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ERIC Number: EJ1149514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2307-6267
Paving the Road to Success: Reflecting Critically on Year One of an Undergraduate Student Support Programme at a Large South African University
de Klerk, Danie; Spark, Linda; Jones, Andrew; Maleswena, Tshepiso
Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, v5 n1 p1-13 2017
Student success, faculty and university throughput, and the need for adequate and appropriate student support remain prevalent issues in the South African and global higher education sectors. Subsequently, the Faculty of Commerce, Law, and Management at a large South African university applied for Teaching and Development Grant funding in order to address these areas of concern. The grant was awarded and initially intended to help students at risk by implementing appropriate interventions to prevent them from dropping out of university or being excluded. However, being labelled as "at risk" was not well received by students and so the grant holders designed a new programme, adopting a decidedly more holistic approach. As such, the Road to Success Programme was born. The first three months saw those involved conceptualise, plan, and develop strategies, material, and interventions that were implemented in January 2015. The vision was to scaffold and support first-year students, particularly those in danger of being academically excluded, through an integrated network of tutorials, workshops, online support, and a series of resources called Toolkits for Success, in an attempt to help students achieve their academic goals. Despite a number of challenges, ranging from funding shortfalls and food security to students' emotional wellbeing and resilience, 2015 proved invaluable in terms of refining strategies, gaining insight, and programme growth. Preliminary data shows an increased pass rate for students who engaged with the RSP, with higher pass rates linked to greater RSP attendance. Consequently, this article serves as a critical reflection of the RSP at the end of its inaugural year and will share data, highlight lessons learned and challenges faced, and discuss how the programme has been taken to scale in 2016.
University of Stellenbosch. 15A Bosman Street, Private Bag X1, Matieland ZA-7602, South Africa. Tel: +27-833505959e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A