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ERIC Number: EJ866469
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0305-5698
Academic Tutors at the Frontline of Student Support in a Cohort of Students Succeeding in Higher Education
Walsh, Cathy; Larsen, Carl; Parry, Damian
Educational Studies, v35 n4 p405-424 Oct 2009
Retention and continuation are key challenges for educators in higher education; understanding the issues that make either a positive or negative impact on student success and drop-out is therefore pivotal. Previous studies have concentrated around the issues contributing to students' decisions not to continue with their course of study. In contrast, this study used a questionnaire approach in a university in the North West of England with a group of students who have successfully progressed between levels of study. Two hundred and forty-eight students took part in the study in the first week of the new academic year; they were asked about the support services that they had accessed generically, and then specifically related to academic and pastoral issues during the previous year of study. Students reported that their preferred support mechanisms for academic issues were, unsurprisingly, academic tutors and peers on their course; pastoral issues were more frequently referred to friends and family outside the university-central services although academic tutors were also consulted by some students. These "front-line" support mechanisms were supported by a second tier of more specialist, but applied support including careers services and student finance. Student welfare, health, chaplaincy and counselling services provided a third tier of support accessed by individual students in particular circumstances. We argue that the sign-posting role played by academics requires that they have a complete knowledge of the support services available at their institution and for the greater integration of these services. (Contains 2 tables and 5 figures.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; 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: United Kingdom (England)