Bridging the gap to first year health science: Early engagement enhances student satisfaction and success
Student academic success and positive satisfaction in first year health sciences programs is shaped by their transition experience. An introduction to core knowledge, study skills, and engagement with staff and students has historically been overlooked, but this has been newly recognised as a contributor to first year success, especially with mass higher education of students from diverse backgrounds. The University of South Australia ‘Preparing for Health Sciences’ workshop was designed to assist the student transition into health science programs. The workshop improved confidence and enthusiasm in starting university (56% pre- and 95% post-workshop), and 97% considered the workshop effective overall. Introduction to biological principles was widely considered to be beneficial (87%). The attrition rate after the first semester in 2014 was 7.6%, which is appreciably lower than the standard 12% in science-based courses. These findings demonstrate that an introductory workshop does greatly assist in the transition of students into their health science programs.