Share This Article:

A Course Approach to Student Transition to University: A Case Study in Agricultural Business Management

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:341KB) PP. 896-902
DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.326135    4,209 Downloads   6,118 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The focus of this paper is to present a case study of an integrated course approach to student transition in an undergraduate agricultural business management program. This wholistic approach is particularly relevant to courses with small student intake (defined here as less or equal to 20 full time students). These small intakes represent approximately 38% of all intakes in Australian universities. Most universities have an orientation week with generic and course specific activities to assist students in their transition to university life but very few have a ‘total package’ of sustained transitional support with an overnight tour, mentoring program, curriculum mapping and course design for all of the first stage subjects as just some of their strategies. The transition was planned to take place over the entire first stage of the course. A course team working collaboratively and cohesively was paramount to the success of this project. The approach was first implemented in 2010 and three years of data are presented here. These data clearly demonstrate that although student grades did not significantly improve, student satisfaction and perception of the “worth” of the various fundamental subjects taught in the first year of their course increased. This is associated with a recent decrease in first year student attrition. Finally and perhaps more importantly, academics reported that students seemed to display a higher standard of academic literacy and deeper critical thinking in their various assessment tasks.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Guisard, Y. , Behrendt, K. , Mills, P. , Telfser, S. , Weatley, W. , Hunter, C. , Acheson, R. & Bone, Z. (2012). A Course Approach to Student Transition to University: A Case Study in Agricultural Business Management. Creative Education, 3, 896-902. doi: 10.4236/ce.2012.326135.

References

[1] Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., Lovett, M., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. (2010). How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
[2] Association of American Colleges and Universities (n.d.). VALUE: Valid assessment of learning in undergraduate education. URL. http://www.aacu.org/value/index.cfm
[3] Astin, A. W. (1993). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
[4] Barrie, S., Hughes, C., & Smith, C. (2009). National Graduate Attributes Project: Integration and assessment of graduate attributes in curriculum. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council. URL. http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/projects/nationalgap
[5] Belshaw, D. (2011). The never ending thesis. URL. http://neverendingthesis.com/
[6] Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does (3rd ed.). Berkshire: McGraw-Hill.
[7] Boud, D., & Associates (2010). Assessment 2020: Seven propositions for assessment reform in higher education. Sydney: Australian Learning and Teaching Council. URL. www.assessmentfutures.com
[8] Charles Sturt University (n.d.). Curriculum renewal. URL. http://www.csu.edu.au/division/landt/curriculumrenewal/index.htm
[9] Colclough, G., Kimmins, L., Harmes, M., & Henderson, L. (2011). Re-living first year—The first weeks. In 14th Pacific rim First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) conference 2011. URL. http://www.fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers11/FYHE-2011/content/pdf/2F.pdf
[10] Ecclestone, K., & Biesta, G. (2010). Transitions and learning through the lifecourse. London: Routledge.
[11] Gale, T. (2009). Towards a southern theory of higher education. Keynote address. In Proceedings of 12th Pacific rim First Year in Higher Education conference (pp. 1-15). Brisbane, QLD: Queensland University of Technology. URL. http://www.fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers09/ppts/Trevor_Gale_paper.pdf
[12] Gale, T. & Parker, S. (2011). Good practice report: Student transition into higher education. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning & Teaching Council.
[13] Hunter, C., Guisard, Y., Behrendt, K., Bone, Z., Cochrane, K., & Wheatley, W. (2011). Developing professional identity. In S. Sutherland, J. Brotchie, & S. Chesney (Eds.), Pebblegogy—Ideas and activities to inspire and engage learners (pp. 118-123). Telford: Pebble Learning Ltd.
[14] Institute for the Future (2011). Future work skills 2020. San Francisco, CA: University of Phoenix Research Institute. URL. http://www.iftf.org/futureworkskills2020
[15] Kift, S. (2009). Articulating a transition pedagogy to scaffold and to enhance the first year student learning experience in Australian higher education: Final report for ALTC Senior Fellowship Program. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
[16] Kift, S. M., & Moody, K. E. (2009). Harnessing assessment and feedback in the first year to support learning success, engagement and retention. In Proceedings of ATN assessment conference. Melbourne, VIC: RMIT University. URL. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/28849/
[17] Kift, S., Nelson, K., & Clarke, J. (2010). Transition pedagogy: A third generation approach to FYE—A case study of policy and practice for the higher education sector. The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 1, 1-20.
[18] Kirkpatrick, D. L., & Kirkpatrick, J. D. (2006). Evaluating training programs (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
[19] Krause, L. (2008). Commentary on first-year curriculum case studies: Demographics and patterns of engagement perspective. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
[20] Leske, J. (2008). Commentary on first year curriculum case studies: Orientation and transition perspective. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
[21] McInnis, C., James, R., & Hartley, R. (2000). Trends in the first year experience in Australian universities. In N. Jarkey, & K. Slattery (Eds.), When good mentoring programs seem bad: Managing expectations for ever-increasing numbers of first years. Melbourne, VIC: DETYA/University of Melbourne, Centre for the Study of Higher Education. URL. http://www.fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers10/content/pdf/11E.pdf
[22] Miles, B., Power, R. & Voerman, A. (2010). Building bridges: a practical guide to developing and implementing a subject-specific peer- to-peer academic mentoring program for first-year higher education students. In 14th Pacific rim First Year in Higher Education (FYHE) conference 2011. URL. http://www.fyhe.com.au/past_papers/papers11/FYHE-2011/content/pdf/1B.pdf
[23] Upcraft, M. L., Gardner, J. N., & Barefoot, B. O. (Eds.). (2005). Challenging and supporting the first-year student: A handbook for improving the first year of college. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.