'Week zero' in open foundation by distance: the successes and challenges of embedding an online orientation an enabling distance program
Goode, E & Clark, H 2012, ''Week zero' in open foundation by distance: the successes and challenges of embedding an online orientation an enabling distance program', in Proceedings of the FABENZ Conference 2012, Auckland, New Zealand, 3-4 December, Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand, pp. 38-49.
This study examined the early departure of students between the ages of 18 and 25 years from an on-campus tertiary bridging program at a regional university. Participants comprised 20 students who had dropped out of the program within the first four weeks of study. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews, which examined the student experience and the reasons for departure. It was concluded that participants comprised two general groups: those who have no clearly defined long-term career goal prompting their attendance at university with an associated low level of commitment to university study, and those who were committed to completing a university degree, but for whom a change in circumstances prevented them from continuing. Participants indicated that attendance in the bridging program was a generally positive experience and that there was little that could have been done to prevent their departure. It was concluded that a certain level of early departure was inevitable in the tertiary bridging program. Where intervention was attempted, it should be addressed towards the development of long-term employment and career goals for which university study was an essential prerequisite.