Academic development : bridging at a South African University

Troskie-de Bruin, Christel (1999-12)

Thesis (D.Ed.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study two of the academic development initiatives of the University of Stellenbosch, namely the Gencor Bridging Programme (GBP) and the foundation programme (FP) were investigated. The GBP is a four-week bridging programme that is held annually during January, before the start of the academic year. The main purpose of this programme is to channel students into appropriate programmes. The FP forms part of the extended curriculum. Students who participate in the FP follow a programme that is extended over a longer period and provides additional support modules during the first year. A two-pronged research approach was followed, which consisted of both a quantitative and qualitative investigation. The purpose of the quantitative research was to investigate the influence of the GBP and FP on students' academic performance and persistence. A control group of mainstream students with a cultural and educational background similar to that of the GBP and/or FP participants was used during the quantitative investigation. The aim of the qualitative investigation was to establish how the GBP and FP are perceived by the students and to identify some of the factors that influence student performance both positively and negatively. The main findings of the quantitative research were that there was no consistent pattern in the fluctuation in students' academic performance at different year levels, and that the influence of the GBP and FP on students' persistence seemed to be positive during the first year, but the long-term influence on student performance could not be established with certainty. The main findings of the qualitative investigation were that students perceived both the GBP and the FP to be of greater social than academic value, and that students relied mainly on peers from their own cultural group for academic and emotional support.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie studie is twee van die akademiese ontwikkelingsprogramme aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch ondersoek, naamlik die Gencor Brugprogram (GBP) en die Basisprogram (FP). Die GBP is 'n vier week lange oorbruggingsprogram wat jaarliks gedurende lanuarie aangebied word, voordat die akademiese jaar 'n aanvang neem. Die hoofdoel van hierdie program is om studente te adviseer en in gepaste roetes binne programme te kanaliseer. Die FP vorm deel van die uitgebreide kurrikulum. Studente wat aan die FP deelneem, volg 'n program met 'n verlengde tydsduur en met hulpmodules wat aangebied word gedurende die eerste jaar. 'n Tweeledige navorsingsbenadering is gevolg, wat beide In kwalitatiewe en 'n kwantitatiewe ondersoek behels het. Die doel van die kwantitatiewe navorsing was om die invloed van die GBP en FP op studente se akademiese prestasie en op retensie te ondersoek. 'n Kontrolegroep hoofstroomstudente met 'n kulturele en skolastiese agtergrond soortgelyk aan die van die GBP- en FP-studente is gebruik tydens die kwantitatiewe ondersoek. Die doel van die kwalitatiewe ondersoek was om studente se persepsies van die GBP en FP te bepaal en om sommige van die faktore wat akademiese prestasie positief of negatief bei'nvloed, te identifiseer. Die belangrikste bevindinge van die kwantitatiewe navorsing was dat daar nie 'n vaste patroon in die fluktuasie van studente se akaderniese prestasie in die verskillende jaargange is nie, en dat die invloed van die GBP en FP op retensie positief skyn te wees gedurende die eerste jaar. Die langtermyn invloed op akademiese prestasie kon egter nie met sekerheid bepaal word nie. Die belangrikste bevindinge van die kwalitatiewe ondersoek was dat studente van mening was dat beide die GBP en FP groter sosiale as akademiese waarde het, en dat studente op vriende binne hul eie kultuurgroep staatmaak vir beide akaderniese en emosionele ondersteuning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51093
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