Otrel-Cass, K., Cowie, B. & Campbell, A. (2009). What determines perseverance in studying science? Journal of Institutional Research, 14(2), 30-44.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3539
This article explores the issue of university student recruitment and retention beyond the first and second year of studying science. The research investigated the 'image' students have of science, the demands they face in studying science and student self-efficacy, and the relative importance of these factors as perceived by 140 returning New Zealand year two science and engineering students, using questionnaires and focus group interviews. Results indicate that returning students are generally confident in their ability to cope with their science studies. However, a significant minority of students was unsure or not coping with issues such as course workloads, and findings suggest that during their first year science students need to be reassured that they are valued, and that their education is taken very seriously by the institution and their lecturers. Student commentary suggests this can be achieved by personalising lectures, ensuring personal contact with lecturers and monitoring how students are coping with the challenges and stresses that affect workload issues and subsequently their academic progress.
Australasian Association for Institutional Research