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Building the foundations for academic success: learning from the experiences of part-time students in their first semester of study

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This article examines the findings from a mixed methods research study exploring part- time students' perceptions of their transition into higher education. Drawing on wider research in the field of transition and utilising Gale and Parker's (2014) conceptual framework as a means of viewing the transition process, the article identifies how one group of part-time undergraduates experienced the process of becoming an undergraduate. The results highlight the importance of offering a well-framed early learning experience for students, which enables them to learn the skills needed for early academic success and provides continued support as they progress in their own time towards recognition of themselves as undergraduates. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that transition is not time bound, and individual students will need individual approaches. This will require institutions to consider how the support they offer can be tailored to a student's specific needs.
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Keywords: HIGHER EDUCATION; PART-TIME LEARNERS; TRANSITION; WIDENING PARTICIPATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2020

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  • The journal is based on the belief that there are neglected links between research and theory, and policy and practice in the promotion of widening participation in post-compulsory education and lifelong learning. It aims to provide a forum for the development of theory, the addressing of policy questions and the dissemination of innovative practice in the field of widening participation and lifelong learning.
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