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Exploring the first-year experience in a diverse population: Using participatory action research to explore strategies to support student transition into fast-track undergraduate degree programs

Abstract

As the cohort of students in Australian universities become increasingly diverse, attention to ensuring their success is an emerging issue of social justice in tertiary education. Navigating transitions through the student journey is crucial to their success. Exploring and responding to the needs of a cohort of first-year students is the focus of this research. Using a participatory action approach, this project aimed to discover what is meaningful for first-year students, by exploring how students experienced the processes of admission, enrolment, commencement, and learning and teaching in two fast-track and one online health degrees. Nine students were partnered with nine academics for a six-month period. The analysis offers insights into equity issues in relation to the institution’s admission processes, the quality of support and engagement from academics to students when transitioning to university life, and how students find their ‘place’. Strategies to support the transition process for first-year students are identified and discussed.

Published:
Pages:41 to 51
Section: Articles
How to Cite
Rickard, G., Bramble, M., Maxwell, H., Einboden, R., Farrington, S., Say, R., Beha, C.-L., Stankiewicz, G., Campbell, C., & Yeh, C. (2018). Exploring the first-year experience in a diverse population: Using participatory action research to explore strategies to support student transition into fast-track undergraduate degree programs. Student Success, 9(4), 41-51. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.v9i4.653

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Author Biographies

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

College of Health & Medicine, University of Tasmania, Sydney

Greg was appointed to UTAS in 2015. Greg has worked as a Director of Nursing and Midwifery, in NSW, Victoria and NT, Principal Nursing Advisor NT Department of Health, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Charles Darwin University. Greg has taught in the higher education sector since the early 1990s and also worked in the private sector in health recruitment and as a consultant. Research areas include Indigenous Health, Learning and Teaching and Leadership. Greg has been on the Nurses Board of the ACT, Board of the Australian College of Nursing, and in 2018 appointed to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW. Greg is a Wharton Fellow and award an OAM for serves to nursing in 2011.

Charles Sturt University
Australia Australia

Clinical Chair in Aged Care Practice Innovation, ​School of Nursing Midwifery & Indigenous Health, Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Senior Lecturer, College of Health & Medicine, University of Tasmania, Sydney

Hazel is a Senior Lecturer at the Sydney campus of the University of Tasmania. She brings a combination of a decade of sport and leisure management expertise (in Australia and the UK) and recent research experience in the areas of community sport, health promotion, social impact, social inclusion and diversity management. Recently she has been exploring the social impact of disability arts projects, empowerment and support for independence and disability citizenship, social capital and diversity in non-for profit organisations including sporting contexts

The University of Sydney
Australia Australia

Postdoctoral Researcher & Lecturer, The University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine and Health; 

Rochelle is a registered nurse, educator and researcher. Her research interests focus on using critical social theory and methods to explore health policies, programs and practices, in aim to enhance social justice. Her work focuses primarily on ethical responses in practice for children and families who experience structural and interpersonal violence. She has a clinical background in paediatric emergency and child and youth health.

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Lecturer in Human Bioscience, College of Health & Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Lecturer, College of Health & Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Lecturer in Human Bioscience, College of Health & Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

College of Health & Medicine, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, Discipline of Paramedicine, University of Tasmania, Sydney

University of Tasmania
Australia Australia

Senior Client Services Officer, Student Experience, Academic Division, University of Tasmania, Sydney