct entrants
All students, all
levels
All students with
‘Repeat Year’
status
Early Days
Question sets
Mix of information, developmental and
reflective questions
Induction
Integration Transition
Nature of
HE study
Academic
resources
Examples of transition questions
• Are you enjoying your studies?
• How do you feel you are settling into
university life?
• Do you have a good idea of the approach you
need to take to pass your studies?
• Have you missed any time-tabled sessions?
• Do you understand why you need to work
independently at university?
Sample question
Yes
• Good - remember too that working independently doesn't mean that you can't seek
help and support - whether it's to help you do things better or get some advice when
things go badly.
No
• Studying in higher education is different from your previous educational
experiences. At university, you are not going to find tutors leading you all the way to
your degree - you have to do it yourself, although your tutors will give you guidance
and advice.
• You may have heard the term 'reading for a degree' being used to describe studying in
higher education, and that's exactly what you are expected to do - read, research,
enquire, and think independently so that you contribute not just to your own learning,
but to the experiences of others in your group or class.
• Want to know more? Have a chat with one of the advisors in the Education Drop-in
Centre or call into your Faculty Advice Centre.
Sample of data from 2010-11
Are you enjoying your
studies?
• 54% Yes, on the whole
• 43% It has been mixed
• 3% No
Do you feel you picked
the right course?
• 90% Yes
• 10% No
Have you ever
considered withdrawing
or suspending from
your course?
• 6% Yes and I’d like to talk to
someone
• 20% Yes, but I’m OK now
• 74% No
Sample of data from 2010-11
Have you missed
any timetabled
sessions?
• 44% I’ve attended everything
• 51% Yes, but with good reason
• 4% I’ve missed lots of classes
Do you know what
plagiarism is and
why it is
unacceptable?
• 81%Yes and I know how to avoid it
• 18% Yes, but how can I avoid it?
• 1% No what it is?
Do you find it
difficult to balance
academic and other
commitments?
• 44% Yes
• 56% No
Final thoughts...
• Reliable data about the student
experience
• Evidence based initiatives
• Can be, but don’t have to be resource
intensive
• Get staff buy in
• Disseminate data for institutional learning
Current research
• What do we know about the experience of
students who have considered leaving
their studies?
• The changing nature of students’ social
experience within University
• Student profiling at induction understanding student expectations and
perceptions of HE study
Julie Prior
[email protected]
01443 482992

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