Predictors of attrition and achievement in a tertiary bridging program

Author: Robert Whannell, University of New England

Edition: Volume 53, Number 2, July 2013

Summary: This study examines the attrition and achievement of a sample of 295 students in an on-campus tertiary bridging program at a regional university. A logistic regression analysis using enrolment status, age and the number of absences from scheduled classes at week three of the semester as predictor variables correctly predicted 92.8 percent of participant attrition. It was concluded that attrition is largely a phenomenon associated with younger students between 18 and 24. While the quality of academic staff support was found to be strongly positively associated with the emotional commitment and academic identity of the participant, it was also negatively associated with scheduled class absence for those participants who dropped out. Intervention to address attrition of these young students is recommended to involve the selection of appropriate academic staff and a comprehensive orientation process which allows the development of supportive peer and staff relationships. The purpose of the orientation would be to facilitate the development of a robust sense of emotional commitment to a positive academic identity prior to the completion of the initial assessment tasks.

Keywords: bridging education, attrition, emotional commitment, identity.


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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 53_2. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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