Moving Beyond First Year: An Exploration of Staff and Student Experience
Transition pedagogy has had a major impact on the first year experience for higher education students in Australia. Similarly, there has been a significant focus on transitioning students from their final year of study to employment. Considerably fewer studies have sought to understand the “middle child”; the years in between the first and final year of study. Staff at a metropolitan Australian university noticed an increase in students struggling with university life after the first year of their program, with students purposefully withdrawing from courses or their program entirely. This article reports on focus groups held with staff and feedback via a student survey. Findings suggest the challenges faced by students in second year are multi-faceted, and curriculum and delivery should be intentionally designed to support students through a series of transitions throughout the university journey.