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A head start in higher education: the effect of a transition intervention on interaction, sense of belonging, and academic performance

van Herpen, S. G. A., Meeuwisse, M., Hofman, W. H. A. & Severiens, S. E., 2-Apr-2020, In : Studies in Higher Education. 45, 4, p. 862-877 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Given the challenging transition from secondary school into higher education, this quasi-experimental study measured the effects of a pre-academic programme (i.e. before starting at university) on student-faculty interactions, student-peer interactions, sense of belonging, and first-year academic performance. Fifty-eight first-year students participated in a pre-academic programme (i.e. the experimental group) focused on changing their perceptions of effective learning behaviour to enhance high-quality interaction with peers and faculty, their sense of belonging, and academic performance. A control group comprised 237 first-year students who did not attend the programme. Participation in the programme enhanced formal student-faculty and student-peer interactions, as well as informal student-peer interactions. No effect was found on sense of belonging. Furthermore, participation in the programme enhanced students' attained grade during the first course and enhanced their first-year cumulative GPA. The results suggest that participation in the pre-academic programme could give students a head start in higher education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-877
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume45
Issue number4
Early online date31-Jan-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2-Apr-2020

    Keywords

  • First-year student, student transition, interaction, sense of belonging, academic performance, STUDENT-FACULTY INTERACTION, AFRICAN-AMERICAN, POSSIBLE SELVES, SELF-EFFICACY, UNIVERSITY, IMPACT, ACHIEVEMENT, PERSISTENCE, INTEGRATION, VARIABLES

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