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ERIC Number: EJ1138346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1837-6290
An Exploration of Factors Associated with Student Attrition and Success in Enabling Programs
Morison, Anthony; Cowley, Kym
Issues in Educational Research, v27 n2 p330-346 2017
University-based enabling programs (EPs) provide a tertiary pathway for up to twenty percent of undergraduate enrolments at Australian universities. Attrition from these programs and the resulting costs to students, universities and society at large is an important issue deserving research attention. This research project aimed to investigate the factors that impacted the attrition of students from EPs and compared their experience with those students who successfully completed an EP. The study used a qualitative methodology involving individual participant interviews with students who participated in EPs at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The qualitative interviews supported existing research into the complexity of student attrition. The dominant themes emerging from the data broadly reflected the four factors identified in the existing literature; time pressures, personal circumstances, use of support services, and level of student engagement. The use of qualitative interviews provided insight into the operation of these factors and assisted in developing pragmatic actions that could be taken to reduce attrition. The paper concludes that any attempts to reduce attrition in EPs must focus on developing more personal interventions with students as early as possible, aimed at addressing time management, providing more flexible study options, facilitating evening and mature age support and addressing self-confidence. These implications lend further understanding to the reasons behind attrition and retention in EPs.
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A