First year students being at risk for dropping out of school

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Student dropping out of school affects many higher education institutions for several years. It is the kind of thing that hinders the qualification of education and also the causes of the difficulty for learning. A lot of factors are involved with student dropping out of school in the first year. For some example, financial crisis, academic and social adjustment, varied or unmet expectations, extra-curriculum commitments, shortage of materials, isolation, lacking of orientation and academic activities, poor attendance patterns, adverse teaching, learning and informative and summative assessment experiences etc (Kift & Nelson, 2005; Tinto, 1993, 1995; Trotter & Roberts, 2006). There were higher rates of student discontinuing university in the first year. However, as can be seen that some students in the first year desired to discontinue the course, so that many researchers try to find complementary ideas to support and assist student attrition. For example, supportive and stu friendly mood in school, an emphasis on student prior support during the first undergraduate year, frequent and widespread use of formative and early assessment, provision of opportunities to involve students in the social learning activities, and an awareness of reply to the fact that students' patterns of engagement (Thomas & Yorke,2003).

Literature Review

The following literature reviews desire to express and support the hypothesis.

In the three research articles by Krause (2005) Meer(2009) Nelson, t Ducan & Clarke (2009) on and also giving solutions to retain students in the first year of university, The two questions were used to guide the studies. First question, are there any causes of student dropping out of school in the first year? And second question, are there any solutions to help students from dropping out of school in the first year?


The focus on investigation was on the three research articles; we can see the different data collections and sample size. Data used in the researches consists of interviews, questionnaires, experiments, and surveys. According to research project by Jacques van der Meer (2009) released that two data sources were used in a medium sized New Zeland university to show the accelerated interest in the first experience. First data from survey implemented in May 2004 with 1967 students enrolled in 100 level courses. Second data from interview made with 27 first-year students in the same year. The data was coded to increasingly abstract levels, like Carney's conception of a "ladder of analytical abstraction" (Miles & Hurberman, 1994). A data mining approach was used to question both the code data resources. And the data was used in the context quantitative analysis and statistical operation on large databases ( Castellani & Castellani, 2003).

In addition, the survey by using 2 mail outs of questionnaires for students participating in universities were conducted with both part-time and full-time students, and both local and international students in first year of university. The first mailout of questionnaires released in mid July 2004. A second mailout to non respondents took place one month later in mid August. And some gifts would reward students who replied an email. According to surveys, a total of 2786 questionnaires (33%) were responded. Of these, 2344 were useable returns, resulting in an effective response rate of 28 percent. The response rate throughout institutions differentiated from 23 to 27 per cent (Krause, 2005). Furthermore, the article by Karen Nelson (2009) on student success depicted that the three sub-samples were used to determine at risk attitude of 1,524 student-enrollments in five first year units and 608 (39.9%) at risk students using the criterion of not sending the first assignment and 916 (60.1%) not at risk. The check of database showed that 327 (53.8%) were regarded as at risk contacted (AR-C) group. The leaving 281(46.2%) were considered as at risk not contacted (AR-NC) group and 916 students were viewed as not at risk contacted (NAR). Generally, the at risk contacted group accomplished importantly higher end of semester final grade than, and persisted at more than two time the rate of at risk not connected group.


