The First Year Experience in Continuing Education Conference Stirling University. Lost in Transition: Facing the First Year in University Dr Jocey Quinn [email protected] Outline of Presentation.
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The First Year Experience
in Continuing Education
Lost in Transition:
Facing the First Year in University
Dr Jocey [email protected]
Nationwide approach-not narrow institutional focus, emphasis on provinces not London
Participative qualitative approach
Involved wide range of stakeholders-seen as cultural/social issue
Linked drop out with what happened before eg in schools and FE and with what happened after eg in job market
Looked for international perspectives
4 post 1992 UK universities
4 Research Jury Days
Interviews Careers/Employment agencies
Interviews with 67 first generation entrants whod withdrawn early
54 had left in First Year, half in first semester
From life crisis to lifelong learning; rethinking working class drop out from higher education Joseph Rowntree FoundationQuinn, Thomas, Slack, Casey, Thexton and Noble, 2005
Continued old life
Carried on living at home
University replaces school/college
Same local pack of friends attended
Same part time jobs
Didnt enter on equal terms
Not familiar with university norms, values
Less possible guidance from parents
Less assurance to demand support and servicing
When I first spoke the university they told me the HND course was running, when I came to sign they announced that this course is no longer available. They then told me about this computer science courseI panicked everyone else was going. I knew it was an opportunity to get more education. Looking back at it now it definitely was too much. I should have looked for other options instead. I just panicked and did the degree
I didnt really know what I was going into because the prospectus didnt really give me that much of a clue. I knew it was a new course but I just feel that if they had told me what the exact things were then maybe I wouldnt have picked it
We got the induction at university at the beginning and there was some talk about it, but we were never really told who to go to or where to go, never entirely sure just what I could do if I needed help
They can cover their backs by saying we have got a noticeboard that says theres a counsellor, but thats not the same as someone coming into class and saying we are here if you need to speak to us and you can come in confidence-its nothing to be ashamed of. You are just a number. I am a statistic of somebody that has dropped out.
It was hard, especially when lecturers said I had to do things by the next day. Id have to do it after work but I didnt finish work until after 11 oclock three or four nights a week.
Encourage openness and help them explore possibilities
Music was my big thing. I was really into that in a big way, but I thought to myself music as far as going on to university it could be limited in the job field basically and I thought networking is quite practical so I gave that a try. In the 3rd year I decided that I was fed up and was going to leave. I found sometimes the way they were teaching it was difficult but when I look back it was just because I wasnt really interested in italso we were mixing in with students doing multi-media. I ended up seeing that side of the work and that is what Im doing now.
It has just made me wake up and think about what I want
I went to see my course tutor. I had tears he just seemed to think it would be better for me to go
Mom and Dad were all right but they did want me to stick the first year out
The university has a preoccupation with full-time study and it would require a major change in direction to be regarded as a lifelong learning institution-its shape would have to change significantly and the structure of funding from central government would have to facilitate this change Admissions Officer