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When students first enroll in university, they always encounter with stunning changes. The academic environment at university is quite different from ones at high school. In high school students are taught not different from secondary school. They acquire the knowledge that provided by instructors. They are not subjected to do much searching outside course books and there are not searching-based assignments. These changes make students face with many difficulties; some students can bear with these abruptly changes while the others are not tolerate enough. In university level, students are instructed to be independent learners. They are to do a lot of searching. Each piece of academic information is time consuming. A long with these circumstances, many possible solutions from different perspectives can help them to cut down or to stop thinking of drifting away. All dimensions that relate to the academic process are potential parties in cooperating to stimulate students to remove the idea of dropping out. The spiritual helps are existed within individual university; these potential helps come from all directions.
In order to make the research process well, some methods of researching must be set. In these articles, the writers used different research methodologies. In the article about written by Meer (2009), interview was done to get the data from the first year students. The data was recorded. Another article by Krause (2005) students were contacted by mail. More than 2784 mails were launched and only 33 percent of them were returned. While the previous two articles focus on interview and mail launching, the third article focuses on observation. The numbers of 1524 students were invited to participate in the test and they are grouped separately. This comes as a limitation in doing a research because the researcher knows clearly what to do, what materials to use, and what what methods to use to analyze the data.
Sample and Limitation
Krause (2005) used the total of 2786 population in doing the research. Among these populations, only 33 percents were returned. Nelson (2009) used the contact system randomly with the respondents. There are 608 population and they were classified as "at risk" using the criterion of not submitting or failing their first assignment. Of these, 327 (53.8%) were successful contacted. The remaining could not be contacted.
Some freshmen feel completely new in everything around them when they arrive at university's campus so they still need help from all related people around them. It is very essential to get them to be familiar with the situation. The relation between students and staffs are expectedly high. The learning process must be engaged with the collaborative activities (Krause & Coates, 2008, p. 493). It has been recognized that engagement and connection with staff and other students is important for first year students (Krause & Coates; Kuh, 2003). Besides staffs and other involving people, peers also play very important role in supporting first year students' adjustment to university (Krause, Mclnnis, & Welle, 2003). However, some other freshmen prefer befriending with one or two close friends during their first year so they have those friends who play as stimulant to make the potential drop out to stay (Welle, 2003). In their first year, some students do not feel belonging to the university they are studying in yet; they feel very isolated because all people around are unexpectedly anonymous. So, they really need the support, possibly from peers and staffs.
Another potential cause to make first year students to drop out of their studies at university is related to the school fee. Students who commit to their studies financially by paying the higher education contribution scheme fees at the start of their first year tend to be more committed to staying. They never take their study for granted. They pay their at most attention on their study along with the reason to value the money they pay (Krause, K. L., 2005). Similarly, those dependent on family as their main income source at university are likely to plan to stay on at university. By contrast, those reliant on government support or part-time employment are more likely to consider dropping out (Krause,K. L., 2005).
Generally, at university, students are unconsciously taught to be independent learners. When first arrive at university, they never understand the habit of independent learners so that the result they get is shamefully low. Some students they used to strong at high school and they hope to get such high mark at university. As indicated in Krause, K.,L., (2005) that low achievement and unrealistic expectations in the first year are potential predictors of student plans to withdraw from university study. They find that it is embarrassing to remain in the university. The last choice they opt is to drift away.
Third reason occurs within the potential drop out is the overwhelming school work. As James (2001) suggested, if professors assign too much work for students in year one, they will find that they cannot guarantee the burden of this work load. They also expect that such kind of workload will last not only one year, but throughout the university period. When they meet this tension, students always need helps from friends as well as from staffs; these helps can stimulate their feeling to cope with all assignments. Clarke &Nelson (2009) stated that student success Advisors (SSAs) plays important role to give consultation to those groups who are at risk of drifting away. The groups can share all good experiences they got when they were students so that the risk group (the ones who attempt to quit) will remove their thinking quite quickly.
Discussion and Implications
These findings have significant implications for educators, students' peers, student affairs staff, policy makers and researchers charged with the responsibility of monitoring, supporting and educating undergraduates. The importance of staff/student and student/student interaction in teaching environments is well-known and clearly linked to the retention of first-year students (Haggis &Pouget 2002). When students see there is good environment within their classroom as well as in the campus, they are willing to study. As James (2001) suggested, if universities are serious about retaining first-year students, they have to accept responsibility for the impact of reduced opportunities for personal contact, and increased class sizes. Without knowing these points, educators, policy makers, and other related people can not lead their operation to reach the educational goal. What happens to university if there are too many drop outs?
All the three articles identify the causes that make students drop out at their first year. Some causes are psychological; it is psychological in the way that all the students drop out not because of they are lack of physically strength, but they are lack of spiritual support. They sometimes feel lonely. When ones feel lonely, they procrastinate doing their homework. In the end they could not cope with pile of work and they quit. Therefore, being professional educators, curriculum developers, and policy makers in the field of education need to understand. Professors or lecturers need to make first year students get accustomed to the work at university bit by bit.
Directions not really followed. You started out describing the methods used in the three studies. But then in the Results section you did not really explain what was found in two of the three articles. Instead you talked about what was summarized in the literature review of the three articles you were assigned. Need to focus on the three studies' results and the meaning of those results. C-