First year student retention is an ongoing challenge in higher education and expectations are an important influence on students’ adjustment. Based on interviews with 19 students before they started at a regional Australian university, this research is informed by a framework of student engagement that proposes that the student experience occurs in an educational interface, the dynamic space influenced by student and institutional factors. Four constructs manifest within the interface and influence engagement. This paper therefore explores students’ emotions, self-efficacy, well-being, and belonging prior to starting university. Overall, the students have expectations of high engagement driven by two key influences: the alignment between their interests and their courses, and the relationships they expect to make. While some are nervous about what lies ahead, others are naïvely optimistic. Most know what they need from the university but seem less aware of what they need to do in order to succeed.
2016 Student Transitions Achievement Retention and Success (STARS) Conference, Perth, Australia 29 June - 2 July 2016
2016 Student Transitions Achievement Retention and Success Handbook and Proceedings /