The research on three articles showed that no single cause which made students drop out of school before the course finished; rather it was multiple problems and differences in the personal, social, and academic interest including academic and social exchanges, different or unmet expectation, additional curriculum commitments, financial pressure, lack of students institution fit, isolation, inadequate orientation and academic induction and assessment experiences ( Kift & Nelson, 2005; Tinto, 1993, 1995; Trotter & Robert, 2006 ). Moreover, depend on the research topic; serious thought s about dropping out in first year by Kerri- Lee Krause (2005) implicated that attrition of student came from low socio-economic background and pre-entry attributes, student purposes, goals and commitments and academic and social experiences ( Braxton, Hirschy & McClendon, 2004). Furthermore, there were some more causes that pushed students to drop out of university in the first year such as financial crisis, academic and social change, various expectations, extra-curriculum commitments, lack of student-institution fit, isolation, inadequate orientation and academic activities, poor attendance patterns, adverse teaching, learning and informative and summative assessment experiences etc (Kift & Nelson, 2005; Tinto, 1993, 1995; Trotter & Roberts, 2006). Other factors which affected students staying away from school were lacking connection with institution, teachers and peers. The results in this study agreed that there were many students dropping out of school in the first year. According to findings in 1994, 35 percent of respondents desired strongly of dropping out and in 1999, 33 percent and 2004, 28 percent fell. In the table 1 depicted the characteristics of students most perhaps inspired drop out seriously. The characteristics were on finances and resources, money worry and material in use; sense of purpose, spend less time for learning and much time on paid job; achievement and self regulation, difficulty understanding course materials, feeling overwhelmed, discomforting in group discussion; missing a lot of classes, much work load; the role of peers, keeping to themselves at university; management commitments, money worries, working to meet basic need; perception of teaching, difficulty adjusting to university styles of teaching (Krause, 2005). In contrast, according to the same research article on serious thoughts about dropping out in the first year, there were some good characteristics to continue students to stay in university for the first year: enrollment and student characteristics, mixed degree enrollees, management and commerce large field of education, full fee-paying international students; fee preparing, paid fee upfront, main or only source of family benefit; access to resources, having happy access to computer at home, getting comfort place for study; commitment and sense of purpose, studying a favorite subject, obtaining first interesting course, impressing developing talents, improving job prospects at faculty, giving good reason for learning, knowing wanted type job; accomplishment, being high accomplishers; self-regulatory attitude, finding advice and assistance, studying on weekend, raising problems in class, and using web-based resources and information; peer connectedness, working with the learners in class on project, understanding each others, emailing friend in course, making two close friend in course; perception of teaching, getting feedback from teachers, having approachable academic staff, helping work from staff, interest of academic staff on student development, great explaining of teachers, transparent expectation of instructors on learners, giving useful feedback from teachers, having interesting subject, enthusiastic teachers about their subject, quality of teaching in the course; sense of belonging and involvement, actively cooperative learning, good and clear orientation program, preference of university campus, having positive attitude to learning in group work; satisfaction with the university experience, satisfying with study, enjoying the intellectual challenge of study, getting fruitful advice in selecting subject, being glad with the course.

In the three articles we can see that there are common relations between students' attrition and retention rate in first year. Each article seems to indicate many aspects to hypothesize various causes. The first article by Krause examined the characteristics of potential dropouts in first year .In contrast, second article by Meer examined the connection among peers and teaching staffs in first year and the third article by ? implicated the curriculum design and supporting first year students within a personal, social and academic framework to enhance first year student in school.


Many different ways could be used to cut down high rate of student attrition in the first year on the interaction of teachers and students and curriculum design for conducting the students in the first year to understand the course. According to the research article by Kerri-Lee Krause, the finding indicated that vital implication for educators, student's affair staff, policy maker, and researchers were responsible for controlling and educating undergraduate. The data within framework of five principles were discussed for good practice in supporting the student-institution relationship and thereby contributing to the likelihood of persistence rather than attrition and he also suggested the important principles to reduce the challenges of the various institutions to give the learners happy experiences; stimulating strategies to make student have clear intentions; and also encourage their positive behaviors towards learning; producing methods to control student experiences; conciliating peers connection in and outside class; and the last thing, making the term for institution to investigate learners' transition and their enrolment. In addition, through the research article by Jacques van der Meer, it motivated peer interactions and teachers and students' interaction to develop their learning condition in the first year university. Furthermore, Karen Nelson, Margot Ducan, and John Clark (2009), the various units were explained by timing of the first assignment, specific teaching learning processes, and the structure of curriculum. Finding of curriculum design and supporting first year students within personal, social and academic framework were discussed to enhance the retention rate of first year students.


In short, the three articles rseally indicated that there were many factors of attrition rate of students in the first years, and also showing characteristic of student persistence in the first year. In the research article on serious thoughts about dropping out in first year depicted that there were twelve commonalities of characteristics of potential dropouts and characteristics of persisters; but there were differences of aspects in each characteristics of attrition and retention (Krause, 2005). Furthermore, the article research on student success reported on the achievement of intervention by proactive personal connection with the first year students selected at risk attrition to distribute them with an action plan of personal, social and academic processes and resources chosen to upgrade student involvement with tertiary life and learning and this intervention has importance not only for first year curriculum and pedagogy and strategy alliance between professional and academic staff but also administrators conscious of financial implication of attrition (Nelson, Duncan & Klarke, 2009). In addition, first-year students have a need for connection with their peers and or teaching staffs in order to enhance learning environment (Meer, 2009).

Good effort to compare the three articles. Would like to see more specifics and clearer explanations of the differences to demonstrate that you really understand these articles methods, findings and implications.


References seem to have done a good job of using APA style to list References

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