Investigating the transition into third level science – identifying a student profile
Research into student transition to and experience of first-year undergraduate study has been ongoing for many years. The corresponding research within the discipline of science has been less prolific and that which has been published tends to focus on using external factors such as previous grades, finances, travel time etc. as predictors for student success and retention. While these studies are valuable in identifying possible impacting factors, many of these factors are out of the control of university academics. In this study an attempt is made to examine the transition experience from a more student-centred approach, by identifying a student profile at the transition stage on entry to undergraduate science that is based on a conceptualisation of learning. It uses this profile to identity potential areas for academics to build upon student strengths and expectations of university study with the aim of highlighting opportunities to ease the transition period for both students and academics and to ultimately improve student integration and performance.