"I think you are doing a good job, but…" Initial Thoughts on First Year - Responses from Students and Implications for the University

Williamson, Jane, Miller, Evonne, & Heffernan, Maree E. (2005) "I think you are doing a good job, but…" Initial Thoughts on First Year - Responses from Students and Implications for the University. In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 28 October 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.

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The first year experience (FYE) is both exciting and daunting for university students. Ensuring that this experience is positive and enjoyable is increasingly important for universities, with research indicating that students’ initial experiences will determine whether they complete their degree (McInnes, James and Hartley 2000). This paper analyses student responses to one open-ended question in a survey that considered students’ initial experiences of university at the Carseldine and Caboolture Campuses of Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2005. The question was How could QUT and the campus improve your experience as a first-year student? Please describe both positive and negative aspects of your experience. The responses were classified into five categories: Enrolment/Orientation Issues, Socio-cultural Issues, Academic Support, Access to Information and General Comments. Some students did not comment (n=109) but those that did respond (n=155) identified some key challenges and possible solutions. These included: the provision of social activities for first year students, the need for improved clarity in enrolment processes, and more information and pre-commencement sessions on course structures/requirements/choices and career pathways. Two major implications for the initial phases of first year can be discerned from the challenges identified by the students. Firstly, improvements are required in orientation/induction programs and, secondly, the information provided to students, as well as the means for accessing that information, need to be clear and consistent.

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ID Code: 3511
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: first, year experience, transition, university students, HERN
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (The authors)
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:15

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