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Type: Journal article
Title: Student non-completion of an undergraduate degree: wrong program selection or part of a career plan?
Author: O'Keefe, M.
Laven, G.
Burgess, T.
Citation: Higher Education Research and Development, 2011; 30(2):165-177
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0729-4360
Statement of
M. O’Keefe, G. Laven and T. Burgess
Abstract: Institution wide comparisons of students who leave university before completing their degree and students who complete their studies, have identified 'wrong course selection' and a lack of vocational focus as common reasons for non‐completion. It is not fully understood, though, whether these trends are constant across different disciplines and programs and whether all relevant contributing factors, in particular career intentions, have been considered. This study was undertaken to explore reasons for student non‐completion in more detail in one program. Students enrolled in an undergraduate health sciences degree completed a questionnaire at enrolment and another 12 months later, regarding their reasons for enrolment, career intentions and expectations for/experiences of learning. Students who did not re‐enrol after the first year were invited to complete a separate exit questionnaire regarding their reasons for not re‐enrolling. Many students who did not re‐enrol after the first year of study transferred to another degree that was more aligned with their career intentions. In this context rather than a 'wrong' selection, non-completion of the initial undergraduate degree formed part of a career plan.
Keywords: first year experience
health sciences
undergraduate student
Rights: © 2011 HERDSA
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2010.512630
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
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