Postprint of: Hellmundt, S & Baker, D 2017, 'Encouraging engagement in enabling programs: the students’ perspective', Student Success, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 25-33.
Student retention is a key concern in tertiary education enabling programs with research showing that early engagement leads to higher completion rates (Hodges et al., 2013). But how do students new to university education learn how to engage effectively? This article outlines an engagement framework that foregrounds Guidance, Encouragement, Modelling and Structure (GEMS) as a holistic approach to facilitating effective student engagement. This framework was developed from qualitative data gleaned from students enrolled in the Preparing for Success Program at Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia. The findings from the students indicate that the GEMS framework activates student potential and enables them to use existing knowledge and experience to not only deepen and broaden their learning but also successfully prepare for further study.