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ERIC Number: EJ781825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-1521-0251
Improving Tertiary Student Outcomes in the First Year of Study: What Your Students May Not Tell You
Dewart, Bonnie; Rowan, Linda
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v9 n3 p259-271 2007-2008
There has been increased interest in retention and completion with regard to tertiary student outcomes in relation to students' successful completion of their study and what influences this. In New Zealand, the government through the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has made it clear that it expects institutions to meet retention and completion benchmarks or face reductions in funding. An added challenge in this climate is that mass education and open entry, with the focus on participation, have brought an increasingly diverse student population into tertiary education (Prebble, Hargraves, Leach, Naidoo, Suddaby, & Zepke, 2005). The Teaching and Learning Research Initiative (TLRI) two year project, that UCOL has been involved in, set out to identify ways institutions and their staffs can improve retention rates. It addressed the question: "What can New Zealand Tertiary Education Institutions and their teachers do to "adapt" their current processes and practices to improve retention, persistence and completion of diverse students in their first year?" (Zepke, Leach, & Prebble, 2004). This article will first explain the origins for the research based on the best evidence synthesis and the importance of the term "adaptation." It will then summarize the results for UCOL from the data gathering instruments: a questionnaire for students and another for teachers; interviews with both students and administrators; and focus groups for both students and teachers. UCOL was one of seven participating Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs). While we are only able to talk about what we learned for UCOL, the results will have application beyond one institution. What students tell us, and what we do with that information, will help us to ensure that student success is supported at all levels of the institution. (Contains 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand