Transition from High School to College Sessions

Click on the presentation title to view its' abstract

Universities are paying increased attention to informing prospective students about their study choice. Since two years the Bachelor's degree in European Studies at Maastricht University is using a system called ‘Matching’. The goal of Matching is to ensure that prospective students’ expectations match with the programme’s content, its teaching philosophy and the required skills. It also aims at identifying potential problems at an earlier stage, in order to be able to offer the necessary support as soon as possible. I.e. Matching is not just a tool to steer size and quality of incoming cohorts, but also a service to students. In this paper we will present the Matching procedure, using data gathered regarding matching and study progress.

The focus of this interactive workshop is to introduce and encourage practice of the coaching skills of asking powerful questions and setting goals with intention as a way academic advisors and tutors can enhance their skills and encourage student success.  Academic advisors and tutors can be powerful collaborators with students, supporting them to improve their self-determination and self-management skills and improve their academic habits.  
The presenters are academic coaches at Landmark College. They are certified by the International Coaching Federation as Professional Certified Coaches. They are also part-time advisors and would like to share how their coaching mindset and skills have been useful assets when advising students.

This paper investigates new students’ perceptions and fears of going to university and highlights a project where final year design students use their creative skills to support new learners.    Cannon defined the ‘surprised newcomer’ unsure what to expect and the presentation will consider how we can support them to become more effective learners through online pre-induction advice guides created by their more experienced peers.  These are designed to be positive and supportive documents that clearly come from a student voice and are often irreverent and original and articulate final year students' reflections on strategies for learning, coping and progressing.   The presentation will include video and visual material from the guides and data from the learner evaluations.

The model of support for secondary to higher education transition plays a critical role in the successful integration of students into university life.  University personnel working to accommodate a growing and diversifying population of international students may sense a need for unique programming to support these students. While some tailored programming is useful, the presenters’ experience reveals that many aspects of a student’s transition to university studies are universal in nature and that there is much gained from grounding international student support within an existing framework of strong transition support. The presenters will describe the existing transition support infrastructure at St. Edward’s University and explain how the university has approached international student support from within this existing framework.

This presentation provides a case study of the changes made by one Department in a UK Higher Education Institution to enhance the Level One student experience. Having argued for the generalisability of our case, given the nature of our students/discipline and the changing nature of the student body in the UK. It highlights the initiatives the School introduced to help manage the transition to University; research skills induction, employability agenda and research culture integration. Using student feedback and student surveys the paper concludes by outlining the extent we met our aims. It will be of interest to anyone involved in the strategic planning for the student experience, faculty involved in advising and Social Sciences-based advisors.

The benefits of providing formative feedback to enhance student learning are widely acknowledged. However, despite our best efforts, student engagement with feedback can be disappointing. Using Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick’s (2006) seven principles of good feedback practice, the session will share how feedback can be transformed into dialogue (‘feedchat’) in a first year Personal Tutorial module. The module provides learners with an individual, structured and discipline based transition to university level study. The impact of the strategy will be evaluated: Did feedchat enable first year learners develop the competences required for successful independent and lifelong learning? How did feedchat affect student engagement and performance? As tutors, how can feedchat help us learn about our own assessment and feedback practices?

At UNE, a regional Australian university, Faculty-based First Year Advisors facilitate the transition of commencing students to tertiary study. First Year Advisors work with individuals and groups to encourage dialogue around the requirements of research, writing and understanding within disciplinary cultures. Close links with lecturers, librarians, and professional staff are also fostered. As such, our work is not seen as peripheral to teaching and learning activities but rather as an integrated component of the learning environment. The capacity to work closely with course curricula underpins the development of year-long, support strategies that are tailored to specific cohorts, align the expectations of all, and enhance student success. This presentation outlines practices of the four UNE First Year Advisors.

First year students face numerous challenges in successfully transitioning into university. Faced with a range of experiences and emotions many students become overwhelmed. Often higher education institutions view these transitions as singular events rather than interconnected, yet all impact students’ ability to succeed in university, and can be the difference between a student persisting or departing tertiary education. Intentional programs, like First-Year Experience can be the bridge that identifies issues and provides the resources to allow first-year students to become successful in their new environment. This presentation will identify factors impacting student success in the first year, how these factors often are interrelated and how utilizing First-Year Experience programs as a bridge allows students to successfully navigate the challenges at university and persist towards graduation.

Good induction is essential to ensure that students transition successfully into higher education. However, induction can focus too often on orientation rather than on supporting students to be engaged and effective in their learning. It is likely that induction practice needs to change to take account of the increasingly diverse student body and growing aspirations for UK students to be co-creators of their learning environment rather than passive consumers of knowledge. Drawing on research undertaken by the National Union of Students in the UK and ten of its member students’ unions into the induction needs of diverse groups of students, this workshop will explore participants’ own induction practice, how that practice can be enhanced and the extent to which students can themselves be co-creators of a high-quality academic induction.

New students with no academic background tend to struggle through the first academic year.  The poster will describe the study and measurement of a short marathon help program to struggling students shortly before exams. The study was conducted on 620 first year students identified as having low grades and struggling to have proper credit to continue to their second year of studies.
Study results show that grades of the participating students were better than the grades of other struggling students that did not participate in the program. It also finds that the participating students got grades close to class average and help them feel more capable of passing the exam thus helping them get better grades.

Abstract: Advisors and administrators are striving to improve academic advising and retention of their first year students. Join us for this program to learn about the Insight Program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This program began as a grant 12 years ago and has now become the main avenue of academic advising outside of the classroom for first year students, while improving retention significantly. You will learn about the program structure, collaboration efforts between Academic and Student Affairs, assessment methods, training and accountability of faculty and student advisors, and technology tools used to keep this program moving forward.

Inspiring Student Success: From At-Risk To “EXCEL” lecture and Q&A presentation will share with higher education colleagues the EXCEL Program (developed in 1997) that allows students who do not meet the standard admission criteria an opportunity to enter college and achieve academic success.  The Program has various components to support, guide, mentor, and motivate students along with institutional academic services to support student learning and the impact on retention.  This is achieved through developmental and intrusive academic advising by individuals having 40 years of higher education experience.  Although this program is at a 4-year private Catholic institution located in the Midwest and aligns with the university’s mission and core values, it can provide a template for other institutions.

Learn how one community college has developed free, easily accessible, video-lecture based online refresher courses: “Open Campus” targets high school students preparing for placement testing, “rising-potential” students enrolled in credit-bearing courses, and those who are homebound or work-restricted. Now, anyone, anywhere can access quality, online developmental instruction. “Open Campus” courses reflect pedagogy of their “for-credit” counterparts with two exceptions: all are non-credit and self-contained. “Snap-shots” from active courses, design templates, timelines and expenses will be displayed. Presenter will field questions about design plan, hardware/software requirements, expectations and pitfalls. After this session, participants will gain a working knowledge of an efficient open-source, entry-level design and a framework for timelines, technology, expenses, and challenges.

At a modern UK University we have appointed a team of 30 personal advisers who provide “an individualised one to on client management service to each first year student”. A key role has been to engender in students a sense of belonging, and we already have evidence of their early effectiveness in retaining vulnerable students. Here we describe a) how the team of personal advisers has been trained and developed, b) the unfolding nature of their engagement with students, and with academic colleagues, and c) the outcomes of initial evaluation of their impact. Our experiences will be shared with participants, as will a number of resources and tools which have been developed.

Considering students’ voices, student population characteristics, political decisions, and stakeholder expectations is important in determining how best to refocus and facilitate developmental education at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI).  This presentation will show how the AUI Center for Academic Development made various adjustments and changes to its original program after seven years of existence.

This study aimed at identifying students’ academic needs so as to provide information for the development of support interventions relevant to those needs.

As a pilot, a diagnostic assessment tool was developed, administered on-line and redeveloped based on its performance on the Classical Item Analysis program (CIA). The pilot was conducted three times across three semesters to 156, 422 and 485 students respectively. 

The findings differentiated between those students who could be regarded as being “academically underprepared” for Higher Education, and those who were deemed to be better prepared. Further, we could identify which of the assessed skills seemed to be problematic to which students, in both categories. Finally, not only the academically underprepared students appeared to have academic development needs, even some of the top performers demonstrated such needs.