Student experience


Successful transition for students commencing university is a focus of increasing institutional interest and resourcing to optimise student success and retention. Investigation of student expectations of university commencement and their lived experience provides an opportunity for identification of a potential mismatch which has received less scrutiny. The Bachelor of Sport Development has an integrated transition initiative with an employability and academic skill development focussed curriculum, designed to support students' successful transition into university. The transition initiative was informed by the Five Senses of Success and First Year Curriculum Principles. This article reports student expectations in week one and at the completion of the first semester after experiencing the transition initiative. Students reported changes in their expectations, assessment concerns, and the assistance they expected from lecturers over this period. Students’ early exposure to employability-focused curriculum provided valuable insights into their future profession, consequently reinforcing their long-term goal of employment in the sport sector. Results highlight the effectiveness of the supportive, student focused strategies embedded within the tailored transition initiative in the first semester of study.

Practitioner Notes

  1. The transition to tertiary study can be stressful, and many students at Australian universities do not feel prepared.
  2. The alignment of student expectations with the reality experienced by students is closely correlated to overall student experience and satisfaction.
  3. Deliberate inclusion of academic skill development and employability curricula and assessment are critical design elements to support students' successful transition into university.
  4. Student expectations and experiences during their first semester of university, connected with their initial desire for future employment in their discipline of interest, can reinforce both their program selection and their career aspirations.

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