Calls for more support to help university students
A recent article on Stuff highlights the growing acknowledgement in New Zealand that a gap exists in how we prepare our young people for the transition to tertiary learning.
Unitec Chief Executive Rick Ede is quoted in the article as saying “tertiary providers need to form partnerships with high schools to make sure students are prepared for a range of options.” The Tertiary Prep Programme is one way we can partner with our tertiary colleagues to ensure our students are not only aware of the differences in learning between secondary and tertiary sectors but are taught skills useful for them to excel at level 3 NCEA as well as in the more challenging tertiary environment.
One of the main factors that cannot be underestimated is the need for independent learning and critical thinking skills. Often students “cruise” through school and expect to continue to cruise through tertiary endeavours. This is rarely the case. University of Auckland’s Student Association president Will Matthews said “the university environment was incredibly challenging and there were many things that caused social, financial and mental distress.” Add to that, those students who come from provincial towns and cities are also leaving home for the first time and are coping with a number of major life changes simultaneously, so while all our tertiary providers offer support through the libraries and academic services, many of our students either have an inflated confidence in their own abilities or become overwhelmed with the transition that they don’t succeed at the level they have previously.
Offering The Tertiary Prep Programme while they’re still at school in an environment that has become comfortable and familiar to them, allows them to become confident in exploring their own learning scaffolds and building on their understanding of research and study skills, developing a toolbox of strategies to call on when required.
This is an outline of what is covered in the programme. If you would like to discuss implementing this programme into your school please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org